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Jade Jackson announces new album

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Album release: 28th June 2019
Label: ANTI-Records
More info: Jade Jackson website

“A raspy-throated, confident-beyond-her-years songwriter channeling Hank Williams via a somber goth-folk aesthetic.” - Rolling Stone Country

“Jade Jackson is a mistress of minor-key introspection, her songs carrying the kind of emotional weight more often associated with a battle-scuffed veteran.” - Uncut

“Reminiscent of Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris and Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval, Jackson’s somber songs unfold with the easy grace of dusty sunsets and open-road drives, while her more spirited numbers are driven by a punk swagger and a south-of-the-border slink.” - 
Paste

On Jade Jackson’s second full-length album, Wilderness, she casts a light more focused on her own life than ever before. To be released on June 28th via ANTI- Records, Wilderness – like her debut record Gilded - was produced by Mike Ness, the SoCal punk rock legend has carefully helped her hone her craft and sound.

“I don’t need a man’s hands to open the jar,” Jackson quips on the charming first single, “Bottle It Up”. Watch Jade and her love interest traverse the deserts of Joshua Tree in the song’s new video HERE.

Gilded (2017) was a masterful, critically acclaimed introduction to her strong soulful stylings as told through the eyes of characters and storytelling, with Jackson keeping any hyper-personal glimpses at arm’s length. But for its follow-up, the singer-songwriter from the Central Coast of California decided to embrace the concept of building her songs from an autobiographical perspective.

Two days after her 20th birthday Jackson was hiking in nearby Sand Canyon when she leaped from a rope swing and fell 15 feet onto a rock – she sustained serious injuries and wasn’t sure if she’d be able to walk again. As she recovered, she realized she was depending more and more on prescription painkillers and after stopping cold turkey by destroying her prescription refills and flushing the remaining pills, her body and brain spiraled into depression. She also developed a control-related eating disorder that would haunt her for several years following. Jackson refers to her mind state during that time as “suicidal.”

“Needless to say, for the first time since I had written my very first song, I didn’t believe in my music anymore,” Jackson says. “Because of my depression I didn’t like myself, so I couldn’t possibly imagine someone else liking what I created. But even that couldn’t stop me from writing, and songwriting remained my therapy through it all.”

The theme of her new work deals heavily with those attitudes and feelings while focusing largely on other true encounters and relationships in her real life. Wilderness is a powerhouse of a record about the in-betweens and stepping stones we dwell in and leap across while coming to terms with our senses of self, and how melancholy can be a powerful weapon to wield—especially in the form of a roots-rock or country song. With Wilderness, Jade Jackson has braved the depths of her soul and figured out a course for survival—though she will be the first to admit that her journey still has miles to go.

“Wilderness as the title of my album is this in-between area I’m in right now as a musician. It’s the unknown—like when we’re touring, you don’t know where you’re gonna play, or sleep, what you’re gonna eat, if you’ll have monitors…there’s so much unknown at this grinding stage in the game. I am incredibly thankful for the way my career has started, but I’ve always had this urge propelling me forward. I know where I want to go—I can visualize it—but right now I’m walking through the wild, still picking up tools, still learning, and making my way.”

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Pre-order ‘Wilderness’ HERE

Online:
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Lyrics to "Bottle It Up":

Life goes faster
I'd rather be brave than what you're after babe
It moves through chapters
With no way to know what's on the next page

Bottle it up the way we feel right now
Whenever I get lonely gonna drink a little down
Bottle it up the way you're holding me
If ever I get lonely gonna pour myself a drink

All your patience
Winds down that road to frustration
And all we've dreamt of
Will crash and burn should it turn into love

Bottle it up the way we feel right now
Whenever I get lonely gonna drink a little down
Bottle it up the way you're holding me
If ever I get lonely gonna pour myself a drink

I cross my heart
I don't need a man's hands to open the jar
Where I've captured and kept safe
The things that I'm willing to share with you babe

Bottle it up the way we feel right now
Whenever I get lonely gonna drink a little down
Bottle it up the way you're holding me
If ever I get lonely gonna pour myself a drink

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Thank You Scientist release new song & announce album

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Album release: 14th June 2019
Label: Evil Ink Records
More info: Thank You Scientist website

DOWNLOAD PRESS IMAGES

American Alt-Prog rock masters Thank You Scientist are proud to present, “FXMLDR,” which premiered via PROG, and is the lead off track from their forthcoming 84-minute full length album, “Terraformer."

“The video is a special LIVE performance of FXMLDR, recorded using 100% solar power, courtesy of our friends at THE SUN LAB. If you’re the observant type, you may notice a few hundred extra band members. With some frantic planning (and even more frantic arranging), we were able to meet up with DCI world champions THE BLUE COATS for this very special performance.”

The band started a relationship with The Blue Coats after they performed several TYS compositions for their 2017 concert season.  

Previously, Thank You Scientist announced their 4th studio album, “Terraformer,” will be out June 14th on Evil Ink Records. An Exclusive Comprehensive Adult Bundle of "Terraformer" with Limited Edition 2 LP Color Vinyl, exclusive Music Score and Trading Cards is available for pre-order now at www.thankyouscientist.com

You can see the solar-powered live performance for “FXMLDR” here: https://youtu.be/rxrz6RPSww0
The album version of “FXMLDR" will be on all DSPS starting next week.

Guitarist Tom Monda about the album: "This album probably features some of Sal's most personal lyrics, juxtaposed with some far reaching and topical stuff that is new for us.  There are conceptual threads linking the music and lyrics but we prefer that the listeners discover and interpret them on their own. Terraforming in really general terms is taking a planet or some type of celestial body and making it inhabitable for humans. I thought this was a fitting metaphor for the band, in terms of the changes we had gone through in the past two years.  I felt totally creatively renewed, and I think scope of the album speaks to that."

Terraformer is the band's second studio release on the label formed by Coheed and Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez and is the band's most ambitious to date. The album features more than an hour and 20 minutes on a 2-disc set.

Terraformer was recorded at The Barber Shop in Hopatcong NJ and engineer Mike Ferretti's studio in Ringwood, NJ. Main songwriter and guitarist Tom Monda oversaw production, along with contributions from the band.

The front cover was designed by Templar, who also designed the album art for the group’s previous record Stranger Heads Prevail.

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"We're really excited about this new album. We've put in so much work into this limited bundle to make sure it's perfect, and we hope our fans agree and help us crush our release week. We're a bunch of weirdos making music for weirdos that still care about weird music, and I think that's a beautiful thing." - Tom Monda

The album marks the first recordings of the Thank You Scientist's new lineup, which includes Joe Fadem on drums, Sam Greenfield on Sax, and Joe Gullace on trumpet.

“The new members were all guys that myself, Ben, and Cody play with in Cody's band ‘We Used to Cut The Grass.’  They were all a big part of the writing and arranging process for this album and I feel very lucky to be in a band with them.” - Monda

In only a few years Thank You Scientist have created a loyal and dedicated following with their unique style and indescribable sound through the albums Maps of Non-Existent Places (re-released in 2014), and Stranger Heads Prevail (released in 2016 via Evil Ink Records). The band has also toured with the likes of Periphery, Haken, Devin Townsend, as well as Coheed and Cambria, cementing themselves as a must-see live act.

Terraformer will be available 2 CD Digipak, 2 LP Vinyl, Digital, and in a Terraformer Exclusive Comprehensive Adult Bundle (For Adults)

This incredibly rare offering from Thank You Scientist and CREAM CO is available only at www.thankyouscientist.com and includes:

• Limited Edition 2LP Color Vinyl
• 21 Page Full Color Lyric Book (illustrated by Shamfoo)
• Full Score Songbook signed by all members of Thank You Scientist (Limited to the first 750 pre-orders)
• Full set of Thank You Scientist Father and Son Trading Cards (Limited to the first 750 pre-orders)

You can watch the Terraformer Preorder Infomercial Here:
https://youtu.be/mwBiaEYjQuw

Tracklisting:
1, Wrinkle  2:32
2, FXMLDR  7:56
3, Swarm  6:25
4, Son of a Serpent  8:06
5, Birdwatching 3:41
6, Everyday Ghosts  10:03
7, Chromology 9:49
8, Geronimo  6:15
9, Life of Vermin   8:11
10, Shatner's Lament  1:13
11, Anchor  9:56
12, New Moon  2:01
13, Terraformer 8:07

Band:
Salvatore Marrano
Tom Monda
Ben Karas
Cody McCorry
Joe Fadem
Sam Greenfield
Joe Gullace

Thank You Scientist: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Evil Ink online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey share new single '2 Ugly 4 NY' & announce album

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Album release: 12th July 2019
Label:
Sub Pop Records
More info: Sub Pop website

Watch Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey’s official video for lead single '2 Ugly 4 NY' from Showboat Honey, their forthcoming new album, available worldwide July 12th, 2019 from Sub Pop. The video is directed by Eleanor Petry, and stars bandleader Craft as Hobo Grimm, a skeleton-faced busker. He says of the video, “Eleanor and I were aiming to snag that “day in the life” feel, following old Hobo Grim around downtown tryin’ to make the illusive busker’s dollar and then heading off into the night to blow it.”

Showboat Honey was recorded and produced by Kyle Craft, Kevin Clark, and Billy Slater at their own Moonbase Studios in Portland over 2018. The album was mixed by Trevor Spencer (Father John Misty) and mastered by April Golden at Golden Mastering.

Showboat Honey is now available for pre-order through Sub Pop Mega Mart. Pre-orders of the LP through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America, the UK and Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on a clear blue translucent mix with spots red hi-melt (while supplies last). There will also be a new T-shirt design available.

About 'Showboat Honey'

There is this curious equilibrium to existence: In order to create balance, the universe must giveth, and the universe must taketh. Kyle Craft, along with his now solidified backing band dubbed Showboat Honey, know this all too well. And this is why their self-titled album, the contemplative yet restless Showboat Honey (Sub Pop Records, July 12th, 2019) reflects that sturm und drang. “This is basically an album centered around bad luck and good fortune hitting at the same time,” Craft explains “Then, out of nowhere, I find love. Everything went to shit except that. I guess that’s how life works.”
 
No track better captures this duality than the sweeping “Sunday Driver,” about sticking to your guns, despite a universe of blowback. “At this point, you get baptized by certain fires and start to walk with the dead a little bit, like nothing can harm you anymore,” says the Portland-based musician. “That’s what self-love sounds like to me, as aggressive as that sounds.”
 
The sticky-sweet title of the album is lifted from the brightly choral “Buzzkill Caterwaul” (“Once you were the showboat honey/ But your ship sailed out”). “I wanted to make something that sounded like a raucous collision of Leon Russell and Patti Smith,” he says, “But ‘Buzzkill Caterwaul’ was the only tune that ended up showcasing that vision.”
 
Though aesthetics veer from song to song, Showboat Honey’s steadfast formula remains the same. Drummer Haven Mutlz holds down the machine with a ’60s/’70s fast-molasses groove that locks in with the slinky rolling bass of Billy Slater. When Kevin Clark isn’t bouncing across the piano, his mellotron strings swell in and out of frame. Jack of all trades Ben Steinmetz’s organ parts well up from the deep of the songs, while lead guitarist Jeremy Kale’s solos rip through them like electricity. On top of it all, sits the tongue-in-cheek phantasmagoria created by Craft’s lyrics.  
 
Lyrically, perspectives shift to imbue life into a cast of intriguing, mysterious characters, à la Bob Dylan. (“There is not a single thing in my life that has affected me more than the first time I heard Dylan,” says Craft. “It immediately changed my life.”) “Johnny (Free & Easy)” is seemingly about a date gone awry at a swinger’s party in the Hollywood Hills. And the twangy pop of “O! Lucky Hand” appears to shadow a poor sod desperate to elude a hex. Its antidote is the stunning, cinematic “Deathwish Blue,” which sounds like a deep cut from the book of John Lennon, about the lovesick salvation found in his bride to be, Lydia. 
 
If that’s not head-trippy enough, the carefree sing-along “2 Ugly 4 NY” features a lyrical reference to a previous incarnation of Craft. Its lyrics—“Don’t wanna see Death strum for cash downtown/ Or the look on his face when the change hits the case on the ground”—call out his early days in Portland when he went by the moniker of Hobo Grim. Busking downtown, he’d cover country tunes while dressed as the Grim Reaper so as to conceal his true identity.
 
Craft started writing about as soon as he could play the guitar at the age of 15. He grew up in the isolated Mississippi River town of Vidalia, Louisiana where his chops weren’t honed in a woodshed, but rather an old, dingy meat freezer that was out of commission.  When asked about the first song he’d ever written, he laughs, saying it was an “angsty-rock tune” and “a rare bird of how bad a song could be.”
 
After years of touring, two LPs with Sub Pop Records, and solidifying the band, he’s since grown into a prodigious songwriter, to say the least. The band recorded Showboat Honey—co-produced by Craft, Clark, and Slater—at their own Moonbase Studios in Portland over 2018. “We approached this record differently for sure,” Craft says. “I’d make a demo, and after putting the songs together, shoot it to the band for ideas.” Tracks such as “Broken Mirror Pose” ended up being highly collaborative, while others settled into Craft’s original vision. “Deathwish Blue,” for instance, was tracked in a similar fashion to his solo debut, Dolls of Highland, with Craft tracking every instrument by himself. 
 
Kyle and the members of Showboat Honey worked at such a feverish wine-fueled pace that they actually ended up with two completely different albums. But at the end of the day, they decided to combine the two into what is now Showboat Honey,a moonstruck rock ’n’ roll record teeming with reckless abandon.
 
“We thought we had the album done at one point. But at the last minute, I was like, ‘Shit, this isn’t the album. This isn’t it,’” Kyle says. “It was just a gut feeling. I’m glad for that because I feel like I ended up writing some of the best songs I’ve ever written.”

More information at: subpop.com

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Duncan Lloyd announces new album Outside Notion

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Album release: 24th May 2019
Label: Afternoon In Bed Records
More info: Duncan Lloyd’s Facebook Page

Duncan Lloyd (Maximo Park / Nano Kino) is today announcing a brand new solo album, Outside Notion, along with a video for the record's first single Young Dreams, in what makes for a fresh and definite lean away from the indie-rock he is known for. Orchestrated segments circle around telling insights, executed with a depth of tender maturity. Breaking away from familiar territory, each song is it’s own defined journey of sorts. Sprawling jams and evolving layers open out to reveal the minutiae of smartly observant often heart-breaking lyrics. Young Dreams morphs oddly fitting drones with loose mannered guitars and violins that spiral over syncopated rhythm lines, into multi-dimensional layers of texture, gradually unfolding into thrilling chaos.

Of the single, Lloyd comments; "Young Dreams is a song about temptation and being taken in with the idea of a place that isn't all it promises to be, it's about young voices not being heard and a battle with what is imagination, and what is not. For the video, I wanted to create imagery I hadn’t seen or tried before, mixing colourful animation with moving footage, drifting through trees and city streets, then to a gig in a bar, and perhaps there's a subconscious sideways nod to ‘Take On Me’ by AHA." 

Watch the video below.

More about the new album Outside Notion

Deep down it is a very human record, about our flawed nature, our temptations, loneliness & limitations. What comes to the fore on Outside Notion is Lloyd's grip of engaging composition and his ability as an individual songwriter is growing into something truly special. The weightiness of certain themes is balanced by a weightless abandon of the arrangements, showing a deep complexity to his work. This is easily his most adventurous & soulful record to date.

“On this album things have taken a little more time to process, i wanted the dots to join and for it to work as one piece, each song being a window into something deeper. Be it in the form of mental escapism or loss for example, admittedly it's not always clear what I'm channelling but it felt right to follow what has been bubbling under for a while. In turn it made greater sense of the writing process & where I can take it. Ultimately, I like that there is still a sense of ambiguity in these songs, not everything needs to be spelt out or to make immediate sense as life isn't like that.”

The album opens with the long-bowed notes of distant distorted strings popped and punctured by a loose acoustic drum and a mid-tempo drawl, “Been in my car for three days / it’s a wonder i ever got away”. Historic Elements is transient and dreamlike, dragging you feet first onto a raft intent on exploration.

Young Dreams morphs oddly fitting drones with loose mannered guitars & violins that spiral over syncopated rhythm lines into multi-dimensional layers of texture, gradually unfolding into thrilling chaos. To then be encompassed by the earthy magnetism of a song like Planetarium, where every surging note resonates with purpose. Both songs achingly relevant as they wander lost through a capital on the verge of seismic change, “All the while the city she smiles / Through the gaps in her teeth”. 

With the exploratory also comes the engaging, the title song Outside Notion (Lloyd joined on vocals by his Nano Kino collaborator Sarah Suri) is fuelled by observations caught from the crumbling coastal hinterland near where they live, "from abandoned old tombs / where the city once bloomed / lightbulbs swing in lone chapels of light” vocally it’s a perfect match, Suri’s lofty vocal leads the song halfway through to re-join Lloyd’s tender delivery, highlighting adept observations that leave the listener with emotive visual markers long after the record has played out.

"I want to transport the listener in some way then bring them back down, there's a different kind of layering, some elements hypnotic, some elements wider, less predictable and then space.”

Collaborating with string arranger Amy May (John Cale, Aphex Twin, The Xx) & influenced by the likes of Vaughan Williams and Scott Walker,  Lloyd wanted to use strings to bring pastoral elements into the picture, extra textures that have worked to beautiful and fascinating effect, crossing orchestrated elements with a rawness that Neil Young or Neutral Milk Hotel would tap into.

He admits that there are messages to his father (who passed in 2010) on the gothic folk of Guess & Wonder and 5am Eyes, a song born from a bare arrangement, written at the time, now woven with scintillating strings. It is a subject which he explored as sound experiments on, Transit / Pulse an album under his Decade in Exile moniker, but here finding a way with understated, moving words. Although a melancholy breathes throughout the record he intuitively steers the weightier themes so that light flickers into the furthest of corners.

The record was recorded by Lloyd himself, joined by Tom English on drums and mixed by Dave Maughan. “As a teenager I was a fan of an album by Eric Mathews called It’s Heavy In Here, I was into his vocal style and always wanted to use strings in a way that didn’t feel obvious, instead of, hey here’s some guitar music with strings stuck on the top, it was more that the strings are the song, a vital texture, First Monday is a good example of that. I worked with Amy on recording and layering the violin parts and Gemma Kost played the cello”.  Outside Notion is an album of dark elegance, exquisitely realised, assembled from organic sounds and songs that bypass the road of slick production tricks, it is a captivating and emotive listen. If you didn't know Lloyd was the engine behind Maximo Park’s music there isn't anything here that would give you the impression he was, he has found his own patch and it's a delight to see, where he goes next is an intriguing thought.

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Outside Notion Track listing

1. Historic Elements
2. 5 a.m. Eyes 
3. Planetarium 
4. Young Dreams
5. Outside Notion
6. Journey B 
7. 'Til The Fear Breaks
8. Guess & Wonder
9. First, Monday

Duncan Lloyd: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify

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Horse Jumper Of Love announce new album 'So Divine'

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Album release: 28th June 2019
Label: Run For Cover Records

"Horse Jumper Of Love writes fitting music for the shortest days of the year. The Boston trio's slow, syrupy rock songs feel heavy and dark. When the songs shimmer — in twisting riffs or in singer Dimitri Giannopoulos's sweet, sad voice — they're less like the flash of a Christmas tree and more like the glare off a snowbank." NPR 

Horse Jumper Of Love have announced their new LP 'So Divine' and have shared their lead single "Poison" via The Fader. When talking about the track Lead singer Dimitri Giannopoulos says,“Poison’ highlights themes of domesticity, learning through nostalgia, and capturing even the most mundane memories. I started working on this song about 4 years ago, and have been waiting to release it for a while. We shot the video in my Dad’s pizza shop in Boston - a very important place to me, a place that taught me how to work. 
Ty captured this feeling exactly how I envisioned. Work as a repetitive movement - just like the guitar part in the song."


WATCH/SHARE THE VIDEO FOR 'POISON' HERE

The new LP will be out 28th June via Run For Cover Records. Pre-order HERE
Download Promo photo HERE
Download cover art HERE

Memory looms large on Horse Jumper of Love’s hypnotic sophomore album, ‘So Divine,’ but it remains elusive. Throughout the record, tiny snapshots from the past float to the surface, baring themselves for brief moments before diving back into the ether. Like abstract collages, the Boston-based three-piece’s songs jumble richly detailed scenes and vivid imagery, papering over one moment with the next until each string of seemingly unrelated thoughts coalesces into a breathtaking work of art, one that reveals deep truths about ourselves and our psyches.

“A lot of these songs are about making small things into huge deals,” says guitarist/singer Dimitri Giannopoulos. “They all start with these very specific little memories that, for some reason or another, have stuck in my mind. Memories morph and change over time, though, and they become freighted with all these different meanings. We’re constantly adding to them.”

The same could be said of Horse Jumper of Love’s music. Praised by Stereogum as a “delightfully distorted mess of energy,” the band’s sound is absorbing and urgently hypnotic, with songs that develop at a glacial pace, progressing forward with almost imperceptible momentum to carve deep canyons and valleys through walls of solid rock. Giannopoulos officially launched the group with bassist John Margaris and drummer Jamie Vadala-Doran in 2013, taking their moniker from a Latin phrase that had gotten more than a little lost in translation. The band would spend the next three years refining their studio craft and live show, garnering a devoted following playing DIY gigs around New England as they climbed their way into what Pitchfork
described as “the top tier of the Boston house show scene.” In 2016, they released their self-titled debut to rave reviews, with NPR praising the band’s “slow, syrupy rock songs” as “cautiously measured and patiently curious” and Audiotree hailing the “soft spoken, contemplative trio” for their “unique sonic palette and precise compositions.” Dates with everyone from Pinegrove to Elvis Depressedly followed, and in 2017, the group released a vinyl and digital re-issue of the album along with a limited edition demo anthology.

‘So Divine’ will mark the band’s first release for Run For Cover Records.

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'So Divine' - Tracklisting

1. Airport
2. Volcano
3. Cops
4. Alien
5. Poison
6. Twist Cone
7. Ur Real Life Dress
8. John Song
9. Stray Dog
10. Nature
11. Heaven

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Kazu Makino announces new album

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Album release: Out now
More info: Kazu’s Facebook page

KAZU, Blonde Redhead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Kazu Makino, has shared a single from her first solo LP Adult Baby, which will be released on her new imprint of the same name later this year and distributed by !K7. “Salty” pulses with intricate textured synth and is layered with dynamic vocal and percussive production, demonstrating and further reinforcing the artist’s status as an iconic innovator of dream-pop and avant-pop. What’s more, the single as well as the video are evidence of KAZU’s gratifying experimentation--by no means straightforward, but both boundary-pushing and pleasurable to experience. “Salty” and all of Adult Baby are teeming with contributions from significant musical pioneers such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Mauro Refosco (Atoms for Peace, David Byrne) and Ian Chang (Son Lux, Landlady).

KAZU splits her time between New York City and Italy’s Elba Island where the Paride Ambrogi-directed video for “Salty” was filmed. Carefully framed shots display the elysian landscapes of the island as KAZU interacts with the varied topography of the Tuscan shoreline--her residence for the last few months, a location that helped coax Adult Baby into existence by offering respite from New York. More information about the influence Elba Island had on Adult Baby is available here.

Watch the “Salty” Video Now

Adult Baby, the imprint, is Kazu Makino’s new venture which she will use to share work from both emerging and established like-minded artists who are driven by experimentation and freedom of expression. Distribution will be through !K7.

Kazu’s story begins in Kyoto, Japan, where she was born to a young unwed couple, neither of whom can recall the hospital, date, or any specific circumstances of her birth. As a youngster, Kazu had an acute sense of focus which required monitoring at all times. In one instance, while babysitting her infant cousin, she become so engrossed in a copy of Homer’s Odyssey that she failed to notice the child scald herself with a pot of boiling water. An adult rushed in and shoved Kazu back into coherence, and she was finally aware of the child’s high-pitched shrieks. Desperately searching for an object of her focus, Kazu’s parents turned her towards musical instruments. Kazu flourished in music. It opened a new mysterious world to her. At her first piano recital, she made a wrong turn in her piece and couldn’t recall the end, but Instead of stopping, she began to repeat the piece over and over again, dozens of times, increasing the tempo as she played. She continued at this shredding speed until her teacher, drenched in nervous sweat, sat next to her and brought the music to its conclusion. Kazu received her first of many standing ovations that evening.

As the years stretched her limbs and her mind, Kazu traded her pastoral childhood for the bustle and electricity of Tokyo. It was there, down a neon lit alley that she serendipitously bumped into a tall, dark and curiously handsome American stranger with a saxophone slung 'round his chest. “Live with me in New York and be my best friend.” She didn’t understand his words, but she understood his eyes, and so she followed him eleven thousand miles. That man was none other than musician, painter and actor John Lurie. Under his wing, Kazu quietly observed the world of fame, money, fashion, art and the underground. Soon, she wouldn’t be so quiet; she learned English and started to make the noises that we’ve come to know her for. Blonde Redhead was the sonic intersection of those pastoral beginnings and the electric chaos of the metropolis.

Decades felt like mere moments and Kazu’s singular obsessiveness slowly turned inwards and away from collaboration, as she began to forge a project that was solely of her own making. Adult Baby is an introspection, an unmonitored and free exploration of uncharted waters, and a massive accomplishment of melodic cacophonous architecture.

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DOWNLOAD HI-RES
(“Salty” Single Art)
Photo credit: Eva Michon
Design and typography credit: Gelman


On naming the album and imprint, KAZU explains, "The title came to me when an old friend told me about the existence of so-called 'adult baby club,' frequented by powerful men who go there to be treated like small children." She continues, "This discovery struck me, perhaps because I am convinced that in a way, we are all adult babies, that many people feel that way inside and that they identify with this expression. Each in his own way: Adult Baby is a title that can be taken in many ways; some will think it curious, others erotic, others still strange or tender: it all depends on how you see it."

Read a full-length and in-depth bio HERE.

KAZU Online: FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

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Jamie Freeman new album out 17 May 2019

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Album release: 'Dreams About Falling' by Jamie Freeman
Release date: 17 May 2019
Label: Union Music
More info: Artist website

“‘Dreams About Falling’ alludes to the fine line between flying and falling, succeeding or failing. Some of the songs are about childhood or upbringing, how that shapes an adult and how they remember and deal with those memories. That feeling of doing something exciting and scary, or waking from a dream just before you hit the ground.”

- Jamie Freeman, 2019

Jamie Freeman returns with perhaps his most startlingly honest and remarkably vulnerable album yet, with the release of ‘Dreams About Falling’, in May 2019 via Union Music Label. Freeman skillfully tackles subjects such as parental expectations, childhood potential, and facing up to the possibility of falling short of those aspirations. These themes may be further understood when the context of Freeman’s talented family is brought into the picture. With a BAFTA and Emmy award-winning brother, Martin, and Frazier Chorus indie-dance musician (signed to 4AD, Virgin) brother, Tim, one can imagine that the family outlook has always been to ‘aim high’.

Jamie Freeman has found his own path, however, and become a respected figure within the Americana music scene after releasing his debut record ‘Just You’ in 2011, follow-up ‘100 Miles From Town’ in 2013 (under the name The Jamie Freeman Agreement) and EP ‘Hasia Dreams’ in 2017, all to critical acclaim from the likes of Americana UK, RnR, Maverick, FATEA, and more. A testament to the reputation Freeman has built is the impressive roster of collaborators and producers that have lent themselves to his projects; most recently Jamie has worked with the likes of Angaleena Presley, Mark Chadwick, Larkin Poe, Wild Ponies, Ben Glover, and Michael Logen.

Freeman's list of co-writers and contributors on ‘Dreams About Falling’ reads like a who's who of Nashville's finest. One particular highlight is ‘Down Range’, a heartbreaking tale of a Gulf War veteran returning to his wife that the Pistol Annies singer and solo artist Angaleena Presley duetted with Freeman on especially for this album. Presley actually co-wrote one of the final tracks on the record ‘I Miss Those Bars’, which Freeman explains is, “about the fear of having to fend for oneself, even if that freedom is what we desire. If we attain that freedom how will we cope? She has written and talked about hardships in her family to do with the opioid epidemic leading to addiction and prison. I had my own second-hand experience with alcohol.”

‘Down Range’ is swiftly followed by the equally poignant track ‘The Fire’, a song co-written by Ben Glover whose latest release ‘Shorebound’ won UK Album of the Year at the UK Americana Awards 2019. The track itself was written after the Grenfell Tower fire disaster in 2017 and uses powerful imagery to invoke moving scenes of spirits, smoke, and betrayal. On its creation, Freeman has said, “I didn’t want to write a political song, and I didn’t feel I had the authority to write *specifically* about Grenfell, but I wanted to honour the event and the people, so we wrote about the physical being of the fire itself; an unfeeling force that simply does what it does.”

Jamie’s commitment to music doesn’t end with his own releases. Freeman produced the critically-acclaimed 'Not Waving But Drowning' and 'Dead Stars' by The Self Help Group along with many other projects including the Noble Jacks debut 'What The Hammer' as well as taking on the role of drummer for Sam Outlaw and MD for Angaleena Presley's UK touring band. He's also a member of the Americana Music Association UK - working as their designer and volunteer, something that takes up a lot of his time and energy, but that Freeman is extremely dedicated to. “I like to take a 'high tide floats all boats' attitude to helping fellow musicians”, he explains.

“The last line in the closing song (Match Among The Ashes) says, ‘You’d believe that you can fly, because she told you, so you try.’ This is a direct reference to my own upbringing and the faith and belief that my mother instilled in me. The title is perhaps a reference to that, coupled with the fear of not living up to it.”

Stream/share new single 'All In The Name' here.

Read feature at The Boot.

On tour in the UK throughout Spring 2019 - date and tickets here.

"With its upbeat melody and universally applicable lyrics, the song is a solid reminder to stick it out with the person you love, even when things get a little tough." - The Boot

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H.C Slim debut album out 31 May 2019

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Album release: 'Sings' by H.C. Slim
Release date: 31 May 2019
Label: Svart Records

H.C Slim had amassed quite a catalogue of original songs he’s demoed on a tape recorder, deep in the Eastern Finnish countryside. Over the years cassettes and CDRs began to circulate with original copies selling for high prices, before Svart Records drove out to his remote cabin to offer Slim a deal for his debut album.

Evangelical visionary, and wayward preacher, H.C Slim calls forth revelations of pastoral love and rustic abandoned buildings. His song is that of the wandering missionary that brings to mind the Holy Joe pastor of John Huston’s Wise Blood, wandering from town to town to find the cracks of light that spill out from heaven, amongst the decline of the backwoods. A man that spent his formative years smoking cigarettes and playing his guitar, between distilling moonshine in an old empty factory, his songs are both apocalyptic and illuminating, swelling between religious fervour and starless prophecies of biblical destruction. Songs like ‘Wheels Of Judgement’, ‘Sweet Virgin Mary’ and ‘I Obeyd A Heavenly Vision’ throw up Dylanesque lines with the mastery of the old greats, such as Ramblin’ Jack Elliot or Woodie Guthrie. However Slim’s astute and contemporary flair for song-craft wouldn’t be out of place on a bill with artists like Laura Marling, First Aid Kit or The Tallest Man On Earth, if his Finnish maverick and lone wolf pilgrimage lead him out of wilderness.

Like fellow Finns Mirel Wagner and Paavoharju, his sounds are from the melancholic and mythical heart of the forest towns they sprang from. Saw blades and rusty hollow body guitar strings conjure bands playing the lonely bars of deserted factory towns and have the voice of the forgotten countryside about them.

Slim famously said to a local country newspaper, “Dark songs are cleansing, I go through the rocky roads for my listeners,” but he adds, “I don’t feel like I am singing about dark things, when the songs are dark, some sort of light starts to shine from strange places.” Like a strange light, Slims songs will shine down that lonesome road so you too might find your way between life’s hard rocks.

Hear/share the new single 'The City Is Burning’ here.

Pre-order new album here.

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Marvin Gaye new album out 29 March 2019

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Album release: ‘You’re the Man’ by Marvin Gaye
Release date: 29 March 2019
Label: Motown/UMe

In celebration of Marvin Gaye’s 80th birthday on April 2, Motown/UMe will release his never-issued 1972 Tamla/Motown album, ‘You’re The Man’, in 2LP gatefold vinyl and digital editions on March 29. ‘You’re The Man’ features all of Gaye’s solo and non-soundtrack recordings from 1972, with most of the album’s tracks making their vinyl release debuts. SaLaAM ReMi’s new mix of the album track ‘My Last Chance’ is available now for streaming and for immediate download with album pre-order.

Pre-order ‘You’re The Man’ here.

Listen to ‘My Last Chance’ here. (SaLaAM ReMi remix)

In 1972, Marvin Gaye was on top: or so it seemed. ‘What’s Going On’, ‘Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)’, and ‘Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler”)’, the three singles from his universally acclaimed album What’s Going On, had each hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart (since renamed Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs) and Top 10 Pop the year before. His new single, ‘You’re The Man’ – a percolating, sarcastic riff on political non-action issued as the U.S. presidential campaign was kicking off – reached No. 7 on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart. He saw Motown schedule a You’re The Man album (catalogue number Tamla 316). But when the lead single didn’t cross over Pop, stalling at No. 50, Marvin retreated. Ambivalent about recording, stubborn about moving to Los Angeles with Berry Gordy and Motown, Marvin by his actions proclaimed no more new Marvin Gaye music.

Or so it seemed.

In this singular and transitional year for the late music legend, Gaye recorded more than an album’s worth of music in Detroit and L.A. He produced himself, creating a suite of aching ballads; he worked with songwriters-becoming-producers Willie Hutch, then known mainly for the Jackson 5 smash ‘I’ll Be There’, but soon to be lauded for his film scores to The Mack and Foxy Brown; and with Pam Sawyer and Gloria Jones, whose ‘Piece of Clay’ for Marvin decades later became a smash in the 1995 film Phenomenon. He cut two sought-after tracks with Freddie Perren and Fonce Mizell, half of the hit-making machine behind the Jackson 5; he got together with Hal Davis, who was preparing a Marvin Gaye-Diana Ross album, to cut another topical gem, ‘The World Is Rated X’. And Marvin funnelled his anger over the Vietnam War, and his brother’s experiences there, into a sequel of sorts to ‘What’s Going On’, the poetic holiday ballad, ‘I Want To Come Home For Christmas’. He even re-cut ‘You’re The Man’ as an eerie funk jam, perhaps for the LP as a bookend to the single.

None of these tracks or any other on the LP, except the single, were issued at the time.

Three tracks from the album are newly mixed by SaLaAM ReMi, the songwriter and producer long associated with Nas, the Fugees, and Amy Winehouse: “My Last Chance,” “Symphony,” and “I’d Give My Life For You.” Also included is the rare, long LP version of Gaye’s cancelled 1972 Christmas single, plus an unreleased vault mix of its instrumental B-side. Over the years, songs from You’re The Man have been included on several CD releases but 15 of the album’s 17 tracks have not been released on vinyl until now.

You’re The Man’s 2LP vinyl edition includes new liner notes by Marvin Gaye biographer David Ritz. In his essay, Ritz delves into Gaye’s deeply personal internal conflict as a source of creative vigor and emotional burden as he experienced What’s Going On’s massive success and all that came with it. “Now I could do what I wanted,” Gaye told Ritz in an interview that first appeared in Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye. “For most people that would be a blessing. But for me the thought was heavy. They said I’d reached the top, and that scared me because Mother used to say, ‘First ripe, first rotten.’ When you’re at the top there’s nowhere to go but down. No, I needed to keep going up – raising my consciousness – or I’d fall back on my behind. When would the war stop? That’s what I wanted to know – the war inside my soul.”

Despite his inner turmoil, that same year Gaye recorded a duets album with Diana Ross, and he accepted an offer to write what became his landmark Trouble Man film score. A year later, he released Let’s Get It On, the biggest hit of his career.

In addition to You’re The Man, Motown/UMe will release a new expanded edition of Marvin Gaye’s 1965 album, A Tribute To The Great Nat King Cole, digitally on March 15. Honoring what would have been Cole’s 100th birthday, the album’s original mono mix makes its digital debut with the new edition, which also adds more than a dozen bonus tracks, including six alternate takes from the studio sessions.

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Plague Vendor new album out 7 June 2019

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Album release: ‘By Night’ by Plague Vendor
Release date: 7 June 2019
Label: Epitaph Records
More info: Band website

Today, Plague Vendor have announced their new album By Night, produced by John Congleton (St Vincent, Sharon Van Etten, Chelsea Wolfe) and recorded at legendary EastWest Studios (Brian Wilson, Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop). The follow up to their 2016 debut full-length BLOODSWEAT and their widely-acclaimed debut EP Free to Eat is set for release on June 7 via Epitaph Records. The 10-song set kicks off with the raw, vital track and first single ‘New Comedown’. Hear the song and watch the Dan Monick-directed video here.

"When we were writing 'New Comedown,' there were a lot of colours and themes that were coming through, so we thought it best to finalize the verses once we were in the recording studio,” notes the band’s frontman Brandon Blaine. “The energy, urgency, and excitement there was unmatched. We caught lightning in the booth and trapped it in the recording."

Plague Vendor is Blaine (vocals), Michael Perez (bass), Luke Perine (drums and percussion) and Jay Rogers (guitar). A fearless our-way-is-the-hard-way work ethic and famously physical live shows won the Southern California-based band a ferocious fan base and place of pride on the Epitaph Records roster. They are currently on the road taking their live show to venues around the US - supporting All Them Witches now, with select headline shows set for this spring. See tour dates below.

By Night sees Plague Vendor stretch and warp their songs, discovering a merciless sense of tension and apprehension that set every moment on edge. It captures the feeling of ruin and regeneration, of charisma and catastrophe and of slashing at the night with nothing but pure electricity. And, with Congleton’s precision production, they found their own way between the powerful-but-too-polished sound of right now and the engaging-but-aging reinterpretations of classic punk/rock albums of the 60s and 70s. Congleton’s limitless encouragement also led Plague Vendor to do things they never did before: chorused bass in endless waves, lightning-strike flashes of synth, motorik man-machine drums that sound inhuman and human at once and even a string section that’ll be a surprise if they ever do it live.

On ‘By Night’, Plague Vendor broke out new vocal ideas, new vocal styles, new depths of imagery and intensity that feel like flashbacks instead of pop songs. If BLOODSWEAT was a primal scream, By Night would be a precision attack.

Album pre-save / pre-order here.

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Dreyfus 'Jazz Reference' out 10 May 2019

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Album release: Dreyfus 'Jazz Reference'
Release date: 10 May 2019
Label: Sony BMG

Dreyfus Jazz/BMG announce a further 14 new reissues from the 'Jazz Reference' collection - available for the first time on vinyl (and CD) with brand new artwork by Seb Jarnot.

Featuring Chet Baker, Count Basie, Dinah Washington, Django Reinhardt, Frank Sinatra, Lester Young, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davies, Nat King Cole, Oscar Peterson, Sarah Vaughan, Sidney Bechet, Stan Getz and Thelonious Monk.

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 reissuing a carefully curated selection of these releases. This series 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.

Having released the first selection of 14 titles in 2018 with praise from Jazzwise, MOJO, Record Collector, the Guardian, The Financial Times, The Daily Express, BBC Music Magazine and more, the series now continues with a further 14 new reissues from the collection including inimitable legends such as Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson, Stan Getz, Frank Sinatra, Count Basie and more.

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”!"

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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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Abdullah Ibrahim new album due Summer 2019

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Album release: Abdullah Ibrahim
Release date: Summer 2019
Label: Gearbox Records
More info: Artist website

Legendary South African pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim signs to Gearbox Records for first album in 4 years, due Summer 2019.

Having released some of the most exciting jazz releases in recent years (Theon Cross, Binker and Moses, Thelonious Monk, Sarathy Korwar + more) Gearbox Records have now announced that they have signed a deal with legendary South African pianist and composer, Abdullah Ibrahhim.

His first new album in 4 years, Ibrahim recently recorded some previously-unreleased music with his long-time band, Ekaya. The session took place over the course of a day in London at the great RAK Studios, last November. They recorded some full band arrangements and Ibrahim also recorded a couple of solo, improvised piano pieces. The instrumentation is broad, and includes harmonica, cello, and piccolo. In his own words, "With Ekaya, I am blessed in that I have all these textural opportunities."

Speaking about the new album, the recording process and the recording process, Ibrahim says "We push ourselves out of our comfort zones. So that we can present to the listener our striving for excellence. So that we can engage with our listeners without any barriers of our ego. It’s not jazz. For us, it’s a process of transcending barriers. Technically it’s very, very skilled, but there’s simplicity in the complexity so that people can relate to it. It’s a natural rhythm of the universe. We’ve been looking at recording for some time. But we were looking for the correct vehicle. Someone who understands what we’re doing. "

Speaking about the signing label founder Darrel Sheinman, said "I was obviously honoured. He was coming to headline the London Jazz Festival, it was an opportunity to record him, so we did RAK Studios. There was a mixture of some older pieces and some new pieces. The other beauty is that he's happy to be released as Abdullah Ibrahim aka Dollar Brand, which is quite interesting because he hasn't done that since the '60s. And I've always been a fan of him, in particular his contribution to the whole township jazz sound."

The new album will be coming out through Gearbox Records in Summer 2019 - More details TBA

About Gearbox Records

Founded in 2009, Gearbox Records is a vinyl led label specialising in previously unreleased heritage jazz cuts, as well as contemporary artists from the jazz, folk and electronica genres. Their early archive jazz releases include artists such as Tubby Hayes, Yusef Lateef, and Thelonious Monk. Recent output includes award-winning London jazz duo Binker and Moses, inimitable tubist Theon Cross, Indian percussionist and tabla-player Sarathy Korwar, and American jazz and funk five-piece Butcher Brown.

Recent praise for Gearbox Records releases

"We’ve been looking at recording for some time. But we were looking for the correct vehicle. Someone who understands what we’re doing." - Theon Cross "Fyah" - Pitchfork (7.5)

No. 1 Urban Album of the Year 2017 / No. 2 Jazz Album of the year 2018. Binker & Moses "Journey To The Mountain Of Forever" / "Alive In The East?" - MOJO

"It’s a bold assertion that many of Monk’s disciples might disagree with. What’s undeniable is that with the release of Mønk, the star’s indomitable legacy has been reinforced . . . the record has been literally saved from the trash is a twist of fortune to be treasured forever." - Thelonious Monk "Mønk" - Bandcamp

"Making you reconsider totemic moments in jazz, this feels like an important record, one that opens up a conversation that has largely been excluded from the mainstream for much too long." - Sarathy Korwar & Upaj Collective "My East Is Your West" - Clash

Find more info on Gearbox Record's releases here.

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Pile new album out 3 May 2019

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Album release: 'Green and Gray' by Pile
Release date: 3 May 2019
Label: Exploding In Sound Records
More info: Band website

From their earliest days as the solo project of frontman Rick Maguire, Pile have followed an unusual path through a decade in which rock bands have generally receded from the cultural spotlight. Starting out in 2007, in the then thriving Boston DIY scene, the band rapidly became heroes and standard-bearers for their hometown’s music community, garnering a cultish-adoration that has only intensified as that cult has grown, expanding by word of mouth along the Eastern seaboard and across the country over 10 years that have seen 6 full length albums and 100s of shows in basements, bars, punk houses and clubs.

With their last full length, 2017’s ‘A Hairshirt of Purpose’, Pile found their widest audience to date. Hailed as a release that communicated the inimitable quality of the live shows that have made the band near-legendary in certain circles, the album received praise from all quarters, earning them a critical-acclaim commensurate with the adoration, heaped on them by their contemporaries, that has long granted them “your favourite band’s favourite band” status.

Today, Pile are announcing their 7th album, ‘Green and Gray’, which will be out on May 3rd via Exploding In Sound, and sharing the album's first single ‘Bruxist Grin’. Packed with the kind of hairpin dynamic shifts that have become Pile's hallmark, the track, with the aid of the album's engineer Kevin S. McMahon (Titus Andronicus, Frightened Rabbit, The Walkmen, Swans), opens up the space between the two poles of the Pile's sound. Showcasing Maguire's powerful voice, the track pulls from a seemingly bottomless bag of sonic tricks, shifting seamlessly from delicate acoustic guitar figures to pummeling full band rhythmic turns, relating the experience of Maguire's first panic attack with an almost psychedelic flair.

"I wrote "Bruxist Grin" when I was getting ready to move," Maguire explains. "I'd been showing people my place to take my apartment, and getting my life together to go make this record to then move two days after the session. It was a super tight timeline and I went to bed and had a panic attack. I hadn’t had one before, and I thought it came on kind of like a psychedelic experience, like when the acid starts to kick in and it’s like 'oh, here we go.' My heart was pounding and I didn’t know what was happening but I knew that there was a lot about my current way of living that was about to change and I assume it was just my body reacting to all of it. It was pitch black, and I perceived looking at myself and my position to the rest of the world, physically, psychologically and spiritually, and feeling this overwhelming anxiety, and that’s what the song’s about."

In support of the album the band will be heading out on an extensive North American tour. Full details can be found below.

'Green and Gray' will be released via Exploding In Sound on 3rd May. It is available for pre-order here.

Previous praise for Pile

"In certain parts of Boston, Pile are beheld with the kind of reverence traditionally reserved for local sporting heroes and/or minor deities...their music crackles and explodes alongside frontman Rick Maguire's over-firing neurons." - Pitchfork

"Pile is well-known as idols for their peers...The band balances the acrobatic and the annihilating as it shifts between gnarled melodies and heavy thrashing." - NPR

"Messy, loud, and rhythmically intense…the tension between softer, sadder moments and the abrasive ones feels vital." - FADER

"[Pile] have achieved the kind of mythical status typically ascribed to long-since-passed rock legends." - Stereogum

"A guitar band that doesn’t sound like a guitar band; there’s something intense and brave about them, but it feels feminine, not macho, not over the top." - Consequence Of Sound

"[Pile have] a nimble sense of timing more often associated with jazz or classical musicians, and a compositional ambition exceeding that of nearly all of their peers." - Spin

"Vivid and refined…[Pile have a] delirious energy that's inspired a decade's worth of devoted followers." - MTV

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The Get Up Kids new album out 10 May 2019

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Album release: ‘Problems’ by The Get Up Kids
Release date: 10 May 2019
Label: Big Scary Monsters
More info: Band website

The Get Up Kids today announced their first full-length album in eight years, ‘Problems’ - produced by Grammy Award-winner Peter Katis (Kurt Vile, The National) - will be released May 10th on Big Scary Monsters.

The video for first single ‘Satellite’ is out today; watch it now here and stream the track at all DSPs here. ‘Problems’ is now available for pre-order here. The band today also announced two shows at this year’s SXSW:

The Get Up Kids at SXSW:

3/13 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk - Polyvinyl Record Co. / Double Double Whammy / Big Scary Monsters + Friends Showcase (11:45 PM). Event info here.

3/14 - Austin, TX - Scoot Inn - Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion (11:00 PM). Event info here.

‘Satellite’ opens on a stark arrangement of acoustic guitar and stripped-bare vocals, then bursts into brightly crashing rhythms and lyrics revealing the time-bending quality of The Get Up Kids’ songwriting. “I started writing ‘Satellite’ about my son who’s 14 and a total introvert - not antisocial, he just genuinely likes to keep to himself,” says guitarist/vocalist Matt Pryor. “But then somewhere down the line I started singing about myself - about how even when you’re playing a show to a room full of people, I can still feel anxious and isolated.” Director Kerstin Ebert explains, “The feeling of being isolated in a big city can be depressing. But instead of making this a sad story, I added a cardboard man named Hank to the storyline -- a guy who lives like a normal human being amongst 8 million other people in New York City. Even though Hank's adventurous ambitions as well as his facial expressions are very limited, he is the heart of the story and the biggest dreamer of all.”

‘Problems’ examines everything from life-changing loss to loneliness to the inevitable anxiety of existing in 2019. But by sustaining the essence of their sound - anthemic choruses with sing-along-ready melodies -The Get Up Kids highlight those troubles as a shared experience, giving way to an unbreakable solidarity. And at the heart of Problems is an invaluable element the band’s embodied since their 1997 debut Four Minute Mile: a penetrating lyricism that’s both acutely introspective and indelibly resonant.

The follow-up to 2018’s acclaimed EP, Kicker, Problems came to life in Bridgeport, Connecticut, with the band - Matt Pryor, Jim Suptic (guitars/vocals), Rob Pope (bass), Ryan Pope (drums), and James Dewees (keys) - holing up together for a three-week span. Working with Katis, The Get Up Kids took a characteristically riff-driven yet decidedly pop-minded approach to song structure, while also allowing themselves a new sense of creative freedom.

Through the years, The Get Up Kids have purposely pushed themselves toward previously unexplored songwriting material. “I’m 41 now, I could never write a song like when I was 19 - all those ‘I miss my girlfriend’ kind of songs” Suptic says. “It’s always important to us to write about wherever we are right now.” As shown on Problems, the resulting output both preserves the beloved spirit of The Get Up Kids and creates an entirely new context for their music. “A big part of the reason why we started writing new songs in the first place is that we have things we want to say about this moment in time,” says Pryor. “We’re still so connected to our past and where this all came from - it’s definitely a celebration of the fact that we still get to do this.”

The Get Up Kids play Slam Dunk North on 25th May and Slam Dunk South on 26th May

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Dwight Trible new album out 12 April 2019

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Album release: 'Mothership' by Dwight Trible
Release date: 12 April 2019
Label: Gearbox Records
More info: Artist website

Dwight Trible has forged an impressive career as an inimitable jazz vocalist, activist and as the godfather of the LA jazz scene. He is the vocalist for the Pharoah Sanders Quartet and has collaborated with a huge variety of artists such as Kamasi Washington (singing on ‘The Epic’ and ‘Heaven and Earth’), J Dilla, Life Force Trio, Carlos Nino, John Beasley, Bobby Hutcherson, Charles Lloyd, and is also the vocal director for the Horace Tapscott Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra - a Los Angeles institution with a history stretching back forty years and an active engagement in the city's Black community since the Watts Uprising.

Trible has also been on the forefront of the US jazz resurgence, working as executive director of the hugely crucial arts space The World Stage - a vital component to Leimert Park, which has been the epicentre of African-American art and culture in Los Angeles since the late 1960s. Artists such as Kamasi Washington and Terrace Martin have credited the venue as having helped to shape their sounds and the sense of community surrounding the scene, whilst also being an essential influence to the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Biz Markey, as well as number of artists from LA tastemaker label Brainfeeder and more.

In amongst all this noise, Trible is also a solo musician. Having released music on Ninja Tune as well as a collaborative record with Matthew Halsall on Gondwana Records, he is now set to release his new album ‘Mothership’ via London jazz aficionados and analog specialists, Gearbox Records (Binker and Moses, Sarathy Korwar, Theon Cross, Thelonious Monk).

Featuring appearances from legendary musicians such as Kamasi Washington, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (Thundercat, Dr. Dre, Flying Lotus) and more, the new album is packed with back-to-back cosmic trances, deep spiritual jazz cuts and messianic soul. But what takes centre stage here is Trible’s epiphanic vocals. Having been compared to the likes of Leon Thomas, he sings with a passion and range which is near unrivalled by living compeers, singing about love and empowerment, struggle and oppression and his personal, deep connection with spiritualism. Hear the new single 'It's All About Love'.

So, the question is why now, when in his late-50s, are many people only just hearing about Dwight Trible? It is entirely possible it’s because he hasn’t really wanted us to. An avid and passionate activist, an enabler of the local scene and a figurehead in the LA jazz community, Trible’s focus is rarely self-seeking, always facing outward his focus is largely centred on giving, inclusion and teaching, whilst also inspiring others and expressing himself both on-stage on-record behind the scenes.

A key figurehead in the LA jazz scene, Dwight Trible is a legend in waiting. With an incredible career spanning decades, he has played a pivotal role in creating as much jazz history through his work and inspiration in the new wave of US jazz, as he should be noted for in his undoubtable vocal and songwriting talent. ‘Mothership’ sees Trible make a giant leap into the foreground, and it won’t be long before everyone is wondering why they haven’t heard of him already.

"It was such an honour to play on Dwight Trible's album. His singing has inspired me since I was 15 years old. He has a way of bringing such a unique life and feel to every song that he sings. His voice has power, soul, and beauty, qualities that all us horn players strive for. Thank you, Dwight, for having me on this masterful piece of art." - Kamasi Washington.

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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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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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Charly Bliss new album out 10 May 2019

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Album release: ‘Young Enough’ by Charly Bliss
Release date: 10 May 2019
Label: Lucky Number
More info: Band website

Today, NYC's Charly Bliss return by signing to Lucky Number (Sunflower Bean, Dream Wife, Hinds, Sleigh Bells and more) for the World excl America and announcing their highly anticipated new album, ‘Young Enough’, with a video for its lead single ‘Capacity’. Watch here.

‘Young Enough’ is available for pre-order now and due out May 10th via Lucky Number.

Charly Bliss' Eva Hendricks says "'Capacity' is a song about wanting to kill your inner people-pleaser, and Michelle beautifully presented a parallel concept, which warns of the perils of getting swept up in other people's bullshit.”

Video director Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast, says: "Charly Bliss has always made great narrative music videos, so I wanted to stay in line with that tradition and take advantage of working with a band that are all such great, funny actors individually. I was watching a lot of heist movies at the time, and I thought a sort of post-heist fall out between friends was the perfect setting for this song about reaching your limit with someone. Eva had an amazing mood board she brought to the table with references to Paris, Texas, Five Easy Pieces and Badlands so it was important for us to showcase a warm, 70's colour palette."

Additionally, Charly Bliss have announced European tour dates for May, as well as a return to SXSW. All dates here.

About Charly Bliss by Lizzy Goodman

"I don't know why it's easiest for me to frame the darkest lyrics in the context of upbeat songs," says Charly Bliss' Eva Hendricks. "It's completely instinctual and not something I ever plan out. It sort of mirrors how I am, and maybe it's a way of protecting myself. In my opinion, the two best emotional releases are crying and dancing, so it makes sense to me to marry the two."

That combination is the core of Charly Bliss who, on this record, embraced both sides of that equation more than ever before. Challenging each other to be exposed, to be seen for who they really are as people, and then to double down on the sound that emerged from that process is the story of the band's evolution from the scrappy upstarts who made 2017's brash punk LP Guppy, to the confident, assured artists behind the comparatively dynamic, unapologetically pop Young Enough. "We definitely go to different places on this one," says bassist Dan Shure. "But it still sounds like us. It's still fun." As they started writing, they tapped into their mutual love of pop music. "You know, bangers? Songs that just stick with you for a really long time," Dan says. In particular, the expansive but gritty title track and the synth-driven, emotive song "Chatroom" served as key points of reference for the overall direction of the album.

For Eva, the path to these moments of exaltation was fraught. Many of the singer's Young Enough lyrics were inspired by a past abusive relationship, one that had Eva - as such relationships are designed to do - doubting herself on many levels. Songwriting, which "wasn't something that I grew up thinking I could do," as she puts it, became a new source of respite, and, eventually, of redemption. "You go through experiences of loss or extreme pain and you just keep moving," Eva says. "You look around and wonder, how has the world not stopped? But it's also powerful. I'm still here, I'm not a person who is ruled by pain, I still like who I am." If the singer had any lingering doubts about her craft, they're gone now. "For a long time I understood my ability to write songs as like, OMG another one just fell from the sky, what luck - another one will never come again!" Eva says. "Now I know, I'm meant to be doing this. And I accept and honor that."

Exposing oneself emotionally, even to close friends and creative collaborators, is never easy -- especially when one of those people is your brother. Growing up in Connecticut, it was their parents' "wildest dream," as Eva puts it, that she and Sam, the band's drummer, would wind up playing in a band together, so of course they avoided it for as long as possible. The Charly Bliss origin story begins instead at performing arts summer camp, where guitarist Spencer Fox first met Dan. Eva and Dan also knew each other through musical theater; they did shows together as pre-teens. "We are super hardcore," jokes Spencer.

It was Spencer who first saw in Eva the possessed energy the bands' fans are so drawn to, this tornado of joy and rage and celebratory sorrow spinning out to mesmerizing effect on stage night after night. "It was just there," he says. "It was obvious." He eventually asked Eva out of the blue if she'd been writing songs, which shocked her a little; dudes didn't usually care. "I would always ask the guys at my high school who played music if we could start a band or write or do something together, but they pretty much ignored me," she remembers. "But Spencer totally encouraged me." Before long, the pair was writing together, and they called on Eva's big brother to join on drums. "It was kind of like, oh why didn't we do this a long time ago," Sam says.

By 2014 Charly Bliss was a fully formed band, living in New York, working the standard barista/bartender circuit by day, rehearsing by night. They recorded and released their debut EP, Soft Serve, and played lots and lots (and lots) of shows. There was a purity to those years. "I loved it," remembers Eva. "I really loved working in a coffee shop. I'd write songs while I was putting away milk." After they released Guppy through Barsuk Records in 2017, time spent out on the road increased, as did the Charly Bliss fanbase. But the essence of the band's sound, two and a half minute torrents of blissfully tight chaos that blew the roof off the place, (not to mention the band members' lifestyles) didn't change much.

When it came time to record a follow up, that's when things shifted. They all quit their jobs to focus full time on music and challenged each other to write as many songs as possible. Sam and Eva collaborated more closely than ever and found a prolific songwriting rhythm. After penning 20+ songs, they solicited the input of producer Joe Chiccarelli (the Shins, the White Stripes), who won their hearts immediately. "He just got us," says Eva. For Chiccarelli, the "infectiousness" he was initially drawn to when he heard the band play live in early 2017, was more apparent than ever. "There is a high level of energy in the vocal delivery, there is a sophistication and musicality in the guitar parts, the rhythm section just works, the parts are simple but they come alive," he says. "It's all the elements that make a great band."

The first five or six songs they wrote, felt good but a little too familiar, like Guppy 2.0. Then things started to open up. "Chatroom" and "Young Enough" were linchpins, as was the soaring, mini epic, "Fighting In the Dark." The delicate synth confessional "Hurt Me" also felt, as Eva puts it, "like something we hadn't explored yet." The entire record sounds like a newly explored realm, from the deceptively easeful confessional "Capacity" to the propulsive, more classic pop of "Hard To Believe." In the end, Young Enough feels joyful and celebratory, but also infused with a new sense of depth and maturity. "I want people to feel strong when they listen to this record," says Eva. "Like you're working through some shit but you feel really strong and beautiful, even if you're in a lot of pain. That's what I want people to feel. The opposite of broken."

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