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Prawn to join Gnarwolves and Public Domain on winter EU/UK tour

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Tour announcement: Prawn

Countries: EU and UK

Dates: 30 November - 12 December 2014

More information and dates: on Topshelf website

Following on from the release of their acclaimed new album ‘Kingfisher’, Prawn are now set to storm the EU/UK, supporting Gnarwolves on their biggest tour to date! The winter tour is set to start on 10November 2014 in Belgium, with Prawn and Gnarwolves hitting the UK from 30 November – 12December 2014 (with Public Domain joining them from the London show onwards). 

Following on from their second full-length album ‘Kingfisher’ (released 12th August 2014 via Topshelf Records), this tour marks the New Jersey quintet’s highly anticipated third visit to the EU/UK. Prawn consistently make a huge impact on audiences wherever they play and are constantly gaining new fans by exhibiting their unique flavour of post-rock infused emo. This combined with the recent praise for ‘Kingfisher’ guarantees that this will be the bands most exiting overseas tour to date!

This tour will follow on from the forthcoming US Topshelf Records Tour (feat. A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Diamond Youth, Prawn & Field Mouse). The band have also recently finished touring the US this summer with Into It. Over It., the Hotelier, and Foxing.

Having recently opened the main stage at both Reading and Leeds, winter tour headliners Gnarwolves consistently impress crowds with their incendiary performances of their own raucous blend of punk-rock. This tour will be the longest set of dates that Gnarwolves have embarked on so far, and will follow on from their forthcoming self-titled debut, set for release on 15th September 2014 on Tangled Talk Records/Big Scary Monsters.

Austrian skater punks Public Domain will also be joining them on the tour, having recently impressed UK crowds with their explosive set at TDON Fest 2014.

This is a serious line-up consisting of bands that are currently impressing fans at every step of the way! Make sure you catch them at one of their dates - these are all available from the Topshelf website.

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Kishi Bashi UK and Europe tour dates announced

Tour date announcement: Kishi Bashi
More information on: official Kishi Bashi website 

Since the profoundly successful release of 151a two years ago, Kishi Bashi has toured relentlessly, captivating audiences across the globe with his loop-based live show, and fostering a groundswell of devotees. Now, with a new album under his belt, he hits the road again with an arsenal of exciting performances to be unleashed on audiences across the UK and Europe.

151a was crafted over a four-year period while Kishi Bashi, the pseudonym for artist K. Ishibashi, was touring and recording with Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche, and of Montreal (where he was a full-time member and co-producer). In late 2012, after the success of 151a, Kishi Bashi decided to focus solely on his own music and began composing the new material, which led to the songs that are featured on Lighght.

‘Lighght’ takes its title from the one-word poem by minimalist poet Aram Saroyan, and he record (which is pronounced “Light”, by the way) continues and expands the sound of his critically acclaimed debut, 151a, which earned Kishi Bashi the title of “Best New Artist” for 2012 by NPR.

Though violin remains his primary instrument and songwriting muse, Kishi Bashi has expanded his palette to include more diverse and nuanced instrumentation on Lighght. Bright and soaring avant-pop songs are prevalent, as are Eastern-tinged arrangements, gentle ballads, Philip Glass-inspired improvisations, and more than a few moments that flirt with ‘70s prog (in the tradition of ELO or Yes). If this sounds jarringly kaleidoscopic, that’s because it is. But it works.

Tour dates

You’ll find current tour dates below. The most up to date information regarding dates will be on Kishi Bashi’s official site.

  • Oct 11th – Whelans, Dublin (IE)
  • Oct 13th – The Cluny, Newcastle (UK)
  • Oct 14th – Broadcast, Glasgow (UK)
  • Oct 15th – The Deaf Institute, Manchester (UK)
  • Oct 16th – Thekla, Bristol (UK)
  • Oct 17th – Bush Hall, London (UK)
  • Oct 18th – Bermuda Triangle, Brighton (UK)
  • Oct 20th – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham (UK)
  • Oct 22nd – Witloof Bar, Sint-Joost-Ten-Node (BE)
  • Oct 23rd – Point Ephemere, Paris (FR)
  • Oct 24th – La Peniche, Lille (FR)
  • Oct 25th – Paradijskerk, Rotterdam (NE)
  • Oct 27th – Paradiso, Amsterdam (NE)
  • Oct 28th – Studio 672, Cologne (DE)
  • Oct 29th – Rock Café, Hamburg (DE)
  • Oct 30th – Comet Club, Berlin (DE)
  • Oct 31st – Ampere, Munich (DE)
  • Nov 1st – Kiff, Aarau (CH)

 

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Sweet Gum Tree: debut album out on February 3rd

Album release: The Snakes You Charm & The Wolves You Tame by Sweet Gum Tree
Release date: February 3, 2013
Label: Dreamy Bird / Cadiz Music
Listen on: Facebook

Ten years as a singer and guitar player in various modern rock and electro bands paved the way for French songwriter Arno Sojo’s new solo incarnation, of a somewhat different nature. Aptly named Sweet Gum Tree and influenced by the timeless beauty of refined vintage records, it merely embodies his quest for a smoother, more organic sound.

Initially intriguing French audiences from 2010 to 2012 with a trickle of singles and Eps showcasing a poetic chamber pop, praised as ‘lush’ and ‘spellbinding’ in the press, Sweet Gum Tree was soon sharing stages with such names as Heather Nova and Gaëtan Roussel.

This year saw him put the final touches to his forthcoming debut album, a collection of thoughtful bittersweet ballads tinged with dreamy melancholia. It was produced by David Odlum (Gemma Hayes) and Peter Deimel (Deus, Anna Calvi) at Studio Black Box in the French countryside. Among the guest musicians who joined the sessions, the stellar Isobel Campbell duets on ‘Bird of Passage’.

Not exactly a first for Arno, who in his early days already got to sing with one of his female icons, French popstar Buzy, when he started out as her live guitarist. That was before setting up his own band, Sojo Glider, in 2003. The pop-rock quartet released three albums and even recorded in New York with producer Malcolm Burn (Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith). Soon Arno was offered to collaborate with classical arranger Eric Voegelin, so the occasion arose to experiment with more acoustic textures, giving birth to Sweet Gum Tree.

Tindersticks drummer Earl Harvin, as well as Marty Willson-Piper (from Australian legends The Church), two of Arno’s strongest influences, not only played on the album but will also join Sweet Gum Tree’s live band, along with a string section, for his first UK tour this winter:

18.02.14 BRIGHTON KOMEDIA
19.02.14 BIRMINGHAM (TBC)
20.02.14 LONDON UNION CHAPEL

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Silje Leirvik – Endless Serenade

Album release: Silje Leirvik – Endless Serenade
Label: Autumnsongs Records
Release date: 16th December 2013
Listen: via Youtube sampler 

Autumnsongs Records are very happy to announce Norwegian songwriter Silje Leirvik's second album, Endless Serenade. The album comes only a year after Leirvik's debut, and is packed full of lush atmospherics and a glowing energy. Where her debut album, With The Lights Turned Out So Beautiful, was set in a more traditional singer-songwriter genre, featuring the organic tones of grand piano and string section, this time Leirvik (alongside producer Rhys Marsh) decided to experiment more with textures — feeding pedal steel guitar, electric piano and drum machine through tape delay machines, then blending this with drums, mellotron and guitars. This results in the album having a very warm, retro presence, that swims through its gorgeous undertones or folk, rock and pop.

Opening track Glass of Water sets the album’s shimmering tone with its gently pulsing guitars and lyrical refrain “I’ll drink of yours, you can drink of me”, setting out Lerivik’s stall as a thoughtful songwriter, enchanted by the unknown. Recent single Silver & Gold echoes this sentiment. Leirvik herself says that Silver & Gold is a song about the complexity and mysteriousness of love. If it came in the form of silver and gold, we would know when it was found, but life tends to be less specific.” It is this theme of love, and the mystery that entangles it, that dominates the album thematically. Through the beguiling When In The Water to the mesmeric Snø (sung in her native tongue) a contemplative lyrical flourish is never far away.

“Once under the skin, Leirvik's songs will remain with you for a long time” Norway Rock Magazine

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Spirits of The Dead release their new album on 9 December

Album release: Rumours of a Presence by Spirits of The Dead
Release date: 9 December 2013
Label: The End Records
Listen: on official website

“This is superior stuff, and as a Soundtrack to a trip through imaginary green and pleasant lands, delivers in full" - 7/10 Classic Rock Magazine

"Spirits of the Dead are giving psychedelic rock a welcome with bold colourful brushstrokes and a genuine sense of wonder” - Prog

"Deeply powerful and captivating every second of the way" - Shindig!

"Hallucinogenics may been involved in making some of the music. For fans of King Crimson, Nick Drake and Tame Impala" - 7/10 Rock Sound

Labelled as ‘Norway’s finest psychedelic stoner band’ Spirits of the Dead are ready to unleash their third album Rumours of a Presence, recorded in some of the most isolated parts of Norway.

Sometimes it is hard to be an optimist. Here in the privileged Western world, we live in an age where most people spend their entire lives transfixed by glittering pixels on a smartphone screen, seemingly impervious to everything else that is going on around them, immune to the magic that sparkles and flashes in the air, even dead to the provocative crackle of synapses hidden within their own weather-beaten skulls. But that magic definitely exists. It exists in the music of Spirits Of The Dead, the modern era’s most skilled and soulful psychedelic rock protagonists and the keepers of the ancient flame of altered sonic states. It exists elsewhere too, of course, but Spirits Of The Dead are a band that have taken up permanent residence in the shadowy recesses of restless minds.

These Norwegian seers may seem to fit neatly into that cosy cabal of retrogressive rock ‘n’ roll bands that are in permanent nostalgic thrall to the great guitar-driven works of the late 60s and early 70s, and yes, there is definitely a superficial adherence to that arcane code buried deep within the songs that they have presented to the world thus far. But there is something else going on here, something idiosyncratic and mesmerising, something that defies description and dares the imagination to throw off its shackles to the known and the now. Maybe that magic lurks in the valves and wires of the analogue equipment that gives Spirits Of The Dead their timeless but timely sound. Maybe it lurks in the gaps between the warm, distorted tones that resonate every time this band pick up their instruments and channel their unerring creative pulse. Maybe it cannot be found at all. It matters not, because Spirits Of The Dead have drawn inspiration and solace from a bottomless well of musical inspiration, harnessing the riffs and melodies and subtly intricate arrangements of the fines psychedelic and progressive rock and filtering it all back through the prism of their own brilliant creativity.

This is music that matters and moves. These are songs that surround you like the warmth of a brightly-coloured cloak amid the icy, hostile squall of life’s never-ending blizzard. These are songs that send waves of exhilarating electricity through your bloodstream, causing your heartbeat to quicken and your limbs to flail in breathless pursuit of spectral grooves yet to be tamed.

Sometimes it is hard to be an optimist, but when Spirits Of The Dead are plugged in and letting the magic flow through their fingertips, this moment in time feels like something to be celebrated, the future looks bright and the world is a weird, wild and wonderful place. All you need to do is listen…

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Wampire announce UK & European Tour, London support to Unknown Mortal Orchestra and new single, 'Giants'

Tour / single announcement: Wampire to play UK and European tour dates in November
Single stream: available on Soundcloud here

Rocky Tinder and Eric Phipps, the songwriting duo behind Wampire, first began to make a name for themselves in the same Portland, Oregon, scene that has produced Polyvinyl labelmates STRFKR as well as Unknown Mortal Orchestra. It's a scene they get asked about a lot.

It makes sense, then, that Wampire came to Polyvinyl’s attention when the duo opened for STRFKR at a hometown Portland show and that UMO’s bassist Jacob Portrait produced Wampire’s debut full-length, Curiosity.

This debut album, released in May, was hotly received in both the US and the UK and saw the band make their first appearance on British soil, packing out The Shacklewell Arms and wowing an enthusiastic, sweltering crowd in the midst of summer.

The band will be back for their second headlining date in London, this time at The Lexington, and a support slot to their good friends Unknown Mortal Orchestra the day after at Electric Ballroom. They will also take in dates in Bristol, Brighton and Manchester before heading on to dates across the rest of Europe.

A new single, the propulsive, melodic Giants, will be released to coinicide with the tour.

Tour dates

You can view a full list of tour dates on the official Wampire website. The UK and European dates commence in November.

Listen 

Reaction

Selected praise for Wampire & debut album "Curiousity":

  • "The year's most freaked-out pop record." The Fly ****
  • "Fervid, yet mesmeric..." Mojo ****
  • "Creepy, but in a good way..." The Guardian
  • Band To Watch - Stereogum
  • "Frantic, experimental, exploratory pop" Uncut
  • Dazed Digital Album Of The Month

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'The Big Hunt' by The Lonesome Southern Comfort Company - out November 4, 2013

The Big Hunt album cover

Album release: The Big Hunt by The Lonesome Southern Comfort Company
Release date: 4 November 2013
Label: On The Camper Records
Listen: on Facebook

The Lonesome Southern Comfort Company are a Swiss band based between Lugano and Zürich. Starting as a solo project in 2006, it wasn’t until two years later that the debut album was released, complete with full band, via On The Camper Records. Two years later the group released “Charles The Bold” – an album inspired by Charles le Téméraire, then duke of Burgundy, known for his vicious battles against the Swiss in the 1500s.

Their third LP, ‘The Big Hunt’ is no homage to “Charles The Rash” (as the more critical members of his time, dared to call him) but a collection of nine tracks, that on first listen appear fragile, almost bittersweet but on repeated listens, demonstrate a band as rousing as they are heartfelt.

The album, the first to be released in the UK, beguiles and entrances – never letting the listener feel too safe despite the apparent melodic tenderness. Opening track ‘When He’s Down’, for example, spits spiteful lyric after not-so-veiled-threat; before descending into a Flaming Lips-esque finale.

For fans of early 00’s Americana, Midlake, Son Volt and Richmond Fontaine. The Big Hunt is released 4th November via On The Camper Records.

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Dearly Beloved announce UK and Europe tour dates

UK & Europe Tour Announcement: Dearly Beloved 
Listen: on official website

Originally released May 22, 2012 via eOne Music Canada, Hawk vs. Pigeon is the latest buzz bomb from bass masher Rob Higgins and fellow co-vocalist Niva Chow who, together, form Dearly Beloved. With UK and European tour dates lined up throughout September 2013, even more in November for continental Europe, Dearly Beloved knew it was time for Hawk vs. Pigeon to find a home for an overseas release. Aporia Records will be releasing a special redux of the album in the UK later this year.

Just this past May, we took our European tour aspirations and a ‘why not?’ approach to playing Indie Week Ireland and that trip led directly to working with AMA Music Agency in Dublin,” recalls Higgins. “As well, a plum opening slot at an all ages gig at Glasgow' best venue, the Classic Grand, that offered up some more gigs…that train kept rolling. Synchronicity, kismet, call it what you like but we've experienced it more than a few times these last 3 or 4 years.”

Hawk vs. Pigeon (Redux) features completely new album artwork, an inspired and fresh re-sequencing of the album and a previously un-released bonus collaboration called Never Tell The Truth with Patrick Pentland of Sloan.

"Releasing this revamped version of Hawk vs. Pigeon is like breathing a second life into the album," says Chow. "I'm excited to rock this next phase of Dearly Beloved."

Hawk vs. Pigeon was recorded in Joshua Tree, California at Rancho De La Luna and the band's Phoebe Street Studios and features a veritable who’s who of outstanding guest musician appearances: Dave Catching of Eagles Of Death Metal /Earthlings?, Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene, Mars Volta/M83 alumni Dave Elitch, Jeff Heisholt of The Trews and Care Failure of Die Mannequin.

“I have always championed Dearly Beloved and I am huge fan of their live show,” says Pentland. “Their songs are the perfect blend of the excitement of punk rock, the sing-a-long-ability of pop with a dash of muso/prog rock noodleing, thanks in large part to Higgins’ amazing bass skills. High powered riffs and melody lines that make me jealous.”

Tour dates

  • Sept 7: Southampton, UK @ Joiner’s
  • Sept 8: Bristol, UK @ 02 Academy 2
  • Sept 9: London, UK @ Barfly
  • Sept10: Manchester, UK @ Alter Ego
  • Sept 11: Sheffield, UK @ The Corporation
  • Sept 12: Glasgow, SCO @ Garage 2
  • Sept 13: Edinburgh, SCO @ Liquid Rooms
  • Sept 16: Paris, FR @ Le Pop In
  • Sept 19: Dublin, IE @ Whelan’s
  • Sept 20: Mullingar, IE @ Number 1

More dates to be announced soon.

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