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"Exploded view of Love" - debut album from S's

Exploded View of Love - cover.jpg

Album release: “Exploded view of Love” by S’s

Release date: 13 October 2014

Label: G@#9

Nearly 20 years into the 21st century humanity persists despite ‘reality’ programming, climate doom warnings and predictions of humanoid uprisings, not to mention corporatized war, gun control debates and general insanity as usual. But in the narcissistic age of the ‘selfie’ and social media detachment, empathy appears on the wane. Where does that leave love? Is it nearing extinction? Are we? What does the future hold for love, and for human beings?

Beyond the replicant sector of the dystopian music industry, Los Angeles-based S’s [alias JEF 700S] transcend the parameters of “Experimental Noise,” “Minimalism,” “Synth Punk,” etc. The result is the debut concept album, Exploded View of Love, an abstract soundtrack that fathoms a Post-Reality/Post-Empathy/Post-Human future. JEF 700S sings/screams while transmitting alien waveforms, broken robot percussion and ectoplasmic skronk from a device called the 3dK.

Drawing equal inspiration from primal experimental noise [The Haters alias GX Jupitter-Larsen] and synthetic new wave [The Normal alias Daniel Miller], the free vocals of Patty Waters and Black Francis, and the future noir of THX 1138, Eraserhead, and Blade Runner, S’s explore how love transforms expression and vice versa. Navigating the guise of a deconstructed ‘band’ identity, 700S calls into question assumptions about human nature. Like love itself, the experience is alternately harrowing and humorous, pretentious and profound; the result morphs black and white polarity, leaving a subliminal fluorescent gray.

S’s debut full-length contains 10 tracks that average two minutes. “Unhaunted,” the single, points its cyborg finger at hypocritical Disneyland mines lurking within its all-too-human narrator. “Sex Machines” transposes famed Kraftwerk and James Brown memes, leaving the former uncharacteristically screaming for more and the latter cold, hold the sweat. “Rip Out Wires” takes a hard future look at online sex’s last kink. “Weapons Grade Love” proffers anti-war sentiment laced with a portent of off-planet fate, while “Pome” may be the first noise torch song. “Love Life” riffs on the themes of the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” and “Tomorrow Never Knows,” building upon a single drum pad drone until it degrades into full-bore cacophony. Finally, the album’s title track abandons structural underpinnings prior to the three-minute mark then freefalls through deep space by way of a 20-minute Zen fade.

  • Recorded, mixed and mastered by Matt Lynch at Mysterious Mammal in Los Angeles; November 2013 - March 2014
  • Co-produced by S’s and Matt Lynch
  • All sounds/songs written/performed by JEF 700S
  • All noise/drum parts played by hand/not programmed

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Westward Ho! - the new album from Police Dog Hogan

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Album release: “Westward Ho!” by Police Dog Hogan

Label: Union Music Store

Release date: 6 October 2014

Listen: on official Police Dog Hogan website

With 8 members in the full line-up and instruments including guitar, accordion, banjo, mandolin, fiddle and trumpet, Police Dog Hogan draw their influences from many different wells. You could call it Americana, country-folk, folk-pop or even urban bluegrass, but it’s difficult to do justice to the sheer range of styles this band can bend to its will.

Their exuberant  mix of country-fried heartbreakers, belting anthems, foot-stomping singlaongs and souvenir tea towels made them a firm favourite on the festival circuit since forming in 2009.  “They’re one of my bands to watch,” says Radio 2 DJ Johnnie Walker. “Great songs, great musicians, and their live shows are really, really good fun.”

Police Dog Hogan’s second album, From the Land of Miracles, attracted praise from many quarters. “No one in their right mind would imagine that the band that play on the opening track Better Go Now come from anywhere other than the heartland of America,” said Maverick magazine’s 5-star review. “But some of James Studholme’s intricate guitar playing comes straight out of the traditional English folk book and would make Richard Thompson proud.”

With an average age comfortably over 40 (23-year old trumpeter Emily Norris is something of an outlier), Police Dog Hogan offer more in the way of experience than innocence. While the members hold down a variety of what might be described as “day jobs” (their banjo player Tim Dowling is a writer and Guardian columnist; lead singer James Studholme runs an advertising production company), they take the music very seriously, and keep up a rigorous touring schedule, recently playing to sell-out crowds at Bush Hall, the Borderline and various venues across the UK, as well as festivals including Camp Bestival, Cornbury, Maverick and Kendal Calling.

This September the band are exporting their unique take on Americana to Nashville, playing two showcase gigs at the Americana Music Association awards. After that they return to the UK to play a string of dates in October, November and December.

Their third album Westward Ho! is due out on the influential Union Music Store label in the autumn. That title - part swashbuckling exhortation, part melancholy seaside postcard - goes some way toward encapsulating Police Dog Hogan’s sound: bold and infectious country-folk wedded to a wry, reflective and deeply English sensibility.

Westward Ho! is produced by the Oysterband’s Al Scott. “I loved Al’s production of the June Tabor & Oysterband’s Ragged Kingdom record, which I think is a classic,” says James Studholme. “He has a certain clarity and  attack, going right back to the Levellers. When I found out he was producing a new CD for our label mates Hatful of Rain (The Morning Key), working with him suddenly sounded like a possibility. He was busy touring with Oysterband, but we were prepared to wait.”

Among its songs of hard won experience, Westward Ho! includes the track Home, a collaboration between Police Dog Hogan and the Music in Prisons charity. This version of Home came about as the result of a joint live gig with Platform 7 - a band made up of ex-prisoners under the wing of Music in Prisons - and was recorded with the aid of several members of the group.

“We’d seen Platform 7 perform,” says Tim Dowling, “and had long talked of doing a show together, but I don’t think any of us were prepared for the impact this song had on the audience. When it came to recording it, we knew that was the version we wanted.”

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Prawn release new track, "First As Tragedy, Second As Farce"

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Stream announcement: “First As Tragedy, Second As Farce”

Listen on: Soundcloud

Available: now

Label: Topshelf

New album ‘Kingfisher’ to be release via Topshelf Records on 12th August 2014; promo albums available for download on request.

Formed in Ridgewood, NJ in the summer of 2007, Prawn has extensively toured the US, self-released two EPs and one tour demo. The band self-released their first full length “You Can Just Leave It All” in June 2011 with Topshelf Records releasing it on vinyl that winter. The band followed up their first full length with an EP/LP called “Ships” in the summer of 2012 — which they made their first trip to Europe and the UK in support of over a five week tour. The band has continued touring throughout 2012 and 2013. A split release with Joie De Vivre was released in February, preceding the release of new LP, “Kingfisher”.

Tracks

1. Scud Running

2. First as Tragedy, Second as Farce

3. Prolonged Exposure

4. Dialect Of

5. Old Souls

6. Glass, Irony

7. Absurd Walls

8. Thalassa

9. Runner’s Body

10. Halcyon Days

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Vomitface unveil new track, 'Huffer'

Stream announcement: ‘Huffer’ by Vomitface
Listen to stream: on Soundcloud

Huffer was written about this time Miley Cyrus came over to hang out our house while Keller was recording a grindcore band when we lived in Nashville. They were doing whatever they could to get blazed, including wrapping their faces in cellophane soaked in paint thinner. We found them in the basement out of their minds. They were mumbling incoherently about cannibalism and the last supper.” - Vomitface

NY ‘Avant-grunge’ band Vomitface release a new track today, ‘Huffer’. You can listen to it on Soundcloud here.

Reaction

  • ‘Sludgy grunge riffs with spazzy art-punk rhythms and wild whispers and howls’ – Stereogum
  • ‘This erratic bunch have some colourful ideas to say the least’ – NME
  • ‘With gritty guitar riffs and in-your-face vocals that are reminiscent of Jeremy Enigk or even River Cuomo at times. It’s as dirty as their name’ - The 405
  • ‘Notwithstanding a name that - alone - will confine them to the deepest layers of the underground for the rest of their days, NJ/Brooklyn punks Vomitface aren’t actually that revolting. We are diggin this new EP’ – The Deli

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New single from The Gromble

Single release: ‘Don’t Stand a Chance’ by The Gromble
Release date: 28 July 2014 
Listen / more information: on The Gromble’s Facebook page

‘Somewhere between the lines of rock, folk, and the 90s, there is the handcrafted creation known as The Gromble. Put on your sunglasses, roll down those windows, and let The Gromble help you create the memories that will last a lifetime.’ – Indie Shuffle

‘The five-piece have been honing the craft for some time, and it shows. ‘Slam’ is effortless. A dizzying meeting of vocal hooks and harmonies, where the sunny instrumentation drives the track forward through the approaching clouds to create something both endearingly frenetic and warmly delivered. Accept it all with open arms.’ – Gold Flake Paint

After the success of recent single “Slam” which picked up serious hype across Hype Machine, Indie Shuffle and radio stations across the states, LA quintet The Gromble prepare to release the follow up track “Don’t Stand A Chance”.

Demonstrating a true crescendo of clever instrumentation and vocal harmonies, the track climaxes with a thunderously uplifting spirit to rival even Sigur Ros’ Hoppipolla. A sly ploy considering the lyrical content matter..  

Hailing from the warm shores of California, the five-piece have established the kind of rare synchronicity that has helped them carve out a charming blend of orchestral alt-folk and indie rock, honed live supporting such acts as The Lemonheads. With the classical intensity of early greats Pavement, Weezer and Neutral Milk Hotel and a taste for the heartland classics, they arrive somewhere between Grouplove, Miniature Tigers, and Vampire Weekend. They take their name from a character in Nickelodeon’s Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, a perfect indicator of their unashamed love for 90’s pop culture and for the sense of humour that runs beneath the surface of their songs.

This is music for when you’re coming of age, music to soundtrack the best years of your life. The Gromble provide something different for everyone in their refreshing refusal to settle for the status quo. As such, they’ve already been championed by such reputable names as VICE, Gold Flake Paint, KROQ, and Indie Shuffle.

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Deluxe album reissues from The Jayhawks

Album reissues: “Sound of Lies”, “Smile” and “Rainy Day Music” by The Jayhawks
Release date: July 7, 2014
Label: American Recordings / USM
Listen on: official Jayhawks website 

Hailed as pioneers of the alt-country/Americana sound, the Jayhawks emerged from Minneapolis’ mid-’80s scene with a soaring combination of folksy harmonies and power-pop melodies. The band’s status as a major influence, as well as that of being one of the best bands of its generation, are richly deserved.

The June 30th release of expanded versions of 1997’s SOUND OF LIES, 2000’s SMILE and 2003’s RAINY DAY MUSIC complete the band’s remastering of its entire back catalog. All three American Recordings/USM releases contain bonus tracks, new liner notes and expanded booklets. The albums also chronicle the band’s evolution into crunchier rock, purer pop and a sort of twangy, psychedelic vibe before coming full-circle with a spare country-rock sound.

SOUND OF LIES, SMILE and RAINY DAY MUSIC will also be released August 4th as deluxe, 2 LP vinyl editions to ensure maximum fidelity.  The deluxe vinyl reissues will be remastered on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl and also include the bonus tracks.

The Jayhawks formed in 1985 when Gary Louris was in the decidedly small crowd at the first show future songwriting partner Mark Olson did with bassist Marc Perlman and Norm Rogers (the first in a string of drummers, at least until Tim O’Reagan joined in 1995). A self-titled album was released on a local indie label and Minneapolis’ Twin/Tone released some of the band’s demos as “Blue Earth” in 1989. Legend has it that producer George Drakoulias (Black Crowes) heard the music in the background during a phone call to the label; Drakoulias eventually signed the band to Rick Rubin’s Def American records and produced “Hollywood Town Hall” (1992) and “Tomorrow The Green Grass” (1995), making the Jayhawks staples on the then-emerging adult-alternative radio format.

Olson, the folksier member of the songwriting team, abruptly left the band in 1995. The band regrouped and kept the name, but Olson’s departure and a divorce colored Louris’ dark lyrics of the subsequent Jayhawks album, “Sound of Lies.” With pianist Karen Grotberg as a permanent addition and harmony partner, Louris took advantage of his newfound freedom to experiment with ’60s pop and a more electric sound, even getting a little crunchy around the edges on “Think About It.”

Louris’ lyrics took a more optimistic, albeit cautiously so, turn on the ambitious “Smile,” produced by Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, KISS, Alice Cooper). Jen Gunderman stepped in when Grotberg left to raise a family, and this time Louris’ ventures into contemporary pop featured looping and overdubs, turning downright trip-hop on “Queen of the World,” “Somewhere in Ohio” and “(In My) Wildest Dreams.” It may have been an artistic triumph, but even with the twangy “Better Days” and “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” the album proved to be a bit much for fans of the Jayhawks’ earlier sound and came after the decline of the adult-alternative format. The headline on a New York Times story about the band asked, “What If You Made a Classic, and No One Cared?”

It was after an acoustic tour that Louris, Perlman, O’Reagan and guitarist Stephen McCarthy recorded 2003’s “Rainy Day Music,” a seeming return to form. The first four tracks are a mini masterpiece - the gently chiming “Stumbling Through the Dark” (written by Louris and Matthew Sweet), the twang-meets-“Eve of Destruction” feel of the soaring “Tailspin,” the country gospel harmonies of “All the Right Reasons” and the catchy, bittersweet “Save It for a Rainy Day” (if you’re trolling the songs on YouTube, that is indeed Mary-Louise Parker in the video). Instead of the earnest folk of the Jayhawks’ early days, there’s a sophisticated, spare sound and a Byrds/CSNY/Buffalo Spingfield vibe. Producer Ethan Johns’ credits speak for themselves - CSN, Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon, Ray LaMontagne, Crowded House, Laura Marling just to name a few.

It will be the basic lineup from the band’s 1997 shows - Louris, Perlman, O’Reagan, Grotberg and Kraig Johnson - that will tour in support of the reissues. Much of July and part of August will be spent on a mix of headlining and festival dates in Europe, followed by a fall tour of the U.S. and Canada. Confirmed dates follow; for a current list of shows go to www.jayhawksofficial.com.

Download deluxe edition tracklists here.

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Dr John's to release Louis Armstrong tribute disc

Album release: “Ske-Dat-De-Dat The Spirit of Satch” by Dr John
Release date: 1 September 2014
Label: Proper Records
Listen on: official Dr John website  

New Orleans musical giant pays tribute to fellow Crescent City legend Louis Armstrong with star-studded, divinely-inspired new tribute disc. Special guests include Bonnie Raitt, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Shemekia Copeland, Terence Blanchard and Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and six-time GRAMMY®-winner Dr. John is New Orleans’ most prominent living musical icon. The embodiment of his hometown’s freewheeling creative spirit and multiple musical traditions, he’s built a visionary, idiosyncratic body of work that’s deeply rooted in the Crescent City’s myriad blues, R&B, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll traditions.

So it’s fitting that Dr. John’s new album on Proper Records, “Ske-Dat-De-Dat The Spirit of Satch”, pays heartfelt tribute to another larger-than-life New Orleans legend: the seminal trumpeter and vocalist Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, whose musical innovations created the template for 20th-century jazz, and whose playful attitude and life-embracing spirit made him a beloved figure whose worldwide appeal transcended music.

“He’s the most famous guy that ever came out of my neighbourhood,” notes Dr. John. “He became a legend all over, for his trumpet playin’ and everything else, and he was the United States’ ambassador to the world.”

Ske-Dat-De-Dat The Spirit of Satch honours Armstrong’s musical genius as well as his effervescent personality with 13 classic numbers drawn from various phases of Armstrong’s five-decade career, with Dr. John joined by a stellar supporting cast that manages to update the material while maintaining the music’s timeless emotional appeal.

The subtitle The Spirit of Satch is particularly appropriate given the album’s birth cycle, which Dr. John says was set into motion when the late Armstrong—whom he’d only met once during his lifetime, in the office of their mutual manager Joe Glaser—came to him in a dream. 

“Louis’s spirit came to me and told me to do something, that’s how this whole thing started,” says Dr. John, who’s previously released tribute albums to musical giants Duke Ellington and Johnny Mercer. “Louis told me, ‘Take my music and do it your way.’  It was the most unexpected thing in the world to me, to have Louis’ spirit show up like that, but he gave me a concept of where to roll with it that was spiritually correct. That made me feel very open to try some different things, because I felt that his spirit had ok’ed this record.”

Prior to making the album, Dr. John honoured Satchmo on stage, presenting rapturously received tribute concerts, dubbed “Props to Pops,” at New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music in March 2012 and at the Hollywood Bowl in July 2013. 

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Field Mouse: Hold Still Life

Album release: “Hold Still Life” by Field Mouse
Release date: 22 July 2014
Label: Topshelf Records
Listen: on official Field Mouse website 

A make-your-own CD recording booth was privy to Rachel Browne’s first recording in 1999, a cover of No Doubt’s “Just a Girl”. It would be another many years before she enrolled at SUNY Purchase, where she majored in music composition and met Andrew Futral, a producer and musician. The two began collaborating musically and in 2010 Field Mouse was officially formed. Eventually they expanded into a four piece, with the addition of Saysha Heinzman on bass and Tim McCoy on drums.

A mix of dreamy reverb-tinged guitars and synthesizers, Field Mouse blends the hard edges of indie rock with the warmer stylings of dream pop and shoegaze. Their songs lure you in with saccharine melodies and soothing vocals, and turn on you without warning with biting lyrics and a thick layered wall of fuzz guitar. It’s a blend Browne and Futral have spent years working to perfect, and it shows in their live performances and recordings. The upcoming LP, co-produced by Futral and Browne, marks Field Mouse’s first full-length. The album was recorded at Seaside Lounge, Brooklyn & Let Em In, Brooklyn and mixed by Kyle Gilbride (Swearin’, Waxahatchee, Upset).

The band released their first 7” single in February 2012, You Guys Are Gonna Wake Up My Mom, on Small Plates Records. This was followed in October 2012 with another 7” release, How Do You Know, through Lefse. Field Mouse was eventually rounded out with the addition of Saysha Heinzman on bass and Tim McCoy on drums, and in Spring of 2013 the band embarked on a six-week tour supporting Laura Stevenson as she played across the U.S.

Upon their return from tour the band wasted no time arranging their album. Inspired by burgeoning adulthood, social overload and isolation, life in New York, and the realization that life is going by with a terrifying swiftness (plus a handful of breakup songs to boot), the band wrote and recorded their album in late 2013. It marks the first full-length album that’s been written and released as a full band.

Writing and performing as much as possible, Field Mouse shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, and hopefully will be coming to your town. Just don’t expect any covers of “Just a Girl.” 

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You Blew It! to release Weezer covers EP

EP release: “You Blue It” by You Blew It!
Release date: July 15 2014
Label: Topshelf
More information / pre-orders: via Topshelf website 

Orlando, FL’s You Blew It! have announced details for their upcoming Weezer covers EP called “You Blue It”. Topshelf Records will release the EP digitally on July 15, followed by a vinyl release on August 12.

The 5-song EP, consisting of You Blew It!’s take on 5 classic Weezer tracks, follows on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the beloved alternative rock band’s eponymous debut studio LP, commonly referred to as “The Blue Album”.

You Blew It! front man Tanner Jones says, “The Blue Album means a lot to us. Aside from them being one of the few bands we can unanimously agree on, they’re one of the most defining bands of our generation. I’m not sure that we would be a band without Weezer, so this was just the best way we could come up with to pay tribute to them. Plus holy shit it was fun. Oh and “You Blue It” was too good of a pun to pass up so whatever.”

“You Blue It” was engineered by Matt Wilbur and Matt Burns and produced by Wilbur, Burns, and You Blew It. It was recorded at Vanguard Room in Lakeland, FL and mastered by Dan Coutant at Sun Room Mastering.

Sign up here to be notified when “You Blue It” is available for pre-order.

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Faded Paper Figures release new album 'Relics' via Shorthand Records

Faded Paper Figures

Album release: ‘Relics’ by Faded Paper Figures
Release date: 25 August 2013
Label: Shorthand Records
Listen: on official Faded Paper Figures website

Bands typically break up after college. People move away, grow apart, or just shrivel up and get jobs.  It was good while it lasted, right? But what happens when the music is so good, the band’s listeners so devout, the ambition to keep creating so strong that even the time-draining power of day jobs can’t get in the way? Such is the story of Faded Paper Figures, whose “day jobs” are not exactly easy gigs: Heather Alden is in residency after graduating from medical school (a real doctor!), R. John Williams is a full-time professor of English at Yale (just published his first book), and Kael Alden writes music for a production company in Los Angeles called Robot Repair (his music appearing in several Hollywood films, TV shows, video games and ads).   

Kael and Heather married in 2005, and shortly thereafter moved to Irvine, CA, where they met John, who was also in the area doing a PhD in comparative literature at UC Irvine.  Heather was studying biology, and Kael was already hard at work creating music for film and TV projects.  One afternoon in the fall of 2007, looking for a distraction from writing his dissertation, John suggested to Kael and Heather that they write some music together.  Within three weeks they had written a few songs, and put them up online (on ye olde Myspace).

The response from listeners was fast and overwhelming, so much so that they were motivated to continue writing and release a full album, Dynamo, in 2008.  After playing some shows in southern California, the band won “Best Electronic Band” at the OC Music Awards, and was listed by the New York Post as a “new music must-have.”  NPR called the band’s debut album “clever, intriguing…even beautiful.”

When John graduated and got a job at Yale, and Heather was accepted to medical school at UCLA, the band realized they’d either have to carry on via long-distance songwriting, or else end the band.  With Dynamo doing so well, and many more songs still on their way, the band decided to try songwriting bi-coastally.   During the next three years, the band sent tracks back and forth online, video chatting, and emailing notes to write two more studio albums, New Medium (2010), and The Matter (2012).  The band’s sound had matured by this point into something more powerful and intense. Alternately sparse and epic, harmonic and grinding, pensive and playful, FPF was clearly moving beyond their electro-pop beginnings. 

By 2013, FPF’s music seemed to be circulating everywhere, with millions of plays on Spotify, LastFM, Hype Machine, and Pandora, and appearances on everything from ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” to MTV’s “The Real World,” NBCSports, and E!  Then, just as the band was contemplating a fourth album Kael and Heather discovered that they were expecting a baby.  Many fans wondered whether Faded Paper Figures would be able to maintain its songwriting work with so much going on. But very little seems to slow them down. 

If anything, the music now comes with even greater clarity and brilliance, and as a result, the band is now set to release their fourth studio album in August, 2014, titled “Relics.” This most recent album promises to be their most honest, sophisticated, and ambitious, spanning a vast musical and lyrical spectrum, from epic synth-pop anthems on questions of life and death, to quiet, intense meditations on the passage of time. The band seems to have fully mastered not only their signature sound (electronic beats, gorgeous guitar riffs, and beautiful harmonies), but accelerated full force into a brave new world of sitars, analog synths, and even more intense vocals.  Whatever emotions and uncanny dreams those day jobs are creating, it seems to be paying off enormously in their musical lives.

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The Gromble release new single 'Slam' in June

Single release: ‘Slam’ by The Gromble
Release date: 16 June 2014
More information / listen on: official Facebook page

‘A dizzying meeting of vocal hooks and harmonies, where the sunny instrumentation drives the track forward through the approaching clouds to create something both endearingly frenetic and warmly delivered. Accept it all with open arms.’ – Gold Flake Paint

Indie bands these days are a dime a dozen but The Gromble are about to change that with the release of their first single “Slam,” an upbeat mood piece that starts with an irresistible hook and builds towards unexpected, sunny, vocoder fuelled bliss. “Slam” launches on the 16 June, ahead of second single “Don’t Stand a Chance,” and an album later in the year.

Hailing from the warm shores of California, the five-piece grew up playing together in various bands and have established the kind of rare synchronicity that has helped them carve out their own idiosyncratic niche: a charming blend of orchestral alt-folk and indie rock, honed live supporting such acts as The Lemonheads. With the classical intensity of early greats Pavement, Weezer and Neutral Milk Hotel and a taste for the heartland classics, they arrive somewhere between Grouplove, Miniature Tigers, and Vampire Weekend. They take their name from a character in Nickelodeon’s Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, a perfect indicator of their unashamed love for 90’s pop culture and for the sense of humour runs beneath the surface of their songs.

This is music for when you’re coming of age, music to soundtrack the best years of your life. The Gromble provide something different for everyone in their refreshing refusal to settle for the status quo and as such, they’ve already been championed by such reputable names as VICE, KROQ, and Indie Shuffle.

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The Ghost Wolves release 'stomp and roll' record on 14 July

Album release: ‘Man, Woman, Beast’ by The Ghost Wolves
Release date: 14 July 2104
Label: Plowboy Records
Listen: on official The Ghost Wolves website

Carley and Jonathan Wolf named themselves The Ghost Wolves as a symbol of the band’s ferocious, primal sound and as a nod to Carley’s ranch upbringing among hybrid wolves. The married duo are inspired by delta blues, loud garage rock, and American roots music - a genre they call ‘stomp and roll.’ Their new LP ‘Man, Woman, Beast’ will be released on Nashville’s Plowboy Records on July 14 in the UK.

The Ghost Wolves are known for their infectious on-stage chemistry and raw energy, presenting “face-melting riffs and unfettered noisy productions” (Austin Independent Music) to live crowds across the US (w/ 500+ shows to date). The album was recorded in Austin’s Arlyn Studios (where Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan and more have taped) and was mastered by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, the Ramones, the Clash). Their garage swamp stretches beyond just the U.S., garnering international attention. Rolling Stone Italia raves “They play stomping blues-garage-punk possessed by who knows what kind of demon…their music has just the right overdose of voodoo punk…”

With nothing but a four-piece drum kit and an electric guitar, Carley and Jonny create a huge sound. “Gonna Live” echoes modern similarities to The White Stripes. “Baby Fang Thang” showcases Carley’s bare-boned electric guitar and devilish vocals. The heavy, femme fatale track “Shotgun Pistol Grip,” recorded on Carley’s signature one-string guitar, was recently featured on this season of Shameless.

‘Man, Woman, Beast’ is the latest release on the Plowboy label, formed by punk legend Cheetah Chrome, professor/music historian Don Cusic and Eddy Arnold’s grandson Shannon Pollard. The Plowboy catalog includes new albums by Cheetah Chrome, Buzz Cason, Bobby Bare, Chuck Mead, JD Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers, Paul Burch and an all-star tribute to Eddy Arnold.

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Seminal band Slint to release deluxe box set of Spiderland

Box set release: Spiderland by Slint
Release date: 16 April 2014
Label: Touch and Go Records
Box set preview: on Youtube 

On April 15th, seminal Louisville band Slint will release a deluxe box set version of Spiderland on Touch and Go Records. It is now available for pre-order.

The box set will include:

  • Slint's 1991 album, Spiderland, remastered from the original analog master tapes by Bob Weston and pressed on 180 gram vinyl.
  • Fourteen previously unreleased outtakes & demos personally selected by Slint, mastered by Bob Weston, and pressed on two 180 gram vinyl albums
  • A 104 page book with over 100 never-before-seen photos documenting Slint's entire history, as well as lyrics to the songs on Spiderland, and a foreword by Will Oldham
  • CDs of all the music: remastered Spiderland on one CD and the 14 bonus songs on a second CD Breadcrumb Trail, a brand new, never-before-seen, 90 minute DVD documentary about Slint and the making of Spiderland; directed by documentarian Lance Bangs. Includes extensive interviews with the members of Slint, as well as interviews with Steve Albini, James Murphy, David Yow, Ian Mackaye, and Matt Sweeney.
  • Hand numbered limited edition of 3,138 copies worldwide
  • All packaging printed in the USA at Stoughton, including heavyweight, "tip-on" gatefold LP jackets
  • All three albums pressed at RTI in the USA on 180 gram vinyl

Packaging concept and design is by Louisville native Jeremy deVine (of Temporary Residence fame).

The Spiderland (remastered) Box Set is now available for pre-order directly from Touch and Go Records. Pre-orders received prior to March 8 will receive a free T-Shirt created from the recently discovered silk screen that Slint personally used to hand print their one & only 1989 tour T-shirt. These shirts will only be available with box set pre-orders from Touch and Go Records. They will not be sold separately or in stores.

Additionally, a limited quantity of box sets have been signed by all four Slint members. These signed box sets are only available from the Touch and Go Records pre-order web page.

Journalists and bloggers should contact us for more information, including hi-res pics, hi-res art and full track listing.

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Anamanaguchi announce 2014 European Tour

Tour announcement: Anamanaguchi, European tour
Dates: Jan 30th to Feb 10th 2014
Listen / find out more on:  official Anamanaguchi website

The explosive Brooklyn indie/dance hacker boy band Anamanaguchi unleash themselves on the UK yet again this January / February as part of their 2014 European Tour.

The full run of dates looks like this:

  • Thurs, Jan 30th – Belfast, McHughs
  • Fri, Jan 31st -  Dublin, Academy 2
  • Mon, Feb 3rd – Glasgow, King Tuts
  • Tues, Feb 4th – Manchester, Night and Day
  • Wed, Feb 5th – London, Heaven
  • Fri, Feb 7th – Amsterdam, Melkweg
  • Sat, Feb 8th – Berlin, Urban Spree @ WinterBar
  • Mon, Feb 10th – Paris, Point Ephemere

The band stuck their toes in British waters last September when Anamana fever was high after their neon splashed, electronically anthemic and sweetly escapist album ‘Endless Fantasy’ invaded our shores last summer transporting us all to a polygon dreamworld. Using vintage videogame hardware (and using it really fucking well) the band have inspired a generation of internet romantics, effortlessly tapping into any and all technological opportunities available.. (..or hacked). Tickets to their sweaty show at The Garage in London sold out well in advance, practically off the back of a single tweet and Facebook message.

Refusing to merely huddle over laptops to emit their euphoric electronics, they instead opt to pedal impossible sound effects out of their real life instruments. You can expect beautiful carnage at their forthcoming dates, not to mention light shows that will confuse nuclear missile deterrent systems. It will be the most fun you can have inside this green and pleasant land – like an exhilarating game of lazer quest with no ninja skills necessary.

Recently signed to Alcopop! Records (Johnny foreigner/ Fight Like Apes – AIM’s Small Label of The Year 2013) Anamanaguchi boast a humungous fanbase. Their loyal champs raised them over $277k kickstarter fund in just 30 days, while last summer’s hit track ‘Endless Fantasy’ made Number 1 in the US Billboard Heatseekers chart in the US. Alongside an appearance on Jimmy Fallon; videogame soundtrack credits including Rock Band, Bit Trip Runner and Scott Pilgrim (which debuted at Heatseekers Number 3); and official remix credits for Cyndi Lauper, Matt & Kim, Das Racist, M83, Fang Island and more, Anamanaguchi are certainly an act in demand. With a ceaseless energy, the band will always gleefully meet their audience with CPUs in their heads and emojis in their hearts. 

Single - exclusive version

The band come bearing gifts making their new single ‘Prom Night’ available in an exclusive, tour only package including a T-Shirt and a credit card 1GB memory stick.‘Prom Night’ will be released digitally worldwide on February 3rd, with the track listing as follows:
  • Prom Night (NEW EDIT)
  • Prom Night (NEW EDIT instrumental)
  • Prom Night (Lindsay Lowend Remix)
Anamanaguchi are: lead songwriter Peter Berkman, bassist James DeVito, guitarist Ary Warnaar and drummer Luke Silas

Reaction

  • “8-bit synths and appropriately fuzzed-out beats” – Pitchfork
  • “distills the agony and ecstasy of power-ups, extra lives and checkpoints into jolts of 8-bit flavored pop-punk…” – Noisey
  •  “one of the most eclectic, psychedelic, and out-of-this-world-sounding indie bands to arise in a long time” – Earmilk

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Universal release six-CD Beach Boys collection: Made in California

The Beach Boys - Made in California Box Set

Box set release: The Beach Boys: Made In California
Release date: 2 September 2013
Label: Universal Music Catalogue

The Beach Boys have opened their archives for a new career-spanning, six-CD collection titled Made In California, capping the legendary band’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. Made In California features more than seven and a half hours of music, including more than 60 previously unreleased tracks. The deluxe set is presented in a high school annual-inspired hardbound book with personal recollections from the band’s members, replicated classic artwork and memorabilia, photos from the band’s archive, and handwritten yearbook-style inscriptions from Beach Boys Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks.

Produced by The Beach Boys and The SMiLE Sessions’ GRAMMY® Award-winning team of Mark Linett, Alan Boyd, and Dennis Wolfe, Made In California chronologically charts the 50-year career of America’s Band, from their earliest demos to their most recent recordings.  With huge hits and rare gems - including never-before-released original songs - home demos, alternate takes and mixes, and live concert, television and radio performances, the set showcases the breadth and diversity of The Beach Boys’ recorded catalogue and illustrates the band’s unique and evocative West Coast story.  

Made In California’s memorabilia includes Brian Wilson’s 1959 high school essay titled “My Philosophy,” which is reproduced in the collection’s book in its original handwritten form (the original is currently on display in The GRAMMY Museum’s yearlong Beach Boys exhibit celebrating the band’s 50-year career). 

Made In California’s previously unreleased and long sought-after recordings include Goin’ To The Beach, California Feelin, Soul Searchin’, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling and You’re Still A Mystery among others.  The set also debuts 17 unreleased live recordings, and features a special ‘From The Vaults’ disc of rarities selected by the band and the producers with longtime Beach Boys fans in mind.

One of the most iconic bands in popular music history and America’s first pop band to reach the 50-year milestone, The Beach Boys have performed and recorded the world’s favourite soundtrack to summer since 1961.

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'The Lone Ranger' - music inspired by film includes new tracks by Iggy Pop, Iron & Wine and others

Album release: The Lone Ranger: Wanted
Release date: 5 August 2013
Label: Walt Disney 

Inspired by one of the summer’s most anticipated movies, Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ The Lone Ranger, The Lone Ranger: Wanted features 14 new songs performed by an eclectic group of artists. Walt Disney Records will release the album on August 5, 2013.

“These are the artists we listened to on the way to set each morning and in the evenings with the dust, like bitter chalk, upon our teeth.  Echoes of their passionate performances in our minds, for 150 days and nights, we took to the work of storytelling.  May the musicians and songwriters who inspired us on our epic journey be an inspiration to you on yours,” said Gore Verbinski, the film’s Academy Award®–winning director.

Billboard.com recently ran an exclusive premeire of the Lucinda Williams track, Everything but the Truth.

The Lone Ranger: Wanted track list is as follows:

  1. “Holy Water” Ben Kweller
  2. “Devil’s Train” Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
  3. “Poor Paddy on the Railway” Shane MacGowan
  4. “So Long Gone” Pete Molinari
  5. “Central and Union” Sara Watkins
  6. “The American Dream” The White Buffalo
  7. “Lonesome Whistle” Dave Alvin
  8. “Sweet Betsy from Pike” Iggy Pop
  9. “Rattling Bone” Iron & Wine
  10. “Cowboy” The Rubens
  11. “Everything but the Truth” Lucinda Williams
  12. “The Truth Lives On” The Aggrolites
  13. “Butch’s Ballad” Gomez
  14. “Saddle the Wind” John Grant

Album produced by Gore Verbinski and Bruce Witkin

About the film

From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the filmmaking team behind the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, comes Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ The Lone Ranger, a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.

The Lone Ranger also stars Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson and Helena Bonham Carter. 

A Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films presentation, The Lone Ranger is directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski, with screen story by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and Justin Haythe and screenplay by Justin Haythe and Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio. The Lone Ranger releases in U.S. theaters on July 3, 2013.

The Lone Ranger: Wanted will be available wherever music is sold on August 5th.  For more information on Walt Disney Records’ releases, please visit Disney.com/music, become a fan at Facebook.com/disneymusic or follow at Twitter.com/disneymusic.

iTunes and Amazon pre-order links:

iTunes: http://smarturl.it/lrwiTunesa1 
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/lribAmazona1

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Jane's Addiction: Live in NYC - album / DVD out 8 July

Album /DVD  release: Jane’s Addiction: Live In NYC
Release date: 8 July 2013
Label: Capitol / UMC

From the beginning, Jane's Addiction have thrown the most unique parties in rock, mixing a fierce musicality with theatrical flair onstage. 2012 saw the band — who’ve always outrageously combined electricity, sex and danger — return to the stage in support of their acclaimed album The Great Escape Artist (Capitol Records).

Live in NYC was filmed in New York City at Terminal 5 on December 29th, 2012 during a special run of North American shows—called “Theatre of the Escapists”- with the band performing in intimate venues, most of which are classic theatres. The alternative rock pioneers — frontman Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins, along with Chris Chaney on bass — captured this immersive theatrical experience on tape and are making available via Live in NYC on multiple formats. 

“We chose to play as many of the great theatres that we could find because we wanted to immerse the audience in a unique experience unlike any they have ever seen at a rock show,” said FARRELL in the band’s tour announcement.  “Expect an orgy of musical and visual delights. We like orgies, and hope you do too.”

The album will be released on the following formats: Digital, DVD and Blu-ray (running time 69 mins),  DVD & CD, CD – both with 12 page booklets and sticker and also double vinyl LP – which is the first live vinyl release since 1987's self-titled on Triple X Records.

Track list

  • Whores
  • Ain't No Right
  • Just Because
  • Ted, Just Admit It...
  • Been Caught Stealing
  • Irresistible Force (Met The Immovable Object)
  • Up the Beach
  • Ocean Size
  • Three Days
  • Mountain Song
  • Stop!
  • Encore: Jane Says

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Huey Lewis and The News - 'Sports' 30th anniversary edition out 13 May

Album reissue: Sports by Huey Lewis and The News (Deluxe Edition)
Release date: 13 May 2013
Label: Universal 
Listen: on official website

Huey Lewis and The News' 1983 Sports album spawned four Top 10 hit singles (and another that cracked the Top 20), iconic music videos, and sold almost 10 million copies. To celebrate the blockbuster album's 30th anniversary, Lewis has personally overseen an expanded commemorative edition, to be released May 13th by UMG. Digitally remastered for CD and standard and high definition digital audio, Sports (30th Anniversary Edition) pairs each of the original album's nine songs with choice live versions on a second disc, many of which have never before been released. 

The special edition includes an expanded booklet with photos and memorabilia from the band's archive and new liner notes by music journalist and author Gary Graff.  

Says Huey, “We’ve always been very proud of the record and it’s going to be a blast to play it all live!”

Sports is on the cusp of RIAA Diamond Award sales certification with U.S. sales approaching 10 million copies. Self-produced by the band, it reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and ranked No. 2 on Billboard's year-end sales chart for 1984, second only to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Lewis created indelible music videos for each of the four Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits on Sports - If This Is It, the Gold-certified I Want A New Drug, Heart And Soul and The Heart Of Rock & Roll, which won the year's GRAMMY Award for Best Long-Form Music Video - as well as the Top 20 single, Walking On A Thin Line.

Sports was also an international success, with Top 40 chart peaks in several countries, including the UK, Canada, Germany, Sweden, New Zealand, and Norway.   

Huey Lewis and The News performed a hit from Sports on ABC's Dancing with the Stars on Tuesday, April 2 and will also perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday, May 15.  Additional TV appearances will be announced soon. 

In May, the band will launch the "Sports 30th Anniversary Tour" across North America, performing the album in its entirety. For more information on this, please visit www.hueylewisandthenews.com.

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'Creepy, but in a good way' - Wampire release new album on May 14


Album release: Curiosity by Wampire
Release date: May 14 2013
Label: Polyvinyl
Produced by: Jacob Portrait (Unknown Mortal Orchestra)
Listen: on official site

After forming Wampire, Rocky Tinder and Eric Phipps steadily began to make a name for themselves in the same Portland OR scene that has produced labelmates STRFKR as well as Unknown Mortal Orchestra. 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.

The choice of Portrait was a natural one, with both Tinder and Phipps believing he’d be able to contribute almost as much to the record as they would. And so, in mid-August Tinder and Phipps each brought fragments of song ideas into the studio, before deconstructing, re-arranging, and fitting them back together piece by piece; at times lyrics and melodies were thrown out, brought back from the dead, or improvised on the spot.

This loosely structured approach made the process truly collaborative, with producer Portrait occasionally chipping in ideas for lyrics, arrangements, and instrumentation.

The resulting nine tracks are instantly memorable, while defying easy categorization. Says Phipps, “We realized the record began to stray away from having a ‘sound’ and gradually became a platter with an assortment of sounds. The record showcases a flavor we haven’t quite dug into before.”

The album’s diverse combination of sounds ultimately helped give birth to its title, Curiosity - a word that invokes the listener’s wonder at what will greet their ears next, while also describing the overall curious tone the record possesses.

First single The Hearse serves as the perfect introduction for those unfamiliar with the band, its opening notes swelling instantly with electronic organs over a driving drum beat. By the time bass and vocals kick in, you’re already hooked.

Elsewhere, Orchards weaves an infectiously breezy melody on the strength of vocal harmonizing, tuneful whistling, and undulating guitar lines.

In some cases, Wampire’s unique rhythms are best described by the band members, as with Trains, a Motown-meets-Strokes track that Tinder perfectly summarizes like so: “It’s sexy, sounds huge, and by all means should be blamed for future babies.”

The album concludes with the equally sensual Magic Light, a song centered around a dark seductive bass groove that sets the tone for Phipps’ come-hither lyrics. It’s the kind of track that draws you ever further into the record’s beguiling clutches, leaving a lasting impression that remains well after its final notes have faded out.

Reaction

Best New Music - Pitchfork
"Creepy, but in a good way" - The Guardian

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Pop hooks shone through a melancholic prism: Generationals release 'Heza'

Album release: Heza by Generationals (features Put a Light On, no. 1 on Hype Machine)
Release date: 8 April 2013
Label: Polyvinyl
Listen: on official site

Since releasing their debut full-length Con Law in 2009, Generationals have consistently delivered pop hooks shone through a melancholic prism. 2013's Heza brings the band to Polyvinyl and along with the label change, comes a subtle but significant sonic shift.

Recorded in phases at Jim Eno's Public Hifi in Austin, producer Daniel Black's Bent Black studio in D.C., and the band's hometown of New Orleans, Heza finds Generationals more satisfied in writing songs that breathe and grow over time. These songs show restraint, with hooks developing in the spaces betweensounds. The attention to rhythms and textures reveals a more patient band - one willing to dig for deeper gems than in their previous work. Tracks like You Got Me and Put a Light On use minimalist electronic frameworks to match the intensity of more straightforward guitarwork on Spinoza and I Never Know, all of them paying more attention to layers and textures than to forcing the hook. On Heza, Generationals aren't so much shedding their old skin as growing more comfortable in the one they've always inhabited.

Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer struck up a friendship as high school freshmen in New Orleans, LA. While attending Louisiana State in Baton Rouge, the two formed The Eames Era with three classmates in 2003. The dissolution of that group in 2007 led to a return to New Orleans where Joyner and Widmer started writing songs as Generationals. Baton Rouge-native and Eames Era producer Daniel Black (The Oranges Band) invited them to record their debut LP, Con Law, at his Washington D.C. studio 'Bent Black' in 2008, where incessant coverage of the presidential campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain, and the issues dividing the candidates' viewpoints, gave rise to the band's name.

New Orleans-based label Park The Van (Dr. Dog, The Spinto Band) released Con Law in 2009. Its retro vibe clearly bore the influence of Phil Spector's mid-century pop, but Generationals' influences always ran the gamut, with pieces of Britpop, dance and electronic poking through the trumpet stabs and Abbey Road compression on their analog 24-track recordings.

The band maintained their obsession with tape recording on 2010's Trust EP, produced in Austin, TX by freak- folk mastermind Bill Baird (Sunset, Sound Team). Trust saw the band drift away from the Brill Building origins of Con Law in favor of a new wave sound that owed more to The Sugarcubes and The Stone Roses than the Ronettes. 2011's sophomore LP Actor-Caster revealed a band zeroing in on their strong suit: dynamic pop songwriting. All ten of its taut, bright songs found their way into the band's setlists as they hit their stride with a live confidence earned by relentless touring.

The band's latest endeavor, Heza, brings them to Polyvinyl Records, who will release the album on CD, LP, cassette, and mp3 in the UK on April 8th, 2013.

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