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Miss June sign to Frenchkiss Records

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Record release: 10th June 2019
Label: Frenchkiss Records
More info: Miss June’s Facebook page

Miss June sign to Frenchkiss Records

Watch video for new single 'Best Girl'

Announce double A-side 'Best Girl' / 'Twitch' 7" vinyl out June 10th

UK & US live dates

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Pre-order 7" single
Watch video for 'Best Girl'
Purchase tickets for live dates

Press shot by Nicole Brannen - hi-res version HERE

Early praise for Miss June & 'Best Girl':

"A creative forward thinking piece of punk music… this band are brilliant" - BBC Radio 1, Jack Saunders

"The rising New Zealand outfit hurl the kind of sawtoothed, brooding yet riotous post-punk sure to ignite house shows and festival crowds alike." Consequence Of Sound

"“Rebel Girl,” “Miss World,” the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Go-Go’s, Joy Division — but calibrated for 2019 ears craving a clever, irresistible outlet." - NY Times

"Annabel Liddell has found herself cast as a voice of young New Zealand feminism — a title the medical student denies she deserves, but eloquently fulfills." - i-D

"Led by vocalist Annabel Liddell (she of the Courtney Love, Joan Jett and Meredith Graves like pipes), the four piece blast out melodic punk songs." - Noisey

The latest export from New Zealand is coming to us by way of Auckland band Miss June. Described as “some unholy union between Sonic Youth and Le Tigre,” the four piece harness jagged, noisy guitars filtered through the unrivalled stage presence of front-person Annabel Liddel, guitarist Jun Park, bass player Chris Marshall and drummer Tom Leggett.

Today, the band share their newest single “Best Girl” which Liddel notes, “is an anthem for anyone who has been misled from birth, into battle for a spot that doesn’t exist.”

Miss June have also announced their signing to NYC’s Frenchkiss Records (Diet Cig, Bloc Party, Eleanor Friedberger, Passion Pit, etc.) and on June 10th the label will release a double a-side 7” consisting of today’s single "Best Girl" and the previously released and equally brilliant “Twitch.”

The band has built a reputation for fierce, formidable and head-spinning live shows which have caught the attention of acts like The Foo Fighters, Shellac, Wolf Alice, Idles and Die! Die! Die!, who have all eagerly harnessed their support on stage. Next month will see them bring this party to UK and US for shows in London, New York City and Los Angeles.

Combining elements of post-punk, no-wave and rock, Miss June hold close their DIY roots while creating a blistering, reckless sound full of melodic hooks and overdriven riffs that are at once immediately recognizable and yet entirely their own.

UK & US live shows:
June 11th - Old Blue Last - London, UK
June 12th - The Windmill - London, UK
June 15th - Bushstock Music Fest - London, UK
June 17th - Elsewhere (Zone One) - Brooklyn, NY
June 18th - Berlin - New York City, NY
June 20th - Union Pool - Brooklyn, NY (w/ Twen)
June 21st - La Cita, Los Angeles, CA (Punky Reggae Party)
June 24th - The Avalon - Los Angeles, CA (School Night Party)


Find Miss June online:

FacebookBandcampYouTubeSoundcloudFrenchkiss Records

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Slaughter Beach, Dog announce new record

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Record release: 2nd August 2019
Label: Big Scary Monsters
More info: Slaughter Beach, Dog’s Facebook page

Slaughter Beach, Dog announce new record 'Safe And Also No Fear' out August 2nd, 2019 on Big Scary Monsters. Listen to two new songs from it 'One Down''Good Ones'

"Jake Ewald of Modern Baseball has found his voice as a musician" -Pitchfork

"Indie rock wails peaking through wistful storytelling" -Stereogum

"A style that recalls long-winded storytellers like Conor Oberst and Stuart Murdoch" -The FADER

Philadelphia's Slaughter Beach, Dog - which began as the solo project of Jake Ewald (Modern Baseball) but has grown into a band with the addition of bassist Ian Farmer (Modern Baseball)Nick Harris (All Dogs) and Zack Robbins (Superheaven) - announced a new record today, titled Safe And Also No Fear. Out August 2nd, 2019 on Big Scary Monsters, it is available for pre-order beginning today.

SBD is streaming two new tracks from the record today, the irresistibly catchy "One Down" and the effervescent "Good Ones" - both tracks can be heard HERE.

Tour dates and more news from the band will be announced soon.

Slaughter Beach, Dog Bio:

Across the previous Slaughter Beach, Dog albums, Jake Ewald has crafted a specific sound. It’s one that incorporates pop music, indie-rock, folk, and just the faintest dash of punk in order to create something that’s accessible but still artistically rich. With Safe And Also No Fear, the band’s third album, Ewald has abandoned his usual practices in service of creating something that, try as one might, isn’t so easy to describe.

In the wake of 2017’s Birdie, an album awash in warm tones and bubbly pop hooks, Safe And Also No Fear can’t help but feel like a turn toward darkness. It’s not one that’s instigated by the outside world—as inescapable as it may be—but instead the dramatic shifts of a person’s interior life. Where Ewald once offered tightly woven vignettes about characters that mirrored the people in his life, Safe And Also No Fear finds him naked at the album’s center, questioning everything he knows about himself. Around him, bassist Ian Farmer, guitarist Nick Harris, and drummer Zack Robbins spin out songs that are dense, swirling amalgams of difficult questions and hard-earned realizations—the kind that can’t be expressed through the accepted structures of pop music.

This isn’t to say there aren’t hooks, as songs like “Good Ones” and “One Day” have effervescent melodies anchoring them, but Safe And Also No Fear generally avoids taking the clear-cut path. As Ewald tells it, that’s a horrifying thing to put out into the world. After putting the finishing touches on the album, he sat down and listened back to the demos he’d first made, then the album itself, and realized it sounded unlike anything he’d ever done before. His creative impulses had changed over the years, and the result was a record that maybe his followers wouldn’t actually like. 

Ewald seemingly addresses this anxiety during the album’s most ambitious track, the seven-minute long “Black Oak.” It’s fitting that midway through the longest song Ewald has ever written he offhandedly remarks, “Realizing this may put my career on the line.” It’s part of a larger narrative, but one that’s more textural and ambiguous than what the band has been known for. Is that lyric about Ewald and Slaughter Beach, Dog? We’ll maybe never know—and that’s the beauty of Safe And Also No Fear. It’s an album so profoundly singular, one that sees the band willing to wade out into deep waters without a life vest, that it encourages you to go out there with it. You hear the band fully embrace the unknown at the end of “Black Oak,” when the song explodes open and Ewald’s vocals are looped into a refrain that’s haunting and impossible to sing along with accurately. You can pick out phrases and hum a melody, but there’s no didactic meaning behind it. It’s there for you to find if you need it.

Safe And Also No Fear is a bold gesture, not just because of the music contained therein, but because it required Ewald to interrogate his artistic tendencies, breaking himself of his habits in service of making something he never thought he could. That involved trusting his band, with whom Ewald collaborated for a full year of writing and recording. Unlike Birdie, where Ewald played every instrument, with Safe And Also No Fear everyone’s fingerprints are on it. Though the album is a product of Ewald committing to his vision, it’s also proof of the way that Farmer, Harris, and Robbins are able to expand Slaughter Beach, Dog’s sonic boundaries in subtle, evocative ways.

The result of that collaboration is Safe And Also No Fear, an album that doesn’t leave easy clues as to its influences or intentions, instead offering up vague sketches of what it feels like to be a person who is constantly confused and anxious, yet completely committed to finding a way through it. It’s not simple, and Ewald’s never didactic, but the message begins to come through the more you revisit it. Every part of Safe And Also No Fear is a risk, and that’s exactly what makes it so beautiful. It’s a record that sees a band fully committed to their art, in spite of what everyone else would advise. And if you’re listening close enough, it really does make a lot of sense.

Find SBD online: Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp | Big Scary Monsters

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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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Debut EP from High Hazels: 'In The Half Light'

EP release: In The Half Light by The High Hazels
Release date: 7 April
Label: Heist or Hit Records
Listen: on Soundcloud

“If you’re a fan of The Smiths, or The Coral at their most melodic, then this may be right up your street” – The Guardian

Drawing on a love and appreciation for the timeless charms of Britain’s great northern songwriters & poets, High Hazels are a young quartet from Handsworth in Sheffield who release their debut EP ‘In The Half Light’ on 7th April.

High Hazels resemble the end of the family line in northern boy groups: groups who horde priceless guitars but can’t afford the bus fare home, groups who rehearse dry George Harrison barbs in the bathroom mirror, groups who dress in boys’ brigade chic, in thrall to the boys of yesterday – The Quarrymen, The Pale Fountains, The Smiths.

James Leesley is a melancholy balladeer backed by Scott Howes’ vintage guitar reverberating tenderly and brothers Paul and Anthony on bass and drums.

With a togetherness that only blooms from brotherhood & childhood friendship, their shared love for music is the root of their everyday creativity and ambition to achieve that of their influences, in producing music that stands the test of time.

The quartet’s shimmering guitar music and melody-rich songs will soon reverberate from stages around the country while on tour with The Crookes – dates below.

The debut EP follows last year’s seven-inch ‘Hearts are Breaking’ which Clash described as: “All lilting song writing and stark directness, it’s a vision of fluorescent lights reflected in a puddle of rain water.”

The four songs on ‘In The Half Light’ are steeped in the rich heritage of Northern Soul and underpinned with a brooding psychedelia that owes as much to the influence of Washington quintet The Walkmen as to their home city’s crooning Godfather Richard Hawley. For years, the only cultural shrine in Handsworth was the Ballifield semi where Ken Patten recorded The Future and Pulp in his Studio Electrophonique while his wife made the brews downstairs. A few streets over, a new story gathers pace, guitars chime in back bedrooms and, in terminus bus shelters, cold hearts start to thaw.

‘In The Half Light’ is released on Heist Or Hit Records on 7th April on limited edition 10” vinyl and digital download. High Hazels will support The Crookes on tour in April.

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Aztec Jazz: Tom Russell Live with the Norwegian Wind Ensemble

Album release: Aztec Jazz by Tom Russell
Label: Proper Records
Release date: 1 July 2013

For over three decades and 28 album releases Tom Russell has continued to live up to his status as“one of our greatest songwriters of our time.” (Washington Post) His last two releases, Blood and Candle Smoke (2009) and Mesabi (2011), are considered his strongest composed works yet and were, in part, recorded with the groundbreaking roots band Calexico.

Years ago Russell and Dave Alvin, were tagged as the architects of what came to be known as “Americana” music, with their Merle Haggard tribute “Tulare Dust,” the record which initiated the Americana charts in America, and remained number one for a year.  Aztec Jazz moves Americana into a new realm.

Aztec Jazz was recorded as a live concert in Halden, Norway in May of 2012 with the world-renown 32 piece Norwegian Wind Ensemble and guitarist Thad Beckman. Russell’s classic songs - St. Olav’s Gate, Nina Simone, Guadalupe, Stealing Electricity, Goodnight Juarez and others - are performed on acoustic guitars against a lush backdrop of oboes, trumpets, saxophones, French horns, trombones and percussion. This larger, ethereal canvas brings Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain to mind. The award-winning Swedish composer Mats Halling wrote the orchestral parts.

Tom Russell’s songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Doug Sahm, Nanci Griffith, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Dave Alvin, Joe Ely and others. He has written two acclaimed folk operas (The Man From God Knows Where and Hotwalker) and composed movie scores, including the songs for the new Monte Hellman movie The Road Nowhere. He’s also published five books, most recently 120 Songs of Tom Russell. His paintings are featured in Blue Horse/Red Desert: The Art of Tom Russell. Aztec Jazz moves Russell’s acclaimed song catalogue into newly charted territory.

For additional biography and photos go to http://www.tomrussell.com.

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James Brown: Best of Live at the Apollo - 50th Anniversary

Album release: Best of Live at The Apollo - 50th Anniversary by James Brown
Release date: 24 June 2013
Label: Universal 

This unique, 12-track album celebrates 50 years since the release of James Brown’s classic 1963 live album, Live At The Apollo, and showcases his many great performances recorded at the iconic Los Angeles venue. Brown, who would have reached his 80th birthday on 3 May 2013, first arrived at the Apollo in April 1959 as an opening act for Little Willie John, one of his idols. He wasn’t to remain an opener for long and “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business” would play the Apollo, Los Angeles more than 600 times during his career.

This title comprises 12 tracks from James Brown’s three landmark albums recorded at the historic venue: Live At The Apollo (recorded 1962, released 1963), Live At The Apollo Vol. II (recorded 1967, released 1968) and Revolution of the Mind: Recorded Live At The Apollo Vol. III (recorded and released 1971). Additionally, this set includes two unreleased tracks taken from the album, Get Down at The Apollo with The J.B.’s: Live At The Apollo Vol. IV – recorded in September 1972 but ultimately never released.

Personally funded by James Brown, the original, critically acclaimed Live At The Apollo, featuring the Famous Flames and the James Brown Orchestra, was first released in 1963 and became a cultural phenomenon, reaching No. 2 on The Billboard 200 album chart. In 2003 it was listed at No. 24 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time and in 2004, Live At The Apollo was added to the Library Of Congress’ National Recording Registry. Three tracks from this landmark recording, I’ll Go Crazy, Try Me and Night Train, plus the famous show introduction, are featured here.

Recorded in June 1967, Live At The Apollo Vol. II was released in 1968 and ushered in Brown’s new funky style with a larger, more sophisticated incarnation of the James Brown Orchestra, featuring Maceo Parker and led by Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis. This was Brown’s first live, double-LP set and charted at No. 2 on the R&B Album chart and Top 40 on The Billboard 200. Three tracks from this recording that feature on the new celebratory release are, the live hit single There Was A Time, Cold Sweat and Please, Please, Please, documenting the constant evolution of Soul Brother No. 1.

Revolution Of The Mind: Recorded Live At The Apollo Vol. III
, a double-LP from 1971, is Brown’s third official live album recorded at the venue and features the backing band Fred Wesley & The J.B.’s. Revolution Of The Mind went to No. 7 on the R&B Albums chart and No. 39 on The Billboard 200. Three tracks from the album, the super-hot Sex Machine, Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved and Soul Power are featured on this best of.

Get Down At The Apollo with The J.B.’s was recorded for a potential double-album and was to feature the J.B.’s as well as James Brown Revue singer Lyn Collins. It was mixed for LP but its release was cancelled. Best Of Live At The Apollo includes two songs from the album, the instrumental Hot Pants Road and There It Is, in new mixes exclusive to this collection.

Track listing 

  • Introduction to James Brown
  • I’ll Go Crazy 
  • Try Me 
  • Night Train 
  • There Was A Time 
  • Cold Sweat 
  • Please, Please, Please 
  • Sex Machine 
  • Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved 
  • Soul Power 
  • Hot Pants Road *
  • There It Is *

Produced by James Brown 

* Previously Unreleased

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Metallic prog-rock band Arthouse Hours release 'All for One' on July 22

Album release: All for One by Arthouse Hours
Release date: 22 July
Listen: on Bandcamp 

Hailing from St Petersburg, Russia, Arthouse Hours set about creating their breed of metallic prog-rock in 2010. Their ascent to the forefront of the city’s alternative music scene was a swift one, in the wake of a first mini-album release (View of Notre Dame) in 2011. Putting the stress of several line-up changes behind them, the band formerly know as Arthouse In Your Waking Hours locked themselves away in their own custom-built studio, charged with the task of writing and recording their sophomore record. All For One is the brutal result. Armed with a hefty cannon of Russian-born riffs, Arthouse Hours step take a giant step towards worldwide recognition with the UK release of the album on July 22.

Citing multi-era heavy rock, prog, industrial and metal influences such as Yes, Converge, Godflesh and The Fall of Troy, Arthouse Hours wield a steady hand at the production desk too, always careful to allow space for them to nod towards their heritage whilst administering their own force on the proceedings. On tracks like Away they are tormented (“Every season, like a prison”), during Heavily Assaulted, they openly burn bridges (“Relegate beloved ones… I can be alone”), whilst on Like This they find solace in Closure (“Farewell my dear friend”).

Thematically, the album centres around an individual under stress. Our protagonist goes through a break up with the object of his desire. He has conflicting thoughts on this, that frequently turn to dreams. He later questions whether he has actually experienced loss, instead acquiring something that is much bigger - a realization dawns that life must go on. On it goes. 

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The Lucid Dream: Songs of Lies and Deceit

Album release: Songs of Lies and Decit by The Lucid Dream
Release date: 22 July 2013
Label: Holy Are You  
Listen: on Bandcamp 

The Lucid Dream were formed in Carlisle, Cumbria, in the far north of England, in 2008. Fused by small town boredom and a mentality to break the mould they siphoned the spirits of key influences, such as The Jesus & Mary Chain and Spacemen 3, to suitably shape their live repertoire in an old textile factory, overlooked by a disused gas works.

Initial releases between 2010-2012 (Erbistock Mill EP), and 3 sold-out 7" singles (Love In My Veins, Heartbreak Girl, Hits Me Like I'm Stoned), gained significant praise from the likes of The Fly, NME, BBC Radio 2 (Steve Lamacq's 'Listeners Tip of the Week') and Frank Skinner (Absolute Radio); along with major support from BBC 6 Music (Nemone 'Record of the Weekend', Lauren Laverne, Gideon Coe, Tom Robinson).

The debut album, Songs Of Lies and Deceit, was recorded at Ghost Town Studios, Leeds, with producer Ross Halden. Initially the album took shape via the recording of two 7" singles, (Love In My Veins, Heartbreak Girl), before sessions lasting up to 5 days, mostly recorded throughout the early hours, shaped the album. Opened by How's Your Low When You're Low Alone?, a 6 minute sonic attack, revolving around 2 notes, it’s a track influenced by the band’s passion for New York revolutionaries Suicide, and Primal Scream circa XTRMNTR. Merging into Glue, both tracks touch upon social commentary, as well as a nodding to the works of Edinburgh novelist Irvine Welsh.

The white noise that opens the first 9 minutes of the album is by no means indicative of the album as a whole. Tracks such as In Your Eyes, Love In My Veins, and Heartbreak Girl ultimately owe more to the psych pop of The Stone Roses, The Byrds, The Ronettes and C86 era Primal Scream. Elsewhere, Heading For The Waves was influenced heavily by a love for the genius of Liverpool bands like Shack, The La's and The Coral, while The Twilight Endpays homage to the influential guitar playing of The Verve’s Nick McCabe.

The album is wrapped up by the 9 and a half minute track, Sweet Hold On Me. A fixture of the live set since its creation, the track mixes Space Rock, Gospel, Psychedelia and white noise. It was the obvious choice to close out the record, showcasing the band’s adeptness with multiple styles.

The Lucid Dream will tour in May through to August. For tour dates, see their website.

Reaction

'Noisy northern hopes' - NME

'Reverb drenched majesty' - The Fly

'Beautiful traditional psychedelia' - Lauren Laverne, BBC 6 Music

'Jangly psychedelia, listeners tip of the week' - Steve Lamacq, BBC Radio 2

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Will Varley to release new album on 2 September - "Powerful, political and pertinent" (The Independent)

Album release: As The Crow Flies by Will Varley
Release date: 2 September 2013
Label: Smugglers Records
Listen: on official Will Varley website

July 2013 will see the release of As The Crow Flies, the second album by fiercely independent folk singer, novelist, and filmmaker Will Varley. The album was recorded in the old smuggling tunnels that riddle the basements of the cottages beneath the seaside town of Deal, Kent. It is released on DIY label Smugglers Records that Varley runs alongside a co-operative of fellow southeast based musicians. Over the last five years Smugglers has helped a plethora of artists further their musical endeavours, as well as organising their own sell-out festival deep in the Kent countryside.

The 26 year old plays an explosive brand of contemporary British folk music which scales the full spectrum of storytelling, from farcical ‘shaggy dog stories’ about the self checkout machines at the supermarket, to beautifully-crafted allegorical songs such as the real life tale of Khulekani Khumalo, a South African folk singer who supposedly rose from the dead in 2012. His live shows dance effortlessly between sharp humour, scathing social commentary and raw heart-breaking emotion.

Varley moved to the seaside from London in 2010, seeking like-minded musicians, cheap rent, and a new way of doing things. After releasing his politically charged debut album Advert Soundtracks in 2011, he set out on the road and walked a hundred and forty miles with a guitar and tent on his back. Starting his walking tour at London Bridge he headed southeast, strolling through the rolling hills and towns, singing songs to whoever would listen. This began to build a fan base that has since grown to sell out the first album and seen festival tents bursting with followers. The record received a number of excellent reviews, and his self-directed music video for ‘King For A King’ has enjoyed almost 20,000 views on YouTube.

After self-publishing his first novel in the winter and almost two years of relentless gigging, including shows at the Occupy London protests & The Bank of Ideas, the young troubadour has recorded his second album with the help of David Hatton Jnr. (Cocos Lovers). Though still littered with his trademark humour, As The Crow Flies is a darker, more mature album which sees Varley’s poetry take centre stage, from the brutal honesty of the album’s title track, to the swaying cynicism of Weddings and Wars in which he attempts a history of the world in under four minutes. 

Reaction to date

“Certain to turn ears his way… Varley feels very much a voice for what could soon become the 21st Century’s lost generation” Folk Radio UK

“Powerful, Political & Pertinent” The Independent

“A simple line like “the big bang doesn’t care if I pray” is laden with the kind of meaning other artists would take whole albums to say.” Rock Kent

“It's the antithesis of all that Simon Cowell creates, and it's fantastic” Contact Music 

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Winter Mountain to release debut EP 'Find, Follow' on Charcoal Records

EP Release: Find, Follow by Winter Mountain
Release date: 20 May 2013
Label: Charcoal Road
Listen: on Youtube

They have an extraordinary backstory straight out of a movie screenplay for which their songs would make the perfect soundtrack. How Joseph Francis and Martin Smyth met and were discovered is remarkable and goes a little like this...

An Englishman and an Irishman step onto the same train at Chicago's Union station and meet for the first time. Both singers, both songwriters...both broke, but intent on making their way by rail to Memphis, TN, the birthplace of Rock n Roll.

That night, the two strangers began a conversation that lasted until the early hours. A conversation centered on their mutual love of the sounds of the 60s and 70s, of great albums and great artists, and great harmony singing: The Band, Simon & Garfunkel, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were all discussed. By morning they had named themselves Winter Mountain and committed to travel together, swapping stories, exchanging lyrics and singing together in the bars and clubs of the deep south. From their first performance it was impossible to ignore the rare magic of their natural vocal blend as heads turned whenever they sang.

On their return the guys spent a fortnight songwriting in Ireland which led to a chance entry in a Battle of the Bands competition. Winter Mountain competed against the best unsigned talent in Northern Ireland, and won! It was enough to capture the heart of a local theatre owner who booked them to open for Irish singing luminary Cara Dillon. After hearing Joseph and Martin’s performance Cara and husband/producer Sam Lakeman immediately signed Winter Mountain to their independent label, Charcoal Records and set about assembling a team of experienced musicians who could help realise the vision that Joseph and Martin had for their music.

With contributions from Robbie McIntosh (guitarist with McCartney, The Pretenders, John Mayer), Audrey Riley (string arranger for Coldplay, Nick Cave) and Leo Abrahams (guitarist for Brian Eno, Florence And The Machine), the songs were recorded in a host of vintage studios which echo the authenticity of their sound and the resulting EP, Find, Follow, blends exquisite melodies, heartfelt lyrics and above all else, compelling harmonies.

The final, perhaps most striking touch to the EP was made when the highly acclaimed Mike Crossey (Ben Howard, Jake Bugg, The Arctic Monkeys), stepped up in the midst of his hectic schedule and mixed all three tracks.  

There have been the obvious comparisons to Simon & Garfunkel, The Fleet Foxes and The Everly Brothers and when you hear and see them perform you’ll understand why. Yet Winter Mountain bring something new to their vocal delivery, echoing  those legendary harmony acts, but adding a vital, contemporary edge that is uniquely their own. Their vocals blend as if they’ve been harmonising for a lifetime. And although Martin’s from Donegal, Ireland and Joseph hails from West Cornwall, you get the impression they were born to sing together.

Winter Mountain’s debut EP Find, Follow is now due for release on iTunes and other online outlets on 20th May 2013 on Charcoal Records.

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Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker: Fire and Fortune

Album release: Fire and Fortune by Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker
Release date: 22 July 2013
Label: Navigator 
Listen: on Josienne Clarke website 

In a town full of songs and singers, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker give you the real thing. Both classically trained, their musical proficiency is beyond doubt. But this isn't about technical accomplishment. This is about a song, first and foremost. Whether interpreting words centuries old, or singing her own authentic lyrics, Josienne's jewel-like voice finds the nuance and melancholy in the simplest phrase and effortlessly sends it straight to your heart.

Ben's musical tact and mastery of the guitar provide the perfect setting and allow the song centre-stage. Josienne was born in Sussex and Ben, in Evesham. It was after studying in London, and utterly by chance, that they met in July 2009. They have been working together ever since. Critical acclaim soon followed, along with the Isambard Folk Award and the FATEA award for Female vocalist of the year. Their work together combines an exquisite command of their instruments with lyrics steeped in the tradition of English songwriting, and in ageless stories of love and loss.

Two joint releases later, they've played as a duo alongside many of the living legends including Martin Simpson and Steve Tilston, and have just completed tour dates in Germany, the Netherlands and UK with more planned for 2013.

Navigator Records, home of Bellowhead, Bella Hardy, Heidi Talbot and many other gifted musicians, will be releasing their new album Fire and Fortune on 22 July 2013.

Though influenced by greats such as Sandy Denny, Richard and Linda Thompson, Nick Drake, Bert Jansch and June Tabor, Fire and Fortune marks two musicians who have resolutely found their own path through traditional English music.

Their new album contains twelve tracks, some carefully selected traditional songs re-imagined; others equally carefully picked original compositions. This is timeless stuff, and its purity will stay with you long after the last note fades.

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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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The Teardrop Explodes: 'Wilder' reissued as expanded two-disc edition

Albm re-issue: Wilder by The Teardrop Explodes
Release date: June 24th 2013
Label: Mercury / Universal Music Catalogue 

Wilder was the second and final album by The Teardrop Explodes, originally released in November 1981 and a radical, post-punk classic that’s ripe for reappraisal. Ambitious, colourful and catchy and with more ideas at play than most groups could conjure up in a lifetime, like so many great albums, it simply confused people in its audacity.

At the start of the year, Reward had given the Teardrops their only Top Ten hit but amidst all the publicity that always surrounded the group, Wilder reached only a disappointing 29 in the charts. The first extracted single Passionate Friend, despite two appearances on Top of the Pops, barely scraped into the Top 30. Within a year of Wilder’s release, the group had split up.

This new edition features the original album in all its glory, plus a second disc compiled and sequenced by Julian Cope containing all the related singles, B-sides and BBC radio sessions. Cope also provides a track by track guide while Dave Balfe, the Teardrops’ original keyboard player, foil and sometime nemesis to Cope, along with guitarist Troy Tate provide further notes; Balfe’s essay is a particularly honest and revealing account of the recording process.

Disc two is effectively an alternative version of the album, the BBC sessions presenting many key songs in a noticeably different form, closer to how the group used to play them live. One the eve of recording Wilder, bassist Alfie Agius and keyboard player Jeff Hammer (both of whom play on the radio sessions) were jettisoned, leaving only Cope, ever-faithful drummer Gary Dwyer and guitarist Tate. Dave Balfe then returned, whereupon he and Cope proceeded to rearrange virtually every song with a much greater emphasis on synths and experimentation, and with a far more downbeat complexion than the well-crafted psychedelic pop that was their trademark.

The radio sessions also include songs which didn’t make it on to the album; Cope’s take on John Cale’s I’m Not The Loving Kind and the powerful Screaming Secrets, a live tour de force which the group never nailed in the studio. Cope would eventually record it for St Julian.

Disc two also rounds up the B-sides to the three singles taken from Wilder: the infectious Passionate Friend, the punchy, brass-led Colours Fly Away, and the exquisitely plaintive Tiny Children, plus the non-album single You Disappear From View, a last-ditch reversion to the Reward formula, released in 1983 after the group had split up. It’s a rich and varied selection including the more challenging Christ Vs Warhol and Window Shopping For A New Crown Of Thorns, the charming, atypical Rachel Built A Steamboat, Suffocate (a re-recorded version of the song which only appeared on the US version of Kilimanjaro) and a full-on, live Sleeping Gas, recorded at Club Zoo.

Amidst the disbelief and surprise at Wilder’s poor showing, Club Zoo was an outrageously excess all areas six week stint at the tiny Pyramid Club in Liverpool featuring the Wilder line up of Cope, Balfe, Dwyer and Tate plus new bassist Ronnie Francois. Designed to break in the new band, it was more a dress rehearsal for the American tour that followed - a fraught, drug-fuelled disaster which saw the group unravel to a point from which they never really recovered.

Few groups promised as much as The Teardrop Explodes in those heady post-punk days; even fewer groups scaled the same dizzy creative heights. Wilder was their mountain top.

Track Listing

CD1 – Original Album

  • Bent Out Of Shape
  • Colours Fly Away
  • Seven Views Of Jerusalem
  • Pure Joy
  • Falling Down Around Me
  • The Culture Bunker
  • Passionate Friend
  • Tiny Children
  • Like Leila Khaled Said
  • …And The Fighting Takes Over
  • The Great Dominions

CD2 – B-Sides and BBC Sessions

  • Christ Versus Warhol (B-side ‘Passionate Friend’)
  • Rachael Built A Steamboat (B-side ‘Tiny Children’)
  • Suffocate (B-side ‘You Disappear From View’)
  • Window Shopping For A New Crown Of Thorns (B-side ‘Colours Fly Away’)
  • Ouch Monkeys (B-side ‘You Disappear From View’)
  • East Of The Equator (B-side ‘Colours Fly Away’)
  • Sleeping Gas (Live from Club ZOO, December 1981) (B-side ‘Tiny Children’)
  • The In-Psychlopedia (B-side ‘You Disappear From View’)
  • You Disappear From View
  • Soft Enough For You (B-side ‘You Disappear From View’)
  • Pure Joy Wins Out Again (BBC Session, Peel Plus, 1981)
  • Like Leila Khaled Said (BBC Session, Peel Plus, 1981)
  • I’m Not The Loving Kind (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981)
  • The Culture Bunker (BBC Session, Peel Plus, 1981)
  • …And The Fighting Takes Over (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981)
  • Better Scream / Make That Move (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981
  • Bent Out Of Shape (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981)
  • Screaming Secrets (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981)

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Joel Sarakula: The Golden Age - new album out June 17 via Art Parade


Album release
: The Golden Age by Joel Sarakula 
Release date: June 17 2013
Label: Art Parade
Listen: on official site 

Joel Sarakula is a singer with band who writes and performs retro-pop songs at the piano and guitar. Born in Sydney, Australia, and now based in London, he releases his debut album The Golden Age on 17 June, 2013, following a flurry of UK radio support for his singles Bohemian and I Will Deliver which racked up generous plays across BBC 6, BBC London, XFM, Q Radio and Absolute.

The Golden Age has been a long time coming for Sarakula, a songwriter who has travelled the world in search of his muse, experiencing everything from Caribbean car-jackings to performing in the remote fishing villages of Norway, via the dive bars of Europe and the US. It was the hodge-podge musical tapestry of England’s capital that finally drew Sarakula to a settling point, in the wake of seemingly never ending run of shows that saw him tour three Australian-only albums Mystery Morning, Souvenirs and City Heart.

It’s tracks like Matchstick Girl and The Lows that show that, in spite of all his world-weariness and global search for inspiration, Sarakula can’t help but revert back to a songwriting style that’s traditional in every sense – one that he grew up knowing. From a musical education in Australia, through baby steps at the piano, to wearing out his parent's record collection, he has long been captivated by the primordial soup of 60s / 70s pop music. 'My parents had so many classic pop records and I was drawn to the big harmonies of The Beach Boys and ABBA - the drama in those 60s and 70s records'.

With personal tastes that also span the more avant-garde - Zappa and Kate Bush - as well as pop greats like Pulp and Elvis Costello, there are clear nods to contemporaries like Beck, Brendon Benson and Ben Kweller in terms of ambition and style. While performing live, Joel presents a show he describes as an authentic musical experience that straddles the spiritual and the profane. His years of touring worldwide make him an engaging performer and he will be touring this album later in 2013.  

“We were trapped in a royal cage / now we bask in the glow of The Golden Age”

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Nick Drake's 'Bryter Later' is reissued by Island Records

Album reissue: Bryter Later by Nick Drake - remastered and boxed vinyl edition
Release date: 13 April 2013
Label: Island  

Continuing the ReDISCovered boxed vinyl series of Nick Drake’s albums, Island Records presents Nick Drake's second album, Bryter Later, in a format similar to that used for the release of Pink Moon in 2012. The album itself is a near exact replica of the original 1970 release, pressed on heavyweight audiophile vinyl, and remastered at Abbey Road from master tapes by the album's original engineer John Wood.  Although the first generation master tapes were found to be unusable, Wood had made a safety copy of the album in 1970 and it is from this that the new album has been struck.

The vinyl comes in an Island card inner bag in a single pocket textured sleeve, just as the original release would have done. In addition it is housed in a box containing a copy of the original shop poster, a smaller 'Live' poster/brochure and a reprint of Nick's handwritten set list together with reproductions of the master tape reel and tape box lids.

The album also comes with a selection of downloadable electronic formats, including either high-resolution files, the usual MP3 files or unique Dubbed-From-Disc files for an authentic playback experience.

About Bryter Later

First released in November 1970, Bryter Layter expands on themes introduced by Drake in his debut album Five Leaves Left (1969). Principally featuring Nick on vocals and guitar performing his own original material, and using the same production team of Joe Boyd, John Wood, and orchestrator Robert Kirby, Bryter Layter is unusual in that it contains three instrumentals. Musicians on the album include members of Fairport Convention, The Beach Boys and John Cale. Fresh from producing former Velvet Underground bandmate Nico, Cale played on and arranged two songs, including Northern Sky – the song described by NME in 2004 as “the greatest English love song of modern times”.

Though Bryter Layter met with an indifferent set of media reviews when it was released, it went on to be included in the Rolling Stone top 500 albums of all time and reached 23 in Q magazine’s 100 Greatest British Albums Ever chart.

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'Portishead doing a Tarantino soundtrack' - acclaimed duo Vienna Ditto release debut EP


EP release: Liar Liar by Vienna Ditto
Release date: 22 April 2013
Listen: on Bandcamp

Recorded in a chilly boat, a dank basement and an old temperance hall, Vienna Ditto’s debut EP, Liar Liar, is a DIY diary of their first, turbulent, two years. Recorded and produced by the band themselves, the tapes were then rescued and mixed by Umair Chaudhry at Silver St Studios. The result is intelligent yet memorable, spooky but accessible electronica mixed with dirty guitar riffs – or, as Radio 1’s Huw Stephens puts it, ‘Portishead doing a Tarantino Soundtrack’.

The band – comprising vocalist Hatty Taylor and guitarist Nigel Firth – jerked into life in April 2009 when a hastily-recorded demo from their second rehearsal was played on Huw Stephen’s Radio One show. An appearance on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury 2009 followed, as did a Maida Vale session for Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music and an appearance on Channel 4’s Hollyoaks Music Show.

Released in November 2009, their debut single Long Way Down gained airplay on Radio One, BBC6 Music and XFM, and was given glowing reviews in Q Magazine, Artrocker and The Fly. The band are currently working on their debut album.

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Reaction

“Portishead doing a Tarantino soundtrack” Huw Stephens, Radio 1

“With Smoky-voiced femme fatale Hatty Taylor on vocals, London-based three piece Vienna Ditto mix wild-eyed rockabilly riffs with sparse, atmospheric electronica.”  Q Magazine

“Fantastically dirty… one of the catchiest choruses l’ve ever heard… made me wan to dance round my bedroom with my hairbrush” Esther Press, The Fly Magazine

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For more information, interviews etc., please email chris@prescriptionpr.co.uk

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Dave McPherson: new album, 'Dreamoirs' out June 3, 2013

Dave McPherson - Dreamoirs

Album release: Dreamoirs by Dave McPherson
Release date: 3 June 2013
Label: Northern Music
Listen: on Facebook 

Dave McPherson, originally propelled into the limelight with his alternative rock band InMe a decade ago, has since been consistently touring, creating music, and fully uplifting engrossed audiences. But only fairly recently has this been as a fully formed solo artist. New album Dreamoirs offers the complete and sublime intellectual capacity of this gifted and truly hard working songwriter.


It was in 2007 that Dave first started strapping on his acoustic guitar, hopping on trains around the country and couch surfing his way into the ears of listeners who were eager to see a true live artist do his thing. The use of the term “true” shouldn’t be ambiguous, but for qualification in this instance it is used to describe a performer with a soulful and technically gifted voice, an intricate and passionate style of guitar playing, and one who uses these skills to great effect on an abundance of self penned material.

Dave himself has tasted the mainstream with InMe, playing major festival main stages and touring the world when he was just 19. It’s a completely different world to the one that he currently – and happily it should be added – exists in. This self-confessed Star Trek obsessive is more than happy to embrace his inner geek and in truly modern style spends hours a day noting lyrical ideas in his iPhone, researching ideas and singing newly formed melodies to himself in the street. Dave is comfortable in his own skin; whether that is touring pubs, large venues with the likes of Charlie Simpson and Devin Townsend or festivals like Download and Beautiful Days in search of new listeners, fine ale and old friends on the road.

After a number of DIY EPs taken out on tour at a point when Dave was fast approaching 700 solo shows, 2011 saw him truly enter the realm of the solo artist and release The Hardship Diaries via Pledge Music. The fan-fuelled label provided the perfect platform for Dave to engage with his supporters and they responded by pushing him through the 100% target of sales in a few days and smash well and truly through 200% in a matter of weeks. The album was a very personal collection of songs, exemplifying Dave’s songwriting ability in a way that his previous work never really could. In a music industry that many say is beginning to disregard the album format, Dave showed that this medium is still the most accessible and important way to gather together a true representation of what an artist is all about.

None of this is to say that Dave is not open to creative ideas and challenges in a bid to get his music heard, and it is here that we can unequivocally return to the notion of “hard work”. 2013 is to be the busiest year of Dave McPherson’s career as he embarks first on ‘The Good People Movement: 365’ – the mammoth task of writing and recording a song every day of the year. This in itself is quite a challenge, but when you consider that he will do this during the year when his second solo album is released and toured, you can really comprehend that “hard work” is certainly a relative term. What is apparent with Dave McPherson, however, is that he sees this as his passion – music has long since absorbed and consumed him to the point of it feeling like a way of life, not hard work.

Dreamoirs will be officially released in June 2013. The concept of the album is, as the title suggests, based around dreams. It is also an album that sees full band instrumentation (performed on the record by Dave himself, no less) and his supporters will be given the opportunity to hear these songs live in some rare full band Dave McPherson performances this summer.  Whereas The Hardship Diaries was essentially a break-up record, at times rushed and spontaneous, Dreamoirs is reflective and explores more subject matter: it’s a focused record that Dave has put a considerable amount of work, thought and passion into.

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Here is Your Temple announce debut EP

EP release: Here Is Your Temple (self-titled EP)
Release date: April 15 2013
Label: Bolero Records
Listen: on official website

Here Is Your Temple invite you into their theoretical world of fears, obsessions, love, hate and progress. Acting as distant observers in occupancy of a universe separate to our own, this debut EP is a veritable brocade of heavy, dreamy, alt-pop that channels the spirits of Nico and Beach House (while paying homage in their own way to the likes of Depeche Mode and Fleetwood Mac) before adding their own layer of sedate gloss. On this debut EP, the Swedish 5 piece (completed by vocalist Emily McWilliam, guitarist Andreas Hourdakis, drummer Olle Nyman, bassist Ille Borg and Mikael Svensson on keys) look to cinematic works for inspiration.  

From the first synth experiments in Tarkovsky’s Stalker to the cut-up soundtracks of Godard to Vangelis' Blade Runner, Here Is Your Temple value their music’s ability to conjure stark imagery; the band often use a backdrop of Kenneth Anger’s silent movies in their writing process. This becomes evident as the listener wades through the swirling synth of opening track, and forthcoming single, So High. Here Is Your Temple immediately set about demonstrating their possession of that very special transportative quality that inducts you into their thick, icy, Scandinavian surround. McWilliam’s vocals shimmer, melt and glisten across wildly expansive soundscapes.

So High’s pulsing bass line, icy underlying synths and chiming guitar punctuation soon make way for the world-weary Once Rich before Say Hey fills the air with its swelling, silver-plated folk crescendo. It builds like Boxer-era The National with a lyrical refrain (‘hey, what could we have done to make this go away?’) that could have been plucked straight from the lips of Matt Berninger. Big Way, by contrast, shows the band’s more extroverted side before closing track Daniel broods along a glitter-flecked road to its climax.

If Here Is Your Temple are of their own universe, then they represent their own 5 planet solar system, one that pushes, pulls, implodes and explodes, striving to find balance in the space in between. Just like black matter, the noise in between is equally important.

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