We swing back into the new release groove with a selection from 22 & 29 May. We start with Banana Skin Shoes (out 22 May), the ninth album from Damon Gough under his nom de guerre Badly Drawn Boy, which is a truly personal and heartfelt collection of songs, a huge statement of intent and the most glorious, colourful, warming, honest pop record you’ll hear this year. If that’s not enough to tempt you, we have a free limited edition poster to give away with each pre-order.
Tim Burgess, who’s been hosting numerous Twitter listening parties during lock-down, releases I Love The New Sky (out 22 May). The twelve tunes on the album were written, he says, “in Norfolk, in the middle of the countryside, with the nearest shop eight miles away. There are no distractions, and I guess that way things happen. I wrote everything on acoustic guitar, and the chords were really considered. The guitar lines would lead the melody, and the melody would inform the lyrics – just dreaming away with music.”
James Elkington’s new album is different: where his first record was more firmly situated in the sonic tradition of England’s more interesting 1970s folk revivalists, Ever-Roving Eye (out 22 May) engages in a broader wrassle, roping in echoes of British library music, horror-film soundtracks, demure psychedelia, and more rocking elements of folk-rock. The result is a record even more elaborate, shrewd, thoughtful and confessional than its predecessor.
Hether Blether (out 29 May) is the third and final album in a trilogy of releases shaped by the islands where Erland Cooper grew up. Hailing from the archipelago of Orkney in Scotland, the contemporary composer and multi-instrumentalist has explored the birdlife (2018’s Solan Goose), seas (2019’s Sule Skerry) and, on Hether Blether, the land, manifesting an immersive collection of music, words and imagery.
Lady Gaga’s highly anticipated sixth studio album, Chromatica (out 29 May), features collaborations with Ariana Grande, Elton John and Blackpink. Gaga’s last full-length studio album was 2016’s Joanne. In 2018 she released the soundtrack for A Star Is Born, which won her four Grammy Awards as well as an Oscar for the hit song ‘Shallow’. Whether or not Lady Gaga’s machine-tooled pop extravaganzas are your thing, one thing Chromatica won’t be is boring!
If you’re a fan of Steve Earle, the fact that Ghosts Of West Virginia (out 22 May) centres on the Upper Big Branch coal-mine explosion that killed twenty-nine men in 2010 in that state in 2010, making it one of the worst mining disasters in American history shouldn’t surprise. When asked about what drove him to craft his deeply evocative new album, Earle says: “I thought that, given the way things are now, it was maybe my responsibility to make a record that spoke to and for people who didn’t vote the way that I did.” It’s our release of the week.
Click on an image to order your copy. Look out for our special low pre-sale prices in red – order early so you don’t miss them!