Releases from May–June 2017
Great albums from around the world
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Releases for 30 June 2017
30th June brings a fantastically diverse selection of new releases.
Following on from their acclaimed debut Elaenia, Floating Points have created Reflections: Mojave Desert, an album inspired by and reflective of that singular location. Stone Sour’s Hydrograd is straight-ahead rock’n’roll; Corey Taylor says “It’s probably one of the best records we have done since the first Slipknot album,” and that’s a good enough recommendation for us! C88 is the latest in a series – a compilation of the best of obscure, tuneful indie from 1988, lovely. The Cure release both Greatest Hits and Acoustic Hits on LP, so if you didn’t manage to snag the RSD pic-discs – or even if you did – these two are for you. Sonny Landreth lets us into his astonishing live shows on Recorded Live In Lafayette, a great intro to someone who deserves a wider audience, on which he displays his full repertoire of slide, blues and cajun fusion: slydeco, anyone? The ever-prolific Mark Kozelek has provided the words for the collaboration Yellow Kitchen, with Sean Yeaton (Parquet Woods) providing the music.
Album of the week is How The West Was Won from rock’n’roll survivor Peter Perrett – his first new music in 20 years – on which he confirms that he has lost none of his incisive songwriting and sardonic wit since ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’. Recommended.
Peter Perrett, whose incisive songcraft and sardonic drawl made him one of the most distinctive voices of the Seventies, hasn’t released any music for 20 years. Bearing in mind his most famous song began “I always flirt with death” (‘Another Girl, Another Planet’), this is one comeback that nobody saw coming. Backed by his sons – Jamie and Peter Jr. on lead guitar and bass respectively – and produced by Chris Kimsey (The Rolling Stones), Peter’s intuitive feel for words, his flair for idiosyncratic metaphors and his deadpan wit are all still as sharp as ever.
- Peter Perrett How The West Was Won CD £12.99 / LP £20.99
Floating Points began as the solo project of Sam Shepherd before it became clear that the immersive, intricate nature of his music demanded expansion. Following his critically acclaimed debut Elaenia this is exactly what happened and Floating Points live became a band of incredibly talented musicians with Sam at the helm. This band has now recorded a new short film and soundtrack, featuring entirely new and unheard compositions – Reflections: Mojave Desert.
“Whilst we were out playing and exploring the area around us – the sound reflecting from the rocks, the sound of the wind between them, complete stillness at night and packs of roaming coyotes in the distance, it became apparent that we could use this as its own unique recording environment.”
- Floating Points Reflections: Mojave Desert CD + DVD £12.99 / LP + DVD £19.99
Hydrograd is the sixth studio album from the American rock band Stone Sour, led by Corey Taylor from Slipknot.
According to Johny Chow, the record is said to be a departure from previous Stone Sour albums, more of a rock-and-roll album. He also mentions that the album has more of a groove feel to it and very melodic with large choruses added to it. Corey Taylor has praised the album by saying, “It’s probably one of the best records we have done since the first Slipknot album.”
The double LP is on limited black-and-white vinyl.
- Stone Sour Hydrograd CD £11.99 / LP £t.b.a.
C88 is a celebration of the Eighties indie scene, documenting a golden era when tuneful guitar-based bands made records on shoestring budgets, often issued on small labels with hand-made artwork, with little hope of mainstream exposure.
- Various Artists C88 Deluxe CD box set £19.99
The Cure Greatest/Acoustic Hits 2-LP £28.99
- The Cure Greatest/Acoustic Hits
- These releases mark the first time this 2001 compilation of The Cure’s Greatest Hits has been available on black vinyl. The records have been remastered by Robert Smith and come housed in a die-cut gatefold sleeve. The artwork is by the original design team at Stylo Rouge and features out-takes from the original photo shoot for the front cover. Greatest Hits features 4 Top 10 hit singles plus 4 Top 20s.
- The Cure Greatest/Acoustic Hits 2-LP £28.99
Sonny Landreth’s unique spin on guitar playing has made him legendary. He combines the slide with fretted notes; this finger picking technique helps him create a complex, multi-layered sound onstage. Along the way Landreth has continued to develop his vision and his musical voice, growing increasingly original and diverse, expanding from blues, zydeco, folk, country and jazz into increasingly category- blurring musical excursions. The album Recorded Live In Lafayette is a perfect showcase of Landreth’s talents and skills; disc one contains a full acoustic set and disc two his full electric set.
- Sonny Landreth Recorded Live In Lafayette CD £12.99 / LP £19.99
Yellow Kitchen features music by Sean Yeaton of Parquet Courts and vocals by Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon. It was recorded in the USA between December 2016 and May 2017. Guests include Will Oldham, Holly Throsby, Steve Shelley, and Jim White (the dirty three).
- Mark Kozelek & Sean Yeaton Yellow Kitchen CD £12.99
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Releases for 23 June 2017
23 June brings us the following aural delights: Danny & The Champions Of The World’s sixth studio album, Brilliant Light, is more of the infectious country soul that makes them so beloved. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s second album of the year so far, Murder Of The Universe, posits as its main theme the destruction of the human race, but not to worry – there are explosive psychedelic riffs and melodies from The Gizz whilst we wait! Imagine Dragons’ third studio album, Evolve, continues their fine tradition of urgent indie rock married to huge tribal drums; there’s even a bit of hip-hop in there! Live At Carnegie Hall is a faithful record of a very special event – Joe Bonamassa brings his astonishing guitar skills to the acoustic world alongside a world-class ensemble of musicians, and a great time is had by all. Irish indie rockers The Strypes bring a bluesy rawness to their third album, Spitting Image, which is a fabulously diverse record, produced by Ethan Johns, that effortlessly transcends their roots. Hurry Home represents a shift from the country roots of The Deslondes to a gospel-soul sound; they sound like a band who understand the history of American music.
Our release of the week is Together At Last, which finds Jeff Tweedy performing his own songs solo and acoustically. If you’ve attended any of Jeff’s solo shows you’ll have witnessed this and so you’ll understand how great a record this is.
Together At Last, the new album by songwriter and guitarist Jeff Tweedy, features the Wilco bandleader performing eleven of his own songs, culled from the Wilco catalogue as well as from side-projects Loose Fur and Golden Smog, in a solo acoustic setting. The album was recorded at Tweedy’s Chicago recording studio The Loft, and showcases his accomplished and intricate guitar playing and his expressive, plaintive voice. While audiences have experienced Tweedy live onstage as a solo performer for years, this is the first studio recording of its kind for the acclaimed musician.
Note: the LP is on indies-only yellow vinyl.
- Jeff Tweedy Together At Last CD £12.99 / LP £19.99
Brilliant Light, the follow-up to 2015’s award-winning What Kind Of Love, features 18 big, infectious soul songs from Danny & The Champions Of The World.
The song ‘Swift Street’, which has been released to preview the album, is deeply personal to Danny George Wilson, who co-wrote it with Polly Paulusma and Carra Bacon. “Swift Street is the house where my mother grew up,” Danny tells us. The song is about 3 different photographs: “one of me and my brothers playing in a billy cart in the driveway, the second is of my grandfather aged 14 standing with his mother outside his childhood home in Aberdeen. He left for Australia after the Second World War. The third is of my folks in the garden of the house in Swift Street before they left to live in London. Each photograph takes a verse. I was nervous about my mum hearing it, but she loves it.”
Note: the limited triple-LP version is exclusive to independent record shops.
- Danny & The Champions Of The World Brilliant Light 2-CD £12.99 / 2-LP £20.99 / Limited 3-LP £28.99
Murder Of The Universe is the second LP in a series of five full-lengths that The Gizz plans to release in 2017. It deals with the plausible realities that face our planet and our species: Will humans be violently wiped out by the AI tech we invented to simplify our daily routines? Will our planet swallow us whole in a wave of natural disasters that we could have prevented had we taken better care of it? Is the universe finite? King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are facing those fears for us in this epic new concept album that will undoubtedly shake your brain stems lose and rupture your spleens with explosive psychedelic riffs and melodies.
Note: the LP is on indies-only glow-in-the-dark vinyl.
- King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Murder Of The Universe CD £13.99 / LP £20.99
Evolve is the third studio album from the breakthrough band Imagine Dragons, following up from 2015’s Smoke And Mirrors. As you’d expect, it’s huge and full of passionate indie-rock anthems with plenty of electronic elements, some hip-hop and rap influences and of course, giant tribal drums.
- Imagine Dragons Evolve CD £12.99 / Deluxe CD £16.99 / LP £23.99
Last year, world-renowned platinum-selling and Grammy nominated blues-rock singer-songwriter and guitarist Joe Bonamassa performed 2 unique all-acoustic shows at the iconic Carnegie Hall in New York City.
These performances were filmed and made into Live At Carnegie Hall: An Acoustic Evening. An evening of extraordinary music with new arrangements of favourite songs as well as brand new, never-before-heard pieces. The concert was part of a special all-acoustic tour and featured an all-star ensemble of world-class musicians.
- Joe Bonamassa Live At Carnegie Hall: An Acoustic Evening CD £13.99 / 3-LP £22.99
Spitting Image is the third album from Irish indie-rockers The Strypes, following up from 2015’s Little Victories. Instant rawness and unique energy comes through with the band’s bluesy-indie rock approach.
This is a fabulously diverse record that effortlessly transcends the bands roots in adrenalised R&B, which has been produced by Ethan Johns (Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, The Vaccines, Laura Marling) and son of the legendary Rolling Stones / Beatles studio giant Glyn Johns.
- The Strypes Spitting Image CD £13.99 / LP £20.99
The Deslondes are a five-piece band from New Orleans. Hurry Home represents a sonic shift from the country folk of their self-titled debut to a sometimes psychedelic, electrified gospel soul sound, with a stronger emphasis on organ and electric guitar. The band split songwriting and lead vocal duties among its five members, continuing its democratic ethos and musical versatility.
Perhaps most importantly, Hurry Home is the sound of a band that understand the history of American music but are deftly finding their own contemporary approach.
- The Deslondes Hurry Home CD £11.99 / LP £16.99
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Releases for 16 June 2017
Our batch of recommended releases for 16 June could well be our favourite of the year so far for its depth and quality. Crack-Up represents a real change for Fleet Foxes; instead of an expansive, sunny outlook we are ‘treated’ to a collection of inward-searching songs suffused with a bleak melancholy, resulting in a jarring, inscrutable record that will reward repeated listenings. The mighty Ride return for the first time in nigh on 20 years! and … it’s fantastic: trembling distortion, beautiful harmonies and pounding rhythms result in a shimmering soundscape that makes this album ambitious, timeless and thoroughly addictive. Royal Blood’s hugely anticipated second album, How Did We Get So Dark?, is upon us, and it’s a triumph of visceral, dark and sludgy rock’n’roll! Résistance, the second album from Songhoy Blues, is another album of wonderful Afro-funk-pop; the whole thing flows like liquid gold, with chanting vocals, meaty rhythms and that light-and-choppy guitar sound. Those – like us – with a bit of a thing for proper pop will welcome Lorde’s Melodrama – the story of the last two wild, fluorescent years of her life. Beth Ditto’s first full-length solo release, Fake Sugar, is – as you’d expect from The Gossip’s frontwoman – a proper noisy rock’n’roll album, culled from more than 80 songs written over two years. You Don’t Own Me Anymore is the latest from The Secret Sisters: a 12-song collection of haunting and vocally mesmerising folk and country tracks that sounds like it could be plucked from the USA any time in the past hundred years.
Our release of the week, and a racing certainty to be in our top ten of 2017, is Jason Isbell’s magnificent The Nashville Sound, which follows 2015’s Something More Than Free. This is a songwriter on a relentless march to greatness.
Jason Isbell, one of the great American singer-dongwriters, returns with The Nashville Sound.
The album was recorded at Nashville’s legendary RCA Studio A and produced by Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb, who produced Isbell’s previous album, Something More Than Free, and his celebrated 2013 breakthrough album Southeastern.
The Nashville Sound features 10 new songs that address a range of subjects that include politics and cultural privilege (‘White Man’s World’), nostalgic longing (‘The Last Of My Kind’), love and mortality (‘If We Were Vampires’), the toxic effect of today’s pressures (‘Anxiety’), the remnants of a break-up (‘Chaos And Clothes’) and finding hope (‘Something To Love’). Songs such as ‘Cumberland Gap’ and ‘Hope The Highroad’ find Jason and his bandmates going back to their rock roots full force.
- Jason Isbell The Nashville Sound CD £12.99 / LP £19.99
Crack-Up is the long-awaited and highly anticipated third album from Fleet Foxes. It comes six years after the 2011 release of Helplessness Blues and nearly a decade since the band’s 2008 self-titled debut. All eleven of the songs on Crack-Up were written by Robin Pecknold. The album was co-produced by Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset, his longtime bandmate, collaborator, and childhood friend.
Crack-Up was recorded at various locations across the United States between July 2016 and January 2017: at Electric Lady Studios, Sear Sound, The Void, Rare Book Room, Avast, and The Unknown. Phil Ek mixed the album, at Sear Sound, and it was mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. Fleet Foxes is Robin Pecknold (vocals, multi-instrumentalist), Skyler Skjelset (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Casey Wescott (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Christian Wargo (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), and Morgan Henderson (multi-instrumentalist).
- Fleet Foxes Crack-Up CD £11.99 / LP £24.99
Ride release their first album in over twenty years!
Produced by legendary DJ, producer and remixer Erol Alkan, Weather Diaries is packed with all the classic elements that made Ride one of the defining bands of the early ’90s. Trembling distortion, beautiful harmonies, pounding rhythms, shimmering soundscapes and great songwriting all combine to make an album that’s ambitious in scope, timeless and thoroughly addictive. The album sees the band reunited with label co-founders Mark Bowen and Dick Green, who worked with Ride during the band’s early years on Creation Records. It also brings the band back together with mixer Alan Moulder (Arctic Monkeys, Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers) who mixed their seminal 1990 album Nowhere and produced its follow-up, Going Blank Again.
The revitalised quartet – Andy Bell, Mark Gardener, Laurence Colbert, and Steve Queralt – reformed and returned to the live scene in 2014, selling out headline tours around the world to a plethora of critical acclaim, as well as show stopping turns at festivals including Coachella, Primavera and Field Day. More than that though, the British music sphere especially has been littered with bands heavily indebted to Ride and their peers. The likes of The Horrors, School Of Seven Bells and labels such as Sonic Cathedral have ensured that shoegaze is a sound that’s still free.
- Ride Weather Diaries CD £12.99 / LP £24.99
How Did We Get So Dark? is the hugely anticipated second album from Brighton’s Royal Blood, following up to their monumental 2014 self-titled debut that was an astonishing breakthrough. They’re an extremely hard-hitting rock duo who create sludgy, dark and visceral anthems.
The band wrote around 50 songs for the album with the motto “anything you’re not proud of, bin it” – with the results proving “way sexier, more confident sounding” than their debut.
Note: the exclusive white LP available only from indie retailers is now out of stock.
- Royal Blood How Did We Get So Dark? CD £11.99 / LP £22.99
Songhoy Blues bring us another album of wonderful afro-funk-pop. Résistance features guest appearances from Elf Kid, a children’s choir, and, most remarkably, punk’s sacred aunt Iggy Pop, and the whole thing flows like liquid gold. Chanting vocals, meaty rhythms, and that light-and-choppy guitar sound.
- Songhoy Blues Résistance CD £13.99 / LP £20.99
In 2013, a 16-year-old Lorde quietly yet confidently asserted herself as the voice of a generation with her full-length debut, Pure Heroine.
Her second album, Melodrama, will, she tweeted, tell “the story of the last 2 wild, fluorescent years of my life.” That story, Lorde says, begins with heartbreak. With husky tones and a new radiant feel to her album – including current hit single, ‘Green Light’ – the 20-year-old singer has produced a rapturous mix of songs putting her once again at the forefront of pop.
- Lorde Melodrama CD £11.99 / LP £23.99
Fake Sugar is Beth Ditto’s first full-length release as a solo artist.
Ditto spent two years writing nearly 80 songs for this album, including some tracks written with producer Jacknife Lee. However, her main collaborator on Fake Sugar was songwriter and producer Jennifer Decilveo. “She was the rollerblades to my roller skates. We’d argue all day long and I loved it.”
In addition to album opener, ‘Fire’, the 12-song album also features a cut entitled ‘Go Baby Go’ that serves as a tribute to late Suicide singer Alan Vega. The singer’s 2014 marriage to her longtime girlfriend also informed Fake Sugar’s lyrics. “This is adulthood, baby,” Ditto added. “You fought for marriage equality, now you gotta live in it.”
- Beth Ditto Fake Sugar CD £11.99 / LP £24.99
You Don’t Own Me Anymore is the latest release from The Secret Sisters: a twelve-song collection of haunting and vocally mesmerising tracks that were written by accident and unintentionally became an album. It’s a cracking collection of folk and country that sounds like it could be plucked from the USA some hundred years ago.
- Secret Sisters You Don’t Own Me Anymore CD £11.99 / LP £18.99
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Releases for 9 June 2017
Our crackers out on 9 June start with Truth Is A Beautiful Thing, the follow-up to London Grammar’s critically acclaimed smash from 2013, If You Wait. Heartbreak is a bit different: Lady Antebellum rented a house together and wrote it while living under the same roof; the result is their most intimate and heartfelt work to date. The Optimist continues this week’s theme of difference: Anathema recorded as a live band in the studio and have produced their darkest, most challenging and unexpected album to date. A midge away from release of the week, Cigarettes After Sex’s self-titled debut album unspools like the most achingly romantic of movies: it’s immersive, cohesive and transporting, with the spirit of Mazzy Star and Red House Painters, which is a very good thing. The collaboration between those two great songwriters Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie began when McVie rejoined Fleetwood Mac for the ‘On With The A Show’ tour; the pair then went into the studio to record new material, the old chemistry reignited and the result is this self-titled album. Revolution Come … Revolution Go highlights the flexible interplay between the four members of Gov’t Mule, making them a living, breathing ensemble; after 20 years their vast reservoir of songs has made them an encyclopedia of great American music. The Magpie Salute are new band comprising former Black Crowes, including Rich Robinson; with the majority of the songs lasting longer than 7 minutes, there is a free-wheeling feel to the album and the result is unmissable.
Sufjan Stevens has provided our release of the week along with Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and James McAlister. Planetarium is a strangely magnificent album that runs from lush piano ballads to prog-rock political anthems via electronic backbeats and classical cadenzas, with Sufjan’s vocals providing the centre of gravity throughout this work.
Planetarium is a concept album that occasionally gives way to ambient interludes and majestic brass chorales, buttressed by a percussive drive that keeps the momentum skyward. The subject of the album is not just the wilderness of outer space, but the interior space of human consciousness and how it engages with divinity, depravity, society and self – what does it mean to be human? This existential question rings clear from the opening lyric: “What’s right and what’s wrong?” The 75 minutes of music that follow provide a complex thesis: to be human is to be a total mess. The result of this creative alliance is a musical and aesthetic journey as far-reaching as its subject: from lush piano ballads to prog-rock political anthems, curious electronic back-beats to classical cadenzas, the vast musical styles seek to explore the diversity and mystery of our cosmos.
The album was co-composed by Sufjan Stevens along with Bryce Dessner, James McAlister, Nico Muhly. Flanked by a string quartet and a consort of seven trombones, this unique collaborative ensemble has assembled an expansive song cycle that explores the Sun, the Moon, the planets and other celestial bodies of our solar system, and beyond, through soundscape, song, science and myth.
In spite of all the experimentation in sound and style, Sufjan’s vocals provide a clear and coherent centre of gravity. The album includes some of his most diverse vocal performances to date (from soft hush to guttural scream), and whether he’s singing through effects pedals, vocoders, auto-tune or not, his voice delivers an ambitious flight map through the cosmos.
- Sufjan Stevens Planetarium CD £13.99 / 2-LP £32.99
Truth Is A Beautiful Thing is the follow-up to London Grammar’s critically acclaimed, platinum selling debut album, If You Wait.
The new album includes the singles ‘Rooting For You’, ‘Big Picture’ and title track, ‘Truth Is A Beautiful Thing’.
The deluxe version (on CD or LP) contains and extra disc featuring 7 exclusive cuts, mixes, demos and live material.
- London Grammar Truth Is A Beautiful Thing CD £11.99 / Deluxe 2-CD £15.99 / LP £19.99 / Deluxe 2-LP £23.99
Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott had a new mission setting aside time to put themselves in new surroundings, and concentrate on writing and exploring musical endeavours with no distractions. They rented a house in Florida, living and working under the same roof, and when the creative process proved successful, the trio set up a second retreat in southern California. The trio had a hand in writing eleven songs on Heart Break, resulting in Lady Antebellum’s most intimate and heartfelt work to date.
Note: The release date and price of the LP are yet to be announced.
- Lady Antebellum Heart Break CD £13.99 / LP £t.b.a.
Anathema have spent the vast majority of their career making music that defies description. Formed in the mid-90s, they have risen to become one of the UK’s most cherished and critically acclaimed rock bands.
Anathema bring their darkest, most challenging and unexpected material to new album, The Optimist. For the first time in years, Anathema recorded an album ‘live’ in the studio, capturing an energy normally only present on stage. A technique that will whet the appetites of Anathema’s global army of ardent disciples, who are well aware of the band’s supreme live power.
- Anathema The Optimist CD £15.99 / CD + DVD £20.99 / LP £25.99
Cigarettes After Sex frontman Greg Gonzalez had a clear vision for his band’s gorgeously cinematic debut album, after the phenomenal online break-out success of ‘Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby’, from the band’s debut EP 1.
As Greg explains: “I wanted it to feel like a complete work, where some of the imagery repeats – like it’s all in the same world. It’s very much a fulfilment of the feelings in the short works.” That sense of fulfilment is richly felt on Cigarettes After Sex, which unspools like the most achingly romantic of movies: immersive, cohesive and transporting. Swooning in the spirit of influences such as Mazzy Star and Red House Painters, its sumptuous songs of love elevate Cigarettes to the ranks of those acts who create worlds of their own.
- Cigarettes After Sex Cigarettes After Sex CD £11.99 / LP £19.99
The collaboration between Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie began three years ago, when McVie rejoined Fleetwood Mac for the group’s ‘On With The Show’ tour. The pair went in to record new material prior to rehearsals for the tour and their natural creative chemistry was reignited. According to Buckingham, “We were exploring a creative process, and the identity of the project took on a life organically. The body of work felt like it was meant to be a duet album. We acknowledged that to each other on many occasions, and said to ourselves, ‘what took us so long?!!’” Working their natural singer-songwriter skills together came easily for the duo. Says Christine McVie, “We’ve always written well together, Lindsey and I, and this has just spiralled into something really amazing that we’ve done between us.”
- Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie CD £11.99 / LP £22.99
Gov’t Mule has showcased its virtuosity, intelligence and breadth over the course of 15 studio and live albums, millions of album and track sales and thousands of performances. The flexible interplay amongst front man Warren Haynes, drummer Matt Abts, keyboardist Danny Louis and bassist Jorgen Carlsson makes them a true living, breathing ensemble. 20 years strong, Gov’t Mule’s vast reservoir of songs has become a human encyclopedia of great American music while adding to that cannon with their signature sound. Revolution Come … Revolution Go is a worthy addition to their canon.
- Gov’t Mule Revolution Come … Revolution Go CD £13.99 / 2-LP £25.99
The Magpie Salute is a new band bringing together former Black Crowes members Rich Robinson, Marc Ford and Sven Pipien. Their eponymous debut album was recorded live in front of a small audience at Applehead Recording in Woodstock, New York, apart from opening track, ‘Omission’, which is a full studio recording. The album is a mix of Black Crowes songs, new tracks and cover versions, which reflect the band’s wide-ranging roots. With half of the songs more than 7 minutes long, there is a musical freedom to the album enabling all the musicians to shine. This is a debut album not to be missed.
- The Magpie Salute The Magpie Salute CD £13.99 / 2-LP £24.99
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Releases for 2 June 2017
Our recommended new releases for 2 June are a fine bunch. Keep It Hid, the second solo album from Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach, is a love letter to his adopted hometown, Nashville. Many of the songs were co-written with the legendary John Prine, and it’s a fine piece of work. Roger Waters’ latest solo album, Is This The World We Really Want?, is a protest album, a series of howls of despair at the world. All credit to Waters – he could easily be coasting, but he has chosen to go less than gently. Witness is the follow-up to Benjamin Booker’s critically acclaimed self-titled debut. Says Benjamin: “I wanted to make an record about the things in my life I never wanted to talk about,” and the result is an honest, compelling listen. Saint Etienne grew up in the Home Counties, and have written 16 new songs about a day in the life of this doughnut of shires that ring the capital. Indie darling Marika Hackman is back with I’m Not Your Man, which has a gutsier sound with real punch courtesy of backing band The Big Moon. Halsey follows her 2015 debut Badlands with Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. Hank Marvin must be one of the most influential guitar players of his generation; his 16th solo album, Without A Word, comprises 14 new recordings which feature Hank’s interpretation of his all-time favourite tunes.
The Counterweight finds one of the UK’s foremost songwriters, Thea Gilmore, looking inward but reflecting on the changes to the world since 2016. It’s a wonderfully mature album full of songs about love, parenthood depression, and our album of the week.
The Counterweight is Thea Gilmore’s 16th album. This new album calls upon the spirit of its predecessor, Ghosts & Graffiti, taking up where it left off. Although never entirely losing the voice of protest, this album also turns inwards with songs about love, parenthood and depression. The record rattles with the rapid change in our social and political landscape that 2016 brought with it.
- Thea Gilmore The Counterweight CD £12.99 / LP £20.99
Waiting On A Song is a love letter to Nashville, which has been home to the Ohio-born Dan Auerbach for some years, and of course home to country music since time began. “Living in Nashville has definitely changed the way I think about music and the way I record it,” the singer and guitarist says. “I didn’t have all of these resources before. I am working with some of the greatest musicians that ever lived.” Chief among those famous collaborators are veteran singer-songwriter John Prine, 70, with whom Auerbach penned seven of the songs on the album. The album follows his 2009 solo debut Keep It Hid.
- Dan Auerbach Waiting On A Song CD £11.99 / LP £24.99
Is This Then Life We Really Want? is a protest album with the coherence of a concept album; a series of howls of despair at a world that allows all kinds of injustice, from extremes of wealth and poverty to the arrival of a ‘nincompoop’ (as Roger Waters calls him on the title track) in the White House.
All credit to Waters: he could easily be coasting on the nostalgia circuit in what is effectively the twilight of his career. Instead, he has chosen to go less than gently, and it’s clear on most of the album who he considers the enemy.
But it’s artfully done: Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich brings a dark, textured atmosphere to the simple acoustica. There are electronic touches, bursts of static, radio and TV voices, news bulletins and so on to heighten the sense of creeping contemporary dread, as well as weeping violins to highlight the drama.
- Roger Waters Is This The Life We Really Want? CD £11.99 / 2-LP £26.99
Witness is the highly anticipated follow-up to Benjamin Booker’s critically acclaimed self-titled debut album.
“I wanted to make a record about the things in my life I never wanted to talk about,” says Booker. “It’s a record about self-exploration, about learning to love yourself and opening yourself up to love others, about choosing the kind of person you want to be, about confronting death and appreciating life. Really it’s about trying to take control from the perspective of someone who has come very close on several occasions to losing all control.”
Note: the LP is on indies-only coloured vinyl.
- Benjamin Booker Witness CD £11.99 / LP £19.99
The Home Counties are an embarrassing place to come from. The name itself suggests that somehow the rest of Britain isn’t ‘home’, not even London. It’s where John Major’s vision of cricket and warm beer was meant to exist, but it’s not really like that at all, and it never has been. The Home Counties are a land of bootleg DVDs at car boot sales, Waitrose bags for life, parking disputes, bored teenagers in semis inventing ghost stories, squaddies causing trouble at all-you-can-eat buffets, train drivers in eyeliner and suburban rebels, a place from which Tony Hancock and Spike Milligan drew inspiration.
Saint Etienne grew up in the Home Counties. Here are sixteen new songs they have written about a day in the life of this doughnut of shires that ring the capital, punctuated by bursts of BBC radio to remind you what time it is, and all connected by train journeys – main lines, branch lines, commutes, escapes.
- Saint Etienne Home Counties CD £12.99 / 2-LP £33.99
Indie favourite Marika Hackman is back with her new album I’m Not Your Man, which sees a transformation into a gutsier sound from backing band The Big Moon, and it packs a real punch. This album looks set to propel Marika into the spotlight in 2017.
- Marika Hackman I’m Not Your Man CD £11.99 / LP £22.99
Hopeless Fountain Kingdom follows Halsey’s 2015 debut Badlands, which catapulted her into the charts top 10 here in UK and to number 2 in the US, having now sold over 2 million albums worldwide.
“Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is one part in the centre of a long narrative that tells the story of two people in love despite the forces trying to keep them apart,” says Halsey. “On its own the song is about two impatient young lovers, but in the context of the hopeless fountain kingdom universe, the stakes are much higher for these two star-crossed lovers.”
- Halsey Hopeless Fountain Kingdom CD £11.99 / LP £24.99
Hank Marvin: the man who defined the sound of a generation releases his 16th solo album, his first since the Top 10 success of the eponymous Hank in 2014. Without A Word comprises 14 new recordings, on which Hank interprets of some of his all-time favourite tunes, along with one new original composition.
Hank Marvin is one of the most influential guitar players of all time. Initially known as the lead guitarist of The Shadows, he has since enjoyed a successful solo career lasting almost 60 years.
- Hank Marvin Without A Word CD £12.99 / LP £17.99
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Releases for 26 May 2017
There are some fabulous new releases for 26 May. We don’t usually include reissues in our top releases, but the 50th anniversary issue of Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band is a bit different! One of the most important albums in pop history has been remixed and reimagined for its birthday, and includes never-before-released takes. The Charlatans’ 13th studio album, Different Days, features an enviable cast of friends including Paul Weller and Johnny Marr. Justin Townes Earle is the son of Steve Earle and the very epitome of an American roots troubadour; his 7th album, Kids In The Street, represents a big step forward and may just be his best. Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind have served up a mighty slab of dirty riff’n’roll with a side of voodoo psych on Supernatural, lovely! Bristol’s finest, Idles, have fulfilled their promise and then some with their debut album, Brutalism: furious, politically charged, confrontational and infectious. This week’s dose of the heavy stuff is No Grave But The Sea from Alestorm – if you enjoyed their past work you will love this one.
Release of the week is Diversions 4: The Songs of Molly Drake by The Unthanks because, well, The Unthanks!
A wistful mother makes some simple home recordings in her family sitting room during the 1950s. Little could she have known that decades later, her daughter would become a successful actress, and her son one of the most poetic and influential songwriters ever. Less still that, more than sixty years later, the dust would be blown off her song collection, firstly in 2013 with the release of her own recordings, and now by The Unthanks, who believe her work is extraordinary enough to rank alongside and independently of her brilliant son, Nick Drake. The result is Diversions 4 – The Songs & Poems of Molly Drake.
The Unthanks have teamed up with Molly Drake’s daughter, actress Gabrielle Drake, who – along with being an invaluable and generous guide to Molly’s work – recorded her mother’s poems for The Unthanks to set to music. So taken were the band by her performances, and by how she brought the poems to life, making them her own as well as serving her mother’s words, that Gabrielle is truly given centre stage for parts of the record, with The Unthanks setting spoken word to music, rather than turning the poems into song. In characteristically adventurous style, The Unthanks have drifted considerably from the ornamentations and voicings of the original songs, and at other points have yielded more faithfully. At the core in both cases lie the emotive sentiments of a unique and unheralded woman.
- The Unthanks Diversions 4: The Songs And Poems Of Molly Drake CD £14.99 / LP £23.99
This release marks the 50th anniversary of what many aficionados consider the greatest ever pop album, and it is packed with extradordinary features.
The single CD features Giles Martin’s new stereo mix (not remaster), complete with the run-out groove “Edit for LP End” dog whistle equivalent 15 kHz tone and garbled speech from the original UK LP.
The deluxe expanded 2-CD adds Martin’s stereo mixes for ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and ‘Penny Lane’, plus previously unreleased alternate takes for each of the album’s 13 tracks, sequenced in the same order as the album.
The super-deluxe box set features:
• CD 1: the new stereo mix by Giles Martin and Sam Okell from the original tapes.
• CDs 2 & 3: 33 additional recordings from the Sgt Pepper studio sessions, mixed for the first time from the four-track session tapes, sequenced in chronological order of their recording dates. These session discs also feature a new stereo mix of ‘Penny Lane’.
• CD 4: the mono version of Sgt Pepper – generally the Beatles aficionado’s preferred version – plus six bonus tracks including what Apple are describing as “the lost version of ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’” and the Capitol Records mono mix of ‘Penny Lane’.
• The DVD and Blu-ray include a ‘fully restored’ version of the 50-minute documentary The Making Of Sgt Pepper from 1992, plus 5.1 surround and hi-res stereo mixes of the album, ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. The content is the same on the DVD and blu-ray, but the latter will offer lossless 5.1 and improved visuals.
• a 144-page book full of rare images, handwritten lyrics and recording notes, two posters and a replica of the original cardboard cut-out insert. These are contained within an outer box designed to look like a period EMI tape box, over which slides the classic Peter Blake cover art of Sgt Pepper.
- The Beatles Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band: Anniversary Edition 4-CD + DVD + Blu-ray Box set £119.99 / CD £11.99 / 2-CD £15.99 / LP £36.99
Different Days is the thirteenth studio album from The Charlatans. Self-produced at the band’s studio in Crewe the album features the core quartet of vocalist Tim Burgess, bassist Martin Blunt, guitarist Mark Collins and keyboard player Tony Rogers along with contributions from an enviable cast of friends from Paul Weller and Johnny Marr to crime writer Ian Rankin and writer/actress Sharon Horgan.
The limited edition LP comes on clear vinyl.
- The Charlatans Different Days CD £12.99 / LP £19.99 / Limited edition LP £20.99
Kids In The Street is the seventh album from American roots troubadour Justin Townes Earle. After marrying, moving to various corners of the country and continuous touring with both full band and solo, Earle made time to reflect on the past few years and find new clarity. With Kids In The Street, he made a conscious decision to work with a producer for the first time in his now decade-long career. Earle made the trip to Omaha, Nebraska to work with Mike Mogis (First Aid Kit, M.Ward, Connor Oberst) at ARC Studios. Together, they hand picked musicians to create a new sound and environment for the songs that speaks to Justin’s roots, musically and personally. This creative collaboration, paired with Justin’s longtime guitarist Paul Niehaus, has resulted in an album that takes a big step forward.
- Justin Townes Earle Kids In The Street CD £12.99 / LP £18.99
Super Natural is the long-awaited debut from Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, and it’s a killer debut of 10 original songs. Fistfuls of dirty riff‘n’roll, with a side of voodoo and psych. Roll over the Revue, it’s time for The Righteous Mind. Singer/guitarist Jim Jones’s distinctive and esteemed musical history has spanned several incarnations including The Jim Jones Revue, Black Moses and Thee Hypnotics. Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, the latest manifestation of Jones’s ever-evolving sonic vision, is his most expansive and ambitious musical effort to date.
- Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind Super Natural CD £12.99 / LP £20.99
Bristol’s finest post-punk polemicals, Idles, have been promising to do great things for some time now, and their debut album Brutalism brilliantly fulfils that promise, and a furious promise at that. Politically charged, refreshingly confrontational and infectiously volatile, Idles are a band like no other. Bringing the unsettling reality of the world we live in into their frantic assault on the senses, they are a band that until now could only be truly understood by witnessing them in a live environment – but with Brutalism it surely feels like they have captured the intensity of that live sound. Bottled up here are the abrasive, memorable lyrics of Joseph Talbot delivered with all of the spite and wry humour he puts across on the stage. Dedicated in part to the loss of his mother, who adorns the record’s cover, and partly to a perceived decimation of society, from the NHS to public services across Britain, Brutalism is a deadly serious indictment on popular culture.
- Idles Brutalism CD £13.99 / LP £17.99
This week’s dose of the heavy stuff is No Grave But The Sea, which will definitely satisfy those who have enjoyed Alestorm’s past work, while likely bringing newcomers into their fanbase. All of the band’s traditional musical mechanics are still present while they succeed in incorporating new techniques into their original sound. There have been plenty of high-profile metal releases by big-name bands this year, but make sure you give this album a go. You should be impressed.
- Alestorm No Grave But The Sea CD £12.99 / 2-CD £16.99 / LP £20.99
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Releases for 19 May 2017
There are some great new albums out on 19 May. We’ve seen Jane Weaver’s new album, Modern Kosmology, described as full of unwaning psychoactive pop energy – what greater recommendation can there be than that? One More Light is different from any other Linkin Park release; we get an unobstructed view into what makes the band tick as people, fathers, husbands, musicians and friends. Erasure’s 17th studio album, World Be Gone, sees the award-winning songwriters in a more reflective mood, giving us a thoughtful examination of the recent global political upheavals; the artwork, for example, shows a ship’s masthead emerging from stormy waters. Steven Van Zandt, longtime guitarist and collaborator with Bruce Springsteen, releases his first solo album in 20 years; Soulfire contains 12 songs, 2 of them co-written by Steven and Bruce. Crooked Teeth is something of a welcome surprise for Papa Roach fans, as it sees them right back on track in the strong run of ever-better work they produced after Infest. The live set Paris really does capture the visual and sonic assault that German industrial metal group Rammstein are capable of conjuring up. Lastly in what feels like a heavy week, Dragonforce have opened out their sound like never before on their seventh studio album, Reaching Into Infinity, capturing the fierce, forlorn and fun with both menace and melody.
Release of the week just has to be Some Kind Of Blue by the wonderful Emily Barker. Pre-order it now and don’t forget to come along and watch Emily perform an intimate set on Saturday 3rd June at 3pm.
Emily Barker’s new album was recorded at Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis with Grammy winning producer Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price) and an all-star cast of Memphis session players. Sweet Kind Of Blue is her first full studio album since 2013’s critically lauded Dear River and marks a new sound for Barker as she returns to the soul and blues influences that first inspired her to become a songwriter and musician.
Emily Barker is best known as the writer and performer of the award-winning theme to BBC crime drama Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh. She has released music as a solo artist as well as with various bands including The Red Clay Halo, Vena Portae and Applewood Road. In 2015 she composed her first full feature film soundtrack for Jake Gavin’s Hector, which won a Scottish BAFTA for its lead actor, Peter Mullan.
“Blues meets country meets gospel … a sweet and tender distillation of Americana influences” – Clash
“Emily Barker has a gift for great melodies” – The Guardian
Please note the indies-only vinyl is extremely limited but we have managed to snag a few, so don’t hang about!
- Emily Barker Sweet Kind Of Blue CD £11.99 / Deluxe 2-CD £15.99 / LP £18.99
Modern Kosmology sees Jane Weaver’s melodic protagonist channeling new depths of creative cosmic energy within. Jane received huge critical acclaim for 2012’s Fallen By Watchbird, and 2015’s exploratory Silver Globe won her unanimous ‘record of the year’ accolades and hefty measures of radio play-listing. Jane Weaver’s unwaning yearning for psychoactive pop energy has just reached a new level of magnetism.
- Jane Weaver Modern Kosmology CD £13.99 / LP £20.99
One More Light is a moment in time. It’s built on personal stories, sweat-stained and reeling from injuries – the product of six voices, each coming clean about their lives and struggles, as if it were the first time. We get an unobstructed view into what makes Linkin Park tick as people, fathers, husbands, musicians, and friends.
- Linkin Park One More Light CD £13.99 / LP £20.99
Erasure’s new album, World Be Gone, follows the band’s recent 30th anniversary celebrations. This is their seventeenth studio album, and is the follow up to 2014’s The Violet Flame. Their new album sees award-winning songwriters Andy Bell and Vince Clarke in a more reflective mood, giving the world and recent political upheavals a thoughtful examination and, as suggested by the painted artwork showing a ship’s masthead rising up from being submerged in the stormy waters, looking forward to the future.
As Vince Clarke explains, “Obviously the current political climate lends itself to lots of ideas.” Andy Bell continues, “I think there’s an underswell of opinion, and people are slowly waking up. I’m hoping that people will take the album in a positive way, that they’ll use it as optimistic rabble-rousing music.”
- Erasure World Be Gone CD £13.99 / LP £21.99
Steven Van Zandt, aka Little Steven, is famous as the longtime guitarist of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, as Silvio on the TV hit series The Sopranos, and as programmer of SiriusXM satellite radio’s acclaimed Underground Garage channel. Soulfire, his first solo album in two decades, comprises 12 songs, including the title track, ‘Saint Valentine’s Day’ and ‘Love On The Wrong Side Of Town’, written by Steven and Bruce Springsteen.
Note: the price and release date of the LP are yet to be announced.
- Little Steven Soul Fire CD £11.99 / LP t.b.a.
In many ways, Crooked Teeth comes as a welcome surprise. After Infest, it seemed Papa Roach could do no wrong. With each album the songs got better, the band tighter and the live shows a more charged and energetic experience. Then, yet again, something happened. Only this time we weren’t quite sure what. After The Paramour Sessions – a cycle for the band cited by many fans as their favourite – concluded, the band went in a direction some felt wasn’t quite as organic as they had been. The Metamorphosis period, and even some thereafter, appeared to be ‘edgy by design’ and failed to resonate with some fans on the same level earlier efforts did.
Now, with Crooked Teeth, it looks like the band have picked up where many felt they left off at their best. The album is pure, powerful and poignant with all the good things that are Papa Roach.
- Papa Roach Crooked Teeth CD £10.99 / Deluxe CD £12.99 / LP £17.99
Swedish director Jonas Åkerlund shot two acclaimed Rammstein concerts at the Palais Omnisports arena in Paris in front of 17,000 fans. Featuring 22 songs from the band’s entire repertoire, the resulting film is not only the most spectacular collection of imagery about the most successful German rock band, but also a masterpiece of music cinema, capturing Rammstein’s energy as a unique visual and sonic experience.
The 2-CD, 2-CD + DVD and 2-CD + Bluray versions each come in an 8-panel digipak with a 28-page booklet. The deluxe vinyl box set 4x180gr blue vinyl LP in 2 gatefold sleeves, plus the 2 CDs and Bluray.
- Rammstein Paris 2-CD £19.99 / 2-CD + DVD £34.99 / -2CD + Bluray £34.99 / 4-LP + Bluray box set £59.99
For their seventh studio album, Dragonforce have opened up their sound like never before, capturing the fierce, forlorn and fun with both menace and melody. Fred Leclercq says: “I think we have proven that playing fast was something we were good at, so this time I wanted to bring even more diversity into our music. It’s great to challenge ourselves instead of staying in a comfort zone, and I really wanted to experiment with Marc’s vocals. I think people are going to be surprised at his brutality!”
Reaching Into Infinity, the first album to feature Gee Anzalone, the Italian drummer, has laid down an insanely impressive performance to provide the perfect backbone to the Dragonforce sound, which of course still boasts the band’s trademark crazy-fast solos, courtesy of guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman.
- Dragonforce Reaching Into Infinity CD £13.99 / CD + DVD £17.99 / LP £21.99
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Releases for 12 May 2017
There are six mighty recommended releases due out on 12 May. The Chris Robinson Brotherhood release their third album in the past 6 months, Betty’s Blends Volume 3, which captures the CRB at their very best during a set of live shows in southern USA. Paramore’s fifth studio album, After Laughter, comes after a 4-year wait and, although recorded in the legendary RCA Studio B in Nashville, it’s guaranteed to sound nothing like country! The Zac Brown Band got the red-hot Dave Cobb to produce Welcome Home, 10 songs on a theme of reflection which return stylistically to their very first album, The Foundation. White Knight is kind of business as usual for Todd Rundgren, i.e. uncategorisable! It’s an incredibly diverse album running all the way from art rock to ambient synth with many a stop in between. Out Of The Dark Room is a selection of some of Max Richter’s most beautiful film soundtracks. Last but not least, Martha Tilston, who will be playing in store on 20 May, releases Nomad, and a belter it is.
Release of the week is A Kind Revolution, the latest from Paul Weller. Each of the 10 songs on this album are destined in their own way to become classics of the Weller canon.
A Kind Revolution features ten absolute classic modern Paul Weller songs. By ‘modern Paul Weller songs’, we mean songs that are instantly recognisable but in no way predictable. He doesn’t make a ‘kind of’ album, he fits together all his influences – rock, R&B, soul, jazz, funk, folk … whatever – and builds a song from them, delivering something that drifts through genres unselfconsciously and at ease. Two great examples of this are two of the most reflective, contemplative songs, ‘Long Long Road’ and ‘Hopper’, which in lesser hands might have been delivered as ballads, but Weller adds so much texture and colour to each that they defy categorisation. With great age comes great wisdom …
- Paul Weller A Kind Revolution CD £11.99 / 3-CD £15.99 / LP £25.99 / 5x10" Super-deluxe limited edition box set £78.99
Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s acclaimed live album series, ‘Betty’s Blends’, returns with Volume 3: Betty’s Self-Rising Southern Blends.
Recorded and mixed live from the soundboard by legendary Grateful Dead archivist and recording engineer Betty Cantor Jackson, this latest edition captures the CRB on a Southern swing through Atlanta, Raleigh and Charleston in November 2015. The 2-CD/5-LP set includes original staple CRB material like ‘Clear Blue Sky’, ‘Roan County Banjo’ and ‘Oak Apple Day’, but focuses on the band’s sprawling selection of cover material ranging from Allen Toussaint’s ‘Get Out Of My Life Woman’ to the Leiber/Stoller classic ‘I’m A Hog For You’, from Bob Dylan’s ‘She Belongs To Me’ to the Slim Harpo rarity ‘The Music’s Hot’.
- Chris Robinson Brotherhood Bettys Self-Rising Southern Blends Volume 3 2-CD £10.99 / 5-LP £49.99
Paramore has announced the eagerly awaited release of their fifth studio album, After Laughter. The band’s first new album in more than four years, After Laughter was recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio B – Paramore’s first time recording in their own beloved hometown. The album is produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen and Paramore’s own Taylor York. After Laughter also marks the return of original member Zac Farro back to the band.
- Paramore After Laughter CD £10.99 / LP t.b.a.
Grammy-Award-winning Zac Brown Band release new album Welcome Home, produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell). The band calls this album not only a return to their roots, but also a return to The Foundation, the band’s debut album that is now 5x platinum. The theme of reflection is echoed throughout the 10-track album. Songs range from the first single, ‘My Old Man’, which paints a poignant picture of the ever-changing relationship between fathers and sons, to ‘Two Places at One Time’, about juggling the conflict between life on the road and the comforts of home, and ‘Roots’, which honours the band’s journey from their humble beginnings. In addition, then band continues their tradition of recording a cover song they all admire, this time with John Prine’s ‘All The Best’. “This is the most personal album we’ve ever done and we’re very proud of it,” says Zac Brown. “Welcome Home.”
- Zac Brown Band Welcome Home CD £10.99 / LP £18.99
Veteran producer, pioneering performer and legendary songwriter Todd Rundgren returns with a brand-new album featuring a stellar line-up of all-star guest performers! White Knight showcases Rundgren’s incredibly diverse range of styles from soulful art rock to ambient synth pop and includes performances from Rundgren’s equally diverse musical companions such as Trent Reznor, Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Joe Walsh (The Eagles), Daryl Hall, Dam Funk, Joe Satriani, Robyn and more!
- Todd Rundgren White Knight CD + DVD £17.99 / LP t.b.a.
Max Richter is at the crossroads of many contemporary artistic languages through a wide variety of collaborations (Tilda Swinton, Robert Wyatt, Future Sound of London, Roni Size). As one might expect from a student of Luciano Berio, his work explores a very wide range of currents and influences. In this universe, film music occupies a privileged position and the variety of filmmakers Richter has worked with reflects the ductility of his inspiration. Regarding the role of music in a film, he once wrote: “I think music is a kind of amniotic fluid and that the film lives in it. Sometimes music can be at the forefront, playing a supportive role without even realizing it, but if you take it away you would miss out on the basics.” Out Of The Dark Room, to be released as a double CD and double LP, features the most beautiful excerpts of the soundtracks to Waltz with Bashir, Sarah’s Key, Wadjda, Disconnect, The Congress, and Testament of Youth.
- Max Richter Out Of The Dark Room 2-CD £12.99 / 2-LP £28.99
With a voice like spiderwebbed hollows and lyrics that inspire and captivate, Martha Tilston has built a large worldwide following and played on some of the world’s most prestigious stages and festivals. She has recorded and released several critically acclaimed albums, gained a nomination for BBC best newcomer, appeared as a guest vocalist for Zero 7, toured internationally and played with some of the world’s most inspiring musicians.
Her new album, Nomad, will invite you to make a fire outside under the stars, dive into a big green moon, fly over a world of robots and humans queuing together for the cinema, dance in a scribbled fever in a downstairs bar, be a fish swimming round a tank planning escape, climb out of the car and lie in the field asking what is the solution for our humanity and this tiny blue pearl we spin on … and to never dwell on the path not taken.
‘She has the power to draw an audience into her world, leaving all those present with a smile, and a few issues to ponder, too.’ – Time Out. ‘She has probably the purest voice I have heard and at times it sent shivers up and down my spine.’ – BBC.
- Martha Tilston Nomad CD £10.99
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Releases for 5 May 2017
The new release juggernaut rolls on relentlessly, and we’ve got 8 mighty fine albums released on 5 May to recommend to you.
From A Room: Volume 1 is Chris Stapleton’s follow-up to the hugely successful Traveller, produced by the fast-becoming-legendary Dave Cobb; if you like modern country, start here! Kasabian have stuffed For Crying Out Loud full of hugely memorable tunes. Pollinator is Blondie’s 11th studio album and is truly befitting of the legendary New York band. Big Bad Luv comes direct from the heart of John Moreland, a songwriter good enough to support Jason Isbell on tour – if you like Jason you will luv John! At The Drive In return after an epic pause of 15 years return with in•ter a•li•a, an album that shivers with intensity. The Afghan Whigs cast a spell on In Spades, which challenges the listener to decode its spectral imagery and dark metaphors. In The Woods is both follow-up and companion piece to Hawkwind’s concept album from last year, The Machine Stops.
Release of the week is Slowdive’s new self-titled album, which manages to nod to their past magnificence without slavishly replicating it. It’s more direct but still beautifully beguiling.
The world has finally caught up with Slowdive. A band whose reach goes far beyond just influencing music is back, with their first new album in 22 years. The album is called Slowdive – self-titled in an echo of their debut EP from 1990 – and is remarkably direct. Deftly swerving what co-vocalist/guitarist Rachel Goswell terms “a trip down memory lane,” these eight new tracks are simultaneously expansive and the sonic pathfinders’ most direct material to date. Self-titled with quiet confidence, Slowdive’s stargazing alchemy is set to further entrance the faithful while beguiling a legion of fresh ears.
Note: The LP is an indies-only coloured vinyl version.
- Slowdive Slowdive CD £11.99 / LP £20.99 / Cassette £7.99
Chris Stapleton’s highly anticipated new album, From A Room: Volume 1, is finally here. This is the first new music from Stapleton since 2015’s breakthrough double-platinum solo debut, Traveller, and will be followed by From A Room: Volume 2 later this year.
From A Room takes its name from Nashville s historic RCA Studio A, where it was recorded during the winter of 2016–17. Once again produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb, Volume 1 features eight original songs as well as a rendition of ‘Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning’, written by Gary P. Nunn and Donna Sioux Farar and made famous by Willie Nelson.
In addition to Stapleton on vocals and guitar and Cobb on acoustic guitar, the album features Morgane Stapleton on harmony vocals as well as longtime band members J.T. Cure on bass and Derek Mixon on drums plus Mickey Raphael on harmonica, Robby Turner on pedal steel and Mike Webb on keys.
- Chris Stapleton From A Room: Volume 1 CD £13.99 / LP £23.99
Kasabian are back with their sixth studio album, For Crying Out Loud: an explosive, career best album brimming with confidence, swagger and huge tunes.
Written and produced by Kasabian wizard Serge Pizzorno, and recorded at the Sergery, his Leicester studio, For Crying Out Loud features 12 tracks that encapsulate everything that makes Kasabian one of this country’s best ever bands. Lead singer Tom Meighan has never sounded so good, wrapping himself around the addictive hooks.
- Kasabian For Crying Out Loud CD £11.99 / 2-CD £13.99 / LP £19.99
Blondie return with their 11th studio album, Pollinator, lighting up 2017 with an incredible new record befitting one of the world’s greatest bands. Pollinator was produced live in the studio by John Congleton (St. Vincent, John Grant, War On Drugs, David Byrne), and was the last album recorded at New York’s legendary Magic Shop studios before their closure.
Blondie’s classic writing duo of Chris Stein and Debbie Harry are at the heart of the album’s creation with an impressive list of songwriters on the project, including Johnny Marr, TV On the Radio’s Dave Sitek, Dev Hynes (Blood Orange, Lightspeed Champion) Adam Johnson aka An Unkindess, Sia and Charli XCX. The recording features appearances from Joan Jett, Laurie Anderson and The Gregory Brothers.
- Blondie Pollinator CD £11.99 / LP £20.99
Big Bad Luv – the new album from John Moreland – is an honest, bruising experience. A record about love, faith and the human condition.
John has been supporting Jason Isbell – if you’re a fan of Jason’s work, check out this album!
- John Moreland Big Bad Luv CD £12.99 / LP £22.99
The music industry sees artists come and go on a regular basis. Plans change, life gets in the way and bands fade away. Occasionally we’re lucky enough to see an important band return from their silence: enter At The Drive In. While the band was quiet, the members (Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Tony Hajjar and Paul Hinojos) were incredibly busy, selling millions of albums, winning Grammys and putting out a lot of quality music with their other projects (The Mars Volta, Antemasque, Gone Is Gone and many more).
After a 15-year break, the band finally returned to the studio to create the follow-up to 2000’s Relationship Of Command. The result, in•ter a•li•a, includes eleven songs that resonate with the classic intensity that fans love, breaking the band’s 15-year drought with something fresh and exciting, that slides right into 2017. The silence is finally broken – resume transmission.
Note: The LP is a coloured-vinyl version.
- At The Drive In in•ter a•li•a CD £11.99 / LP £19.99
In Spades – the forthcoming album by The Afghan Whigs, from which the new song ‘Oriole’ hails – is defined only by its own mystical inner logic. The term means to divine, in a supernatural manner, a prediction of destiny from the random casting of lots: the throwing of dice, picking a card from a deck. From its evocative cover art to the troubled spirits haunting its halls, In Spades casts a spell that challenges the listener to unpack its dark metaphors and spectral imagery.
Note: The LP is an indies-only version.
- The Afghan Whigs In Spades CD £11.99 / LP £24.99
Well, a new studio album by the legendary Hawkwind.
Into the Woods follows the critical acclaim and commercial success of last year’s Top 40 album The Machine Stops. It is in part “a continuation of the story begun in The Machine Stops,” says Hawkwind’s head honcho Dave Brock, “living above the ground and Into the Woods.”.
Warm-up dates for Hawkwind’s tour were dubbed ‘A Glimpse Into Greenness’, which gives some indication of the conceptual and lyrical themes behind the new album.
- Hawkwind Into The Woods CD £12.99 / LP £21.99
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Other releases for 2017
Find releases from 2018 | 2016.