Releases from January–February 2020

Great albums from around the world

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Find releases from 2019.

Also check out some of the great reissues of classic albums.

 

Special pre-sale offers

Low prices that won’t be available after release, so get in early and get a great deal!

 

Pre-sale of the week is Reunions by Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, out on 15 May.

Special pre-sale offer: Nadine Shah – Kitchen SinkSpecial pre-sale offer: Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit – ReunionsSpecial pre-sale offer: Waxahatchee – Saint CloudSpecial pre-sale offer: Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – VisceralsSpecial pre-sale offer: Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott – Manchester CallingSpecial pre-sale offer: Grimes – Miss AnthropoceneSpecial pre-sale offer: Gregory Porter – All RiseSpecial pre-sale offer: Anna Calvi – HuntedSpecial pre-sale offer: The Lovely Eggs – I Am MoronSpecial pre-sale offer: Pearl Jam – Gigaton

Tangerine Dream  |  The Secret Sisters  |  Caribou  |  Real Estate  |  Robert Cray Band  |  Soccer Mommy  |  James Taylor  |  The Orielles  |  Wishbone Ash  |  Deacon Blue  |  Circa Waves  |  Maria McKee  |  Baxter Dury  |  Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott  |  Jonathan Wilson  |  Caroline Rose  |  Nadia Reid  |  Brian Fallon  |  The Orb  |  Simple Minds  |  US Girls  |  Rory Gallagher  |  Porridge Radio  |  Pearl Jam  |  Lilly Hiatt  |  Waxahatchee  |  Anna Calvi  |  Stephen Malkmus  |  The Shires  |  Clannad  |  The Boomtown Rats  |  Rustin Man  |  Alicia Keys  |  Kelsea Ballerini  |  Roger Eno And Brian Eno  |  Frazey Ford  |  Kandace Springs  |  Gerry Cinnamon  |  Ren Harvieu  |  Thundercat  |  Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs  |  Thievery Corporation  |  Gregory Porter  |  The Lovely Eggs  |  Ashley McBryde  |  Dua Lipa  |  Testament  |  Pokey LaFarge  |  Joe Satriani  |  Nightwish  |  Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets  |  DMA’s  |  Rumer  |  The Psychedelic Furs  |  Hayley Williams  |  Lamb Of God  |  Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit  |  Nadine Shah  |  The Levellers

 


 

Jump to: 28 February  |  21 February  |  14 February  |  7 February  |  31 January  |  24 January  |  17 January

 

Releases for 28 February 2020

The first of 28 February’s selections comes from a legend of pop music. It takes an extraordinary artist to re-imagine some of the most beloved songs of the 20th century and make them completely their own, as James Taylor has done with the mesmerising stripped-down guitar arrangements on American Standard. Robert Cray continues to bridge the lines between blues, soul and R&B on That’s What I Heard, recorded at the iconic Capitol Records studios and featuring guests including Ray Parker Jr and Steve Perry. Caribou (Dan Snaith) returns with Suddenly, an album about changing relationships and the most surprising and unpredictable Caribou album to date, though it retains his trademark warmth and technicolour. Color Theory is an uncompromisingly honest self-portrait of mental-health and familial trials that have plagued the 22-year-old Sophie Allison aka Soccer Mommy, capturing the fleeting moments of bliss that make an embattled existence temporarily beautiful. The Main Thing delivers Real Estate’s most inspired and self-aware set of songs to date: full of depth, strangeness, contradictions and lifting hooks, balancing existential, environmental, and political anxieties with fatherly sentiments, self-satirising lyrics, forever-lively guitar lines, and shimmering strings.

Our album of the week is Saturn Returns by The Secret Sisters. Where do you find your resilience in the face of the loss of loved ones and the fragility of time? This album is a reflection of them coming to terms with how to find their power in the face of an unfair world.

  • The Secret Sisters - Saturn Return
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    • The Secret Sisters  Saturn Return  Pre-sale offer CD £10.99 / LP £17.99
  • As we age, we face obstacles that are beyond our control. Some are internal: insecurity, anxiety, fear. Some are external: the loss of loved ones, an unjust system and the fragility of time. Yet the mark of maturity is how you respond when you realise you’re not in control. Where do you find your resilience? Saturn Returns is a reflection of how The Secret Sisters are coming to terms with how to find their power in the face of an unfair world.
  • James Taylor - American Standard
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    • James Taylor  American Standard  Pre-sale offer CD £11.99 / LP £21.99
  • It takes an extraordinary artist to re-imagine some of the most beloved songs of the 20th century and make them completely their own. And that’s precisely what James Taylor has accomplished with his brand-new album, American Standard. Unlike most who have tackled similar material, the beautifully simple, stripped-down arrangements here are based on James’s skilful acoustic guitar work rather than piano, and the effect is mesmerising.
  • Robert Cray Band - That’s What I Heard
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    • Robert Cray Band  That’s What I Heard  Pre-sale offer CD £11.99 / LP £20.99
  • Robert Cray has been bridging the lines between blues, soul and R&B for the past four decades, with five Grammy wins and over 20 acclaimed albums. His latest album, That’s What I Heard, was recorded at the iconic Capitol Records studios and produced by Steve Jordan (Sheryl Crow, Keith Richards, Boz Scaggs). The music is a varied blend of blues, soul, boogaloo and gospel. Guest artists include Ray Parker Jr and Steve Perry.
  • Caribou - Suddenly
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    • Caribou  Suddenly  Pre-sale offer CD 11.99 / LP £20.99
  • In 2014 Caribou (aka Dan Snaith) released Our Love to overwhelming critical acclaim and massive fan support. Now he returns with his seventh studio album, Suddenly, an album about family and the changes we go though as those relationships evolve. This is the most surprising and unpredictable Caribou album to date; though it retains Caribou’s trademark warmth and technicolour, Suddenly is littered with swerves and left turns, and amazes with its yet unheard nuances, samples and hooks.
  • Soccer Mommy - Color Theory
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    • Soccer Mommy  Color Theory  Pre-sale offer CD £10.99 / LP £20.99
  • Color Theory, the new album from Sophie Allison aka Soccer Mommy, is a distillation of hard-won catharsis that confronts the ongoing mental-health and familial trials that have plagued the 22-year-old artist since pre-pubescence. Allison presents listeners with an uncompromisingly honest self-portrait, and reminds us exactly why her critically-acclaimed debut, 2018’s Clean, made her a hero to many. Wise beyond her years, she is a songwriter capable of capturing the fleeting moments of bliss that make an embattled existence temporarily beautiful.
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
  • Real Estate - The Main Thing
      Pre-order
    • Real Estate  The Main Thing  Pre-sale offer CD £10.99 / 2-LP £27.99
  • The Main Thing delivers Real Estate’s most inspired and self-aware set of songs to date. For the first time ever, the band have brought in outside instrumentalists and special guests like Sylvan Esso, whose vocalist Amelia Meath features on first single, ‘Paper Cup’. Across the album’s 13 interrogative tracks – as full of depth, strangeness, and contradictions as they are of lifting hooks – the band balances existential, environmental, and political anxieties with fatherly sentiments, self-satirising lyrics, forever-lively guitar lines, and shimmering strings.
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
 

 

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Releases for 21 February 2020

We have six lovely little rascals due out on 21 February for you. Notes On A Conditional Form finds The 1975 tacking the climate crisis, with a Greta Thunberg call-to-arms album opener and a commitment to use as little plastic as possible, meaning the albums will not be shrink-wrapped. But fear not – plenty of attention has gone into the music! Greg Dulli, frontman of the legendary Afghan Whigs, was inspired by “the models of one-man-band visionaries: Prince and Todd Rundgren” to play most instruments on his debut solo album, Random Desire, producing something that’s 3 parts Greg Dulli, 1 part Afghan Whigs and all parts lovely. From This Place is a record that Pat Metheny has been “waiting to make my whole life. It is a kind of musical culmination, reflecting a wide range of expressions that have interested me over the years.” If you like jazz, this is one for you. Free, tough, uncompromising and supremely obdurate, the English North is the true heart of England, and legendary Saxon frontman Biff Byford is its true heavy-metal bard. With School Of Hard Knocks, he takes on tales and stories from his heart and soil, along with Medieval history, in his first ever solo album. Oh, and it’s available for Southerners too! After two feverishly received albums, the extraordinarily gifted 25-year-old Londoner King Krule adds further depth and substance with Man Alive!, packed full of his trademark sonic ambition and compositional skill, as well as the now-familiar corrosive lyricism and lurid social observation.

Our album of the week is Myopia, the fourth studio release from Agnes Obel, one of the most independent and original artists in contemporary music. Obel completed this album as a one-woman project in her Berlin home studio, placing herself in creative isolation with the removal of all outside influences and distraction. This has resulted in an album with an extraordinary album with a singular vision, and is highly recommended!

  • Agnes Obel - Myopia
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    • Agnes Obel  Myopia  CD £12.99 / LP £24.99
  • Since the release of her debut album, Philharmonics, in 2010, Agnes Obel has been one of the most independent and original artists in contemporary music. Myopia is her fourth studio release, and it follows the same principles as with her previous albums. Completing it as a one-woman project in her Berlin home studio, Obel has been under self-imposed creative isolation with the removal of all outside influences and distraction in the writing, recording and mixing process. This has resulted in an album with an extraordinary album with a singular vision, and is highly recommended!
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
  • The 1975 - Notes On A Conditional Form
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    • The 1975  Notes On A Conditional Form  CD £11.99 / 2-LP £30.99
  • Notes On A Conditional Form is the follow-up to The 1975’s Brit Award Album of the Year A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. The album features lead single ‘People’ and the Greta Thunberg call-to-arms album opener, ‘The 1975’.
  • The band have worked hard to use as little plastic as possible in the manufacture of the product; as such the albums will not be shrink-wrapped. For those for whom this all a little bit much, fear not as plenty of attention has gone into the music!
  • Note: there will be a limited-edition coloured vinyl LP, available only from record shops.
  • Greg Dulli - Random Desire
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    • Greg Dulli  Random Desire  CD £11.99 / LP £19.99
  • Greg Dulli, frontman of the legendary Afghan Whigs, releases his debut solo album, Random Desire. Dulli, who played most of the instrumentation on the record, was inspired by “the models of one-man-band visionaries: Prince and Todd Rundgren”. He has produced an album that’s 3 parts Greg Dulli, 1 part Afghan Whigs and all parts lovely.
  • Pat Metheny - From This Place
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    • Pat Metheny  From This Place  CD £12.99 / LP £27.99
  • Of his new record, From This Place, Pat Metheny says: “This is one of the records I have been waiting to make my whole life. It is a kind of musical culmination, reflecting a wide range of expressions that have interested me over the years, scaled across a large canvas, presented in a way that offers the kind of opportunities for communication that can only be earned with a group of musicians who have spent hundreds of nights together on the bandstand.” I’m not sure exactly what that means but I have heard the album, and if you like jazz this is one for you.
  • Biff Byford - School Of Hard Knocks
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    • Biff Byford  School Of Hard Knocks  CD £12.99 / LP £25.99
  • Free, tough, uncompromising and supremely obdurate, the English North is everything you saw in Game Of Thrones and more. It is the true heart of England, the region where its soul resides, and Biff Byford has earned the right to be considered its true heavy-metal bard. With School Of Hard Knocks, the legendary Saxon frontman takes on not just tales and stories from his heart and soil, but also investigates the Middle Ages and Medieval history overall in his first ever solo album. Oh, and it’s available for Southerners too!
  • King Krule - Man Alive
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    • King Krule  Man Alive   CD £11.99 / LP £25.99
  • After two feverishly received albums as King Krule, plus another low-key outing under his own name, the extraordinarily gifted 25-year-old Archy Marshall from Peckham in south London adds further depth and substance to his oeuvre with another wondrous long-player. Man Alive! arrives packed full of his trademark sonic ambition and compositional skill, as well as the now-familiar corrosive lyricism and lurid social observation.
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
 

 

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Releases for 14 February 2020

We start off 14 February’s recommendations with And It’s Still Alright, the first solo record by Nathaniel Rateliff since his explosive debut with The Night Sweats: an intensely personal 10-song album of vibrant country-blues, badland ballads, ornate Americana and jazz-inflected R&B. Following a delayed release, Gary Moore’s superb 2009 performance Live From London makes its second appearance in our weekly picks. 10 years later, this never-before-released one-off club show at the Islington Academy is finally with us. New Empire Vol. 1, the sixth studio album from Californian rap-rock outfit Hollywood Undead, contains nine high-energy tracks in which the band adopt a heavier, hard-rock sound. Tindersticks’ new EP, See My Girl, floats in a dim vastness, revelling in the existentialism and singularity of being human; it’s a companion-piece to No Treasure But Hope about isolation, tourism, migration, and about the beauty and terror of the world. And Moses Boyd – one half of acclaimed British jazz duo Binker And Moses – releases Dark Matter, a landmark release on which the raw energy of grime, Afrobeat and rolling club rhythms combine with the freewheeling, collaborative spirit of jazz.

Our album of the week is The Slow Rush, a deep dive by Australian singer-songwriter Tame Impala (Kevin Parker) into the oceans of time, conjuring the feeling of a lifetime in a lightning bolt, of major milestones whizzing by while you’re looking at your phone. It’s a paean to creation and destruction and the unending cycle of life.

  • Tame Impala - The Slow Rush
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    • Tame Impala  The Slow Rush  CD £12.99 / 2-LP £27.99
  • The Slow Rush, the fourth studio album by Australian singer-songwriter Tame Impala (Kevin Parker), was recorded between Los Angeles and Parker’s studio in his home town of Fremantle, Australia. This is Parker’s deep dive into the oceans of time, conjuring the feeling of a lifetime in a lightning bolt, of major milestones whizzing by while you’re looking at your phone. It’s a paean to creation and destruction and the unending cycle of life.
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl, one disc red and the other light blue.
  • Nathaniel Rateliffe - And It’s Still Alright
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    • Nathaniel Rateliffe  And It’s Still Alright  CD £12.99 / LP £22.99
  • And It’s Still Alright is the first solo album in almost seven years from Americana-soul star Nathaniel Rateliff. It’s quieter and more reflective than the exuberant soul with which his band The Night Sweats made their name, but still has the same urgency and indelible appeal. The album explores themes of love, loss and perseverance: “I think this album is a reminder that we all go through hardship, but regardless of the hardship everything ends up where it’s supposed to. I still continue to live, and I still continue to find joy. I think that’s the theme of the record.
  • Note: the LP will be available on indies-only ocean-green vinyl.
  • Gary Moore - Live From London
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    • Gary Moore  Live From London  CD £12.99 / Deluxe CD £18.99 / LP £23.99
  • Live From London was recorded on 2 December 2009, just fourteen months before Gary Moore’s tragic death aged 58. On that night, the fabled guitarist played a special one-off club show at the Islington Academy. By turns fierce and moving, this release provides a fitting epitaph to a great musician. Now, 10 years later, this never-before-released recording is with us.
  • Hollywood Undead - New Empire Vol. 1
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    • Hollywood Undead  New Empire Vol. 1  CD £10.99 / LP £17.99
  • New Empire Vol. 1, the sixth studio album from Californian rap-rock outfit Hollywood Undead, contains nine high-energy tracks in which the band adopt a heavier, hard-rock sound. “Our goal from the outset was to make music that stands alone from our other albums, yet seamlessly fits with what we’ve made before,” says Johnny 3 Tears about the album. “I don’t want our fans to ever get comfortable with us. I want our fans to expect something different. I want them to broaden their horizons with us.
  • Tindersticks - See My Girl
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    • Tindersticks  See My Girl  12" EP £14.99
  • While many of its compositions are soft, enveloping soundscapes, much of See My Girl, the new EP by Tindersticks, floats in a dim vastness, revelling in the existentialism and singularity of being human. Very much a companion-piece to No Treasure But Hope, the EP is about isolation, tourism, migration, and about the beauty and terror of the world. “It was written on Ithaca,” says Stuart Staples, “and, from the perspective of a small island, looking out with wonder and apprehension across the sea and beyond.
  • Moses Boyd - Dark Matter
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    • Moses Boyd  Dark Matter  CD £12.99 / LP £23.99
  • Moses Boyd – one half of acclaimed British jazz duo Binker And Moses – releases his first full solo effort. Dark Matter is a landmark record, a producer album by a young auteur, threading several thrilling musical traditions into a bold new tapestry: the raw energy of grime and Afrobeat and the rolling club rhythms of the London underground combined with the freewheeling creativity and collaborative spirit of his jazz training.
 

 

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Releases for 7 February 2020

7 February’s super six starts with five-time Grammy Award-winning Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees Green Day, whose thirteenth studio album, Father Of All…, proves they are still the masters of catchy stadium singalongs. LP5, the imaginatively titled fifth album from revered songwriter John Moreland, elevates his masterful and poetic lyrics with stunning production, creating his most powerful work to date. The Cadillac Three, Nashville’s most versatile band, add a touch of heavy funk to their country-rock sound on Country Fuzz, while continuing to funnel Southern-to-the-core sensibilities into their own catalogue. Stone Temple Pilots embark upon a new sonic adventure with Perdida, their first-ever acoustic album, whose 10 deeply personal songs weave introspective lyrics together with unexpected instruments to take listeners on an emotional and musical journey through letting go and starting over. Multi-award-winning folk singer Seth Lakeman explores the voyage of the Mayflower and the birth of the modern USA on A Pilgrim’s Tale, a stirring and beautiful record narrated by the actor Paul McGann and featuring a host of guest performers including Cara Dillon, Benji Kirkpatrick, Ben Nicholls and Seth’s father Geoff.

Our album of the week is There Is No Other from Scottish singer-songwriter, cellist and composer Isobel Campbell, previously successful with both Scottish indie-pop band Belle & Sebastian and Mark Lanegan. On this album, however, she is emphatically rowing her own boat and, in doing so, she has produced a career high.

  • Isobel Campbell - There Is No Other
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    • Isobel Campbell  There Is No Other  CD £12.99 / LP £24.99
  • There Is No Other is the latest release from Scottish singer-songwriter, cellist and composer Isobel Campbell, who has previously had success with both Scottish indie-pop band Belle & Sebastian and Mark Lanegan. On this album, however, she is emphatically rowing her own boat and, in doing so, she has produced a career high.
  • Green Day - Father Of All
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    • Green Day  Father Of All  CD £12.99 / LP £20.99
  • Five-time Grammy Award-winning Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees Green Day unleash their thirteenth studio album, Father Of All…, proving themselves still the masters of catchy stadium singalongs.
  • Note: the LP is available on exclusive indies-only coloured vinyl.
  • John Moreland - LP5
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    • John Moreland  LP5  CD £11.99 / LP £19.99
  • Critically acclaimed and revered songwriter John Moreland is set to release his fifth solo album, the imaginatively titled LP5. This is the first time that Moreland has worked with an outside producer, and the elevated and brilliant production by Matt Pence (Jason Isbell, The Breeders, Sarah Jaffe) provides a stunning backdrop for Moreland’s masterful and poetic lyrics, creating his most powerful work to date.
  • The Cadillac Three - Country Fuzz
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    • The Cadillac Three  Country Fuzz  CD £12.99 / 2-LP £28.99
  • The Cadillac Three have proved they are Nashville’s most versatile band with their instinctive sonic tendencies. The trio of singer/guitarist Jaren Johnston, drummer Neil Mason and lap-steel player Kelby Ray have been performing together for over a decade and adding to their loyal following. On their fourth album, Country Fuzz, the musical co-conspirators further their country-rock sound while also exploring heavy funk on some tracks, and continuing to funnel Southern-to-the-core sensibilities into their own catalogue.
  • Funnelling Southern-to-the-core sensibilities into their catalogue and known for their unpredictable live shows, TC3 was named Best New Band at the 2014 UK Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards and received a 2019 CMA International Award nomination for International Artist Achievement. “Like Kings of Leon before them, they’re poised for their first big break in the UK – where they’ve sold out every headlining show for nearly two years – before conquering their US home turf,” heralded Rolling Stone.
  • Stone Temple Pilots - Perdida
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    • Stone Temple Pilots  Perdida  CD £12.99 / LP £21.99
  • Stone Temple Pilots embark upon a new sonic adventure with Perdida, the band’s first-ever acoustic album, which features 10 deeply personal songs that weave introspective lyrics together with unexpected instruments to take listeners on an emotional and musical journey through letting go and starting over.
  • Seth Lakeman - A Pilgrim’s Tale
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    • Seth Lakeman  A Pilgrim’s Tale  CD £12.99 / LP £25.99
  • If you’d never heard anything about the Mayflower and the birth of the modern USA, these words and music could be your primer,” says multi-award-winning folk singer Seth Lakeman of his new album A Pilgrim’s Tale. This year marks four centuries since the Mayflower departed the UK for America, and this stirring and beautiful record is narrated by the actor Paul McGann and features a host of guest performers including Cara Dillon, Benji Kirkpatrick, Ben Nicholls and Seth’s father Geoff Lakeman. Seth will be performing a selection of UK concerts at locations significant to the Mayflower tale to accompany the album’s release.
 

 

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Releases for 31 January 2020

31 January’s smashers kick off with the magnificent Torres (aka Mackenzie Scott), whose fourth album, Silver Tongue, is a full-scale realisation of the world that she has created in her previous work: her voice fervent, her lyrics stirring and unyielding as she draws from both the divine and the everyday. Ben Watt, one half of Everything But The Girl, releases Storm Damage, a solo personal journey through anxiety and change cut through with an insistent defiance that is sonically adventurous, lyrically detailed and engaged. Blossoms’ latest, Foolish Loving Spaces, is a romantic page-turner of light and shade that showcases Tom Ogden’s increasingly direct lyrical range, for which the band provides divergent instrumental moods, widescreen sound and fluidly danceable grooves. Former Soft Cell frontman Marc Almond joins forces once again with producer/pianist Chris Braide on Chaos And A Dancing Star, on which he deals with hope surviving amid darkness and depression.

Our album of the week is The Unraveling, the 12th studio album from one of America’s most important bands, Drive-By Truckers, the result of three years doing battle with deep pools of writer’s block: “How do you write about the daily absurdities when you can’t even wrap your head around them in the first place? I think our response was to focus at the core emotional level. More heart and less cerebral perhaps.

  • Drive-By Truckers - The Unraveling
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    • Drive-By Truckers  The Unraveling  CD £11.99 / LP £21.99
  • Drive-By Truckers’ 12th studio album, The Unraveling – their first in more than three years – was recorded at the legendary Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis. Co-founding singer/songwriter/guitarists Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood both spent much of the past three years doing battle with deep pools of writer’s block. “How do you put these day to day things we’re all living through into the form of a song that we (much less anybody else) would ever want to listen to?” asks Hood. “How do you write about the daily absurdities when you can’t even wrap your head around them in the first place? I think our response was to focus at the core emotional level. More heart and less cerebral perhaps.
  • Torres - Silver Tongue
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    • Torres  Silver Tongue  CD £12.99 / LP £24.99
  • Silver Tongue, the fourth album from the magnificent Torres (aka Mackenzie Scott), is a full-scale realisation of the world that she has created in her previous work. Even when singing in more subdued tones, Scott’s voice is fervent, her lyrics stirring and unyielding as she draws from both the divine and the everyday. It’s also the first Torres record produced solely by Scott.
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
  • Ben Watt - Storm Damage
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    • Ben Watt  Storm Damage  CD £12.99 / LP £20.99
  • Over four decades, Ben Watt has maintained a committed forward-looking course, from the ardent echo-drenched folk of his early solo work with Robert Wyatt, through seventeen years as musical mainspring and co-lyricist with Tracey Thorn in the best-selling Everything But the Girl, to his more recent mid-life solo albums, the award-winning Hendra (2014) and Fever Dream (2016). Storm Damage, Watt’s fourth solo album, is sonically adventurous, lyrically detailed and engaged; written and produced by Watt himself, this is a personal journey through anxiety and change cut through with an insistent defiance.
  • Blossoms - Foolish Loving Spaces
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    • Blossoms  Foolish Loving Spaces  CD £12.99 / Deluxe CD £14.99 / LP £21.99
  • Foolish Loving Spaces is the follow-up to Blossoms’ 2018 album Cool Like You. Tom Ogden’s increasingly direct lyrical range turns album number three into a romantic page-turner of light and shade, while its divergent moods are supplied by Myles Kellock’s piano and keyboard lines, careering from urgent stabs of TV game-show-theme synth to more classic, rolling notes. The record’s instrumental colour and widescreen sound is provided by pedal steel/lead guitarist Josh Dewhurst, while Joe Donovan on drums and Charlie Salt on bass bring fluidly danceable grooves throughout, complemented on occasion by a wall of gospel harmony.
  • Marc Almond - Chaos And A Dancing Star
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    • Marc Almond  Chaos And A Dancing Star  CD £12.99 / LP £22.99
  • Former Soft Cell frontman Marc Almond’s 26th solo album, Chaos And A Dancing Star, sees him join forces once again with producer/pianist Chris Braide, who worked with him five years back on The Velvet Trail. Almond’s themes on this record deal with hope surviving amid darkness and depression.
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
 

 

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Releases for 24 January 2020

24 January’s 6 lovelies start with Wolf Parade’s fifth album, Thin Mind, whose post-apocalyptic and dystopian narratives emerged while working at Risqué Disque, a studio housed in a stone barn in the middle of the woods. Navarasa: Nine Emotions is the transporting third album by Yorkston/Thorne/Khan, which has at its heart the nine (nava) emotions or sentiments (rasa) of the arts. Wire continue to be astonishingly forward-looking for such a long-established act, and Mind Hive has no problem vaulting over the high bar set by 2017’s Silver/Lead. Career retrospective The Strange Ones 1994–2008 reminds us how good Supergrass were (and still are), as they reform after a ten-year haitus. And Elton John’s seminal performance Live From Moscow 1979 with percussionist Ray Cooper finally gets a full release; it’s a sensation from start to finish, and Elton himself says it was one of his best-ever concerts.

Our release of the week is Hotspot, the last of the trilogy of albums produced by Stuart Price for Pet Shop Boys. Recording the album in Hansa Studios in Berlin has added a new dimension to their trademark sound.

  • Pet Shop Boys - Hotspot
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    • Pet Shop Boys  Hotspot  CD £12.99 / LP £25.99
  • Hotspot is the last instalment of the trilogy of Pet Shop Boys albums produced by Stuart Price, following Electric in 2013 and Super in 2016. Hotspot was mostly recorded in Hansa Studios, Berlin, and mixed at The Record Plant, Los Angeles. Pet Shop Boys say: “We’ve written much of our music over the last ten years in Berlin and it was an exciting experience to work on this album in the legendary Hansa studios there and add a new dimension to our sound.
  • Wolf Parade - Thin Mind
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    • Wolf Parade  Thin Mind  CD £12.99 / LP £22.99
  • Wolf Parade’s fifth album, Thin Mind, has sci-fi, post-apocalyptic and dystopian narratives interwoven throughout. These themes emerged while working at Risqué Disque, which Dan Boeckner jokingly describes as a Dutchman’s failed utopia, a problematic structure with a post-apocalyptic vibe: the studio is housed in a stone barn hand-built by a Dutchman in the middle of the woods, using local materials.
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
  • Yorkston/Thorne/Khan - Navarasa: Nine Emotions
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    • Yorkston/Thorne/Khan  Navarasa: Nine Emotions  CD £11.99 / 2-LP £28.99
  • Navarasa: Nine Emotions is Yorkston/Thorne/Khan’s third release, and takes their journey many, many leagues on. At the heart of YTK’s transporting new album is the navarasa; the nine (nava) emotions or sentiments (rasa) of the arts. This central unifying underpinning is a centuries-old organising principle. The individual artistic emotions range from shringara (love, beauty) through hasya (laughter, mirth, comedy), raudra (anger), karuna (sorrow, compassion or mercy), bibhatsya (disgust), bhayanaka (horror, terror), veera (heroism, courage), adbutha (surprise, wonder) to shanta (peace, tranquillity).
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
  • Wire - Mind Hive
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    • Wire  Mind Hive  CD £13.99 / LP £20.99
  • Wire exhibit little inclination to look back – rather, they remain resolutely focused on producing music which is smart, vital and defiantly modern. Mind Hive is the group’s first newly recorded material since 2017’s Silver/Lead. That album garnered rave reviews and career best sales. Yet, if Silver/Lead set the bar pretty high, Mind Hive seems to have no problem vaulting over it. It is difficult to understand quite how a group that has been operating for such a long period is still able to produce such exciting and essential work. And yet here we are …
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
  • Supergrass - The Strange Ones 1994–2008
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    • Supergrass  The Strange Ones 1994–2008  CD £12.99 / LP £24.99
  • Formed in Oxford in 1993, Supergrass went on to sell millions of albums, including six top ten albums and ten top 20 singles. After a ten-year haitus, the band have re-formed. Career retrospective The Strange Ones reminds us how good they were (and still are) and charts their success with classics from 1994 to 2008.
  • Elton John with Ray Cooper - Live From Moscow 1979
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    • Elton John with Ray Cooper  Live From Moscow 1979  2-CD £15.99 / 2-LP £30.99
  • 40 years after Elton John became the first major Western pop star to play the USSR, the seminal performance Live From Moscow 1979 with percussionist Ray Cooper finally gets a full release. A sensation from start to finish, with pared-down, unique versions of Elton classics like ‘Daniel’, ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’ and ‘Bennie And The Jets’, plus cover versions of ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’, ‘Get Back’ and ‘Back In The USSR’, the 1979 Russian tour has gone down in history as one of the landmark moments in rock history as well as being a personal career highlight for Elton, who says: “It was one of the most memorable and happy tours I have been on. The last show was probably one of the best concerts I’ve ever given in my life.
 

 

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Releases for 17 January 2020

Our super six for 10 & 17 January start with Courteeners, one of the last old-fashioned Big British Guitar Bands, who scrapped an album’s-worth of songs and then created the bold but ambiguously titled More. Again. Forever. Mercury Prize-nominated British post-punk group The Big Moon are an enormous lungful of fresh air, unleashing song after song fizzing with melody and charm on their second album Walking Like We Do (out on 10 Jan). Nada Surf’s ninth studio album, Never Not Together, is a wide-ranging collection of catchy rock songs with sharply drawn yet tenderly felt lyrics. British indie rock band Bombay Bicycle Club’s fifth, Everything Else Has Gone Wrong, is an album for anyone who’s ever turned to music in a time of crisis, whether personal or political. Pinegrove’s new album, Marigold, begins with a breath and ends with a shimmering exhalation, and is an expanded take on the blend of alt-country, indie rock and cerebral humanism that’s inspired the band’s ardent fan community.

Our album of the week is Making A New World (out on 10 Jan), a 19-track song cycle by Field Music about the after-effects of the First World War, which grew from a project for the Imperial War Museum and includes modern concerns such as air traffic control and gender reassignment surgery.

  • Field Music - Making A New World
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    • Field Music  Making A New World  CD £11.99 / LP £22.99
  • Making A New World is a 19-track song cycle by Field Music about the after-effects of the First World War. But this is not an album about war and it is not, in any traditional sense, an album about remembrance. There are songs here about air traffic control and gender reassignment surgery. There are songs about Tiananmen Square and about ultrasound. There are even songs about Becontree Housing Estate and about sanitary towels. The songs grew from a project the band undertook for the Imperial War Museum and were first performed at their sites in Sanford and London in January 2019.
  • Note: the LP will be available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
  • Note: this album will be released on 10 January.
  • Courteeners - More. Again. Forever.
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    • Courteeners  More. Again. Forever.  CD £12.99 / LP £25.99
  • The Courteeners, as much maligned as worshiped, are undoubtedly one of the very last of the old-fashioned Big British Guitar Bands. Having completely scrapped an album’s-worth of songs, Liam Fray and his faithful lieutenants created their sixth studio album and have given it the bold but ambiguous title More. Again. Forever.
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
  • The Big Moon - Walking Like We Do
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    • The Big Moon  Walking Like We Do  CD £11.99 / LP £21.99
  • British post-punk group The Big Moon, fronted by Juliette Jackson, are an enormous lungful of fresh air. Their Mercury Prize-nominated debut, Love In The 4th Dimension, unleashed song after song fizzing with melody and charm. Walking Like We Do, their second album, was recorded in Atlanta alongside Grammy-winning producer Ben H. Allen III (M.I.A./Deerhunter/Bombay Bicycle Club).
  • Note: this album will be released on 10 January.
  • Nada Surf - Never Not Together
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    • Nada Surf  Never Not Together  CD £12.99 / LP £20.99
  • With their ninth studio album, Nada Surf – Matthew Caws, Daniel Lorca, Ira Elliot, and their long-time friend and collaborator Louie Lino – continue to pursue their humanistic vision of the world through hooky, catchy rock songs with sharply drawn yet tenderly felt lyrics. Never Not Together is a wide-ranging collection of songs that display the group’s ability to evoke and reflect grand and intricately wrought emotions, whether through sweeping guitar solos or hushed-whisper vocals.
  • Bombay Bicycle Club - Everything Else Has Gone Wrong
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    • Bombay Bicycle Club  Everything Else Has Gone Wrong  CD £12.99 / LP £20.99 / Deluxe 2-LP £25.99
  • Everything Else Has Gone Wrong, the fifth studio album by the British indie rock band Bombay Bicycle Club, comes nearly six years after the chart-topping So Long, See You Tomorrow released back in 2014. About the record’s title, the band said: “This is an album for anyone who’s ever turned to music in a time of crisis, whether personal or political. It’s about the solace one can get from listening to music or playing music when everything else has gone wrong. It’s about finding kernels of hope and renewal in dire situations.” Bombay Bicycle Club have continued to grow, develop and evolve since the release of their debut album, I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose, back in 2009 when they signalled their arrival as young teenagers. Rarely in recent years has there been a British guitar band who have the craft and ability to avoid categorisation whilst uniting hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe. With an innate ear for melody and invention, the four-piece are a very welcome return to the fold just as British guitar music makes a timely renaissance.
  • Pinegrove - Marigold
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    • Pinegrove  Marigold  CD £11.99 / LP £19.99
  • Pinegrove’s new album begins with a breath and ends with a shimmering exhalation. In between is Marigold, an urgent, multivalent meditation – and an expanded take on the blend of alt-country, indie rock and cerebral humanism that’s inspired the band’s ardent fan community. Marigold offers what songwriter Evan Stephens Hall calls a “heart-first” perspective. Those familiar with Pinegrove will recognise signature elements of the band’s sound: literary yet conversational lyrics, geometrically interlocking guitars, the dynamic shifting shadows of rhythm and structure. But this effort marks the most spacious, bold, and well defined iteration of the project yet.
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
 

 

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Other releases for 2020

  • December
  • November
  • October
  • September
  • August
  • July
  • June
  • May
  • April
  • March

Find releases from 2019.

 

 

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