Releases from May–June 2023

Great albums from around the world

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Find releases from 2024 | 2022.

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

 

The hottest pre-sale releases

Pre-sale of the week is Dance, No One’s Watching by Ezra Collective, out on 27 September.

Special pre-sale offer: Ezra Collective – Dance, No One’s WatchingSpecial pre-sale offer: Lady Blackbird – Slang SpiritualsSpecial pre-sale offer: Jon Hopkins – RitualSpecial pre-sale offer: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Wild GodSpecial pre-sale offer: Fontaines D.C – RomanceSpecial pre-sale offer: John Grant – The Art of the LieSpecial pre-sale offer: The The – EnsoulmentSpecial pre-sale offer: Katy J Pearson – Someday, NowSpecial pre-sale offer: London Grammar – The Greatest LoveSpecial pre-sale offer: David Gilmour – Luck and Strange

Click here to see all our current pre-sale offers

 

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Releases for 30 June 2023

30 June’s bangers open with Chaos for the Fly, the debut solo album from Fontaines D.C’s Grian Chatten, on which he occupies a completely different headspace from his work with the band, producing his most poetic work yet. The Endless Coloured Ways is a collection of songs by legendary singer-songwriter Nick Drake, performed and recorded by over 30 stellar artists from a range of backgrounds, genres, age groups and audiences, each of whom offers their own unique take on a timeless classic. The Japanese House’s second studio album, In the End It Always Does, lives in the contradictory: beginnings and endings, obsession and mundanity, falling in love and falling apart; how you can have insane dramatic thoughts that feel so real at the time, but later look back in fondness to your entire life being ruined. Ingenious Devices features reworked versions, featuring a string section, of a trilogy of epic Big Big Train tracks – ‘East Coast Racer’, ‘Brooklands’ and ‘Voyager’ – about how mankind has used ingenuity to extend its reach by the development and deployment of technology, plus a previously unreleased orchestral piece called ‘The Book of Ingenious Devices’ and a live version of ‘Atlantic Cable’ recorded on tour last year. On Destination Düsseldorf, Scotland’s legendary Skids use Europe as an ongoing inspiration, from the beauty of the Renaissance to the savagery of many wars; the new album follows in the footsteps of 1979’s Days in Europa as a celebration of friendship and shared experiences.

Our release of the week comes from Lucinda Williams, who has used music to drive her recovery from a stroke, and her stunning sixteenth studio album, Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart, brims over with some of the best work of her career. Her Grammy-winning songwriting and distinctive vocals are undiminished.

  • Lucinda Williams - Stories From a Rock n Roll Heart
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    • Lucinda Williams  Stories From a Rock n Roll Heart 
  • Music has got Lucinda Williams through her darkest days. It’s been that way since she was growing up amid family chaos in the Deep South, as she recounts in her candid new memoir, Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You. Over the past two years, it’s been the force driving her recovery from the debilitating stroke she suffered in November 2020 at the age of 67. And her masterful, multi-Grammy-winning songwriting has never deserted her. Her stunning sixteenth studio album, Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart, brims over with some of the best work of her career. And though Williams can no longer play her beloved guitar – a constant companion since the age of 12 – her distinctive vocals sound as good as ever.
  • Grian Chatten - Chaos for the Fly
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    • Grian Chatten  Chaos for the Fly 
  • Chaos for the Fly is the debut solo album from Grian Chatten, vocalist of Dublin’s critically acclaimed band Fontaines D.C. Rare moments of respite from a relentless touring schedule afforded Chatten the opportunity to start work on something for himself, occupying a completely different headspace from his hugely successful work within the band. Co-produced by longstanding producer Dan Carey, the album is arguably the most poetic work we’ve heard from Chatten. Each song here has a sweep of colour and textures that breathe life into his lucid tales. Over its nine tracks, Chaos for the Fly is a record that takes in all of life’s rich emotions, transporting the you a place you not only want to visit, but will find yourself returning to again and again.
  • Various Artists - The Endless Coloured Ways: The Songs Of Nick Drake
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    • Various Artists  The Endless Coloured Ways: The Songs Of Nick Drake 
  • The Endless Coloured Ways is a collection of songs by legendary singer-songwriter Nick Drake, performed and recorded by over 30 stellar artists from a range of backgrounds, genres, age groups and audiences. From Fontaines D.C to Guy Garvey, from Aurora to Feist, each artist offers their own unique take on a timeless classic. Also included on this magical record are Let’s Eat Grandma, Bombay Bicycle Club, Aldous Harding, Emeli Sande and Ben Harper, to name just a few more.
  • The Japanese House - In The End It Always Does
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    • The Japanese House  In The End It Always Does 
  • The Japanese House’s second studio album, In the End It Always Does, which features recent single ‘Boyhood’, lives in the contradictory: beginnings and endings, obsession and mundanity, falling in love and falling apart. It’s about that desperate feeling when someone leaves you and the disbelief that they could. It’s funny you could have those kind of insane dramatic thoughts that feel so real at the time, but that you can later by some miracle look back in fondness to your entire life being ruined. It all circles back around.
  • Big Big Train - Ingenious Devices
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    • Big Big Train  Ingenious Devices 
  • Ingenious Devices features new versions of a trilogy of revered, epic Big Big Train tracks – ‘East Coast Racer’, ‘Brooklands’ and ‘Voyager’ – about how mankind has used ingenuity to extend its reach by the development and deployment of technology. The new versions of these three tracks feature an elite 17-piece string section recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. Apart from the late David Longdon’s lead vocals, which have been compiled from the original album sessions, ‘East Coast Racer’ is a completely new studio version recorded by the line-up of the band as it was in 2019. ‘Brooklands’ features newly recorded drums, bass and bass pedals, while ‘Voyager’ includes additional guitar and violin. All three songs have been re-mixed for this release. Additionally, Ingenious Devices includes a previously unreleased orchestral piece called ‘The Book of Ingenious Devices’, which links ‘East Coast Racer’ and ‘Brooklands’, as well as a live version of ‘Atlantic Cable’, recorded on the band’s tour in September 2022.
  • Skids - Destination Düsseldorf
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    • Skids  Destination Düsseldorf 
  • Destination Düsseldorf is the brand-new studio album from Scotland’s legendary Skids. The band note Europe as an ongoing inspiration for the new LP. “From the beauty of the Renaissance to the savagery of many wars, the highs and lows have been there as an ongoing and ever evolving influence. This new album follows in the footsteps of Days in Europa as a celebration of friendship and shared experiences.
 

 

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Releases for 23 June 2023

The first of 23 June’s sizzlers is At Newport, a recording of Joni Mitchell’s surprise performance – her first in 20 years – at the Newport Folk Festival audience last summer when she delivered a heartfelt set filled with some of her greatest songs, showing that her voice and her guitar prowess are undiminished. 12 is an intimate collection of twelve compositions by Ryuichi Sakamoto, selected from the musical sketches he recorded like a sound diary during his recent two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer when he reached for the synthesizer to bathe himself in sound during the recovery process. The 19-track Melodies on Hiatus was crafted by Albert Hammond Jr and writing partner Simon Wilcox without ever meeting in person, a process that became an anonymous love affair of ideas and lyrics, and the album deals with childhood, surviving adolescence, adulthood, vulnerability, fame, relationship with self and others. Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack’s musical partnership bloomed in the uncertainty of the past four years, whenever they felt that Wye Oak had something to say, and Every Day Like the Last reminds the listener of the the heights they have reached during that time while gazing into the unknown of what’s ahead. Last but not least, The Beggar finds Swans’ founding member Michael Gira in more optimistic mood after the darkness of the pandemic years, allowing refound physical freedoms to inspire new a creative freedom.

Our release of the week is Lloyd Cole’s thirteenth solo album, On Pain, which consists mainly of electronic sounds. Cole’s distinctive voice and sophisticated lyricism invite the listener into the mindset of someone who has reached old age and is coming to terms with this. At times, the experience of listening to On Pain is akin to sitting in a sleek, state-of-the-art departure lounge, unsure of quite where you’re waiting to go.

  • Lloyd Cole - On Pain
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    • Lloyd Cole  On Pain 
  • Lloyd Cole’s latest work, On Pain – his thirteenth solo album, following 2019’s critically acclaimed Guesswork – consists mainly of electronic sounds. Once Cole had formulated a sonic picture of the record he wanted to make, the arrival of each new song gradually brought that picture into focus. His distinctive voice and sophisticated lyricism invite the listener into the mindset of someone who has reached old age and is coming to terms with this. At times, the experience of listening to On Pain is akin to sitting in a sleek, state-of-the-art departure lounge, unsure of quite where you’re waiting to go.
  • Joni Mitchell - At Newport
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    • Joni Mitchell  At Newport 
  • Joni Mitchell stunned the Newport Folk Festival audience last summer when she gave a surprise performance – her first in 20 years – delivering a heartfelt set filled with some of her greatest songs. Mitchell’s triumphant return to the stage on 24 July 2022 is now featured on a new live album, At Newport, which has been produced with close collaborator Brandi Carlile. Mitchell delighted the audience, blending her voice with the other singers on stage on classics like ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, ‘A Case Of You’, and ‘Both Sides Now’. For good measure, she even flashed her guitar prowess, playing a solo instrumental version of ‘Just Like This Train’.
  • Ryuichi Sakamoto - 12
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    • Ryuichi Sakamoto  12 
  • 12 is an intimate collection of twelve compositions by Ryuichi Sakamoto, selected from the musical sketches he recorded like a sound diary during his recent two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer. Each numbered title refers to its recording date. About the album, Sakamoto says: “…after I finally ‘came home’ to my new temporary housing after a big operation, I found myself reaching for the synthesizer. I had no intention of composing something; I just wanted to be showered in sound. I’ll probably continue to keep this kind of ‘diary.’
  • Albert Hammond Jr - Melodies on Hiatus
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    • Albert Hammond Jr  Melodies on Hiatus 
  • The 19-track Melodies on Hiatus was crafted in a most experimental style: Albert Hammond Jr and his writing partner, the Canadian songwriter and poet Simon Wilcox, never met in person during the process. They had lengthy conversations via the telephone; Simon would jot down notes from Albert’s stream of consciousness and draft the lyrics on her typewriter and drop them into his letterbox. Albert then wove these lyrics into the melodies he had already crafted. The songwriting process became a long distant “anonymous love affair of ideas and lyrics”. The album covers themes of childhood, surviving adolescence, adulthood, vulnerability, fame, relationship with self and others, and is Albert’s “deconstructed broken-down ego reaction” to his previous album, 2018’s Francis Trouble.
  • Wye Oak - Every Day Like the Last: Collected Singles 2019–2023
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    • Wye Oak  Every Day Like the Last: Collected Singles 2019–2023 
  • Wye Oak is Jenn Wasner (of Bon Iver, Flock of Dimes) and Andy Stack (of Helado Negro, Joyero). The duo’s musical partnership bloomed in the uncertainty of this four-year period, whenever they felt that Wye Oak had something to say. They shifted to quickly writing, recording, and releasing digital EPs and singles. To Stack, there is a thread running through what is seemingly chaos, “finding cheer in the doom of the world”. Every Day Like the Last does just that, reminding the listener of the new heights Wye Oak have reached since 2018’s The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs, while gazing into the unknown of what’s ahead. The title of this collection acknowledges that duality, posing it like a question: is it “every day like the day before it” or “every day like the last day on Earth”?
  • Swans - The Beggar
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    • Swans  The Beggar 
  • Swans’ 16th studio album, The Beggar, was written and produced by founding member Michael Gira with contributions from recent and former Swans members, members of Angels of Light, and guest Swan Ben Frost. The album emerged from the 2020 lockdown, as Gira explains: “After numerous pandemic-induced cancellations of tours for the previous Swans album, leaving meaning, and an apparent bottomless pit of waiting, waiting, waiting, and the strange disorientation that came with this sudden but interminable forced isolation, I decided it was time to write songs for a new Swans album and forget about everything else. They came relatively easily, always informed by the suspicion that these could be my last. When I finally was able to travel, songs in hand, to Berlin to work with my friends recording this record, the feeling was akin to the moment in The Wizard of Oz when the film changes from black and white to colour. Now I’m feeling quite optimistic. My favourite colour is pink. I hope you enjoy the album.
 

 

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Releases for 16 June 2023

16 June’s smashers kick off with The Winding Way, the highly anticipated new studio album from The Teskey Brothers, whose artistic vision is more defined than ever. NO THANK YOU is yet another delicious left-field turn for Little Simz: sleek, succinct and utterly propulsive, it’s a defiant two-fingered salute to conformity and fame, and all the expectations and restrictions that come with it. The Complete Dirty South is a band-led rework of Drive-By Truckers’ seminal 2004 concept album that examined the state of the South and unveiled the hypocrisy, irony and tragedy that continues to exist, and it’s packed with extras and goodies. Off Planet harks back to Django Django’s more experimental and electronic roots and features some of the most exciting and dynamic music the band have ever produced, with guests including Self Esteem, Jack Penate and others. Yusuf/Cat Stevens’s hunger and drive to write, record and entertain has not waned and is abundant throughout King of a Land, which invites the listener on a journey towards the gates of an alternative universe, in which happy endings do happen.

Our release of the week is In Times New Roman...: raw, at times brutal and not recommended for the faint of heart, yet perhaps the most beautiful and definitely the most rewarding album in Queens of the Stone Age’s epic discography. Founder Joshua Homme’s most acerbic lyrics to date are buoyed by the instantly identifiable QOTSA sonic signature, expanded and embellished with new and unprecedented twists in virtually every song.

  • Queens of the Stone Age - In Times New Roman…
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    • Queens of the Stone Age  In Times New Roman… 
  • In Times New Roman... is raw, at times brutal and not recommended for the faint of heart. And yet it’s perhaps the most beautiful and definitely the most rewarding album in Queens of the Stone Age’s epic discography. Founder Joshua Homme’s most acerbic lyrics to date are buoyed by the instantly identifiable QOTSA sonic signature, expanded and embellished with new and unprecedented twists in virtually every song. With In Times New Roman... we see that sometimes one needs to look beneath scars and scabs to see beauty, and sometimes the scabs and scars are the beauty.
  • The Teskey Brothers - The Winding Way
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    • The Teskey Brothers  The Winding Way 
  • The Winding Way is the highly anticipated new studio album from The Teskey Brothers. Four years after the boys from Warrandyte’s globe-conquering second album, Run Home Slow (2019), which followed their debut album Half Mile Harvest (2017), the artistic vision of vocalist Josh Teskey and his brother, guitarist and engineer Sam Teskey, is more defined than ever.
  • Little Simz - NO THANK YOU
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    • Little Simz  NO THANK YOU 
  • NO THANK YOU is yet another delicious left-field turn for 29-year old Simbiatu Ajikawo. Sleek, succinct and utterly propulsive, it’s Little Simz’ defiantly punk-rock, two-fingered salute to conformity and fame, and all the expectations and restrictions that come with it. Recorded with her regular collaborator Inflo, this is Simz at her most free, daring and spontaneous. In her own words: ‘Emotion is energy in motion. Honour your truth and feelings. Eradicate fear. Boundaries are important.
  • Drive-By Truckers - The Complete Dirty South
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    • Drive-By Truckers  The Complete Dirty South 
  • In 2004 Drive-By Truckers released what would become the best-selling album in their illustrious catalogue: The Dirty South, a concept album that examined the state of the South and unveiled the hypocrisy, irony and tragedy that continues to exist. The Complete Dirty South is a band-led rework of the original album. Principal member Patterson Hood took the reins and reimagined this record as it was originally intended. The complete version features re-sequenced audio, three additional tracks and four remixes, along with updated vocals. The packaging comes with a perfect-bound book featuring liner notes from Patterson Hood, track-by-track descriptions from Mike Cooley and Jason Isbell, as well as never-before-seen photos along with updated artwork from the late Wes Freed.
  • Django Django - Off Planet
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    • Django Django  Off Planet 
  • Off Planet, the fifth studio album from Django Django, is a 21-track album split into four parts. Originally destined to be four experimental EPs but immediately transformed into an album proper when they started the recording sessions, Off Planet features some of the most exciting and dynamic music Django Django have ever produced. Harking back to their more experimental and electronic roots, the album features guests including Self Esteem, Jack Penate and others.
  • Yusuf/Cat Stevens - King of a Land
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    • Yusuf/Cat Stevens  King of a Land 
  • The enduring success of Yusuf’s musical legacy is built on myriad factors, key among them the uncanny ability he has to translate his vibrant imagination into musical form. This hunger and drive to write, record and entertain has not waned and is abundant throughout King of a Land’s new creative landscape. This is an epic body of work: more than a decade in the making, its 12 new songs are full of extraordinary surprises.
  • Unique and transportive, Yusuf’s new music, words and melodies paint a vivid picture of a world where childlike dreams are brought back into touching distance. His poetic storytelling invites the listener on a journey towards the gates of an alternative universe to that which we presently inhabit – a world where happy endings do happen.
 

 

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Releases for 9 June 2023

The first of 9 June’s sizzlers out the bag is Careful of Your Keepers: daring and soft, cutting and warm, this is a wild feat of complexity and combined dispositions from This Is The Kit, which boasts beautiful instrumental performances that still leave nuanced space for Kate Stables’ vocals to live at the forefront. Paranoïa, Angels, True Love is the second part of an operatic gesture by Christine And The Queens following 2022’s Redcar Les Adorables Etoiles, and it’s a key towards heart-opening transformation, a prayer towards the self – the one that breathes through all the loves it is made of. Teeming with melodic epiphanies and layered sounds, Squid’s second album, O Monolith, is a musical evocation of environment, domesticity and self-made folklore: expansive, evocative and hugely varied, it retains Squid’s restless, enigmatic spirit, but it still holds surprises for those familiar with Bright Green Field. Be Opened by the Wonderful is a 20-track collection of some of James’s most loved and rare tracks, re-imagined with the 22-piece ORCA22 Orchestra and 8-piece Manchester Inspirational Voices choir. Dream Wife are in electrifying form on their entirely self-written and self-produced third album, Social Lubrication: an incendiary and riotous record that tackles big subjects in the band’s trademark unapologetic manner, this is hyper-lusty rock and roll with a political punch, exploring the alchemy of attraction, the lust for life, embracing community and calling out the patriarchy.

Our release of the week is Weathervanes, the new album from Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, which tackles issues such as gun violence, the opioid crisis and women’s rights all through Isbell’s signature songwriting lens: life-and-death songs played for and by grown-up people about adult love, about change, about the danger of nostalgia and the interrogation of myths, about cruelty and regret and redemption.

  • Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit - Weathervanes
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    • Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit  Weathervanes 
  • Weathervanes, the new album from Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, tackles issues such as gun violence, the opioid crisis and women’s rights all through Isbell’s signature songwriting lens. This is a collection of life-and-death songs played for and by grown-up people about adult love, about change, about the danger of nostalgia and the interrogation of myths, about cruelty and regret and redemption. Some will make you cry alone in your car and others will make you sing along with thousands of strangers in a big summer pavilion, united in the great miracle of being alive. A Jason Isbell record always lands like a decoder ring in the ears and hearts of his audience, a soundtrack to his world and magically to theirs, too. Weathervanes carries the same revelatory power.
  • This Is The Kit - Careful of Your Keepers
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    • This Is The Kit  Careful of Your Keepers 
  • Careful of Your Keepers is daring and soft, cutting and warm – a wild feat of complexity and combined dispositions. There’s a shared language of This Is The Kit’s family experience that is as audible as ever in these recordings, which boast beautiful instrumental performances that still leave the nuanced space required for Kate Stables’ vocals to live at the forefront. “The album was nearly called Goodbye Bite. And in a way it still is,” says Stables. “I went for Careful of Your Keepers in the end. It’s one of my favourite songs on the album, a song that for me holds the general feeling of the album as a whole. The fragility of things. Of situations. Of relationships. Of humans. What we do to look after each other and ourselves. The passing of time and what that does to us, and how we live our lives going forward.
  • Christine And The Queens - Paranoïa, Angels, True Love
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    • Christine And The Queens  Paranoïa, Angels, True Love 
  • Paranoïa, Angels, True Love was written, performed and produced by Christine And The Queens, with co-production by Mike Dean (Lana Del Rey, Beyonce) and guest appearances from 070 Shake and Madonna. Chris explains: “This new record is the second part of an operatic gesture that also encompassed 2022’s Redcar Les Adorables Etoiles. Taking inspiration from the glorious dramaturgy of Tony Kushner’s iconic play ‘Angels in America’, Redcar felt colourful and absurd like Prior sent to his insane dream-space. The follow-up, Paranoïa, Angels, True Love, is a key towards heart-opening transformation, a prayer towards the self – the one that breathes through all the loves it is made of. Prior’s real agony in ‘Angels in America’ is a deep, painful becoming, a shedding of all waters and memories, that then allows angels to immerse deep too, and offer back profound, narrative-altering love – a rest in true love.
  • Squid - O Monolith
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    • Squid  O Monolith 
  • Teeming with melodic epiphanies and layered sounds, Squid’s second album, O Monolith, is a musical evocation of environment, domesticity and self-made folklore. Like its predecessor, 2021’s critically acclaimed, UK number 4 album Bright Green Field, it is dense and tricksy – but also more warm and characterful, with a meandering, questioning nature.
  • Expansive, evocative and hugely varied, O Monolith retains Squid’s restless, enigmatic spirit, but it still holds surprises for those familiar with Bright Green Field. It’s a reflection of the outsized progression of a band always looking to the future. Like its namesake, O Monolith is vast and strange: alive with endless possible interpretations of its inner mysteries.
  • James - Be Opened by the Wonderful
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    • James  Be Opened by the Wonderful 
  • Be Opened by the Wonderful is a 20-track collection of some of James’s most loved and rare tracks, re-imagined with a 22-piece orchestra and 8-piece choir. The album was recorded at Blueprint Studios in Manchester, orchestrated and conducted by Joe Duddell with the ORCA22 Orchestra, led by Andra Vornicu, and featuring the Manchester Inspirational Voices choir, directed by Wayne Ellington.
  • Dream Wife - Social Lubrication
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    • Dream Wife  Social Lubrication 
  • The return of Dream Wife is a moment worth savouring, with the band in electrifying form on their entirely self-written and self-produced third album, Social Lubrication. The incendiary and riotous record finds the trio once again tackling big subjects in their trademark unapologetic manner where, with the band being adept at merging the political with the playful, vital statements are hidden within hot and heavy anthems about making out, having fun and staying curious. Social Lubrication is, in the bands’ words: “Hyper-lusty rock and roll with a political punch, exploring the alchemy of attraction, the lust for life, embracing community and calling out the patriarchy. With a heathy dose of playfulness and fun thrown in.
 

 

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Releases for 2 June 2023

The first of 2 June’s peaches we unpeel is Such Ferocious Beauty, which is vintage Cowboy Junkies and another dimension from the lo-fi Canadian band musing on ageing, losing parents, facing mortality and creating space for one’s life in the midst of the ruin that comes from merely living. Shadow Kingdom, originally a streamed event in July 2021, presents Bob Dylan performing revelatory 21st-century versions of songs from his storied back catalogue, including fan favourites like ‘Forever Young’ and ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’ plus deep catalogue gems such as ‘Queen Jane Approximately’ and ‘The Wicked Messenger’. I Thought I Was Better Than You finds Baxter Dury reckoning with an unfortunately fortunate childhood, with a famous surname but no structure or sense of responsibility with which to reap its rewards, growing up in the imposing shadow of Ian Dury. Council Skies – the fourth album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – is yet another songwriting masterpiece, and the deluxe 2-CD edition includes previously unreleased live sessions, instrumentals, and remixes from The Cure’s Robert Smith, Pet Shop Boys and David Holmes. And on Darkfighter, Grammy-nominated Rival Sons try to put a good word on people’s ears in a time of increasing isolation and division, with strong themes of loss of identity, preservation of joy, and beholding light and shape again.

Our release of the week is But Here We Are, the eleventh Foo Fighters album and the first chapter of the band’s new life. Sonically channelling the naiveté of their 1995 debut while informed by decades of maturity and depth, this is the sound of brothers finding refuge in the music that brought them together in the first place 28 years ago, a process that was as therapeutic as it was about a continuation of life.

  • Foo Fighters - But Here We Are
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    • Foo Fighters  But Here We Are 
  • But Here We Are is in nearly equal measure the eleventh Foo Fighters album and the first chapter of the band’s new life. Sonically channelling the naiveté of their 1995 debut while informed by decades of maturity and depth, But Here We Are is the sound of brothers finding refuge in the music that brought them together in the first place 28 years ago, a process that was as therapeutic as it was about a continuation of life.
  • Cowboy Junkies - Such Ferocious Beauty
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    • Cowboy Junkies  Such Ferocious Beauty 
  • Such Ferocious Beauty is vintage Cowboy Junkies and another dimension from the lo-fi Canadian band that comprises … well, family. A tangle of sonic textures, the album is a rumination on ageing, losing parents, facing mortality and creating space for one’s life in the midst of the ruin that comes from merely living. “Mike has never shied away from the darker, harder and sometimes uglier realities of our human condition,” Margo Timmins explains of the band’s singular focus, “nor has he shied from its beauty. Thankfully, with one comes the other.
  • Bob Dylan - Shadow Kingdom
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    • Bob Dylan  Shadow Kingdom 
  • Shadow Kingdom presents Bob Dylan performing revelatory 21st-century versions of songs from his storied back catalogue, including fan favourites like ‘Forever Young’ and ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’, plus deep catalogue gems such as ‘Queen Jane Approximately’ and ‘The Wicked Messenger’.
  • Originally reinterpreted for an exclusive streaming film event that aired in July 2021, Shadow Kingdom will now be available on vinyl and CD for the first time. The album’s set list includes 13 original songs hand-picked by Dylan for his Shadow Kingdom performance.
  • Baxter Dury - I Thought I Was Better Than You
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    • Baxter Dury  I Thought I Was Better Than You 
  • I Thought I Was Better Than You marks a new era for Baxter Dury, and with this new era comes a new character: ‘Faux-confrontational’, Baxter calls him. Here, not only is he recounting his childhood, he’s also reckoning with it. Instead of just swinging blindfolded at his past with a baseball bat, he talks openly about the toxic cocktail of being born into unfortunately fortunate circumstances, with a famous surname but no structure or sense of responsibility with which to reap its rewards. “Really, it’s about being trapped in an awkward place between something you’re actually quite good at and somebody else’s success.” That ‘somebody else’ being his dad, Ian Dury. As one of the album centrepieces – ‘Shadow’ – agonisingly puts it: “But no one will get over that you’re someone’s son / Even though you want to be like Frank Ocean / But you don’t sound like him, you sound just like Ian.
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds - Council Skies
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    • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds  Council Skies 
  • Including the singles ‘Pretty Boy’ and ‘Easy Now’ plus an album version of the demo ‘We’re Gonna Get There in the End’, Council Skies – the fourth album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – is yet another songwriting masterpiece. The deluxe 2-CD edition features a bonus disc including previously unreleased live sessions, instrumentals, and remixes from The Cure’s Robert Smith, Pet Shop Boys and David Holmes, while the vinyl’s bonus 7" includes the demo ‘We’re Gonna Get There In The End’ and an acoustic version of the single ‘Pretty Boy’.
  • Rival Sons - Darkfighter
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    • Rival Sons  Darkfighter 
  • Twice Grammy-nominated band Rival Sons bring us their anxiously awaited new full-length album, Darkfighter, produced by long-time collaborator Dave Cobb. Vocalist Jay Buchanan shares: “You live your life knowing that the sword of Damocles is hanging over your head by a thread. You’re fully aware of the impermanence of your existence, but you can’t think about it all the time. I used to work in a mortuary as a service advisor for a few years, driving and opening the hearses. I’d attend three funerals per day. Sometimes, they would be filled over capacity. Other times, it would just be me, a priest, and a hole in the ground. It doesn’t matter who you are; the great equaliser is coming. I was thinking of this because the music sounded like pursuit.
 

 

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Releases for 26 May 2023

We start 26 May’s super six with the acclaimed young artist Arlo Parks, whose My Soft Machine narrates her experiences as she enters her 20s: anxiety, the substance abuse of friends, the viscera of being in love for the first time, navigating PTSD and grief and self-sabotage and joy. Sparks return to Island Records nearly 50 years after the unforgettable hit single ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us’ for The Girl Is Crying in Her Latte, which is as bold and uncompromising as anything they’ve done over their long career.Rhoda Dakar, who began her musical career as lead vocalist with all-female 2Tone band The Bodysnatchers before guesting with The Specials, is back with Version Girl, on which she covers songs by reggae and ska artists and songwriters she admires. Lucy Dacus, one of rock’s most vital voices, was done thinking small after her debut, and 2018’s Historian was her definitive statement as a songwriter and musician, and is now available as a five-year anniversary edition. The long-overdue vinyl reissue series of Steely Dan’s classic catalogue continues with Countdown to Ecstasy, the band’s sprawling 1973 sophomore LP with such standouts as ‘Bodhisattva’, ‘Show Biz Kids’ and ‘My Old School’.

Our release of the week comes from one of the most important voices in British folk music, Shirley Collins, who has selected another peerless collection of songs for her new album, Archangel Hill: a mixture of songs from traditional sources with others penned by some of her favourite writers.

  • Shirley Collins - Archangel Hill
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    • Shirley Collins  Archangel Hill 
  • One of the most important voices in British folk music, Shirley Collins, has selected another peerless collection of songs for her new album, Archangel Hill. Some of these songs are from traditional sources; others were penned by some of her favourite writers. The album was produced by Ian Kearey – Collins’ musical director – and the arrangements were shared between Collins, Kearey and Pip Barnes, as well as Dave Arthur and Pete Cooper from The Lodestar Band.
  • Arlo Parks - My Soft Machine
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    • Arlo Parks  My Soft Machine 
  • Twice Grammy-nominated, Mercury Prize- and Brit Award-winning artist Arlo Parks returns with her second album, My Soft Machine. This is a deeply personal body of work: a narration of Parks’ experiences as she navigates her 20s and the growth involved. She explains articulately in her own words: “Our view of the world is peppered by the biggest things we experience – our traumas, upbringing, vulnerabilities almost like visual snow. This record is life through my lens, through my body – the mid-20s anxiety, the substance abuse of friends around me, the viscera of being in love for the first time, navigating PTSD and grief and self-sabotage and joy, moving through worlds with wonder and sensitivity – what it’s like to be trapped in this particular body.
  • Sparks - The Girl Is Crying in Her Latte
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    • Sparks  The Girl Is Crying in Her Latte 
  • The Girl Is Crying in Her Latte is the first release from Sparks on the venerable Island Records label in nearly five decades, following such classics as 1974’s landmark Kimono My House, highlighted of course by the unforgettable hit single ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us’. The new album is described by Ron and Russell Mael as a record that is “as bold and uncompromising as anything we did back then or, for that matter, any time throughout our career.
  • Rhoda Dakar - Version Girl
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    • Rhoda Dakar  Version Girl 
  • Rhoda Dakar, who began her musical career as lead vocalist with all-female 2Tone band The Bodysnatchers, is back with her first solo album in seven years. Version Girl is a collection of reggae and ska covers by artists and songwriters she admires. The Bodysnatchers only ever released two singles, ‘Let’s Do Rocksteady’ and ‘Easy Life’, then after a year together they split and Rhoda went on to guest with The Specials in Europe and the USA, featuring on their second album, More Specials, for which she won the first of her seven gold records.
  • Lucy Dacus - Historian (5th Anniversary)
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    • Lucy Dacus  Historian (5th Anniversary) 
  • As part of the Revisionist History series, Matador are releasing a five-year anniversary edition of Lucy Dacus’ album Historian, featuring alternative artwork. Lucy Dacus is done thinking small. Two years after her 2016 debut, No Burden, won her unanimous acclaim as one of rock’s most promising new voices, Dacus released Historian, a remarkably assured 10-track statement of intent. “This is the album I needed to make,” says Dacus, who views Historian as her definitive statement as a songwriter and musician.
  • Steely Dan - Countdown to Ecstasy
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    • Steely Dan  Countdown to Ecstasy 
  • At long last the classic Steely Dan catalogue is back on vinyl! Led by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, Steely Dan released seven albums between 1972 and 1980. The vinyl reissue series continues with Countdown to Ecstasy, the band’s sprawling 1973 sophomore LP with such standouts as ‘Bodhisattva’, ‘Show Biz Kids’ and ‘My Old School’.
 

 

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Releases for 19 May 2023

The first of 19 May’s six of the best is Seven Psalms, a stunning, intricately layered work by Paul Simon that showcases his craft at its finest and most captivating, simply with his voice and guitar. SOS, the second studio album from Grammy award-winning singer SZA, contains elements of pop, R&B, soft rock, gospel and hip-hop, and features guest appearances from Travis Scott, Don Toliver, Phoebe Bridgers and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Amatssou adds touches of pedal steel, piano and strings to Tuareg band Tinariwen’s trademark snaking guitar lines and hypnotic rhythms, with guest musicians including Daniel Lanois. Death Wish Blues is a collaboration between blistering blues guitarist Samantha Fish and country musician Jesse Dayton, and the result is a highly enjoyable set of sharply written songs that prominently feature searing guitar and sultry vocals, delivered with Fish’s signature blues-rock sound. Last but by no means least, Steve Howe considers Mirror to the Sky to be a very important album for Yes – one that sees them still growing, and building again, even after 23 studio albums.

Our release of the week is Live at Stubbs, the first in a series of live LPs from Khruangbin, which features performances by Kelly Doyle, Ruben Moreno, The Suffers and Robert Ellis and ignites both sides of the band’s magic: the warm, prismatic feeling of their albums and the bewitching energy of their performances.

  • Khruangbin & Friends - Live at Stubbs
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    • Khruangbin & Friends  Live at Stubbs 
  • It’s only fitting that Khruangbin’s live releases would be albums paired with their tourmates – artists whose music they love and admire, friends who’ve become family along the way – and Live at Stubbs features performances by Kelly Doyle, Ruben Moreno, The Suffers and Robert Ellis alongside Khruangbin. This series of live LPs traces just one small slice of the band’s flight plan through the years. It’s a taste of some of their most beloved cities, stages and nights, and ignites both sides of the band’s magic: the warm, prismatic feeling of their albums and the bewitching energy of their performances.
  • Paul Simon - Seven Psalms
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    • Paul Simon  Seven Psalms 
  • Seven Psalms, which was recorded entirely on acoustic instruments performed predominantly by Paul Simon, showcases his craft at its finest and most captivating, simply with his voice and guitar. Intended to be listened to as one continuous piece, the 33-minute, seven-movement composition transcends the concept of the ‘album’. A stunning, intricately layered work, it’s a record that establishes an engaging and meditative, almost hymnal, soundscape, with Paul’s lyrics providing the gravitational centre for constellations of sound woven from guitar strings and other acoustic instrumentation.
  • SZA - SOS
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    • SZA  SOS 
  • SOS is the second studio album from Grammy award-winning singer SZA, the follow-up to 2017’s major-label debut album Ctrl. This genre-blending album contains elements of pop, R&B, soft rock, gospel and hip-hop, and features guest appearances from Travis Scott, Don Toliver, Phoebe Bridgers and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. SZA worked with a variety of hitmaking producers including Ctrl collaborators ThankGod4Cody and Carter Lang, along with Jeff Bhasker, Rob Bisel, Benny Blanco, Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Emile Haynie, Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins, Jay Versace and others.
  • Tinariwen - Amatssou
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    • Tinariwen  Amatssou 
  • Some people have commented that Tinariwen have always been a country band, albeit a North African take on that most North American of genres. That idea is magnified on new album Amatssou, which finds the Tuareg band’s trademark snaking guitar lines and hypnotic rhythms blending seamlessly with pedal steel, piano and strings from guest musicians including Daniel Lanois. These embellished arrangements lend the songs an epic, universal application.
  • The lyrics, full of poetic allegory, call for unity and freedom. There are songs of struggle and resistance with oblique references to the recent desperate political upheavals in Mali and the increasing power of the Salafists. “Dear brothers all rest, all leisure will always be far from reach unless your homeland is liberated and all the elders can live there in dignity.
  • Samantha Fish & Jesse Dayton - Death Wish Blues
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    • Samantha Fish & Jesse Dayton  Death Wish Blues 
  • Samantha Fish has received practically every accolade a contemporary blues singer, songwriter and guitarist could hope for, and commands her cathartic shows with her edgy vocal delivery and in-your-face slide guitar. Jesse Dayton is an American musician, actor and record producer best known for his guitar contributions to albums by country musicians including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson. For their first collaboration together, Fish and Dayton teamed up with producer Jon Spencer of the electrifying Jon Spencer’s Blues Explosion for Death Wish Blues. The result is a highly enjoyable set of sharply composed songs that prominently feature searing guitar and sultry vocals, delivered with Fish’s signature blues-rock sound.
  • Yes - Mirror to the Sky
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    • Yes  Mirror to the Sky 
  • This is a very important album for the band,” says Steve Howe, Yes’ longest-serving member, master guitarist, and producer of Mirror to the Sky, the band’s 23rd studio album. “We kept the continuity in the approach we established on The Quest, but we haven’t repeated ourselves. That was the main thing. As Yes did in the seventies from one album to another, we’re growing and moving forward. In later years, Yes often got going but then didn’t do the next thing. This album is demonstrative of us growing, and building again.
 

 

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Releases for 12 May 2023

12 May’s six sizzlers open up with BC Camplight, whose relationship with his fiancé crumbled while making The Last Rotation of Earth, and the album follows this break-up amid long-term struggles with addiction and declining mental health to produce an extraordinary record. Moby has reimagined fifteen of his most iconic tracks from 1994–2010 for Resound NYC, whose reworked tracks – featuring a vibrant, brass-heavy sound – burst forth with boundless energy, with guest vocals from a wealth of stars. Craven Faults’s latest meticulously curated release, Standers, continues their analogue electronic journey across northern Britain and features a sonic shift, with a new palette to paint from and further refinement of the craft. Animal Collective are reissuing their very first record, Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished, originally released in a very small CD-only pressing in August 2000 and praised as “a masterful piece of electro-acoustic fairy-tale music; yet its squealing electronics, and vitrified rhythms suggest something darker.” Okemah Rising is the final instalment of the Woody Guthrie / Dropkick Murphys collaboration, and it’s a great party album that’s intended to raise the roof, but Woody’s message – his steadfast defence of the working class and his fight against social injustice and the abuse of political power – still comes across loud and clear.

Our release of the week comes from Alison Goldfrapp, whose seven albums with Goldfrapp were fuelled by an unfailing modernity and a sixth sense for sounds that were more timeless than any trend. With the release of her debut solo album, The Love Invention – an electrifying dance-pop suite – her multi-faceted musicianship reaches a new peak.

  • Alison Goldfrapp - The Love Invention
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    • Alison Goldfrapp  The Love Invention 
  • Alison Goldfrapp has set a towering bar for British synth-pop in the 21st century and she’s only just getting started. The magnetic London-born singer, songwriter and producer’s seven albums with Goldfrapp were fuelled by an unfailing modernity and a sixth sense for sounds that were more timeless than any trend. With the release of her debut solo album, The Love Invention – an electrifying dance-pop suite – her multi-faceted musicianship reaches a new peak.
  • BC Camplight - The Last Rotation of Earth
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    • BC Camplight  The Last Rotation of Earth 
  • Is there a curse that says BC Camplight (Brian Christinzio) cannot move forward without being knocked back? That the greatest material is born out of emotional trauma? While making his new album, The Last Rotation of Earth, Christinzio’s relationship with his fiancé crumbled after nine inseparable years, and the album follows this break-up amid long-term struggles with addiction and declining mental health. The outcome is an extraordinary record, with Christinzio describing it as “more cinematic, sophisticated, and nuanced than anything I’ve done before. And more desperate.
  • Moby - Resound NYC
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    • Moby  Resound NYC 
  • Digging further into his catalogue, Moby has reimagined fifteen of his most iconic tracks for Resound NYC. These new versions of tracks that he wrote between 1994 and 2010 while living in New York City feature a vibrant, brass-heavy sound. From the sublime desperation of ‘When It’s Cold I’d Like to Die’ to the manic stomp of ‘Extreme Ways’ (best known as the theme from the Jason Bourne film franchise), the reworked tracks burst forth with boundless energy. Guest vocalists on Resound NYC include Nicole Scherzinger, Gregory Porter, Ricky Wilson (Kaiser Chiefs), Mylene Farmer, Amythyst Kiah, Lady Blackbird, Dougy Mandagi (The Temper Trap) and more.
  • Craven Faults - Standers
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    • Craven Faults  Standers 
  • Each meticulously curated release by Craven Faults moves their story forward – each one a self-contained analogue electronic journey across northern Britain, viewed through the lens of a century in popular music. Studios, venues and movements. Technology and ingenuity. Vibrations. Lines drawn to connect those moments of inspiration. On Standers, there’s a sonic shift. A new palette to paint from and further refinement of the craft.
  • Animal Collective - Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished
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    • Animal Collective  Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished 
  • Animal Collective are reissuing their very first record, Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished. Originally released in a very small CD-only pressing on their own Animal label in August 2000 and credited to Avey Tare & Panda Bear prior to the full collective band name being used on releases, the album has been praised by Vulture for its “starry-eyed sense of songcraft” and described by Pitchfork as “a masterful piece of electro-acoustic fairy-tale music; yet its squealing electronics, and vitrified rhythms suggest something darker. Like a Snickers bar with a razor blade in it.”
  • Dropkick Murphys - Okemah Rising
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    • Dropkick Murphys  Okemah Rising 
  • Okemah Rising is the final instalment of the Woody Guthrie / Dropkick Murphys collaboration, so the band wanted to bring it home with a bang. Whereas the goal of This Machine Still Kills Fascists was to raise consciousness, Okemah Rising intends to raise the roof. Sure, it has one or two tender moments, but all in all it’s much more of a party than TMSKF. Even a party record can have a message though, and the band felt that on the road over the last few months as they played Okemah Rising songs ‘Gotta Get to Peekskill’ and ‘I Know How It Feels’ on tour all over the world. Every night, when the audience is singing along with Woody’s words, his steadfast defence of the working class and his fight against social injustice and the abuse of political power comes across loud and clear.
 

 

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Releases for 5 May 2023

We’ve got six spring stunners for 5 May, starting with Eilen Jewell, one of America’s most intriguing, creative, and idiosyncratic voices, who rises from the ashes on her captivating new album, Get Behind the Wheel, picking up the pieces of her shattered world after watching her marriage, her band and what felt like her entire career fall apart in a series of heartbreaking implosions. The Chicago Sessions is a throwback to Rodney Crowell’s early days of making records, but it’s no nostalgia trip; the songs here are vital and timely, touching on everything from love and mortality to race and religion, and the performances are nothing short of intoxicating, fuelled by raw guitars, honky-tonk piano and tight, punchy drums. As Therapy?’s fourth decade finally gets underway in earnest, they release their sixteenth album, Hard Cold Fire, a hefty, compact, and accessible collection that’s a distillation of everything that has made them what they are: hewn from County Antrim basalt, still possessed of their stoicism, but casting a renewed focus on catharsis and healing. ATUM is a rock opera in three acts by inimitable American rock band The Smashing Pumpkins, an epic interplanetary story set in the not-too-distant future – the final installment in a concept album trilogy, following 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and 2000’s Machina / The Machines of God – though the individual songs themselves stand on their own in the Pumpkins pantheon. Ed Sheeran had been working on Subtract for a decade, trying to sculpt the perfect acoustic album, writing and recording hundreds of songs with a clear vision of what he thought it should be, when a series of events changed the way he viewed music and art; and, in just over a week, he replaced a decade’s worth of work with his deepest darkest thoughts.

Our release of the week is Folded Landscapes, the ambitious fourth studio album by groundbreaking Scottish composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper, who merges modern classical-electronic music with evocative storytelling and conceptual art to share his urgent observation on climate change, temperature and time. This poignant chamber string work figuratively and literally thaws over seven movements, unfolding with electronics, poetry, soprano, piano, harpsichord, field recordings (including the California wildfires and crashing glaciers) and samples.

  • Erland Cooper - Folded Landscapes
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    • Erland Cooper  Folded Landscapes 
  • Folded Landscapes is the ambitious fourth studio album by groundbreaking Scottish composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper. Known for merging modern classical-electronic music with evocative storytelling and conceptual art, Erland shares his urgent observation on climate change, temperature and time. This poignant chamber string work figuratively and literally thaws over seven movements, unfolding with electronics, poetry, soprano, piano, harpsichord, field recordings (including the California wildfires and crashing glaciers) and samples. The work features Scottish Ensemble, UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and other voices including activist Greta Thunberg, multi-award winning conservationist Dara McNaulty and visual artist Norman Ackroyd.
  • Eilen Jewell - Get Behind the Wheel
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    • Eilen Jewell  Get Behind the Wheel 
  • hailed by American Songwriter as “one of America’s most intriguing, creative, and idiosyncratic voices,Eilen Jewell rises from the ashes on her captivating new album, Get Behind the Wheel. On this album she is picking up the pieces of her shattered world and finding new purpose after watching her marriage, her band and what felt like her entire career fall apart in a series of heartbreaking implosions.
  • Rodney Crowell - The Chicago Sessions
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    • Rodney Crowell  The Chicago Sessions 
  • The Chicago Sessions is a throwback to Rodney Crowell’s early days of making records, but it’s no nostalgia trip. The songs here are vital and timely, touching on everything from love and mortality to race and religion, and the performances are nothing short of intoxicating, fuelled by raw guitars, honky-tonk piano and tight, punchy drums. Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy wields a light touch as a producer, his influence subtle yet unmistakable, and engineer Tom Schick’s mixes are dynamic and alive, alternately lush and spacious in all the right places with a spotlight fixed firmly on Crowell’s warm, weathered vocals throughout. Put it all together and you’ve got a masterful, cross-generational collaboration that manages to feel both fresh and familiar all at once: an incisive, engaging collection that balances careful craftsmanship with joyful liberation at every turn.
  • Therapy? - Hard Cold Fire
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    • Therapy?  Hard Cold Fire 
  • As Therapy?’s fourth decade finally gets underway in earnest, they release their sixteenth album, Hard Cold Fire. The album was written and pre-produced during an unprecedented time for music, and it’s hefty, compact, and accessible. This is a distillation of everything that has made them what they are: hewn from County Antrim basalt, still possessed of their stoicism, but casting a renewed focus on catharsis and healing.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins - ATUM
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    • The Smashing Pumpkins  ATUM 
  • ATUM is a rock opera in three acts by inimitable American rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. This is an epic interplanetary story set in the not-too-distant future, though the individual songs themselves stand on their own in the Pumpkins pantheon. This is the final installment in a concept album trilogy, which began with 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and continued with 2000’s Machina / The Machines of God. The album features three original members of the band – Billy Corgan, James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin – as well as longtime guitarist Jeff Schroeder. Corgan had been developing the idea for the rock opera for years, and the pandemic gave him the time off the road to meticulously complete it in the grandiose way he had intended.
  • Ed Sheeran - Subtract
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    • Ed Sheeran  Subtract 
  • In Ed Sheeran’s own words, “I had been working on Subtract for a decade, trying to sculpt the perfect acoustic album, writing and recording hundreds of songs with a clear vision of what I thought it should be. Then at the start of 2022, a series of events changed my life, my mental health, and ultimately the way I viewed music and art. Writing songs is my therapy. It helps me make sense of my feelings. I wrote without thought of what the songs would be, I just wrote whatever tumbled out. And in just over a week, I replaced a decade’s worth of work with my deepest darkest thoughts.
 

 

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Other releases for 2023

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