Releases from January–February 2024

Great albums from around the world

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Find releases from 2023.

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

 

The hottest pre-sale releases

Pre-sale of the week is White Roses, My God by Alan Sparhawk, out on 27 September.

Special pre-sale offer: Public Service Broadcasting – The Last FlightSpecial pre-sale offer: Alan Sparhawk – White Roses, My GodSpecial pre-sale offer: Fontaines D.C – RomanceSpecial pre-sale offer: Jon Hopkins – RitualSpecial pre-sale offer: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Wild GodSpecial pre-sale offer: Ezra Collective – Dance, No One’s WatchingSpecial pre-sale offer: Lady Blackbird – Slang SpiritualsSpecial pre-sale offer: Bright Eyes – Five Dice, All ThreesSpecial pre-sale offer: Katy J Pearson – Someday, NowSpecial pre-sale offer: The Waeve – City Lights

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Jump to: 23 February  |  16 February  |  9 February  |  2 February  |  26 January  |  12 & 19 January

 

Releases for 23 February 2024

The first of 23 February’s six sparklers comes from Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab and Monade, who confronts the heat of a turbulent world, collapsing institutions and her own fully engaged process of expression on Rooting for Love. Live at The New Victoria captures Slade in 1975, at the height of their success, promoting the soundtrack LP from their feature film Flame, which had been recently released to critical acclaim. Live in Paris 1973 is the first of the curated series of Can concerts to feature the legendary vocals of Damo Suzuki, recorded towards the end of the band’s most revered period. 1985 is a newly curated limited-edition deluxe box set that tells the story of the making of The Waterboys’ landmark album This Is the Sea and its timeless single ‘The Whole of the Moon’, including 64 previously unreleased tracks plus a 220-page book full of goodies. Real Estate’s sixth full-length album, Daniel, was named after their producer in a light-hearted moment, and displays a band that takes its music seriously without taking itself or its perception too seriously.

Our release of the week is Millennials – a tight, taut, fat-free masterclass in songwriting and production from West Lothian quartet The Snuts, who have followed through on their promise to be risky. On their third album they’ve followed up, changed up and – fully, wholeheartedly, joyfully – revved up.

  • The Snuts - Millennials
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    • The Snuts  Millennials 
  • From start to finish, top to bottom, Millennials has been made entirely to The Snuts’ script. The result is a tight, taut, fat-free masterclass in songwriting and production. The Snuts have two chart-topping albums under their belts, songs that attack subjects affecting the youth of today, and an arsenal of adoring fans up and down the country. As these four lads from Whitburn, West Lothian vowed four years ago, The Snuts wanted to be risky. And, with Millennials, they have followed through on that promise. On their third album they’ve followed up, changed up and – fully, wholeheartedly, joyfully – revved up.
  • Laetitia Sadier - Rooting for Love
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    • Laetitia Sadier  Rooting for Love 
  • Over the course of her career, spanning more than three decades, Laetitia Sadier has never shied away from the hard topics or stopped advocating for the possibility of self-determination and emancipation in the face of the powers that be, conscious or unconscious. This is an essential part of the foundation she co-built with Stereolab, showcasing her spiritual, scientific and sociopolitical inquiries. She’s continued this process with Monade and under her own name and as a writer, singer and musician whose every album acts as a report on her journey of the self through time, space and the collective. On Rooting for Love, the report is set alight by the heat of a turbulent world, collapsing institutions and Laetitia’s fully engaged process of expression as well as orchestration.
  • Slade - Live at The New Victoria
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    • Slade  Live at The New Victoria 
  • Still riding high on their successes of the early ’70s, Slade rode into London’s New Victoria Theatre for two nights as part of the tour promoting the soundtrack LP from their feature film Flame, which had been recently released to critical acclaim. The second of these nights was recorded on 26 April 1975 to be broadcast later on BBC Radio 1 as the second part of the Insight radio show entitled ‘Six Days on the Road’. It features the highly regarded ‘How Does It Feel’ as well as classic hits including ‘Gudbuy T’Jane’, ‘Far Far Away’ and ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’, as well as long-time stage favourite ‘Just a Little Bit’.
  • Can - Live in Paris 1973
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    • Can  Live in Paris 1973 
  • Live in Paris 1973, the latest instalment of the curated series of Can concerts, is the first to feature the legendary vocals of Damo Suzuki. This live series has been overseen by founding member Irmin Schmidt and producer/engineer René Tinner, who worked delicately on restoring the archival recordings to the highest possible quality for current technology. This record captures the band’s 1973 performance in Paris and features Irmin Schmidt on keyboards, Jaki Liebezeit on drums, Michael Karoli on guitars, Holger Czukay on bass and Damo Suzuki on vocals for one of his final shows with the band.
  • The Waterboys - 1985
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    • The Waterboys  1985 
  • 1985 is a newly curated limited-edition deluxe box set by The Waterboys’ leader Mike Scott that tells the story of the making of their landmark album This Is the Sea and its timeless single ‘The Whole of the Moon’. The set takes the listener through 95 tracks over six CDs, including 64 previously unreleased home recordings, early demos, alternate versions, outtakes, live recordings and TV/radio sessions covering the recording process of the album, along with a remastered version of This Is the Sea. The accompanying 220-page hardback book contains a first-hand account, written by Waterboys’ singer and songwriter Mike Scott with additional sections by Anthony Thistlethwaite and Max Edie, of the creation of the album with deep recording details, background, cultural context, photographs (many previously unseen), songwriting pages, lyrics and previously unseen writings.
  • Real Estate - Daniel
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    • Real Estate  Daniel 
  • Real Estate’s sixth full-length album, Daniel, was recorded in an ebullient nine-day spree at RCA Studio A in Nashville with Grammy-winning producer Daniel Tashian. Several days into recording, all five members of Real Estate were discussing album titles when someone suggested Daniel, simply because it seemed funny to bestow a human name upon a record. Was it for Daniel Tashian? Maybe. Was it a nod to The Replacements’ Tim? Possibly. Was it the sign of a band that has now been around long enough to take its music seriously without taking itself or its perception too seriously? Absolutely.
 

 

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Releases for 16 February 2024

16 February’s hot six bursts into action with Tangk, the fifth album from madcap truth-seekers Idles, who have graduated from squaring off against the perennially entitled to celebrating love, joy, and indeed gratitude for existence, while still making a righteous noise. Blu Wav is a literal mash-up of ‘bluegrass’ and ‘new wave’ from indie titans Grandaddy, with a distinct feel, a consistent vibe and a somewhat unexpected sound, introducing pedal steel into the band’s repertoire for the first time. The Glorification of Sadness is Paloma Faith’s most personal album to date, drawing on her own experiences of recovery from the end of a long-term relationship, in which she acts as the anchor for a deeply personal narrative. Atlanta-based quintet Blackberry Smoke, “the reigning heavyweight champions of Southern rock”, return with their 8th studio album, Be Right Here, successfully combining folk and outlaw country with jam-based, chest-pumping rock. Cast, one of the big success stories of the Britpop era of the mid-’90s, were loved for their simple, classic pop hooks, as demonstrated on the hit singles ‘Fine Time’, ‘Alright’ and ‘Walkaway’, and the band’s new album, Love Is the Call, will feel like a missing link between singer John Power’s time with The La’s and Cast’s debut album, All Change.

Our release of the week is Filthy Underneath, which chronicles a period of unprecedented turbulence in Nadine Shah’s life. And yet, the experience of listening to it is oddly life-affirming: a parade of ghosts spanning the entirety of Nadine’s thirty-seven years, moving with balletic beauty to the music that Nadine and long-time co-writer and producer Ben Hillier have created around them.

  • Nadine Shah - Filthy Underneath
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    • Nadine Shah  Filthy Underneath 
  • Filthy Underneath – the follow-up to 2020’s critically acclaimed Kitchen Sink and 2017’s Mercury Prize-nominated Holiday Destination – chronicles a period of unprecedented turbulence in Nadine Shah’s life. And yet, the experience of listening to it is oddly life-affirming: a parade of ghosts spanning the entirety of Nadine’s thirty-seven years, moving with balletic beauty to the music that Nadine and long-time co-writer and producer Ben Hillier have created around them, with renewed emphasis on placing melody and movement front and centre.
  • Idles - Tangk
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    • Idles  Tangk 
  • Tangk is the righteous and vibrant fifth album from madcap truth-seekers Idles. Pronounced ‘tank’ with a whiff of the ‘g’ – an onomatopoeic reference to the lashing way the band imagined their guitars sounding that has since grown into a sigil for living in love – the record is the band’s most ambitious and striking work yet. Where Idles were once set on taking the world’s piss, squaring off with strong jaws against the perennially entitled and exercising personal trauma in real time, they have arrived in this new act to offer the fruits of such perseverance: love, joy, and indeed gratitude for the mere opportunity of existence.
  • Grandaddy - Blue Wav
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    • Grandaddy  Blue Wav 
  • A prolific storyteller, Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle is inspired by a wide range of subjects, from the overwhelming beauty of nature to the mundane moments that spark life’s strongest memories. The buoyant lead single ‘Watercooler’ comments on the dichotomy of both, inspired by having his own outdoorsy rock guy (in both senses of the word) lifestyle while his partner had an office job. With the album title Blu Wav meant as a literal mash-up of ‘bluegrass’ and ‘new wave’, the new collection has a distinct feel, a consistent vibe and a somewhat unexpected sound, introducing pedal steel into the band’s repertoire for the first time.
  • Paloma Faith - The Glorification of Sadness
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    • Paloma Faith  The Glorification of Sadness 
  • The Glorification of Sadness is more than an album about relationships: it covers the celebration of finding your way back after leaving a long-term relationship, being empowered even in your failures and taking responsibility for your own happiness. It is Paloma Faith’s most personal album to date, drawing on her own experiences, in which she acts as the anchor for a deeply personal narrative. This is the first new music from Paloma since the release of her fifth studio album, Infinite Things, in November 2020 and is the first time in her career that she has executively produced a record.
  • Blackberry Smoke - Be Right Here
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    • Blackberry Smoke  Be Right Here 
  • Atlanta-based quintet Blackberry Smoke return with their 8th studio album, Be Right Here, produced by Dave Cobb. The band’s previous album, You Hear Georgia, was released to critical acclaim, with No Depression praising the band for being “the reigning heavyweight champions of Southern rock … as much students of singer-songwriter-folk and outlaw country as they are of jam-based, chest-pumping rock,” while Guitar World declared: “Many try to reproduce that holy grail, golden-era-of-classic-rock sound through their six-string escapades, yet only a handful ultimately succeed. One such band who succeeds in spades is Blackberry Smoke.
  • Cast - Love Is the Call
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    • Cast  Love Is the Call 
  • As one of the most traditional guitar bands to emerge during the Britpop era of the mid-’90s, and one of its big success stories, Cast have carved out a sound that was heavily indebted to the British Invasion of the early ’60s but infused with a mystical, pseudo-hippie lyrical sensibility that lead singer John Power expanded upon. What really made Cast into a success was Power’s gift for simple, classic pop hooks, as demonstrated on the hit singles ‘Fine Time’, ‘Alright’ and ‘Walkaway’. Power’s gift for sparkling melodies and instantly addictive hooks remains as strong as ever, and he has hinted that the band’s new album, Love Is the Call, will feel like a missing link between his time with The La’s and Cast’s debut album, All Change.
 

 

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Releases for 9 February 2024

We open 9 February’s stormers with the 15th-anniversary reissue of British Sea Power’s 2008 classic Do You Like Rock Music?, which has been expanded with radio sessions and B-sides plus extensive new sleeve notes by Roy Wilkinson. Legendary 1986 Sonic Youth bootleg Walls Have Ears finally gets an official release: this is no mere live album but an artful tapestry full of live experimentation with songs, between-song tape segues, darkness, humour and audio verité. Chelsea Wolfe’s latest album, She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She, is a rebirth in process: how such a moment connects to our past, present and future – a powerfully cathartic statement about cutting ties as well as an important reminder that healing is cyclical and circular, not a simple linear process. One of the great albums of 2004, Franz Ferdinand’s incredible, world-conquering debut – edgy, sexy, danceable art-pop for the masses – kick-started the British fight-back against the likes of The Strokes and The White Stripes. At Their Very Best features a live recording of the sold-out performance at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden by one of the defining bands of their generation, The 1975, on 7 November 2022.

Our release of the week is What Now, the second solo album from Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes. The only constant on this record is that you never know what’s going to happen next: every song is its own aquarium, its own little miniature world built around whatever she was feeling and thinking at the time.

  • Brittany Howard - WHAT NOW
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    • Brittany Howard  WHAT NOW 
  • What Now is the second solo album from Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes. “With the world we’re living in now, it feels like we’re all just trying to hang onto our souls. Everything seems to be getting more extreme and everyone keeps wondering, ‘WHAT NOW? What’s next?’ By the same coin, the only constant on this record is that you never know what’s going to happen next: every song is its own aquarium, its own little miniature world built around whatever I was feeling and thinking at the time.
  • British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music? (15th Anniversary)
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    • British Sea Power  Do You Like Rock Music? (15th Anniversary) 
  • British Sea Power’s 2008 classic Do You Like Rock Music? receives a 15th-anniversary reissue, expanded with radio sessions and B-sides plus extensive new sleeve notes by Roy Wilkinson. This kaleidoscopic record encapsulates Sea Power’s true heart. “Easy, easy”: only Sea Power could turn a football chant into art … with ease. From this bounding refrain of ‘No Lucifer’ via the serenity of ‘Waving Flags’, the balm-like ‘No Need To Cry’ and the joyous ‘Trip Out’, Do You Like Rock Music? reflects the band’s ability to find glacial beauty in the commonplace, making soul-stirring epiphanies an everyday occurrence.
  • Sonic Youth - Walls Have Ears
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    • Sonic Youth  Walls Have Ears 
  • Culled from three 1985 gigs in the UK during a transitional and transcendent time in Sonic Youth’s story, Walls Have Earsappeared as a 2-LP set in 1986 without the band’s approval and disappeared soon afterwards, and is now finally being issued for the first time officially under the band’s auspices. Walls Have Ears is not a mere live album but an artful tapestry full of live experimentation with songs, between-song tape segues, darkness, humour and audio verité. The ’85 shows were the second time the band appeared on UK soil, Brits now getting juiced to the mythos of the emerging guitar-slinging American independent underground; an art/punk band from NYC sporting casual attitudes and Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Prince T-shirts made some good press copy on top of their bludgeoning on-stage appearances.
  • Chelsea Wolfe - She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She
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    • Chelsea Wolfe  She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She 
  • Chelsea Wolfe’s latest album, She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She, is a rebirth in process. It’s about how such a moment connects to our past, present and future. It’s a powerfully cathartic statement about cutting ties as well as an important reminder that healing is cyclical and circular, not a simple linear process. As Wolfe explains, “It’s a record about the past self reaching out to the present self reaching out to the future self to summon change, growth and guidance. It’s a story of setting yourself free from situations and patterns that are holding you back, in order to become self-empowered. It’s an invitation to step into your authenticity.
  • Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand (20th Anniversary)
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    • Franz Ferdinand  Franz Ferdinand (20th Anniversary) 
  • One of the great albums of 2004, Franz Ferdinand’s incredible eponymous debut kick-started the British fight-back against the likes of The Strokes and The White Stripes, and the album became world-conquering. The band was at the vanguard of the art-wave scene and possessed a fierce determination to change the face of modern music. This is edgy, sexy, danceable art-pop for the masses. The album now gets a one-off pressing on orange vinyl with black swirl for its 20th anniversary.
  • The 1975 - At Their Very Best: Live from MSG
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    • The 1975  At Their Very Best: Live from MSG 
  • At Their Very Best features a live recording of The 1975’s sold-out performance at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden on 7 November 2022. Formed in Manchester in 2002, The 1975 have established themselves as one of the defining bands of their generation with their distinctive aesthetic, ardent fan base and unique sonic approach. Their latest studio offering, Being Funny in a Foreign Language, became their fifth consecutive UK No.1 album. The critically acclaimed band were crowned Best Group at the Brit Awards in 2017 and 2019, with their third album, A Brief Enquiry into Online Relationships, winning the Mastercard British Album of the Year in 2019.
 

 

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Releases for 2 February 2024

Opening 2 February’s crackers, the reformed Kula Shaker cast their most potent spell yet on Natural Magick, incorporating blazing psychedelic sermons, raga rave-ups, stardust-coated pop pearls and mood-enhancing mantras. What Do We Do Now is the latest solo album from J Mascis, which has ended up less acoustic and sounding more like a Dinosaur Jr record than most of his solo work. Lights Out was UFO’s breakthrough album, confirming Michael Schenker’s status as the most exciting guitarist in heavy rock and launching them into the big time, and it’s an album rich in quality. The Who’s imense rock opera Quadrophenia gets a loving 50th-anniversary reissue on half-speed-mastered vinyl, packaged in its original gatefold sleeve with a 44-page booklet, obi and certificate of authenticity. And Robert Forster has reworked his 1996 classic Warm Nights in a ‘director’s cut’ version, ironing out a couple of things that had been bugging him for 25 years, revising the tracklisting and adding previously unreleased material.

Our release of the week comes from The Last Dinner Party, a band who, in just a year, have moved from being a name shared among those who had caught them live to one of the hottest properties in rock. Prelude to Ecstasy is both the closing of that introductory chapter and the opening of the next. Definitely, in this case, believe the hype.

  • The Last Dinner Party - Prelude to Ecstasy
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    • The Last Dinner Party  Prelude to Ecstasy 
  • At the turn of the year, The Last Dinner Party was little more than a new name being shared among those who had caught them live: a band with great songs and a strong aesthetic. Having spent much of 2022 writing those songs, road-testing them and then taking them into the studio, it wasn’t until April, when the band released the instantly more-ish, dark guitar-pop of ‘Nothing Matters’, that seemingly everyone had now formed an opinion on them. It was an introduction that took the online world by storm, and yet behind all the excitement and narrative was a fantastically confident indie-rock song by a band doing it the old-fashioned way, out on the road. Prelude to Ecstasy is both the closing of that introductory chapter and the opening of the next. The Last Dinner Party? Believe the hype.
  • Kula Shaker - Natural Magick
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    • Kula Shaker  Natural Magick 
  • On Kula Shaker’s new album, Natural Magick, the band harness the power to cast their most potent spell yet, incorporating blazing psychedelic sermons, raga rave-ups, stardust-coated pop pearls and mood-enhancing mantras. Kula Shaker reformed permanently in 2021 with the return of keyboard wizard Jay Darlington, reuniting all four members of the band’s classic line-up for the first time since 1999.
  • J Mascis - What Do We Do Now
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    • J Mascis  What Do We Do Now 
  • What Do We Do Now began to come together during the waning days of the pandemic. Working in his own Bisquiteen Studio, J Mascis started writing a series of tunes on acoustic guitar with a different dynamic from the music he creates for Dinosaur Jr. “When I’m writing for the band,” he says, “I’m always trying to think of doing things Lou and Murph would fit into. For myself, I’m thinking more about what I can do with just an acoustic guitar, even for the leads. Of course, this time, I added full drums and electric leads, although the rhythm parts are still all acoustic. Usually, I try to do the solo stuff more simply so I can play it by myself, but I really wanted to add the drums. Once that started, everything else just fell into place. So it ended up sounding a lot more like a band record. I dunno why I did that exactly, but it’s just what happened.
  • UFO - Lights Out
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    • UFO  Lights Out 
  • Lights Out was released in May 1977 and became UFO’s biggest album to date, confirming Michael Schenker’s status as the most exciting guitarist in heavy rock. The band was also rejuvenated with personnel changes as keyboardist Paul Raymond replaced Danny Peyronel and Leo Lyons – who had produced the band’s previous three albums – was replaced by Ron Nevison, whose work with Led Zeppelin had impressed, signalling the first in a stellar run of collaborations. An album rich in quality, title track ‘Lights Out’ offers an urgent portrayal of a dystopian London, dripping with “batons charging … the smell of anarchy”. The song was inspired by the same thing that led Joe Strummer to write ‘White Riot’ for The Clash: the Notting Hill riots of August 1976. Closing out the record is what Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris has called his favourite song of all time, ‘Love to Love’, arguably the album’s crowning achievement.
  • The Who - Quadrophenia
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    • The Who  Quadrophenia 
  • Announced on the 50th anniversary of the album’s original release date, Quadrophenia is now available on 180-gram black double vinyl from audio masters produced by Jon Astley at Close to the Edge and half-speed vinyl masters cut by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios, packaged in its original gatefold sleeve with a 44-page booklet, obi and certificate of authenticity. Quadrophenia was the sixth studio album by The Who, released in October 1973. The band’s third rock opera, often regarded by many as The Who’s best album, features songs ‘The Real Me’, ‘5.15’ and the epic ‘Love Reign O’er Me’. Delve into the complex story of Jimmy Cooper, a Mod coming to terms with life head on.
  • Robert Forster - Warm Nights
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    • Robert Forster  Warm Nights 
  • Originally released in 1996, Warm Nights repositioned Robert Forster as one of the great songwriters of the post-punk era. Robert recalls that producer Edwyn Collins “got the [intended] sound of the album completely: a dry low-end groove pitched somewhere between Creedence Clearwater Revival and Willie Mitchell’s early ’70s Hi Records work.” Towards the end of the sessions some complications arose – and it’s these complications that Robert has seized the chance to remedy for this new release of the album. “It was Edwyn’s idea,” explains Robert, “to bring in a three-piece brass section – it fitted some of the songs beautifully, but it was in the mixing of the brass and the effect it had on the running order that things got complicated, [resulting in] two changes to the album that have been bugging me for 25 years.” This ‘director’s cut’ re-issue features revised tracklisting and previously unreleased material.
 

 

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Releases for 26 January 2024

Our six smashers for 26 January open with Polaroid Lovers, on which four-time Grammy-winner Sarah Jarosz explores new sonic territory while touching on themes both personal and universal. Future Islands take a ‘less is more’ approach on People Who Aren’t There Anymore, turning inward to unlock a new level of ferocity, delivering some of their most inspiring and most heartbreaking tracks and making this album a defining statement. The legendary New Model Army continue to push the boundaries of their signature sound on Unbroken, a powerful and emotionally intense body of work with themes ranging from social and political commentary to deeply personal reflections. And after conquering the charts and claiming the number one trophy last time out with What’s Rock and Roll?, Sheffield sensations The Reytons are back with their third full-length album, Ballad of a Bystander.

Our release of the week is Wall of Eyes, the new album from The Smile, the supergroup consisting of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood with jazz percussionist Tom Skinner. The album is the follow-up to their 2022 debut, A Light for Attracting Attention.

  • The Smile - Wall of Eyes
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    • The Smile  Wall of Eyes 
  • Wall of Eyes is the new album from The Smile, the supergroup consisting of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood with jazz percussionist Tom Skinner. The album was recorded between Oxford and Abbey Road Studios, and was produced and mixed Sam Petts-Davies. It features string arrangements by the London Contemporary Orchestra. The album is the follow-up to their 2022 debut, A Light for Attracting Attention.
  • Sarah Jarosz - Polaroid Lovers
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    • Sarah Jarosz  Polaroid Lovers 
  • Polaroid Lovers is the seventh studio album from four-time Grammy-winner Sarah Jarosz. Produced by Daniel Tashian, Polaroid Lovers is a bold creative statement that sees Jarosz exploring new sonic territory. The 11 songs on the album, all co-written by Jarosz with songwriters including Tashian, Jon Randall, Ruston Kelly and Natalie Hemby, touch on themes both personal and universal: love, longing and finding one’s place in the world.
  • Future Islands - People Who Aren’t There Anymore
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    • Future Islands  People Who Aren’t There Anymore 
  • People Who Aren’t There Anymore heralds a new chapter for Future Islands, who continue to challenge themselves and each other nearly two decades after they first formed. Where they’ve pursued ever-higher energy anthems in the past, they’ve turned inward this time, and unlocked a new level of ferocity, delivering some of their most inspiring and most heartbreaking tracks by doing the opposite: taking their time, making each breath, each syllable, each cymbal crash count. The result is a powerful, defining statement from a group of musicians who have made the best album of their career.
  • New Model Army - Unbroken
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    • New Model Army  Unbroken 
  • Known for their unique blend of punk rock, post-punk, folk, alternative rock and all kinds of musical sub-cultures, New Model Army refuses to belong to any club or style. NMA’s latest album, Unbroken, features a diverse collection of tracks that touch on topics ranging from social and political commentary to deeply personal reflections. The album is a powerful and emotionally intense body of work ranging from rebellious tracks as ‘I Did Nothing Wrong’ to contemplative songs like ‘First Summer After’. With this album, the band continues to push the boundaries of their signature sound while staying true to the themes that have made them a force to be reckoned with in the music world.
  • The Reytons - Ballad of a Bystander
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    • The Reytons  Ballad of a Bystander 
  • After conquering the charts and claiming the number one trophy last time out with What’s Rock and Roll?, Sheffield sensations The Reytons are back with their third full-length album, Ballad of a Bystander. “We’re once again releasing 100% independently, with no label backing. Let’s get out there and do it all again! #AllReytons
 

 

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Releases for 12 & 19 January

Our recommendations for 12 & 19 January open strongly with Little Rope, one of the finest, most delicately layered records in Sleater-Kinney’s nearly 30-year career, with songs that veer from spare to anthemic, catchy to deliberately hard-turning. Green Day is sending out a fiery SOS for these troubled times with Saviors, which continues their career-long destruction of every boundary bestowed on the punk genre that landed them in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Magnum is one of those few great bands on our planet that you can infallibly identify within the first few bars of a song – their unique melodic skill, tasteful instrumentation, the right balance of depth and catchiness, and then of course that charismatic voice – and Here Comes the Rain finds them at their best. Torchbearers for British guitar music The Vaccines are back with Pick-up Full of Pink Carnations, an album about reconciling with loss but also filled with gratitude for the people and places we once loved. Orange Head is the latest installment in Black Grape’s grimily cosmic musical jigsaw, melding rock, hip-hop, acid house, psychedelic pop and reggae with Ryder’s gutter poetry, delivered in his inimitable shyster’s bark.

Our release of the week is Sadness Sets Me Free, recorded in just three days in a studio on the outskirts of Paris by Gruff Rhys with his band at the end of a whirlwind tour. What finally emerged from these intense bouts of cross-continental activity was Gruff’s most accomplished and beautiful record to date.

  • Gruff Rhys - Sadness Sets Me Free
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    • Gruff Rhys  Sadness Sets Me Free 
  • 26 January: Sadness Sets Me Free is, incredibly, the 25th album that Gruff Rhys has released in his 35-year career individually, collaboratively and as a member of various bands. In the early hours of a March morning in 2022 Gruff and his band piled into a van driven by late, legendary tour manager ‘Dr’ Kiko Loiacono and raced from Dunkirk, where they had just played the final show of a tour of Spain and France, to the outskirts of Paris. There, in La Frette Studios, a recording facility installed in a 19th-century house, Gruff and his road-hardened group recorded Sadness Sets Me Free in just three days. Along the way, backing vocals were added by Kate Stables from This Is The Kit along with additional strings and orchestration, and it was mixed in Marseille and Cardiff. What finally emerged from these intense bouts of cross-continental activity was Gruff’s most accomplished and beautiful record to date.
  • Sleater-Kinney - Little Rope
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    • Sleater-Kinney  Little Rope 
  • 19 January: Little Rope is one of the finest, most delicately layered records in Sleater-Kinney’s nearly 30-year career. To call the album flawless feels like an insult to its intent: it careens head-first into flaw and brokenness, a meditation on what living in a world of perpetual crisis has done to us and what we do to the world in return. On the surface, the album’s 10 songs veer from spare to anthemic, catchy to deliberately hard-turning. But beneath that are perhaps the most complex and subtle arrangements of any Sleater-Kinney record, and a lyrical and emotional compass pointed firmly in the direction of something both liberating and terrifying: the sense that the only way to gain control is to let go.
  • Green Day - Saviors
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    • Green Day  Saviors 
  • 19 January: Green Day is sending out a fiery SOS for these troubled times. Saviors is Green Day’s 14th studio album, yet somehow this enduring power trio – Billie Joe Armstrong, Tré Cool and Mike Dirnt – remain devoted to their defiant craft that has fuelled a career-long destruction of every boundary bestowed on the genre, and landed three East Bay punks in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. So, even as the band acknowledges its illustrious past – such as with the 30th anniversary of the now classic Dookie and the 20th anniversary of American Idiot later this year – Green Day remains firmly focused on the here and now.
  • Magnum - Here Comes the Rain
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    • Magnum  Here Comes the Rain 
  • 12 January: There are few great bands on our planet that you can infallibly identify within the first few bars of one of their songs. Their unique melodic skill, their tasteful instrumentation, the right balance of depth and catchiness, and then of course that charismatic voice: Magnum are Magnum! The same can be said of their latest studio album, Here Comes the Rain.
  • The Vaccines - Pick-up Full of Pink Carnations
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    • The Vaccines  Pick-up Full of Pink Carnations 
  • 12 January: Torchbearers for British guitar music The Vaccines are back with their sixth studio album, Pick-up Full of Pink Carnations. The title comes from a misheard lyric from Don McClean’s ‘American Pie’, a song that for singer Justin Young fittingly evokes the death of innocence and the American Dream. After he moved to Los Angeles – a city the band grew up being captivated by – he was forced to wrestle with the disillusionment that comes when expectations, dreams and reality don’t quite meet. Yet, although Pick-up Full of Pink Carnations is an album about reconciling with loss, it’s also filled with gratitude for the people and places we once loved.
  • Black Grape - Orange Head
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    • Black Grape  Orange Head 
  • 19 January: Black Grape could only have been made in Manchester. The swagger, fun and cryptic humour seem hewn from a city historian AJP Taylor once described as offering an archetypally different way of English urban life to London. Both Shaun Ryder and Paul Leveridge, known as Kermit, came from edgy-but-cool parts of the city: in Shaun’s case, Salford, with Kermit originating from Moss Side. Ryder has grown from a wild young tearaway into a British National Treasure. Orange Head is the latest installment in Black Grape’s grimily cosmic musical jigsaw, melding rock, hip-hop, acid house, psychedelic pop and reggae with Ryder’s gutter poetry, delivered in his inimitable shyster’s bark.
 

 

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