Releases from March–April 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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Releases for 26 April 2024

The first of 26 April’s smashers comes from pop icons Pet Shop Boys, whose uplifting and reflective new album, Nonetheless, mixes electronics, live instruments and orchestral arrangements with a fresh, open sound, bringing together classic strands of PSB song-writing and moving them in new directions. The Big Decider comes into view as an album of stark significance to The Zutons, born under the weight of family tragedies, lives lost and created, reality checks, and home truths faced up to and stared down, when love for creating together becoming the most important thing of all. Charley Crockett’s critically acclaimed Man From Waco established him as one of the leaders of a sparkling revival of traditional country and folk music, and his new record, $10 Cowboy, serenades those who have to hustle to get by, who have fallen down, got back up, and ventured from home chasing a paying gig or a new start. Making Forgiveness Is Yours – the most sophisticated, vital and flamboyant creation of their career – pushed Fat White Family to the limits not only of their creative talent but of their health, their sanity, their very existence. Six Organs of Admittance is captured once again, on Time Is Glass, in the intricate tangle of the fretboards, soaring in open skies above, like lens flare cutting through the speakers, spiderwebs cracking the windshield that holds back all the onrushing reality, blowing the dust away, cutting a new path for cognition.

Our release of the week comes from three-time Grammy-winning iconoclast St. Vincent, whose fully self-produced seventh studio album, All Born Screaming, features the singles ‘Broken Man’, ‘Flea’ and focus ‘Big Time Nothing’ – with Annie Clark leading a ‘curated group of rippers’ including Dave Grohl, Cate Le Bon and Josh Freese.

  • St. Vincent - All Born Screaming
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    • St. Vincent  All Born Screaming 
  • Three-time Grammy-winning iconoclast St. Vincent describes the process of fully self-producing her seventh studio album: “I had to walk through the fire with this one alone … I’m obsessed with production … trying to find those six seconds of lightning in a bottle that I could build an entire song around.All Born Screaming takes listeners on that journey – featuring singles ‘Broken Man’, ‘Flea’ and focus ‘Big Time Nothing’ – with Annie Clark leading a ‘curated group of rippers’ including Dave Grohl, Cate Le Bon and Josh Freese.
  • Pet Shop Boys - Nonetheless
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    • Pet Shop Boys  Nonetheless 
  • UK electronic pop icons Pet Shop Boys return with their brand-new studio album, Nonetheless. Produced by James Ford, the music on Nonetheless is both uplifting and reflective, mixing electronics, live instruments and orchestral arrangements. The songs are very melodic and quintessentially Pet Shop Boys with a fresh, open sound, bringing together classic strands of PSB song-writing and moving them in new directions.
  • The Zutons - The Big Decider
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    • The Zutons  The Big Decider 
  • The Big Decider comes into view as an album of stark significance to The Zutons. Written against the backdrop of a decade and a half’s worth of lived experience, it is born under the weight of family tragedies, lives lost and created, reality checks, and home truths faced up to and stared down. Wrestled into shape under the kind of steam that only decades-long friendships – with all their messy fall-outs, make-ups, breakdowns and ultimately love – can muster, The Big Decider became the sound of water passing under the bridge, and love for music, love for each other, and love for creating together becoming the most important thing of all.
  • Charley Crockett - $10 Cowboy
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    • Charley Crockett  $10 Cowboy 
  • Charley Crockett released a concept album in 2022 – the critically acclaimed Man From Waco, which Rolling Stone named the second best country album of the year, and which propelled Crockett to new heights and established him as one of the leaders of a sparkling revival of traditional country and folk music through sold-out shows, late-night TV performances, a live album release and critical acclaim. Crockett didn’t set out to make another themed record, but the raw, personal, vivid portraits of a country in transition he was writing ended up being connected after all. As the album unfolds, you begin to understand that a $10 Cowboy is anyone who has hustled to get by, who didn’t fit in, who has slept on other people’s couches or on the street, who has fallen down, got back up, and ventured from home chasing a paying gig or a new start.
  • Fat White Family - Forgiveness Is Yours
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    • Fat White Family  Forgiveness Is Yours 
  • Fat White Family are back with the most sophisticated, vital and flamboyant creation of their career. Forgiveness Is Yours, the resplendent fourth album from the cult south-London band, has, like everything they’ve done, pushed them to the limits not only of their creative talent, but of their health, their sanity, their very existence.
  • Six Organs of Admittance - Time Is Glass
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    • Six Organs of Admittance  Time Is Glass 
  • Six Organs of Admittance is captured once again, on Time Is Glass, in the intricate tangle of the fretboards, soaring in open skies above. Like lens flare cutting through the speakers, spiderwebs cracking the windshield that holds back all the onrushing reality. Blowing the dust away, cutting a new path for cognition. After 20 years living on the road in different places, guitarist Ben Chasny returned home to Humboldt County – a far country, to some, but still part of the world through which creatures of all kinds move through and contribute to. And some of them are human. Alone together – forming connection and exchange out of thought and expression – no different from the people on the other side of the Redwood Curtain. It was there, where Six Organs had long ago emerged, in the name of everything cycling, of circles that spiral concentrically and remain unbroken, that the new music was conceived.
 

 

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Releases for 19 April 2024

19 April’s hot six blasts off with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Pearl Jam, who return with their highly anticipated new album, Dark Matter, produced by Andrew Watt. It All Comes Down to This takes A Certain Ratio back to their roots, with 10 straight-to-the-point tracks performed by the core 3-piece line-up and a sprinkling of electronics for good measure, it continues the constant progression demonstrated by the band. This Ain’t the Way You Go Out is an album constructed from the ashes of despair, nurturing the tiniest of green shoots and giving life to something that had looked otherwise spent, as Lucy Rose re-awakens herself to the power of music. Live on Mountain Stage: Outlaws & Outliers compiles some highlights from four decades of the ‘Mountain Stage’ radio programme, curated by the show’s co-founder and long-time host, Larry Groce, many documenting now iconic artists in their formative years. And Grammy- and Oscar-winning producer, musician and songwriter T Bone Burnett is back to form with an album of 12 folk tracks featuring artists Lucius, Roseanne Cash and Weyes Blood: ultimately, in looking for ‘you’, T Bone Burnett found himself on The Other Side.

There can be only one choice for our release of the week. Undeniable, unreviewable and unstoppable: the behemoth that is Taylor Swift returns with The Tortured Poets Department – her eleventh studio album. Nothing more needs to be said.

  • Taylor Swift - The Tortured Poets Department
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    • Taylor Swift  The Tortured Poets Department 
  • Undeniable, unreviewable and unstoppable: the behemoth that is Taylor Swift returns with The Tortured Poets Department – her eleventh studio album. Nothing more needs to be said.
  • Pearl Jam - Dark Matter
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    • Pearl Jam  Dark Matter 
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Pearl Jam return with their highly anticipated new album, Dark Matter. The band’s 12th studio album was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Andrew Watt.
  • A Certain Ratio - It All Comes Down to This
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    • A Certain Ratio  It All Comes Down to This 
  • It All Comes Down to This features 10 straight-to-the-point tracks and takes A Certain Ratio back to their roots, with a sprinkling of electronics for good measure. It is the first time the band has recorded as the core 3-piece line-up of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson with no members of their live set-up or additional collaborators. Following on from last year’s acclaimed album 1982 and electrifying EP 2023, It All Comes Down to This continues the lineage of constant progression demonstrated by the band.
  • Lucy Rose - This Ain’t the Way You Go Out
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    • Lucy Rose  This Ain’t the Way You Go Out 
  • Lucy Rose was busy balancing the success of her own career with running a record label when she was diagnosed with a rare illness in the summer of 2021. This Ain’t the Way You Go Out is an album constructed from the ashes of despair, nurturing the tiniest of green shoots and giving life to something that had looked otherwise spent. It’s a new era for Lucy, and an era in its purest, truest sense. This is an artist re-awakening herself to the power of music, and having a lot of fun in the process of its discovery and delivery.
  • Various Artists - Live on Mountain Stage: Outlaws & Outliers
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    • Various Artists  Live on Mountain Stage: Outlaws & Outliers 
  • Live on Mountain Stage: Outlaws & Outliers compiles some highlights from the ‘Mountain Stage’ radio programme, curated by the show’s co-founder and long-time host, Larry Groce. With four decades worth of recordings in its archives, many documenting artists in their formative years, this is an essential release. “I’ve had the privilege of listening to some of these tracks and they’re just jaw-droppingly gorgeous,” says Groce. Produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting in Charleston, ‘Mountain Stage’ is heard on nearly 300 public radio stations nationwide and continues to present world-class performances with the same passion, dedication, and curiosity that’s guided it from the start. Some of their most iconic guests include John Prine, Wilco, R.E.M., Phish, Townes Van Zandt, Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, Dr. John, Buddy Guy and Preservation Hall Jazz Band, to name but a few.
  • T Bone Burnett - The Other Side
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    • T Bone Burnett  The Other Side 
  • Grammy- and Oscar-winning producer, musician and songwriter T Bone Burnett is back to form with an album of 12 folk tracks featuring artists Lucius, Roseanne Cash and Weyes Blood. “With this record, I tried to treat myself as kindly as I would try to treat other people,” says Burnett, who likens his producing approach to that of a photographer. “I try to find the person’s best angle and light them so they look the most like themselves or the best version of themselves. And this time, rather than staying in the romantic notion I previously had of myself – of a rebellious artist, a firebrand or whatever I thought I was trying to be – I just tried to be kind to myself.” Ultimately, in looking for ‘you’, T Bone Burnett found himself on The Other Side.
 

 

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Releases for 12 April 2024

First of 12 April’s six bangers is One Deep River, which features 12 future classics from Mark Knopfler, and his warm vocal tone, his poetic storytelling lyrics and deft, richly melodic guitar playing are all present and correct and as dazzling as ever. Blue Öyster Cult is set to captivate fans with Ghost Stories, a collection of lost gems including the only known studio recording of their concert classic, the MC5 cover ‘Kick Out the Jams’ – all of which finally sees the light of day. Imagine you’ve gone to space, and it turns out it’s almost identical to Doncaster: that’s the feel of English Teacher’s debut album, This Could Be Texas, which is about in-betweens, about home and about trying to find tolerance in an increasingly polarised society. Our Brand Could Be YR Life is Bodega’s best-sounding record to date, adding touches of dance-punk, shoegaze, slacker rock and psychedelic rock to help them carve a new future from fuzz-soaked, consumerism-skewering shards of their past. Metz, a band once known for blowing out eardrums with songs of joyous rage, have been exploring ways to turn abrasiveness into atmospherics, and the evolution of their sound towards Up On Gravity Hill reflects a changed world that demands nuance and compassion to comprehend and to survive.

Our release of the week comes from contemporary jazz icon Shabaka, who has put down the saxophone – the instrument he has become synonymous with in ensembles such as The Comet Is Coming and Sons of Kemet – in favour of the flute for his first full-length album under his own name: Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace is a deeply moving suite of primarily instrumental music, reflective and contemplative, with help fom Andre 3000, Lianne La Havas, Moses Sumney, Floating Points and more.

  • Shabaka - Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace
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    • Shabaka  Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace 
  • Shabaka has put down the saxophone – the instrument he has become synonymous with in ensembles such as The Comet Is Coming and Sons of Kemet – in favour of the flute for his first full-length album under his own name. Expanding off his meditative 2022 EP Afrikan Culture, the album Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace is a deeply moving suite of primarily instrumental music. The listening experience is reflective and contemplative, with passages flowing from one musical concept to the next, encouraging deep attention that rewards the listener with throughlines and motifs throughout the record. Shabaka has enlisted key artists such as Andre 3000, Lianne La Havas, Moses Sumney, Floating Points and more to help build this all-encompassing aural landscape.
  • Mark Knopfler - One Deep River
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    • Mark Knopfler  One Deep River 
  • One Deep River features 12 unhurriedly elegant new songs from Mark Knopfler, and his warm Geordie vocal tone, his poetic storytelling lyrics and deft, richly melodic guitar playing are all present and correct and as dazzling as ever. One Deep River offers an unstoppable flow of future Knopfler classics, with his customarily learned lyrics and refined guitar textures. They draw on a lifetime of genre-crossing ingredients and influences in blues, folk, rock and beyond; and, as usual, they reveal their charms with unhurried grace and depth.
  • Blue Öyster Cult - Ghost Stories
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    • Blue Öyster Cult  Ghost Stories 
  • Blue Öyster Cult is set to captivate fans with Ghost Stories, a collection of reimagined and newly completed songs. These musical treasures, long considered ‘lost gems’ by Blue Öyster Cultists, were originally recorded between 1978 and 1983, except for one track, 2016’s ‘If I Fell’. Also included is the only known studio recording of their concert classic, the MC5 cover ‘Kick Out the Jams’. Some of the material is from sessions in which they were workshopping material for an album, some is from performance rehearsals. All were recorded in the hopes that someday they’d see the light of day.
  • English Teacher - This Could Be Texas
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    • English Teacher  This Could Be Texas 
  • English Teacher’s lead singer, Lily Fontaine, says of the band’s debut album, This Could Be Texas: “I want this album to feel like you’ve gone to space, and it turns out it’s almost identical to Doncaster. It’s about in-betweens, it’s about home, and it’s about Desire Paths.” In several songs, Fontaine reflects on growing up as a mixed-race individual in a place, she says, “where many didn’t have any tolerance towards people who are different” in a post-Brexit landscape.
  • Bodega - Our Brand Could Be YR Life
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    • Bodega  Our Brand Could Be YR Life 
  • Sometimes you have to move backwards to move forwards. Just ask punk cultural commentators Bodega, whose new album sees them carve a new future from fuzz-soaked, consumerism-skewering shards of their past. Our Brand Could Be YR Life is something the band have been wanting to do for years – a collection of catchy indie-rock ruminations, first written eight years ago, on the slow creep of corporate-think into youth culture. Our Brand Could Be YR Life’s 15 tracks explore indie-rock subgenres, self-critique and everything in between. “I think it’s our best-sounding record to date,” says Hozie, “It’s got dance-punk. There’s some shoegaze on there. There’s slacker rock on there. There’s psychedelic rock on this side as well.
  • Metz - Up On Gravity Hill
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    • Metz  Up On Gravity Hill 
  • With time, we come to understand how the joy of connection is mirrored by the void of loss, how the constancy of love is matched only by the impermanence of life, the simple idea that we could not create light if we did not risk the dark – we’d never need to. So it is with Metz, a band once known for blowing out eardrums with songs of joyous rage who have, over their past few records, begun exploring ways to turn abrasiveness into atmospherics. The evolution of their sound towards Up On Gravity Hill is not only a reflection of the maturing of the band themselves but also of a changed world that demands nuance and compassion to comprehend and to survive.
 

 

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Releases for 5 April 2024

The first of 5 April’s super six is All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade, the first new album in nine years from The Libertines, who have soldered their strongest-ever internal bond and scaled new creative heights, resulting in the best music so far of their extraordinary career. A La Sala is a gorgeously airy record with minimal overdubs, the morning after to Khruangbin’s 2020 party record Mordechai. Jane Weaver recalibrates her singular journey through the British musical landscape with Love in Constant Spectacle, her most open-hearted, direct and intimate collection of material yet. Indie figurehead Phosphorescent returns with Revelator, a meditation on all that he’s learned about life and all that is still unknown. Only God Was Above Us is inspired by and infused with the essence of Vampire Weekend’s birthplace, New York City, and it’s as beautiful and melodic as they’ve ever sounded but also captures them at their grittiest.

Our release of the week is Ohio Players by those multiple Grammy Award-winning natives of Akron, Ohio The Black Keys. Leader Dan Auerbach says: “It’s never taken us this long to make an album. We took our time and did it right.

  • The Black Keys - Ohio Players
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    • The Black Keys  Ohio Players 
  • Ohio Players is the new album from The Black Keys, those multiple Grammy Award-winning natives of Akron, Ohio. Leader Dan Auerbach says: “No matter who we work with, it never feels like we’re sacrificing who we are. It only feels like it adds some special flavour. We just expanded that palette with people we wanted to work with. We were there to support them and their ideas, to do whatever we could to see that moment flourish. But when it came time to finish the album, it was just Pat and me. We’d never worked harder to make a record,” he continues. “It’s never taken us this long to make an album. We took our time and did it right.
  • The Libertines - All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade
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    • The Libertines  All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade 
  • All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade is the first new album in nine years from The Libertines. On the album, the quartet of unlikely lads have gathered from their new-found homes in France, Denmark, Margate and London to solder their strongest-ever internal bond and to scale new creative heights, resulting in the best music so far of their extraordinary career.
  • Khruangbin - A La Sala
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    • Khruangbin  A La Sala 
  • Khruangbin’s fourth studio album, A La Sala (‘To the Room’ in Spanish), is an exercise in returning in order to go further, and doing so on your own terms. It continues the mystery and sanctity that is the key to how bassist Laura Lee Ochoa, drummer Donald ‘DJ’ Johnson, Jr and guitarist Mark ‘Marko’ Speer approach music. If 2020’s Mordechai, the last studio album Khruangbin made without collaborators, was a party record that enhanced the band’s musical reputation far and wide, then A La Sala is the measured morning after. It’s a gorgeously airy record completed only in the company of the group’s longtime engineer Steve Christensen, with minimal overdubs. It’s a window onto the bounties powering Khruangbin’s vision, a reimagining and refuelling for the long haul ahead. A La Sala scales Khruangbin down to scale up, a creative strategy with the future in mind.
  • Jane Weaver - Love in Constant Spectacle
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    • Jane Weaver  Love in Constant Spectacle 
  • Jane Weaver recalibrates her singular journey through the British musical landscape with Love in Constant Spectacle, her most open-hearted, direct and intimate collection of material yet. The music evokes spectacular imagery and distills the artist’s vision in its purest form, elevating her inimitable sound and poetic vision to new heights. Recapturing the melancholy of her early work while propelling it forward, she sketches scenes as we watch new colours, shapes and languages emerge and fill the frame. Love in Constant Spectacle sees her take measured steps towards a vivid, dreamlike record that offers resolve in the face of life’s inevitability.
  • Phosphorescent - Revelator
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    • Phosphorescent  Revelator 
  • Phosphorescent, currently based in Nashville, Tennessee, continues to be a notable indie figurehead and his return after five years is eagerly awaited by fans and critics alike. His 2022 covers album, Full Moon Project, encapsulated his major influences, including The Bee Gees, Bob Dylan and Nina Simone. Phosphorescent is a self-taught producer and a constant seeker, and his new record, Revelator, is a meditation on all that he’s learned about life and all that is still unknown.
  • Vampire Weekend - Only God Was Above Us
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    • Vampire Weekend  Only God Was Above Us 
  • Only God Was Above Us, the fifth studio album from Vampire Weekend, is inspired by and infused with the essence of the band’s birthplace, New York City, though recorded all over the world, from New York to Los Angeles to London and Tokyo. The album was produced by Ezra Koenig and long-time collaborator Ariel Rechtshaid. The album’s title is lifted directly from its artwork: a photo taken from a subway graveyard in New Jersey in 1988 by photographer Steven Siegel. Only God Was Above Us includes universal themes ranging from the urge to question the world in which we live and the quest for peace that can only be found through acceptance. The album is in equal parts as direct yet complex as anything the band has ever released, as beautiful and melodic as they’ve ever sounded but also captures them at their grittiest.
 

 

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Releases for 29 March 2024

The first of 29 March’s bangers is El Magnifico, which bears all the hallmarks that have made Ed Harcourt such an admired songwriter and that also finds him striving for something new: a desire to seek fresh challenges and rewards. Evolution comes as a welcomed surprise for fans of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Sheryl Crow after she publicly stated that 2018’s Threads would be her last-ever studio album. Eros Zeta & the Perfumed Guitars, the twenty-seventh studio album from Australian rock stalwarts The Church, expands the mythology established in 2023’s The Hypnogogue, and it speaks to an endless creativity for a band that’s been around for over forty years. The Muscle Shoals Sessions feature twelve of Texas’ greatest hits, plus two covers, stripped back to their bare bones; guided by the soulful voice of Sharleen Spiteri and accompanied by the delicate piano lines of Spooner Oldham, the songs shine in this format and prove their worth as timeless classics. It’s obvious, listening to Sarah Shook & The Disarmers’ clear-eyed, biting and unafraid songs, that integrity is the most important thing to the country-punk outfit from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and the raw and resilient tracks on Revelations new album come before anything else for this band.

Our release of the week is Interplay, the third album from Ride since their 2015 reunion, and it’s the sound of the group connecting all the dots, taking the frenzied guitar attacks, hypnotic grooves and dreamy melodic hooks of their early work and setting it in a more expansive sonic template, one that takes in synth flourishes, psychedelic folk, electronic beats and noir-pop soundscapes.

  • Ride - Interplay
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    • Ride  Interplay 
  • Everything feels like it has been leading to Ride’s forthcoming album, Interplay – the band’s seventh, and the third since their 2015 reunion. It’s the sound of the group connecting all the dots, taking the frenzied guitar attacks, hypnotic grooves and dreamy melodic hooks of their early work and setting it in a more expansive sonic template, one that takes in synth flourishes, psychedelic folk, electronic beats and noir-pop soundscapes. It has been a period of adversity in the world of Ride. Much of that was down to writing and recording during a pandemic – a period of adversity shared by everyone, everywhere – but there were also break-ups and a messy legal battle with an ex-manager that, singer and guitarist Mark Gardener states, “threatened our very existence.” It has instilled in the record a feeling of defiance, an album that pairs classic Ride lyrical hallmarks such as escapism, dreams, the dissatisfaction of modern life, yearning and freedom with a sense of resilience.
  • Ed Harcourt - El Magnifico
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    • Ed Harcourt  El Magnifico 
  • While recognisably bearing all the hallmarks that have made Ed Harcourt such an admired and prolific songwriter – one of Britain’s most cherished yet inventive music creators – his new record, El Magnifico, also finds him striving for something new. It is an Ed Harcourt record, but one with a desire to seek fresh reward. “I think as a songwriter you do get to a point where you’re aware of your past and what you’ve done,” suggests Harcourt of El Magnifico’s mixture of assuredness and aspiration. “It’s knowing what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are, but also knowing how to better yourself by doing things you haven’t done before.
  • Sheryl Crow - Evolution
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    • Sheryl Crow  Evolution 
  • Evolution, the 11th full-length studio album from nine-time Grammy Award winner and 2023 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Sheryl Crow, comes as a welcomed surprise after Crow publicly stated that she would not release another album after 2018’s Threads. The new album kicks off with lead single ‘Alarm Clock’, which is perhaps Sheryl Crow’s most radio-friendly pop song since ‘Soak Up the Sun’.
  • The Church - Eros Zeta & The Perfumed Guitars
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    • The Church  Eros Zeta & The Perfumed Guitars 
  • Eros Zeta & the Perfumed Guitars, the twenty-seventh studio album from Australian rock stalwarts The Church, is billed as a sequel or companion to 2023’s The Hypnogogue, expanding the mythology established in that record. Propelled by the sparse, synth-enhanced opener and lead single ‘Realm of Minor Angels’, it speaks to an endless creativity for a band that’s been around for over forty years.
  • Texas & Spooner Oldham - The Muscle Shoals Sessions
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    • Texas & Spooner Oldham  The Muscle Shoals Sessions 
  • Recorded at the renowned Fame Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama during the summer of 2022, The Muscle Shoals Sessions feature twelve of Texas’ greatest hits and two covers – ‘Would I Lie to You’ by Charles and Eddie and ‘Save the Last Dance’ by The Drifters – reimagined and laid bare. Stripped back to their bare bones, guided by the soulful voice of Sharleen Spiteri and accompanied by the delicate piano lines of Spooner Oldham, the songs shine in this format and prove their worth as timeless classics. Sharleen Spiteri says of the experience; “To have the option to go to Muscle Shoals to record was like being a little kid in a sweet shop. Working with Spooner was inspiring, fun and he’s just a wonderful human being. The fact that Northern Soul music has been such a massive influence for Texas made the fit with Spooner just right.
  • Sarah Shook and The Disarmers - Revelations
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    • Sarah Shook and The Disarmers  Revelations 
  • It’s obvious, listening to Sarah Shook & The Disarmers’ clear-eyed, biting and unafraid songs, that integrity is the most important thing to the country-punk outfit from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “A lot of artists are in this industry for fame, recognition and money, but those things don’t mean anything to me,” says bandleader River Shook. “Songwriting is it for me. It’s the only real healthy coping mechanism I’ve ever had. It’s life-saving. I don’t care about any superficial things when I’m making a record.
 

 

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Releases for 22 March 2024

The first of 22 March’s sublime 6 comes from Katie Crutchfield aka Waxahatchee, whose Tigers Blood is a confident album of lush alt-tinged country, her voice honest and close, poetic with Southern lilting: determined in her desires and convictions, ready to tell whoever will listen. Julia Holter’s sixth album, Something in the Room She Moves, takes its inspiration from the complexity and transformability of our bodies: it’s fluid-sounding, evoking the body’s internal sound world with gliding vocal melodies, glissing synth lines and warm winds and reeds. In 2022, Big Thief frontwoman Adrianne Lenker took a risk by inviting three musicians who didn’t know each other to record with her, and the magical result became Bright Future, a 12-track telling of a journeyed heart. Aoife O’Donovan’s latest, All My Friends, is a set of songs looking at women’s suffrage, and the sonic soundscape – expansive orchestral arrangements, choral vocals and a variety of instruments – is beyond anything she has done in the past. Glasgow Eyes marks 40 years of The Jesus And Mary Chain, their maelstrom of melody, feedback and controlled chaos now informed more audibly by their love for Suicide and Kraftwerk and the less disciplined attitudes found in jazz – but don’t worry, this isn’t ‘the Mary Chain goes jazz’!

Our release of the week is Elbow’s tenth studio album, Audio Vertigo, which marks a significant step change for the group: built from “gnarly, seedy grooves created by us playing together in garagy rooms”, it’s both more direct and more sonically varied than its predecessor.

  • Elbow - Audio Vertigo
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    • Elbow  Audio Vertigo 
  • Elbow’s tenth studio album, Audio Vertigo, was recorded over the course of 2023 at the band’s home studios, Migration Studios in Gloucestershire and The Dairy in London, and mixed at the band’s facility at Blueprint Studios, Salford. The album marks a significant step change for the group following 2021’s Flying Dream 1. In the words of lead singer and lyricist Guy Garvey, Audio Vertigo was built from “gnarly, seedy grooves created by us playing together in garagy rooms” and is both more direct and more sonically varied than its predecessor.
  • Waxahatchee - Tigers Blood
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    • Waxahatchee  Tigers Blood 
  • One of the most hard-working singer-songwriters in the game is named Katie Crutchfield. She was raised near Waxahatchee Creek in Alabama, skipped town and struck out on her own as Waxahatchee. That was over a decade ago. Crutchfield says she never knew the road would lead her here, but after six critically acclaimed albums, she’s never felt more confident in herself as an artist, and this is evident on her new album, Tigers Blood. While her sound has evolved from lo-fi folk to lush alt-tinged country, her voice has always remained the same: honest and close, poetic with Southern lilting. Much like Carson McCullers’s Mick Kelly, determined in her desires and convictions, ready to tell whoever will listen.
  • Julia Holter - Something in the Room She Moves
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    • Julia Holter  Something in the Room She Moves 
  • My heart is loud,” sings Julia Holter on her sixth album, Something in the Room She Moves, following an inner pulse. The Los Angeles songwriter’s past work has often explored memory and dreamlike future, but her latest album resides more in presence: “There’s a corporeal focus, inspired by the complexity and transformability of our bodies,” Holter says. Her production choices and arrangements form a continuum of fretless electric bass pitches in counterpoint with gliding vocal melodies, while glissing Yamaha CS-60 lines entwine warm winds and reeds. “I was trying to create a world that’s fluid-sounding, waterlike, evoking the body’s internal sound world,” Holter says of her flowing harmonic universe.
  • Adrianne Lenker - Bright Future
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    • Adrianne Lenker  Bright Future 
  • During the high vibrancy of autumn 2022, Big Thief frontwoman Adrianne Lenker got lucky: at last, everyone could come. Three musical friends – “some of my favourite people” – had space in their busy touring schedules to join her at the forest-hidden analogue studio, Double Infinity. The musicians – Nick Hakim, Mat Davidson and Josefin Runsteen – were known to Adrianne but newer to each other. “I had no idea what the outcome would be,” she recalls. The result? “It was magical,” she says. Adrianne’s musical risk became Bright Future, the studio’s first album, a 12-track telling of a journeyed heart.
  • Aoife O’Donovan - All My Friends
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    • Aoife O’Donovan  All My Friends 
  • All My Friends, the follow-up to Aoife O’Donovan’s 3-time Grammy-nominated album, Age of Apathy, is based around a collection of songs Aoife wrote, inspired by women’s suffrage and the passage of the 19th amendment. The music is expansive with orchestral arrangements, choral vocals and a variety of instruments that create a sonic soundscape beyond anything Aoife has done in the past. Special guests include Anaïs Mitchell, Sierra Hull, The Westerlies, The Knights and the San Francisco Girls Choir.
  • The Jesus And Mary Chain - Glasgow Eyes
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    • The Jesus And Mary Chain  Glasgow Eyes 
  • Glasgow Eyes marks 40 years of The Jesus And Mary Chain. The album was recorded at Mogwai’s Castle of Doom studio in Glasgow, where Jim and William continued the creative process that resulted in 2017’s Damage and Joy, which became their highest-charting album in over twenty years. What emerged is a record that finds one of the UK’s most influential groups embracing a productive second chapter, their maelstrom of melody, feedback and controlled chaos now informed more audibly by their love for Suicide and Kraftwerk and a fresh appreciation of the less disciplined attitudes found in jazz. Jim Reid says “Don’t expect ‘the Mary Chain goes jazz’. People should expect a Jesus and Mary Chain record, and that’s certainly what Glasgow Eyes is.
 

 

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Releases for 15 March 2024

The first of 15 March’s smashers is Deeper Well, the fifth album from six-time Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves, whose chimeric music features rolling acoustic guitars, puffy clouds of strings and synth, warm bass punctuations, layered harmonies and moments of Celtic melody complement Musgraves’ silvery vocals. In just six days and “without overthinking anything,” Noah Kahan completed the five-track Cape Elizabeth EP, which amassed 200m streams and now gets its first physical release as Noah’s thank-you to his loyal fans. Blue Electric Light, the latest studio album by Lenny Kravitz, is an impassioned suite of songs that is timeless, explosive, romantic and inspiring and a testament to the talent of the man. The cheekiest band in the land, The Dandy Warhols, return with Rockmaker, adding a sprinkle of glitter on their grime with guests Debbie Harry, Slash and Pixies’ Frank Black: the dance grooves go deeper, heady drones get weirder and riffage fit for bong rips hammers. Black Uhuru’s killer all-star 1986 album Brutal gets a welcome reissue – its first ever on vinyl – and has been specially remastered for both vinyl and CD to give this legendary album even more sparkle.

Our release of the week is Happiness Bastards, the new album from The Black Crowes, which was several tumultuous years in the making but is arriving at just the right time, and this highly anticipated record is bare-boned rock’n’roll: no gloss, no glitter, just rhythm and blues at it’s very best – gritty, loud, and in your face.

  • The Black Crowes - Happiness Bastards
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    • The Black Crowes  Happiness Bastards 
  • The Black Crowes return after 5 years with their 10th studio album, Happiness Bastards. The project might have been several tumultuous years in the making, but it’s arriving at just the right time. Whether it’s fraternal love or music destiny that brought the Robinson brothers back together, the highly anticipated record consecrating the reunion of this legendary band just may be the thing that saves rock’n’roll. In a time where the art form is buried beneath the corporate sheen of its successors, The Black Crowes are biting back with the angst of words left unsaid penned on paper and electrified by guitar strings, revealing stripped, bare-boned rock’n’roll. No gloss, no glitter, just rhythm and blues at it’s very best – gritty, loud, and in your face.
  • Kacey Musgraves - Deeper Well
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    • Kacey Musgraves  Deeper Well 
  • The music on Deeper Well, the fifth album from six-time Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves, is almost chimeric, with rolling acoustic guitars, puffy clouds of strings and synth, warm bass punctuations, layered harmonies, moments of Celtic melody and plenty of room on the tracks for Musgraves’ silvery vocals. On the bright, almost folky title track, the 30-something songstress surveys her life and priorities, recognising what feeds her, drains her and even examining the childhood she’s left behind on her way to now.
  • Noah Kanan - Cape Elizabeth
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    • Noah Kanan  Cape Elizabeth 
  • In just six days and “without overthinking anything,” Noah Kahan completed the five-track Cape Elizabeth EP, which features fan-favourite songs ‘A Troubled Mind’, ‘Glue Myself Shut’ and ‘Maine’ and has amassed 200m streams. It now gets its first physical release as Noah’s thank-you to the fans who stuck around, went to shows, watched his livestreams and listened. Noah says “The EP in particular is such a special story, because it was right at the beginning of the pandemic, and I just made it with my neighbour, a friend of mine, who’s an amazing producer. We worked on it for a week, and we didn’t really promote it too much – and it kind of became ‘Stick Season’ before ‘Stick Season’ in a lot of ways. It was a study on a place and a relationship in a place, and it was the first time I’d experimented with telling a story that felt like it had an overarching narrative.
  • Lenny Kravitz - Blue Electric Light
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    • Lenny Kravitz  Blue Electric Light 
  • Timeless. Explosive. Romantic. Inspiring. How else to characterize Blue Electric Light, the 12th studio album by Lenny Kravitz? Kravitz’s mastery of deep-soul rock’n’roll is a long-established fact. As a relentless creative force – musician, writer, producer, actor, author, designer – he continues to be a global dynamic presence throughout music, art and culture. Blue Electric Light is an impassioned suite of songs that broadens this distinction and is the latest contribution of a man whose music – not to mention his singular style – continues to inspire millions all over the world. On the album, Kravitz’s talents as a writer, producer and multi-instrumentalist resonate as he wrote and played most of the instruments himself, with longtime guitarist Craig Ross.
  • The Dandy Warhols - Rockmaker
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    • The Dandy Warhols  Rockmaker 
  • The cheekiest band in the land, The Dandy Warhols, return with Rockmaker, their 12th studio album. Produced and recorded by the band at their studio/funhouse The Odditorium in Portland, Oregon, Rockmaker sees the ‘Bohemian Like You’ hitmakers celebrate their 30th year together with a sprinkle of glitter on their grime. Accompanied by guests Debbie Harry, Slash and Pixies’ Frank Black, The Dandy Warhols wrangle paranoia, untangle anxious discontent, and lust after life while the dance grooves go deeper, heady drones get weirder and riffage fit for bong rips hammers. Rockmaker is the Dandy’s clearest statement yet, at no sacrifice to their outré leanings. This is the sound of outsider alt-psych fixtures looking in as the walls come down.
  • Black Uhuru - Brutal
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    • Black Uhuru  Brutal 
  • Originally released in 1986, Brutal has never been reissued on vinyl until now. It features a dream cast: Sly & Robbie as Black Uhuru’s leaders, Junior Reid on vocals, Tyrone Downie (Roots Radics) on keyboards, all mixed at Lion & Fox by Ras Records fetish engineer Jim Fox. The original audio has been remastered for both vinyl and CD to give this legendary album even more sparkle.
 

 

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Releases for 8 March 2024

The first of 8 March’s treasures was recorded on The Rolling Stones’ 40th anniversary world tour, with the band performing at a packed Wiltern Theatre in LA, treating fans to a set heavy on rarities that feel right at home in such an intimate setting. On a Golden Shore presents a set of disparate songs from The Hanging Stars filled with fleeting moments of blissful excess and stumbling, rushing flutters of sound; it’s an infectious, compelling cosmic heartbreak boogie. Recorded raw and unflinchingly with folk-punk legend Frank Turner in the producer’s seat, Build Something Better is a return to blistering protest form for Grace Petrie, Britain’s most relevant political songwriter; it’s a record for everyone whose broken heart beats for, and whose boots stomp in time with, the hope of a brighter tomorrow. After a phenomenal 18-month period during which they released two critically acclaimed studio albums and became one of the most talked-about bands in Britain, Dry Cleaning reissue their first two EPs, Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks / Sweet Princess, which share a similar pent-up energy. Between 1988 and 1991, Pixies recorded six sessions for the BBC – five for John Peel and one for Mark Goodier – which caught the raw energy of the band’s live performances and felt immediately noteworthy, timestamping a moment when the band were motoring out front.

Our release of the week is The Collective, the second solo album from musician and visual artist Kim Gordon. The new album was recorded in Gordon’s native Los Angeles and features producer Justin Raisin’s damaged, blown-out dub and trap constructions playing the foil to Gordon’s intuitive word collages and hooky mantras, conjuring communication, commercial sublimation and sensory overload.

  • Kim Gordon - The Collective
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    • Kim Gordon  The Collective 
  • Musician and visual artist Kim Gordon returns with her second solo album, The Collective, which follows her 2019 solo debut, No Home Record. The album continues her collaboration with producer Justin Raisen (Lil Yachty, John Cale, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Charli XCX, Yves Tumor). The Collective, which was recorded in Gordon’s native Los Angeles and advances their joint world-building, with Raisin’s damaged, blown-out dub and trap constructions playing the foil to Gordon’s intuitive word collages and hooky mantras, conjuring communication, commercial sublimation and sensory overload.
  • The Rolling Stones - Live at The Wiltern
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    • The Rolling Stones  Live at The Wiltern 
  • The Rolling Stones embarked on the Licks World Tour in 2002 & 2003 to celebrate their 40th anniversary, with the band performing in arenas and stadiums in addition to the occasional theatre. In November 2002, the Stones arrived in Los Angeles to perform at a packed Wiltern Theatre, treating fans to a set heavy on rarities that feel right at home in such an intimate setting. While the band did perform some of their hits, this night at the Wiltern is notable for the rarely played classics, including ‘Stray Cat Blues’, ‘No Expectations’ and a cover of ‘Everybody Needs Somebody to Love’ featuring a guest spot by the legendary Solomon Burke, who opened the show that night.
  • Tracklist: Jumpin’ Jack Flash / Live With Me / Neighbours / Hand of Fate / No Expectations / Beast of Burden / Stray Cat Blues / Dance, Part 1 / Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (with Solomon Burke) / That’s How Strong My Love Is / Going To A Go-Go / Thru And Thru / You Don’t Have To Mean It / Can’t You Hear Me Knocking / Rock Me Baby / Bitch / Honky Tonk Women / Start Me Up / Brown Sugar / Tumbling Dice.
  • The Hanging Stars - On a Golden Shore
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    • The Hanging Stars  On a Golden Shore 
  • On a Golden Shore arrives as The Hanging Stars reflect on a year of triumphs, spearheading the UK’s Cosmic Americana cohort. Their new album finds them definitively themselves and presents a set of disparate songs whose fundamental linkage is the band that made them. On a Golden Shore is ultimately an album of sensation as much as thought, filled with fleeting moments of blissful excess and stumbling, rushing flutters of sound; its evanescent psychedelia, divine choruses and shards of strings combine into an infectious, compelling cosmic heartbreak boogie.
  • Grace Petrie - Build Something Better
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    • Grace Petrie  Build Something Better 
  • It’s two years since Connectivity (2021) smashed into the top 40 and debuted at #1 in the UK download chart, propelling the fiercely independent voice of Grace Petrie from critics’ choice to the main stages of major festivals across the UK and Ireland, Australia and Canada. Recorded raw and unflinchingly with folk-punk legend Frank Turner in the producer’s seat, Build Something Better is a return to blistering protest form for Britain’s most relevant political songwriter, a decade after being hailed as “a powerful new voice” (The Guardian) and “a millennial’s Billy Bragg” (Huffington Post). In a world that seems to make less sense than ever, these are songs made both to holler along to from the crowd barrier and to tear up with on a lonely late-night train. A record for everyone whose broken heart beats for, and whose boots stomp in time with, the hope of a brighter tomorrow.
  • Dry Cleaning - Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks / Sweet Princess
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    • Dry Cleaning  Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks / Sweet Princess 
  • After a phenomenal 18-month period during which they released two critically acclaimed studio albums, New Long Leg (2021) and Stumpwork (2022), and became one of the most talked-about bands in Britain, Dry Cleaning reissue their first two EPs, Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks / Sweet Princess. The two EPs, remastered and presented here on a single disc, share a similar pent-up energy, unsurprising given they came to life in the same environment, an environment that had a huge influence on the band during those formative years.
  • Pixies - Live at The BBC
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    • Pixies  Live at The BBC 
  • Between 1988 and 1991, Pixies recorded six sessions for the BBC: five for John Peel and one for Mark Goodier. Catching the raw energy of the band’s live performances, these sessions felt immediately noteworthy, timestamping a moment when Black Francis, Kim Deal, Joey Santiago and David Lovering were motoring out front. Among the twenty-four tracks they recorded in this period are favourites from mini-album Come on Pilgrim and three of their four 4AD studio albums. Also recorded were three covers: reworks of The Beatles’ ‘Wild Honey Pie’, ‘In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)’ from the film Eraserhead and The Beach Boys’ ‘Hang On To Your Ego’, a track Black Francis covered a few years later on his debut solo album.
 

 

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Releases for 1 March 2024

We’ve got six belters for 1 March, starting with Liam Gallagher & John Squire, who first had the idea to collaborate when John joined Liam on stage at his biblical Knebworth shows and whose eponymous album was birthed from their long-term friendship and admiration for each other’s work. Mountainhead, the new album from Everything Everything, exists in a world in which society has created the deep pit they live in by building an immense mountain, and a ‘mountainhead’ is one who believes the mountain must grow no matter the cost, no matter how terrible it is to dwell in the great pit. Faye Webster’s songs are direct lines to the human subconscious, and Underdressed at the Symphony documents what happens once you begin to build a new self from the ashes of your old routines: this rebirth isn’t flashy or definitive, but is instead a series of seemingly mundane moments that gradually sneak their way towards something like healing. Almost two decades in the game, and armed with an extensive back-catalogue of stadium belters and record-breaking success, Kaiser Chiefs return with their brand new studio album, the aptly titled Kaiser Chiefs’ Easy Eighth Album, which sees them return with a fresh and bold new sound. Live at Shea Stadium 1982 captures one of the dates from The Who’s US tour, which was their last to feature Kenney Jones on drums, and the set list includes a number of tracks from It’s Hard, some of which the band have never played live since this tour.

Our release of the week is Where’s My Utopia?, the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed Leeds band Yard Act’s debut album The Overload, which was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize after a slew of positive reviews, national radio playlistings and a placing at #2 in the official charts.

  • Yard Act - Where’s My Utopia?
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    • Yard Act  Where’s My Utopia? 
  • Where’s My Utopia? is the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed Leeds band Yard Act’s debut album The Overload, which was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize after a slew of positive reviews, national radio playlistings and a placing at #2 in the official charts. Frontman James Smith has said that lead single ‘Dream Job’ “feels like an apt introduction to the themes explored on Where’s My Utopia? – though not all encompassing. In part I was scrutinising and mocking myself for being a moaning ungrateful little brat, whilst also trying to address how the music industry is this rather uncontrollable beast that hurtles forward unthinkingly and every single person involved in it plays their part. Myself included, obviously. As with pretty much everything else going through my head last year, trying to find the right time to articulate the complexity of emotions I was feeling and the severity to which I was feeling them couldn’t be found – or accommodated, so instead I tried to capture it in a pop song that lasts less than three minutes once the fog had cleared a bit. It’s good and bad. I’m still glad that everything that happened to me happened.
  • Liam Gallagher John Squire - Liam Gallagher John Squire
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    • Liam Gallagher John Squire  Liam Gallagher John Squire 
  • Long-term friends with a mutual admiration for each other’s work, the idea of a collaboration between Liam Gallagher & John Squire started when John joined Liam on stage at his biblical Knebworth shows. Song ideas were soon flowing, and their eponymous album took shape with an intuitive intensity while in Los Angeles with revered producer Greg Kurstin, who also played bass throughout the record while drums were performed by Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M., Atoms For Peace).
  • Everything Everything - Mountainhead
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    • Everything Everything  Mountainhead 
  • Mountainhead, the new album from Everything Everything, exists in a world in which society has built an immense mountain. To make the mountain bigger, they must make the hole they live in deeper and deeper. All of society is built around the creation of the mountain, and a mountain religion dominates all thought. At the top of the mountain is rumoured to be a huge mirror that reflects endlessly recurring images of the self, and at the bottom of the pit is a giant golden snake that is the primal fear of all believers. A ‘mountainhead’ is one who believes the mountain must grow no matter the cost, and no matter how terrible it is to dwell in the great pit. The taller the mountain, the deeper the hole.
  • Faye Webster - Underdressed at the Symphony
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    • Faye Webster  Underdressed at the Symphony 
  • Faye Webster’s songs are direct lines to the human subconscious, and Underdressed at the Symphony documents what happens once you begin to build a new self from the ashes of your old routines. This rebirth isn’t flashy or definitive, but is instead a series of seemingly mundane moments that, scattered across weeks and months, sneak their way towards something like healing. Yes, there’s a breakup in play, but Webster is not documenting the heartbreak of a breakup so much as she’s navigating the contours of heartbreak itself.
  • Kaiser Chiefs - Kaiser Chiefs’ Easy Eighth Album
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    • Kaiser Chiefs  Kaiser Chiefs’ Easy Eighth Album 
  • Almost two decades in the game, and armed with an extensive back-catalogue of stadium belters and record-breaking success, Kaiser Chiefs return with their brand new studio album, the aptly titled Kaiser Chiefs’ Easy Eighth Album, produced by Amir Amor (Rudimental). The album sees the Chiefs return with a fresh and bold new sound: from the Nile Rodgers co-write of new single ‘Feeling Alright’ to the frantic ‘Beautiful Girl’, from the horn-laden Kaiser Chiefs throwback ‘Job Centre Shuffle’ to the joyous punch in the gut that is ‘Jealousy’, these ten tracks are a true statement of intent from a band that continues to deliver the goods again and again.
  • The Who - Live at Shea Stadium 1982
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    • The Who  Live at Shea Stadium 1982 
  • The Who’s tour to promote 1982’s It’s Hard album was their last to feature Kenney Jones on drums, and the band wouldn’t tour again until 1989. The tour took place entirely in North America apart from two warm-up dates at the Birmingham NEC in England. Live at Shea Stadium 1982 features the show from the second of their two nights at the famous New York stadium on 13 October 1982. The set list includes a number of tracks from It’s Hard, some of which the band have never played live since this tour.
 

 

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