New releases, pre-orders and recommendations
Lots of new records out this week, including the new one from US indie darlings Spoon. Southend's own David Woodcock releases his debut on Blow Up. The soundtrack to Gia Coppola's new film from Devonté Hynes aka Blood Orange. LA rapper Jonwayne's Cassette comes to vinyl for the first time on Stones Throw. Naomi Punk release their first album for indie behemoths Captured Tracks. There's a new Bollywood themed 'soundtrack' from the Bombay Royale. Bear In Heaven return with more anthemic synth rock and A Sunny Day In Glasgow are back with their fourth LP of dream pop and shoegaze. Lots of reissues and compilations from The Specials, Billy Childish, Holly Golightly, John Moore, Modest Mouse etc. There's also preorders for new records from Yeah Yeah Yeah's' Karen O, James Yorkston, Cymbals Eat Guitars and The Clean's David Kilgour.
This week's new releases
On Spoon's 8th album, Distortion features prominently, not ballsout rock riffing, but the kind of warm fuzziness you get from pushing levels into the red a sound encouraged by producer Dave Fridmann Flaming Lips, Low, MGMT . The record's got beats, whispers, chants, guitars, whistles, secret codes, and horrormovie strings. It's got songs about holy rollers, back masking, real life properties of physics, love during the apocalypse and a brief reappearance of Jonathon Fisk.
David's songs are steeped in the classic British song writing tradition epitomised by the likes of Ray Davies, Steve Harley and Ian Dury. Lyrics filled with humour, pathos, wry observations and a riotous energy – in David’s music there’s certainly an air of Ian Hunter rockin’ it up with Mott The Hoople, Vivian Stanshall as a drunken Harry Nilsson, Pete Doherty with a clean bill of health or Damon Albarn in young, cocky scamp mode.
Devonté Hynes, aka Blood Orange, has created his first original score for the feature length film Palo Alto from writerdirector Gia Coppola. Based on several linked stories by James Franco, Palo Alto is a teenage romance for the ages, made indelible through its ensemble cast James Franco, Emma Roberts, Jack Kilmer, Nat Wolff, Zoe Levin . Hynes wrote and performed the entire score along with guest vocals by Samantha Urbani and additional instrumentation by Jason Arce.
A few select cuts from Jonwayne’s threepart cassette series, remastered, and pressed on a thick slab of vinyl. TRACK LIST: 1. Gross 2. Raw Sh*t 3. Bukowski 4. Curious 5. Cool Runnings 6. Passing Fancies 7. Ode To Mortality 8. Altitude 9. Blaq Prussian
Naomi Punk return to the fold with their sophomore record, their first for Captured Tracks. Key fixtures in the Northwest DIY punk scene, Naomi Punk channel a similar energy to their contemporaries Milk Music, Broken Water, Vexx, Gag and their fore bearers Wipers, Dead Moon, Nirvana while cultivating a body of work and aesthetic that is wholly their own. Television Man is a collection of oblique punk anthems and collaged instrumental pieces which best showcase the cathartic aggression that has become the band’s signature.
The Bombay Royale
The second soundtrack album from The Bombay Royale, originators of vintage Bollywood inspired surf, spy, disco and funk. The result is a rich pallet of original sounds, from lonesome spaghetti to surf rock to spinebending space disco, all overlaid with the voices of protagonists The Tiger and The Mysterious Lady. Bear In Heaven Time Is Over One Day Old Ltd LP £16.99 http://www.southrecordshop.com/collections/preorder/products/bearinheaventimeisoveronedayold Brooklyn trio Bear In Heaven specializes in a form of synthrock that finds room for grandeur and drama in all its bloops and twinkles. Time Is Over One Day Old, their new album, finds them deep in their groove, combining dancemusic textures with huge and blownout festival rock.
A Sunny Day In Glasgow
Sea When Absent situates itself in the science fiction that is life in 2014 and goes looking for what new myths might speak to us in our post Fukushima, postquantum, posteverything world. The album is a conscious move away from the brightdark, ambient maximalism of the band’s acclaimed double album Ashes Grammar and a move towards a postmillennial, upfront pop sound. Sea When Absent is simultaneously A Sunny Day In Glasgow at their most accessible, most insane and most rock.
New Compilations and Reissues
In May 1979, the day before the British general elections that saw Margaret Thatcher come to power, The Specials played a set at the Moonlight Club in Hampstead, London. Reportedly secretly recorded by Decca Records, who had an office next to the Moonlight Club, it made its way to the bootleggers and wasn’t officially released until 1992, through Chrysalis Records. Reissued on 180gm vinyl with original audio and a brand new cover image from the band.
Billy Childish & Holly Golightly
It’s subtitled ‘ONE CHORD! ONE SONG! ONE SOUND! But it’s so much more than that, really great dirty one chord with many notes blues songs with vocal trading, clanging guitars and backed by the Medway Delta Review, which features, Bruce and Johnny of Thee Headcoats as well as Johnny Gibb of the Wildebeests. While simplicity, repetition and sheer rock & roll minimalism are at the heart of the album, In Blood never ceases hold interest. It's just plain addictive. On red and black splatter vinyl. Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs You Can't Buy A Gun When You're Crying LP £14.99 http://www.southrecordshop.com/collections/preorderreissuescompilations/products/hollygolightlythebrokeoffsyoucantbuyagunwhenyourecryingreissue The Brokeoffs are Holly Golightly and Lawyer Dave. They have been mapping this record out for years. You Can't Buy A Gun When You're Crying was lovingly recorded at Ramshackle Studios during New Year celebrations in 2007. It is a winding, dirt track of a record. It's pitted with potholes, but they're walking it with ease. They're enjoying stumbling along, tipping grit from their boots and soaking their sore feet in the creek.
A collection of rare and unreleased funk and soul music from the fabled Arkansas indie label. 18 Rare and Unreleased 60s & 70s Soul, Funk, Disco and PartyRap cuts from the True Soul vaults. 56 Page Full colour booklet contains neverbeforeseen photos, ephemera, extensive liner notes and a candid interview between producer Eothen “Egon” Alapatt and Lee Anthony. All tracks remastered from the Original Master tapes. Bonus DVD with excerpts from the True Soul Revue TV show that captured live performances from the True Soul All Stars in 1973.
History of RnB Records presents a new series of double CDs highlighting the 240 or so songs most frequently performed by British beat and blues groups. Volume One concentrates on the preBeatles skiffle and folk era and ties this into the Blues Boom group material of the late 1960s. Volume Two spotlights Merseybeat; two further volumes concentrate on the London scene and the jazz and soul sounds that influenced the mod movement. An illustrated 28page booklet for each set includes detailed sleeve notes by Alan Clayson.
Two reissues from former Jesus & Mary Chain and Black Box Recorder man John Moore. Armed with a few guitars, a 4track cassette recorder, a cheap Mic, a lot of red wine, rolling tobacco, he wrote and recorded LoFi Lullabies which was well received in the UK, but completely out of step with the flagwavers of Britpop. The venture ended, as it had begun, in noble failure. He continued writing and performing, and put together a more raucous quartet whose recordings can be heard on the companion album Floral Tributes.
CD reissues of 2 Modest Mouse albums. Sad Sappy Sucker is Modest Mouse’s ‘lost album’. It was recorded by Calvin Johnson in 1994 and was supposed to be the band’s debut but delays shelved the record and it disappeared. Includes the 9 DialASong songs too. The Fruit That Ate Itself possesses a leaner and meaner sound than earlier Modest Mouse releases the emphasis here is less on noise than groove
Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O's debut solo records, recorded in 2006 and 2007, the record is an intimate collection of lofi, bedroom recordings in the vein of Karen’s Oscarnominated The Moon Song. LP Limited Editon blue colored vinyl including 36page booklet of personal drawings and lyrics, plus a digital download card. CD Limited edition special arigato envelopestyle package including 16page booklet of personal drawings and handwritten lyrics. Released 8th September.
For his 8th album James Yorkston opened his studio doors to collaborations. Produced by Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, it features KT Tunstall, The Pictish Trail, Rob Smoughton, Fimber Bravo and his long term collaborators Jon Thorne and Emma Smith. The Cellardyke Recording And Wassailing Society finds James at his most personal and reflective. What James and his collection of fine musicians have created is an album that connects the intimacy of his hometown life with the camaraderie of good friends. Also available exclusively to independent retailers on double vinyl in a deluxe diecut gatefold sleeve. Released 18th August.
Cymbals Eat Guitars
Lose is a record about coping with abject loss and grief by rediscovering what you’ve always loved, as difficult as it may be— the redemptive power of music. For Cymbals Eat Guitars, this entailed coming to terms with best friend and musical collaborator Benjamin High, who passed away suddenly seven years ago, just as they began recording in earnest. This is a raucous affair, an Irish Wake, ultimately rooted in nothing less than a celebration of just being alive. What’s perhaps most impressive about LOSE is the manner in which they come clean with their emotions, tackling seemingly ineffable mourning without equivocation. Released 25th August. “a cosmic, philosophical treatise disguised as an indie rock record.” – Pitchfork
David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights
From his first recordings with The Clean, the iconic band who remain active and whose legend deservedly grows mightier every year, Kilgour has had a distinct sound that has inhabited all of his albums and sounds fresh with every new release. Over just ten songs, End Times Undone offers a robust sampling of all the various styles Kilgour has mastered over the last three decades. For an album that comes so late in one’s career, it’s a surprisingly convenient entry point into Kilgour’s body of work. Psychedelic, shimmering guitars that swell and secede, heady drones and twinkling, elegant solos. Released 25th August.
Great compilation of Calypso classics from Trinidad recorded between 1928 and 1947 by well known masters of the form such as the Growler, The Lion, Lord Executor and Lionel Belasco, as well as by some lesser known but great artists. Heavy topical songs, minor chord meditations on death, beautiful instrumentals and more. Songs include When You Hear I Die, In The Dew and The Rain, Hojoe, Jimby's Ingratitude, Ba Boo La La and much much more. All true master pieces. Old school "tip on" cover. Released by the always reliable Mississippi Records.
Craig Leon's seminal synthesizer albums Nommos and Visiting are finally reeditioned in definitive form as the Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1 for RVNG Intl.'s archival series. Issued respectively by John Fahey's Takoma record label in 1980 and Leon's Arbitor private press in 1982, Nommos and Visiting were the twin brainchildren of studio wizard Craig Leon. Leon's production was pivotal in realizing the debut recordings by Ramones, Blondie, Richard Hell and Suicide. While those albums broke ground in new worlds of sound, Leon's own debut album was arguably, if not literally, more alien. The vinyl edition is housed in a 2xLP set that includes detailed artwork and two essays by Leon.
La Hell Gang
Hailing from Santiago, which plays host to an ever growing psychedelic scene Holydrug Couple, Follakzoid, La Banda, etc , La Hell Gang create a remote and wild brand of rock ‘n' roll. The eight tracks across Thru Me Again weave seamlessly, channeling heat, light and endless desert dunes. Despite the heavy context, there's a real clarity in the production, making the blistering guitar solos and miragelike vocals all the more potent. Tracks like "Inside My Fall" and "Last Hit" recall bands like The Black Angels and BRMC, but some of the more lucid moments "Sweet Dear", "So High" feel like a grittier Brightblack Morning Light. The soundtrack for your heat swept summer.
Kompaktsigned duo Walls are given free reign on the deep sonic library of Influential electronic music pioneer and BBC Radiophonic Workshop founder Daphne Oram. Here on Sound Houses, the duo have renovated and augmented Oram’s original heavily experimental sounds with a range of technology both new and old, ranging from a modular synthesizer and an aged 1960’s drum machine. Dark, harrowing frequencies are found on ‘Extremely Long Corridor’, which antagonises through scratching electronic ticks.