New Releases: 15th January 2021
Ben brings you all the new releases and reissues to arrive at The Vinyl Whistle this week, featuring releases ranging from indie, rock, post-punk, pop, shoegaze, ambient, jazz, psychedelic, electronic, folk, punk, soundtrack, heavy metal, hip-hop, and alt-rock. To order, you can find the items on the links below. Here's Ben's roundup of his Top 10 Picks of the week:
Melvins, Redd Kross, Nirvana, Ty Segall. Rat-a-Tat-Tat! Is that the sound of the reaper knocking on your door to collect your soul or Dale Crover hammering out another distinctive drum fill? There are pretty good odds it's the latter; between 36 years (and about as many full-lengths and EPs) as drummer/bassist for the Melvins and his contributions to acts as varied as Altamont, Peeping Tom, Redd Kross, Shrinebuilder, and a little band called Nirvana, he's built quite the body of work. In 2017, he added a proper solo album to his extensive catalog, Fickle Finger of Fate. Now he's followed that with Rat-a-Tat-Tat! Crover takes the solo thing seriously: he wrote the album while on the road and provided vocals, drums, guitars, vibraphone, and miscellaneous percussion.
Jeremy Gara, drummer of Arcade Fire, releases his second solo album Passerine Finale on Invada Records. The album was mastered by Helge Sten (Deathprod, Supersilent) and composed, produced and recorded by Jeremy over the last three years. Passerine Finale is a varied collection of songs and disparate sounds, from arranged static noise to extended melodic drones, improvised and chiselled at, ignoring form or structure, and completed the moment things ‘felt’ something.
On their Night Dreamer debut, the sensational drummer, percussionist and musical artist Sarathy Korwar and his allstar UPAJ Collective gain brand new ground in their mission to rebalance spiritual jazz with authentic Indian classical music. UPAJ means “to improvise” in Hindi, and recording direct-to-disc at Artone Studios with almost no preconceived directions, they truly capture the “spirit of spontaneous improvisation”, as Sarathy puts it, like never before. On this special recording for Night Dreamer, Korwar and co have brought the UPAJ fully to bear with its mission to collaborate and improvise.The nature of recording straight-to-acetate, with just a pause between each record side, was a challenge they fully embraced, entering the recording with minimal instructions. Korwar relates that they initiated the session by sitting together in a circle to perform a set of breathing exercises, now a regular part of their gig prep. This set a collective tone, slowing heart rates, it centered the players and they felt more present, more aware of the space and each other. As such, trust, communication and ability to relate, came before the instrumentation.
Filmed and recorded in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh in 2017 during her 67-city sold out tour, 'The 24 Karat Gold Tour: Live in Concert' features Stevie Nicks' solo hits 'Stop Dragging My Heart Around, 'Stand Back', and 'Edge of Seventeen', as well as Fleetwood Mac's 'Rhiannon' and 'Gypsy'. It also includes her first ever live performance of 'Crying in the Night', and other live rarities.
Pom Poko pimp their CV on all fronts with their glorious second album, Cheater via Bella Union Between the quartet’s sweet melodies, galvanic punky ructions and wild-at-art-rock eruptions, Cheater is the sound of a band celebrating the binding extremes that make them so uniquely qualified to thrill.
The third album from London-based multi-instrumentalist, Robohands. ‘Shapes’ fuses elements of jazz, krautrock, hip hop and ambient music. For fans of Khruangbin, Yusef Dayes, CAN, Coltrane and 70’s library music moods.
Shame - Drunk Tank Pink (Post-Punk / Rock / Indie / Heavy)
There are moments on Drunk Tank Pink where you almost have to reach for the sleeve to check this is the same band who made 2018’s Songs Of Praise. Such is the jump Shame have made from the riotous post-punk of their debut to the sprawling adventurism and twitching anxieties laid out here. The South Londoner’s blood and guts spirit, that wink and grin of devious charm, is still present, it’s just that it’s grown into something bigger, something deeper, more ambitious and unflinchingly honest.
The genius of Drunk Tank Pink is how these lyrical themes dovetail with the music. Opener Alphabet dissects the premise of performance over a siren call of nervous, jerking guitars, its chorus thrown out like a beer bottle across a mosh pit. Songs spin off and lurch into unexpected directions throughout here, be it March Day’s escalating aural panic attack or the shapeshifting darkness of Snow Day. There’s a Berlin era Bowie beauty to the lovelorn Human For A Minute while closer Station Wagon weaves from a downbeat mooch into a souring, soul- lifting climax in which Steen elevates himself beyond the clouds and into the heavens. Or at least that’s what it sounds like.
Sleaford Mods - Spare Ribs (Electronic / Rock / Post Punk)
Recorded in lockdown in a furious three-week studio blitz at JT Soar in July, the polemical Jason Williamson and dexterous producer Andrew Fearn kick against the pricks with unrivalled bite, railing against hypocrisy, inequality and apathy with their inimitable, scabrous sense of humour. And Spare Ribs, featuring Amy Taylor of Melbourne punks Amyl and the Sniffers and the British newcomer Billy Nomates, finds the duo charged with ire at the UK Government’s sense of entitlement, epitomized by its devil-may-care approach to the coronavirus crisis. Commenting on the new album Jason says, “'The masses cannot be present in the minds of ill-fitting leaders, surely? Or else the realisation of their catastrophic management would cripple their minds. Much like the human body can still survive without a full set of ribs we are all 'spare ribs’, preservation for capitalism, through ignorance and remote rule, available for parts.”
Kurt Vile’s Speed, Sound, Lonely KV (ep) was recorded and mixed in sporadic sessions that spanned four years at The Butcher Shoppe studio in Nashville, TN. It includes five songs —covers of John Prine and Cowboy Jack Clement as well as two originals —and was recorded alongside a cast of local heavies like Bobby Wood, Dave Roe, and Kenny Malone with Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) and Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Superwolf) tossed into the mix as well. Most importantly, it features what KV has called "Probably the single most special musical moment in my life” –a duet with the late John Prine on the songwriter’s well-loved tune, How Lucky. “The truth is John was my hero for a long time when he came into The Butcher Shoppe to recut one of his deepest classics with me. And, man, I was floating and flying and I couldn't hear anything he told me while he was there till after he was gone for the night,” notes Vile in a personal statement that accompanies the record.
After a tumultuous period of emotional blows, leaving the majority of the band getting to grips with new life scenarios, the new album is rooted in reflection and redemption. It sees You Me At Six harness those darker experiences as a catalyst for creativity, empowerment and positivity. Recorded over five weeks at Karma Sound studio in Bang Saray, and continuing their creative relationship with that album's producer, Dan Austin (Biffy Clyro, Massive Attack, Pixies), Suckapunch is the sound of a band embracing change. You Me At Six have crafted their most experimental, personal and progressive record to date.
Here are the best reissues coming out this week at The Vinyl Whistle:
Hailing from Melbourne, but with a sound stretching from 60s and 70s afrobeat and exotica to Fela Kuti-esque repetition, the proto-garage rhythmic fury of The Monks and the grooves of Os Mutantes, there’s an enticing lost world exoticism to the music of Bananagun. It’s the sort of stuff that could’ve come from a dusty record crate of hidden gems; yet as the punchy, colourfully vibrant pair of singles Do Yeah and Out of Reach have proven over the past 12 months, the band are no revivalists. On debut album The True Story of Bananagun, they make a giant leap forward with their outward-looking blend of global tropicalia. Tracks like The Master and People Talk Too Much bounce around atop hybrid percussion that fuses West African high life with Brazilian tropicalia; the likes of She Now hark to abmore westernised early rhythm ‘n’ blues beat, remoulded and refreshed in the group’s own inimitable summery style. Freak Machine is perhaps the closest to those early 90’s beats, but even then the group add layers and layers of bright guitars, harmonic flower -pop vocals and other sounds to transmute the source material to an entirely new plain. Elsewhere there’s a 90 second track called Bird Up! that cut and pastes kookaburra and parrot calls as an homage to the wildlife surrounding van Bakel’s home 80 kilometres from Melbourne. Oh, and there are hooks galore too–try and stop yourself from humming along to Out of Reach’s swooping vocal melody.
Foreverly is the 2013 collaboration between Green Day front man, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Grammy-winning Pop songstress, Norah Jones. The collection is inspired by Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, an album of traditional Americana songs reinterpreted, recorded and released by the Everly Brothers in 1958. Billie Joe and Norah's album captures the beauty of the Everly Brothers' stunning close harmonies to create a moving and powerful testament to these traditional ballads.
Between November 1977 and December 1980 Buzzcocks ruled, the alternative punk pop world in the UK, releasing a run of thrilling singles which 40 years later transcend time or categorisation. All twelve of those revolutionary 45s are collected here remastered from the original tapes in the original Malcolm Garrett designed sleeves. The box also contains a 36-page booklet written by acclaimed author and punk chronicler Clinton Heylin. It features these 7"
Released originally in 1982 Miami was the follow up album to 1981's debut and critically acclaimed debut Fire of Love album on Ruby records by LA punk blues outfit the Gun Club. Miami was produced by Chris Stein of Blondie and released on his label Animal records. Featuring such classics as The Fire of Love, Devil in the Woods and a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's Run Through the Jungle this second release only strengthened the Gun Club's rise to glory. This record also features Debbie Harry on backing vocals.
Initially released in 1988 on Creation, Christine was the opening track from their self titled debut album and was the song that gave Guy Chadwick the idea for the sound of the group, what kind of musicians to look for and of course, the image. It reached number 4 in the indie charts with Melody Maker describing it as “shimmering with reverbed romance...a heroic anthem to doomed and incandescent love”. Includes all three tracks from the 12” and first time in picture sleeve for the 7”.
Four Great Points is the third studio album by Louisville-based math rock band June of 44, released on January 20, 1998.
Limited edition Mozzy Deluxe Box Set for Gangland Landlord album. Custom made box shaped in a house with Gangland Landlord bandana print. Limited quantities available.
Gangland Landlord CD
Gangland Landlord Key Pendant with 24" chain
Gangland Landlord 220 Piece Poetry Magnet Set
Gangland Landlord Styrofoam Cup
Gangland Landlord Bandana
In 2011 composer Ramin Djawadi was first asked to score a new TV series called Game of Thrones. In its first season much of the music was written for a small string ensemble, and filled out with synthetic pads and percussion. Over the course of the next six seasons the music budget got bigger and bigger to match the ever-increasing viewing figures the show was enjoying. This release celebrates the rich tapestry of music over the six series with the full firepower of an 80-piece symphony orchestra and choir (from The City of Prague Philharmonic).
Game of Thrones really is a television phenomenon. HBO’s epic small screen adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s series of fantasy tomes continues to draw in record audiences around the world and shows no signs of slowing down. Indeed some 8.9m people tuned in to the Season Six finale in the US and with repeats, recordings and on-demand viewings taken into consideration, it is estimated that Game of Thrones enjoys an average of 23m viewers per instalment. With a whopping thirty-eight Emmy Awards (and counting), this series remains the darling of prime-time pay TV.
With so much music created for the sixty episodes so far broadcast, this album can of course only take in so much. The particular cues and themes it does highlight, though, lend themselves beautifully to this symphonic re-imagining.
Pantera’s final opus, Reinventing The Steel, represented a recommitment to everything the band loved about heavy metal. Released in 2000 at the peak of nu-metal’s popularity, the album’s back-to-basics approach flew in the face of the trend and served as a potent reminder of the enduring power of primal metal. The album received widespread critical acclaim as well as high praise from fans, who voted the album as Album of The Year 2000 as well as voting the single “Revolution is My Name” Single of The Year 2000. The album also ranked No.2 on Guitar World’s readers’ poll for Top 10 Guitar Albums of 2000. Pantera’s 9th and final studio album turns 20 this year and is celebrated here.
Pavement - Wowee Zowee (Rock / Alt Rock)
Wowee Zowee, originally released by Matador in April 1995 on the eve of Pavement’s infamous mud-bespattered mainstage appearance at Lollapalooza, began life as a controversial release. Fresh off the success of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain with its chart- topping Modern Rock hit Cut Your Hair, the band went into the studio and came out with a deliberately chaotic and eclectic album that sounded nothing like its predecessor. With influences from the Groundhogs to the Frogs, Captain Beefheart to the more obscure mid- ’80s central California hardcore bands featured on Maximum Rock’n’Roll comp ‘Not So Quiet On The Western Front’, Wowee Zowee confused critics and alienated fans.
Razor, Canada's legendary Thrash Metal icons return with the reissue of their classic 1984 debut EP, Armed & Dangerous, and the highly sought-after 2011 live album, Live! Osaka Saikou 大阪最, which is available in full for the very time as a double LP! Witness one of Thrash Metal's most unrelenting bands, from their beginnings as an undeniable raw force, to a band harnessing the height of their powers on the live stage.
On his third date for Blue Note within a year, Wayne Shorter changed the bands that played on both Night Dreamer and Juju and came up with not only another winner, but also managed to give critics and jazz fans a different look at him as a saxophonist. Because of his previous associations with McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, and Reggie Workman on those recordings, Shorter had been unfairly branded with the "just-another-Coltrane-disciple" tag, despite his highly original and unusual compositions. Here, with only Jones remaining and his bandmates from the Miles Davis Quintet, Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter on board (with Freddie Hubbard filling out the horn section), Shorter at last came into his own and caused a major reappraisal of his earlier work. The odd harmonic frameworks used to erect Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, with its balladic structure augmented with a bluesy regimen of hard bop and open-toned modalism, create the illusion of a much larger band managing all that timbral space. Likewise on the title track, with its post-bop-oriented melodic line strewn across a wide chromatic palette of minors and Hancock's piano pushing through a contrapuntal set of semi-quavers, the avant-garde meets the hard bop of the '50s head on and everybody wins. The swing is gentle but pronounced and full of Shorter's singular lyricism as a saxophonist as well as a composer.
A decade into his recording career, pianist Horace Silver made the album that would endure as the crown jewel of a catalogue that boasts numerous hard bop classics. Song For My Father captured the transition of his quintet with two tracks taken from an October 1963 session with Blue Mitchell, Junior Cook, Gene Taylor, and Roy Brooks. A year later Silver entered Val Gelder Studio again with a new band featuring Carmell Jones, Joe Henderson, Teddy Smith, and Roger Humphries for a session that yielded four more cuts including what would become his signature tune, Song for My Father, a dedication to his father that was inspired by both his Cape Verdean heritage and the music Silver had heard on a recent trip to Brazil. This Blue Note Classic Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
Slowdive - 5 EP (Shoegaze / Ambient / Electronic / Rock)
Slowdive’s 5 EP was released in 1993 and contains 4 songs, 3 of which are instrumental. Neil Halstead had a blast experimenting with electronic beats. The instrumental tracks on this EP are all accompanied by a solid beat. Slowdive once again succeed beautifully in producing tones that leave you numb as to how you should feel. There is an unmistakably euphoric edge to it, something heavenly, something convincing, something that takes you to places where everything is more beautiful, more colorful.
5 EP captures a brief moment of Slowdive’s journey - not quite like anything they did before it and not quite like anything after it, though it does have elements of both Souvlaki and Pygmalion in there. In Mind, Good Day Sunshine, Missing You and Country Rain are trippy, dreamy, spaced, melancholic and cinematic... Overall an essential part of the history of one of the most influential acts of the late 20th century.
Here are the best of the rest of the new releases arriving at The Vinyl Whistle this week:
accept are back! the german kingpins of heavy metal will release their new, eagerly-awaited studio album via nuclear blast on january 15th 2021. the ingenious title of the masterpiece is “too mean to die”. now with “too mean to die” their 16th studio album is in the starting blocks - it is the fifth album that us vocalist and front man mark tornillo has put his incomparable vocal stamp on.recorded in the world music capital of nashville (usa), accept’s music was once again produced by british master producer andy sneap, who is responsible for the mix. sneap, who works for judas priest and megadeth among others, has also been responsible for all accept productions since 2010.
Sam Amidon considers his new self-titled album the fullest realization to date of his artistic vision. It comprises his radical reworkings of nine mostly traditional folk songs, performed with his band of longtime friends and collaborators. Amidon produced the record, applying the sonic universe of his 2017 The Following Mountain to these beloved tunes, many of which he first learned as a child. Pretty Polly, for example, was one of the first traditional tunes he learned to play, and Time Has Made A Change is a song that his parents – singers who were on the 1977 Nonesuch recording Rivers of Delight with the Word of Mouth Chorus – sang around the house when he was young. Amidon and his frequent band of multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Chris Vatalaro were joined in the studio by Belgian guitarist Bert Cools (who played on his last EP), as well as Amidon’s wife, Beth Orton, who adds vocals on three songs. Acoustic bassist Ruth Goller and saxophonist and labelmate Sam Gendel also play on the album, which was mixed by Leo Abrahams.
CHAI's triumphant single No More Cake is released on a 7" with B-side Ready Cheeky Pretty. No More Cake is a true gem - a sarcastic poke about wearing make-up that should have been released by Grand Royal in the 90's The flipside Ready Cheeky Pretty is a super cute groove attack built on crunchy percussion and 80's synths.
ilan eshkeri and shigeru umebayashi score the music to the highly anticipated actionadventure game developed by sucker punch productions and published by sony interactive entertainment.
ilan eshkeri is a critically acclaimed film, television and video game composer. eshkeri has been nominated for a bafta, an ivor novello award and a international film music critics association award. shigeru umebayashi is an internationally acclaimed composer who has won numerous awards. he has scored the music for many notable films including ‘true legend’, ‘rise of the legend’ and ‘the wasted times’.
Brian Fallon (Long Ride Home), Lilly Hiatt (Doublewhiskeycokenoice), Will Hoge (Great American Going Out of Business Sale), Laura Stevenson (When It Don’t Come Easy), Bartees Strange (Top of the World), and Jake Blount (Minimum Wage is a Gateway Drug)
Patty / Paddy aims to cross the genre party lines. Drawing lyrical parallels with an open invitation to hear songs in a different way. Patty & Paddy pun with 5 Dillinger Four songs and 5 Patty Griffin songs.
The album is composed by Cerys Matthews with Hidden Orchestra and features 10 UK poets: MA.Moyo, Raymond Antrobus, Lemn Sissay, Liz Berry, Anthony Anaxagorou, Adam Horovitz, Cia Mangat, Imtiaz Dharker, Kim Moore and Kayo Chingonyi “We are living in extraordinary times, I wanted to respond but had the urge to offer more than one voice, more than one perspective. Not an echo chamber” – Cerys Matthews. In February 2020 Abbey Road studios welcomed each of the 10 poets to record pieces from their collections. Then lock down hit…. But remotely and with the additional help of field recordists and musicians around the world, Cerys and Joe Acheson (Hidden Orchestra) created a sound journey for these poems with the theme of: Genesis: Birth, heritage, a journey about to begin.
Big Thief’s Buck Meek releases his new solo album, Two Saviors, on Keeled Scales. While his last album, 2018’s Buck Meek, is a yarn of blue-collar fairy tales and character driven narratives, Two Saviors emerges as a cathartic, naked confession of heartbreak, resiliency, and enchantment. The first word on Two Saviors is “pareidolia.” It is a word about recognising shapes where none were intended to exist - like searching for images in the clouds. It’s an uncommon word, with a beautiful sound, and serves as an apt guide through these new songs of Buck’s, which are themselves uncommon and beautiful, and which invite a deep, cloud-gaze state of attention.
As Midnight Sister, multi-disciplinary LA artists Juliana Giraffe and Ari Balouzian make motion pictures. Yes, sometimes with moving images — but most often only with the music they create together. Balouzian’s serpentine, string compositions are movie scenes that allow Giraffe, a brilliant character actor, to cloak herself in a new roles and voices. Painting the Roses is in many ways a fairy tale - not so much the sweet-and-happy- ending kind as something richer, packed with imagination and rooted in the complex human messiness beneath a story’s artifice. Frontwoman Giraffe describes it as “this tightrope of being real yet synthetic, organic yet staged, light yet dark, logical yet irrational, beautiful yet dilapidated. Joyful nonsense.“ Here, disguises like masks and paint are not meant to hide but to liberate, to “set a part of us free”, and Midnight Sister often embody this themselves, appearing highly stylized, curious, warm and inviting but a little askew. Painting the Roses is a story told through the looking glass, one where we examine ourselves in a funhouse mirror but find clarity in its twists.
Stunning career overview session by Turkish psych originators Moğollar, their first new recordings for over a decade. Founded in 1967, Moğollar (‘The Mongols’) were the first Turkish group to fuse ancient Turkish folk traditions with Western pop, inventing the now famous Anadolu psych sound. The session was produced by BaBa ZuLa’s Osman Murat Ertel – a stellar link-up that brings Moğollar’s original psychedelic rock full circle with the contemporary Anadolu psych it inspired. Legendary Turkish psych innovators Moğollar grace the Artone Studios in Haarlem for a masterclass in the original Anadolu psych roots, cutting a compendium of their rawest hits and most-wanted psychedelic rock classics – including the J.Dilla-sampled Haliç’te Güneşin Batışı – for the latest edition of Night Dreamer’s essential Direct-to-Disc series.
Oceans of Slumber - Oceans of Slumber (Heavy Metal / Prog Metal)
“Holy shit... that’s pure perfection!”, “Her voice is beautiful!”, “The musicianship is insane!”, “The next big thing in metal” are some of countless YouTube reactions on the songs of Texas prog metal act Oceans Of Slumber whose singer Cammie Gilbert turned heads of music fans worldwide. This band combines an extreme metal fundament (death metal in particular) with dark, atmospheric melodies, doomy heaviness, tinges of prog and classic rock, and rounds it off with soulful, smoky vocals. Oceans of Slumber have a wide array of inspirations and transform these into an undeniably epic wall of sound blessed with a strong melancholic mood.
Featuring : Richard Pinhas, Thierry Zaboitzeff (Art Zoyd), Alain Damasio & Rhys Chatham. This new album (the tenth in their discography) was born from two ambitions: to pay tribute to Soft Machine's Third on form (four sides / four titles) and to philosopher Gilles Deleuze (Difference and Repetition is the title of his thesis) on the contents. The four long pieces of this double concept album were developed over two years and each has a different style and climate.
Bold and kaleidoscopic, Difference and Repetition perfectly synthesizes the musical and literary obsessions of Palo Alto. In recent years, Palo Alto has multiplied musical collaborations with, among others, The Residents, Ptôse, Klimperei, Tuxedomoon... From industrial music to inextricable electronic ramifications, by making a detour through improvisation, the musical universe of Palo Alto is multifaceted. Their new album is no exception to this rule.
Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon is the debut studio album by American rapper Pop Smoke, and first posthumous project following his murder from a home invasion on February 19, 2020. The album contains features from Quavo, Lil Baby, DaBaby, Swae Lee, Future, Rowdy Rebel, 50 Cent, Roddy Ricch, Tyga, Karol G, and Lil Tjay, and King Combs. It was executive-produced by 50 Cent, who was one of Pop Smoke's biggest inspirations. 50 Cent personally took it upon himself to finish the album for Smoke by calling the featured artists and taking care of the deadlines.
Based on a short-story by the master of horror and fantasy, author Clive Barker (Hellraiser), Rawhead Rex is set in 1980’s rural Ireland. The Demon, alive for millennia and trapped in the depths of hell, is unleashed on the sleepy local farming community. Remembered faintly through pre-Christian myth, the only one that can stop Rawhead's bloody rampage is the historian, desperately racing against the time. This is the first ever release for the soundtrack by Colin Towns, one of Europe’s most prolific film, television and theatre composers, but also a pianist, songwriter, arranger, producer and collaborator, known for The Puppet Masters, Space Trackers, Maybe Baby, Foyle’s War, Doc Martin, Pie In The Sky.
On her third album Welsh Music Prize winner Georgia Ruth returns to her roots. Having moved back to her native Aberystwyth Mai was recorded in the town’s Grade-II listed Joseph Parry Hall over the course of one week in Spring 2019. Named after the renowned composer and professor, the room was used as a venue for chamber concerts throughout the twentieth century and offered musicians a view of the sun setting over the castle as they worked.
But despite this setting Mai (meaning May) is an intimate collection of songs written from within the depths of a house during stolen moments. At its heart sits a beautiful and simple setting of Eifion Wyn’s poem – Gwn ei ddyfod, fis y Mel (I know it’s coming, month-of-honey).
Mai is a meditation on finding hope and renewal in the seasons, in a world where the certainty of Spring feels increasingly fragile. The album was produced with Iwan Morgan (Meilyr Jones, Cate Le Bon, Richard James) who also engineered mixed and mastered. Additional parts were recorded at his studio in Liverpool. With improvised strings, pedal steel and saxophone sitting alongside harp, the album presents a sound which is both lush and sparse in turn.
Endless road trips across gorgeous countryside, graveyard shifts at the bar, and listless late-night conversations invoke images of a life in perpetual motion. This life belongs to Jarle Skavhellen. The Norwegian singer and songwriter documents these moments and more on his sophomore album, Beech Street, by way of poignant plainspoken lyricism and deft instrumentation, balancing acoustic warmth and cinematic scope.
Catspaw—written, produced, recorded, mixed, and entirely preformed (save ferocious drumming from Ric Menck of Velvet Crush) by Matthew at his home studio. Mastered by Bob Ludwig, the Hofner bass and Novo guitars sing and howl, harkening back to classics like Girlfriend and Altered Beast—all while retaining the hooks that dig into the listener. Well, like a cat’s paw. Matthew Sweet played in bands in Athens, Georgia as that scene exploded, collaborating with R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, playing in Linda Stipe’s Oh-OK, and The Buzz Of Delight. That work scooped him up into the major label world making countless acclaimed solo records, forming the supergroup The Thorns with Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge, and beginning a series of covers albums with The Bangles’ Susannah Hoffs. Now, it’s time for Matthew to just plain rock out by himself again.
KT Tunstall - Drastic Fantastic (Ultimate Edition) (Folk Rock / Acoustic / Pop Rock)
An expanded edition of KT’s second studio album Drastic Fantastic. Bonus content includes acoustic versions, live tracks, remixes and b-sides such as Journey. The bonus 10″ (included on the CD as well) consists of 4 brand new, unreleased remixes of the album’s singles Hold On, Saving My Face, If Only and Little Favours.