• Ben Lee

New Releases: 29th January 2021

Ben brings you all the new releases and reissues to arrive at The Vinyl Whistle this week, featuring releases ranging from indie, post-punk, electronic, ambient, rock, folk, prog, soul, jazz, punk, African, reggae, and pop. To order, you can find the items on the links below. Here's Ben's roundup of his Top 10 Picks of the week:

The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm War (Indie / Rock / Shoegazing)


The Besnard Lakes have passed through death and they’r e here to tell the tale. Nearly five years after their last lightning-tinted volley, the magisterial Montreal psych-rock band have sworn off compromise, split with their long-standing label, and completed a searing, 72-minute suite about the darkness of dying and the light on the other side.

The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is the group's sixth album and the first in more than 15 years to be released away from a certain midwestern American indie record company. The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is a bright-blazing requiem: nine tunes that are one tune and six musicians who make one band - unleashed and unconstrained, piercing and technicolour. At the end of the golden day, the Besnard Lakes are right where they should be.


Drive By Truckers - The New OK (Rock)


Drive-By Truckers released The Unraveling on Jan 31st 2020 and set out for what was supposed to be a full year of touring. Needless to say it did not go as planned. The New OK is a phrase Patterson Hood found himself saying a lot these past few months. This new album, made up of songs left over from The Unraveling sessions and new ones written and recorded since, hopefully balances out the darkness of our current situation with a hope for better days and nights ahead.


Goat Girl - On All Fours (Indie / Rock)


Goat Girl’s new album On All Fours was produced by Dan Carey (Kae Tempest, Black Midi and Franz Ferdinand) in South London in early 2020. This new record sees the band veer away from the confrontational lyricism of their debut and indicates Goat Girl’s maturing perspectives in discussing the world's injustices and social prejudices, using the music to explore global, humanitarian, environmental and mindful well being. Goat Girl’s frequent use of sci-fi synthesisers, off-beat chord progressions, analogue drum machines, diverse vocal styles and distinct, gritty guitars fuse a musical language that expresses both former characteristics and newer developments of the band’s sound and vision On All Fours.


Peter Hook and the Light - Unknown Pleasures Live in Australia (Rock / Post Punk / Indie)


peter hook and the light are an english rock band, formed in may 2010 by bass guitarist/vocalist peter hook, formerly of the influential post-punk bands joy division and new order.

the band is noted for performing the joy division and new order albums live.their setlists primarily feature the two joy division albums, unknown pleasures and closer or the first two new order albums, movement and power, corruption & lies, depending on the respective tour. the very concept is bound to stir up conflicted feelings -- bafflement, interest, cynicism, anger -- in any joy division fan. here’s that band’s peter hook, singing lead and playing bass, supported by a guitarist, drummer, keyboard player, and additional bassist. in front of a melbourne crowd, the band roars through the entirety of joy division's unknown pleasures, book-ending the album with six additional reinterpretations. the musicians play their hearts out, and hook is absolutely locked into the material. one can’t deny the man’s conviction. the moments of aggression are far more suited for his gruff, seething vocals than the likes of “candidate” and “i remember nothing,” where he has some trouble dialing it down. as an in-the-flesh experience, this was probably quite thrilling. as a home listening experience, it seems unnecessary -- at best, a curiosity -- especially when the source material is a couple clicks away.


LNZNDRF - II (Indie / Rock)


LNZNDRF’s II is a mass hypnotism, somehow both thunderous and trance-inducing. Recorded in extensive, shamanistic jam sessions at Austin’s Public Hi-Fi in September 2019 and later edited down to give it shape, these songs feel like Right Now, with some toes testing the waters of the future.

The brothers Scott and Bryan Devendorf (The National), Ben Lanz (The National, Beirut) and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Arntz (Beirut, Grizzly Bear) are in headlamps and spelunking gear, descending into a somnambulant space. Album deep cut Ringwoodite, with it’s skittering, lithe and precise drums, is a summer sparkler of song — whizzing by at such a clip it leaves you giddily following its traces. On its heels are the computer lover Gaskiers and come- on-slow motorik anthem Stowaway that, while not connected by sound, work in tandem to put LNZNDRF fully in the canon of strange and indelible krautrock.

Its incantations seem to beckon the dystopia of present day as much as they beckon the Big Mystery awaiting us when we finally bust through its barrier. It won’t be a utopia but it will at least be something different. As it goes on the lysergic post-punk standout You Still Rip: "We'll live like fruitless trees towards endless breeze linked as we please, the burning bridges smolder in our wake.” Red rover, red rover, send LNZNDRF over.


The Luka State - Fall In Fall Out (Indie / Pop)


The Luka State are Cheshire Cats, Conrad Ellis (voice, guitar), Sam Bell (bass, voice), Jake Barnabas (drums) and Lewis Pusey (guitars). Their hometown is famous for salt mining, and not much else. Yet being halfway between Liverpool and Manchester – hence, every kid in the town wanting to be a footballer or pop star the minute they can kick a ball or play a guitar. The Luka State chose music. For fans of Supergrass, Kasabian and Pop.


Arlo Parks - Collapsed in Sunbeams (Indie / Folk / Soul)


Highly anticipated debut from 2020 breakthrough artist, London-based musician and poet Arlo Parks. Speaking about her LP, Arlo says "My album is a series of vignettes and intimate portraits surrounding my adolescence and the people that shaped it. It is rooted in storytelling and nostalgia - I want it to feel both universal and hyper specific." This album news continues an outstanding year for Arlo, who was included on the BBC Sound Of 2020 poll and Radio 1 Brit List, as well as the Dazed 100 list, and also being named as an ambassador for mental health charity CALM. Includes the Radio 1 A-listed singles ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Hurt’. First LP pressing is on limited edition 180g deep red vinyl and includes fold out poster and download code.


Albertine Sarges - The Sticky Fingers (Acoustic / Pop)


It is in Albertine’s own words, “a triumphant refusal to be complicit in a system that ruins us.” The universality of music can mean different things to different people. For Albertine Sarges – Berlin-based musician and producer – it’s a vessel that she uses for self-exploration and growth, never more so than on her new album The Sticky Fingers, out on Moshi Moshi Records.

After numerous collaborative projects, including projects with Colin Self and Holly Herndon, and performing as part of Italian synth- wave duo Itaca, Albertine brings together a new band, the titular Sticky Fingers for their debut LP. The Sticky Fingers has its roots in the south of the German capital – Albertine grew up in Kreuzberg during the fall of the Berlin Wall and records in nearby Neukölln - but from there its branches shoot out to take in feminist theory, musings on bisexuality, gender stereotypes, depression and mental health. These topics fall under the ever-shifting veneer of Albertine’s chameleonic pop motifs: from Viv Albertine-inspired post-punk and kaleidoscopic dream-pop to quiet-loud guitar squall and Merrill Garbus-reminiscent vocal acrobatics.


The Stone Roses - The Remixes (Indie)


The Remixes is a compilation album by The Stone Roses, which features remixes by various producers including Utah Saints and Paul Oakenfold. Various techno luminaries ply their skills reworking some of those early classic songs, and it is immediately clear that the Roses, even beyond the genius of their songs, were a preeminent dance band.


Steven Wilson - The Future Bites (Alt Rock / Indie / Prog)


Steven Wilson’s new album The Future Bites is an exploration of how the human brain has evolved in the Internet era. As well as being Wilson’s phenomenal sixth album, The Future Bites is also an online portal to a world of high concept design custom built for the ultra-modern consumer. Where 2017’s To The Bone confronted the emerging global issues of post truth and fake news, The Future Bites places the listener in a world of 21st century addictions. It’s a place where on-going, very public experiments constantly take place into the affects of nascent technology on our lives. From out of control retail therapy, manipulative social media and the loss of individuality, The Future Bites is less a bleak vision of an approaching dystopia, more a curious reading of the here and now.

Musically, The Future Bites gleams. Featuring gorgeous electronic sounds warped by human intervention (King Ghost), soaring acoustics that head straight upwards into the stratosphere (12 Things I Forgot), relentless bass-driven Motorik grooves (Follower) and swampish, murky funk (Eminent Sleaze), it is Steven’s most consistently brilliant work to date. The album was recorded in London and co-produced by David Kosten (Bat For Lashes, Everything Everything) and Steven Wilson.


Here are the best reissues coming out this week at The Vinyl Whistle:

22-20s - 22-20s (Indie / Rock / Pop)


22-20s is the debut self-titled album by English blues rock band 22-20s. The album was met with critical acclaim upon initial release in 2004. NME called it one of the best British rock albums of the year, praising the band’s ability to sound fresh and vital, while remaining intense. The album features the track Devil in Me, which was famously used on a Vauxhall Astra commercial in 2016. It provided the band with a rise in popularity, even though by that time they had already split up. Their eponymous debut is now available on 180 gram audiophile vinyl and comes in a gatefold sleeve.


Amber Run - 5am (Indie Rock)


Amber Run is a British indie rock band from Nottingham, who released three albums and four EPs. They recorded their debut album throughout January and February 2014 with Sam Winfield and Brit Award-winning record producer Mike Crossey, who previously produced albums for Arctic Monkeys, The 1975, Twenty One Pilots, Walk the Moon, Foals, Keane, Jake Bugg and Yungblud. There are comparisons with Coldplay on the single I Found, while the title track has London Grammar’s mellow trip-hop vibes. With Noah’s Mumford and Sons-like vocal melodies and the wisps of Bastille’s fist-pumping pop on single Just My Soul Responding, Amber Run maintains a legitimising rockstar edge. Upon release, 5am reached number 36 on the UK Albums Chart.


Ariel Pink - Oddities Sodomies Vol 1 (Rock)


Odditties Sodomies Vol. 1 returns to vinyl as an expanded installment of Ariel Archives, Mexican Summer’s reissue project revisiting the trove of music Ariel Pink recorded and released as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti between 1999 and 2019. For this version, Odditties Sodomies Vol. 1 has been remastered from the original source tapes and mixed in true stereo, delivering in extraordinary range the full depth of Ariel’s compulsive musical enterprise.

Conceived long before its first official release in 2008, the series Odditties Sodomies was created by Ariel Pink as a means to collect the best of his orphaned music, songs which had not made it onto the Haunted Graffiti album collections Underground, The Doldrums, Scared Famous/FF>>, House Arrest, Lover Boy, and Worn Copy. As such, the first volume of Odditties Sodomiescontained songs recorded between 1997 and 2004, a period roughly encapsulating Ariel’s graduation from high school, his college years, and the beginning of his independent life as a songwriter, when he became the unlikely conduit for an epic stretch of creativity that resulted in several hundred inspired experimental pop songs.


Ariel Pink - Oddities Sodomies Vol 3 (Rock)


Odditties Sodomies Vol. 3 is a new installment of Ariel Pink’s compilation series collecting revelatory unreleased material recorded during Ariel’s prolific series of releases as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, focusing on the years 1997–2004. Released as a concluding entry of Ariel Archives, Odditties Sodomies Vol. 3 delivers more gems from the artist’s treasure chest of unheard or narrowly distributed music.

Like the other releases in Ariel Archives, Odditties Sodomies Vol. 3 has been carefully transferred from the original source tapes and mixed in true stereo, restoring the full stereophonic experience Ariel originally designed. His predecessors in this multitalented pop category are pantheon: Prince, Todd Rundgren, and Kate Bush. Pink unites disparate sides of the pop spectrum and crafts a complicated musical persona. It’s part self-parody but also earnest ambition, a quest to reinvent the self through musical knowledge and musical creation.