The Men are like a microcosm of men as a whole in that they are both good and bad.They do great things and they do less great things but I think we're all still ok with them being around. They've actually been rather consistent over the last few years and this stability has led to their new album Mercy on which they make music with some of the classic rock moves of the 70s era old timers alongside the experimental churn of someone like Suicide.
Nyx Nótt is the new project from Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat. Nyx is a Greek goddess and Nótt is a Norse goddess. His new album is called Aux Pieds de la Nuit which roughly translates to At The Feet Of The Night. The album has a nocturnal feel to it as he recorded it at home whilst the rest of the household slept. It is also an album that celebrates the wee small hours.
CEL is the duo of Felix Kubin and Hubert Zemler. Kubin who you will know from a myriad other projects handles the electronics and zemler the percussion. Together they come up with seven instrumentals ranging from electronic pulses, ghostly synths and teutonic grooves. It's a wild ride with some out-there collaboration as you may expect. the wildest thing though is the press release we've been sent. Read it and believe that Kubin actually melts plastic and concrete with his music.
It is sometimes easy to see the ambient/electronica scene as overtly serious and self contained so its nice to see the three protagonists here of Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek), Gareth Davis, and Leo Fabriek soundtrack Bij Wat Ook Moog - a documentary about three young footballers reaching the pinnacle of their careers and all the pressures that come with that. They use clarinet, drum loops and electronics to tell the tale and it is all presented in a lovely clothbound edition of just 100.
Night Time Stories releases Departure, the much-anticipated debut album from Portland-based Kennebec, in mid-February. Following the production of its title track (which finishes off the album) back in 2017, it’s been a long period of refinement for the project’s mastermind Eric Phillips, taking in anime soundtracks, obscure hip-hop and ambient electronica to deliver this 10-track delight.
“I’m being swept by this notion of time passing,” Kevin Parker explained to the New York Times about his new Tame Impala album earlier in 2019. “There’s something really intoxicating about it.” That preoccupation is at the centre of The Slow Rush, due for release on Valentine’s Day 2020 and 11 whole months after we got the first taste of new music ‘Borderline’ earlier this year. One of the most anticipated indie releases of recent years!
Having enjoyed a brilliant couple of years thanks to surprise hit ‘Alternative Facts’ and BBC 6Music playlisted ‘Gig Economy’, plus support slots with the likes of Stereolab and The Lovely Eggs, Leeds trio Mush announce their debut studio album 3D Routine. Mixed by Dream Wife / our girl producer Andy Savours in their hometown’s Green Mount Studio, it’s set to carry on the abstract, socially incisive post-punk of their recent Induction Party EP.
John Chantler is an Australian-born Stockholm-based electronic musician who is known for his improvised and experimental works. Johannes Lund is a Danish sax player. Andersabo is their second album together. Here they mix acoustic - pump organ and sax - and electronic instruments with field recordings creating drones, howls and all sorts of goings on.
Originally formed in the sleepy Northern Irish town of Downpatrick, cult favourite alt-rockers 'Ash' celebrate a quarter of a century in the game with 'Teenage Wildlife: 25 Years Of Ash'. The compilation is a fantastic mix of chart-ruffling hits, along with a brand spanking new track thrown in to boot.
Towards the end of the ‘80s Pale Saints, from Leeds, were part of a new movement in British indie known as shoegaze. Bands such as Ride, Slowdive and 4AD labelmates, Lush joined them in their quest, and would ultimately become better known. Perhaps Pale Saints are due a resurgence, like the bands that they broke through with initially have enjoyed of late. Comforts of Madness was their debut, originally released in 1990, and it’s a bit of classic. This expanded reissue includes unreleased demos and a Peel Session from 1989.
Norwegian band Kvelertak have signed with Rise Records for their fourth album, Splid, which translates to Discord in English. The band run the gamut of guitar music from good ol’ rock and roll to black metal via punk rock. Let’s just say hey like to make a racket. The new album explores how stupid and greedy the human race have been and wonders where it will all end. Recorded with Kurt Ballou in Massachusetts.
Stray is the fourth album by New York-based post punk band Bambara. The theme of the album is death, set to a pummeling, brooding and atmospheric soundscape. They have toured with IDLES and 6 Music DJ Steve Lamacq is advocate. All you really need to know though is that their drummer is called Blaze.
Dedicated to the memory of her mother, who passed away in 2018, experimental musician Katie Gately presents her second album Loom. With field recordings ranging from cut-up audio from her parents’ wedding to the sound of actual earthquakes, this beautiful album bears the profundity of permanent loss.
Moses Boyd is an award winning jazz musician mostly known for being one half of Binker & Moses. He likes to blend genres to create innovative new sounds. He has previously collaborated with musician and producer Sampha, contemporary classical pop musician Kelsey Lu and played drums for Sons of Kemet. Dark Matter is his debut solo album.
* Order on any format for the chance of winning a super-rare white label dub 12’’ of ‘B.T.B / 2 Far Gone’. *
The debut full-length album from Godthrymm, the latest project from UK metal figurehead Hamish Glencross (formerly of Solstice and My Dying Bride). Formed with sometime collaborator Shaun Taylor-Steels on drums, Reflections follows the band’s A Grand Reclamation EP from a couple of years back.
Despite a healthy and prodigious output since they formed five years ago, the Chicago-based outfit Drama are only now releasing their debut album. Fortunately, Dance Without Me benefits from the many months of careful planning and tweaking, dealing with heartbreak, self-care and self-forgiveness, with singer Via Rosa’s lyrics and delivery the focal point.
Cadence Revolution is the second instalment in a planned series of compilations that are excavating the archives of French Caribbean label Disques Debs International. Featuring the likes of Super Vikings and Guy Conquette, Volume 2 focusses on the development of the unique ‘Cadence’ sound during the 1970s, which resolved myriad influences into a Pan-Caribbean blend of styles and musical traditions that resonated for years afterwards.
Interesting backstory alert. God Damn leader Thomas Edward got fired from his day job as a teacher for destroying bibles. Perhaps not the wisest thing to do in today's snooping society. Some of the themes of religion he was obviously struggling with find their way into the album which sees their powerful rock supercharged by being recorded in disused tube stations.
Tennis here present an early contender of press release of the year. It's all happened to the usually carefree couple. Alaina was very ill on tour, Patrick's dad died then his mum had a stroke. We hear all about the funeral, of Patrick's mums recovery...it's quite the soap opera. What i think the press release is saying is that their new album Swimmer comes out of dark times but the music is resolutely upbeat and joyful. Sunny side up pop for fans of St Etienne and yacht rock.
And It’s Still Alright marks the first solo work of Denver-based singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff outside of the context of his band The Night Sweats since they exploded onto the scene back in the middle of the ‘10s. Produced with the help of Beach House’s James Barone, it’s one of the more personal and soulful collections in Rateliff’s discography.
Robert Vincent is a Liverpool-based singer songwriter who writes songs in a country and blues vein. He has been dubbed ‘the scouse Springsteen’. He has drafted in Ethan Johns to produce his new album, In This Town You’re Owned, which is a shrewd move given Johns’ ability to judge the timbre of this genre perfectly.
Working Title is the new album from Boysetsfire vocalist Nathan Gray. His previous album saw him consumed by the anxieties of his life. Here he turns everything around, looking to where he is now and how he got through it, offering help to those who may need it, via the medium of heartfelt alt-rock songs.
For Air Texture Vol. VII, Rrose and Silent Servant choose some previously unreleased and exclusive tracks from the musical underground. Among the 26 artists showing their wares are Luke Slater, Laurel Halo, Ron Morelli, Not Waving and Anthony Child. Not to be overshadowed, Rrose teams up with James Fei and Silent Servant goes it alone to contribute tracks.
Los Angeles-based punk miserablists Spanish Love Songs deliver their newest studio album Brave Faces Everyone, arriving just a couple of years after 2018’s excellent breakthrough Schmaltz. Fans can expect more of frontman Dylan Slocum’s pin-point accurate descriptions of everyday life and romance.
Portland, Oregon supergroup-of-sorts, Eyelids, are led by Chris Slusarenko (Guided By Voices, Boston Spaceships) and John Moen (The Decemberists). Larry Beckett, who worked with Tim Buckley, offered to write lyrics for their new album. An amazing offer - but would the collaboration work? Eyelids went for it, because you shouldn’t turn down offers like that. Accidental Falls is the resulting album. It was produced by Peter Buck who also plays on the album.
Emika (aka Ema Jolly) has steadily made a name for herself over the past decade, with her trip-hop infused electronica. However on 'Klavirini Temna' (meaning 'dark piano' in Czech), Emika keeps things pure and stripped-back with a cluster of heartwarming piano-driven songs - juxtaposing both dark and light themes.
Now apparently feeling 100 years old although he’s only 37, Manchester singer / songwriter Jim Noir releases his first album in 5 years, A.M. Jazz. You may remember Jim, real name Alan Roberts, from his success in the late ‘00s with The Beatles sampling song My Patch, other catchy Beatles-esque pop and for wearing a bowler hat. He’s chucked away the hat now and replaced it with a pair of slippers. You can judge the affect this has on his music by clicking 'add to cart'.
David Gray’s massively successful fourth album, White Ladder, is getting a 20th anniversary reboot. Remastered and in a number editions including luxury 4LP and 2CD sets. Just in case you can’t remember which album this is, it’s the one with Babylon, This Year’s Love and Sail Away on.
Hollow is the sixth album by Canadian psych-pop band Elephant Stone. In true classic rock style they have made a concept album inspired by The Pretty Things’ SF Sorrow, The Who’s Tommy and The Beatles’ White Album but with a dystopian sci-fi narrative that sees the human race fighting for survival.
Ivor Cutler was a Scottish legend. Beloved of John Peel, the singer, poet and humorist was a staple on left field BBC programmes throughout the '70s and '80s. Citizen Bravo and Raymond MacDonald have decided to reinterpret Cutlers work with help from a plethora of guest such as Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai), Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand) and Tracy-Ann Campbell (Camera Obscura). Truly a loving tribute to the great man.
With the band name Mint Julep you might expect a bunch of white suited gents from southern USA playing...well, I don’t know what. What Mint Julep actually are though, is an electronic pop duo made up of Hollie and Keith Kenniff, also a married couple. Mr. Kenniff is known for his experimental projects, the ambient Helios and the post-classical Goldmund. On Stray Fantasies however, we get straight up synth pop and you will enjoy it.
Low Lights consists of a selection of collaborations that have appeared on the last five albums from Scottish lo-fi pop formation The Grand Gestures, and released on CD only. Having recently received the endorsement of veteran comedian Phill Jupitus, he gets to lead off the 16-track collection with a new effort ‘The Sailor of Bari’.
If you were a musician who was born in Warsaw, raised in London and resides in California’s Mojave Desert there’s a chance you’d end up making Desert Rock laced with psychedelic electronica. Patti Yang has assembled a crack team of musicians who have worked with Primal Scream, Manic Street Preachers, Jarvis Cocker, Deerhunter, Animal Collective and more to create War On Love, influenced by where she’s lived and the spacious place she lives in now.
We’re New Again is a reworking of Gil Scott-heron’s final album, I’m New Here, by jazz musician Makaya McCraven. Makaya’s principal instrument is the drums but he can turn his hand to production too, so getting stuck into this was right up his street. I’m New Here has already been given an alternative spin when Jamie xx remixed it in 2011. This jazz take is most intriguing.
* All orders of this album will gain you an entry to win a heavy-card print! *
Rachel Aggs has had a good 2019, releasing brilliant albums with Trash Kit and Sacred Paws. She now returns to Shopping for their fourth album, All or Nothing. As the band are now split between LA and Glasgow it meant they had to find time when they could get together. The album came out of an intensive two week writing and recording sesh. Expect their usual bold, post-punk sound, but this time with added pop sensibilities.
Brothers Nick & Jordan Smart have stepped out of their parent band, the minimal jazz / folk troupe Mammal Hands, to become Sunda Arc. Here they take inspiration from electronic favourites such as Jon Hopkins, Rival Consoles and Moderat whilst keeping things minimal a la Nils Frahm. Tides is their debut album.
Stuart Bowditch and Nick Dawson own the Courier label. They have also been playing music together for the last seven years. The time has come for them, therefore, to release an album under the name Furrows. A Thin Veneer sees the pair using various synths, electronic boxes and a guitar to make their sound.
A hotly-tipped property ever since Kim Deal contributed to their debut single ‘Twisted Arrow’ five years ago, A Northern View is the second studio album from Irish group Arborist. Recorded in the prestigious surroundings of Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios, this bucolic collection prominently features the distinctive violin playing of Emma Smith.
Texas Sun is the intriguing collaboration between soul / R&B singer Leon Bridges and wayward psychedelic types Khruangbin. Both artists hail from Texas but represent different ends of the state’s musical heritage, here, they bring them together on an EP that has every chance of being an absolute cracker.
Leeds-based band The Sorcerers follow up their lauded debut album with an even more ambitious record. Released on ATA Records, globally-sourced jazz influences combine with dusty, European-based library music to make something truly widescreen on the fantastically-named In Search of the Lost City of the Monkey God.
Music For Organ by avant-garde New York composer Phil Niblock contains two live recordings that are being released for the first time. Side A features a piece originally commissioned for Hampus Lindwall which Niblock recorded live in 2019 which mixes organ and pre-recorded tracks. Side two features Niblock recorded mixing the sound of Joseph Gatto Organ with tape samples in Austria in 2007.
Tall Tall Trees is the musical project of singer / songwriter Mike Savino. He plays a whole bunch of instruments which means he has the ability to weave the sound of the banjo into an indie record. His influences include Pink Floyd, Bela Fleck, Cat Stevens and Earl Scruggs. A Wave of Golden Things is his fourth album - a dynamic record stretching from dusty ballads to banjo funk. Yes, banjo funk.
Tom Jenkinson returns with a new Squarepusher album after a hiatus of over half a decade. 'Be Up A Hello' represents an abrupt about-face from the bleeding-edge technology used on his last outing 'Damogen Furies', revisiting the vintage analogue and digital equipment that Jenkinson used at the start of his career in the early Nineties. He even busts out his trusty olde Commodore VIC-20.
Instrumentalist and producer Benet Walsh, a long-time associate and touring partner with electronic music veterans Plaid, presents his debut album as Mason Bee. Gathering up influences ranging from electronica to folk, and approaching it with his own DIY aesthetic, Play Flights is a work of quiet brilliance.
Along with Spacemen 3, Loop were the main protagonists of the '80s drone/psychedelic sound. Fade Out was their second full length album which honed their particularly fiery brand of psychedelic sludge taking in influences from the likes of Can and Suicide. It was a disconcerting brew which attacked the senses and made you wonder why they weren't quite as acclaimed as several other bands from the era we could mention.
A Gilded Eternity was the third (and final in their initial lifespan) album by psychedelic sonic explorers Loop. They made a deeply textural form of white out racket that had a mantra-ish, transcendental quality, deeply hypnotic sounds that, according to Phil's review below these lines, could 'blow your face off'. 2CD set on Reactor and we could do with some vinyl to go with that thanks.
I'll never forget when I picked up a copy of this one at a weird little antique shop in Nottingham for a couple of quid at the height of my psychedelia obsession. I'd never listened to 'em before but I'd only heard good things about this trio of feedback loving psych freaks. Greeted by big, meaty space rock riffing, heady atmospheres and Stooges-esque drone rock, 'Heaven's End' got continuous spins throughout that year at Uni and remains a favourite when I'm in the mood for some trance inducing fuzz-rock. Fans of the noisier end of shoegaze, MC5, The Stooges, Suicide, Telescopes and the Mary Chain will dig all of Loop's work.
Envy started life as a screamo band in 1992 - before screamo was a thing. Whilst holding on to their ferocious edge, over time they have transitioned into post-rock, in keeping with their stint on Mogwai’s Rock Action label. The Fallen Crimson is the Japanese band’s 7th album and the first album of a new era, featuring three new members and the return of original vocalist Tetsuya Fukagawa.
An influential composer of ‘70s and ‘80s dance music and responsible for sales of 30 million around the world, producer Marc Cerrone returns with his umpteenth studio album DNA. Released via Because Music on crystal clear see-through vinyl, this electronic music legend is still at the top of his game.
Sophomore studio album from South Wales-based rock quintet Those Damn Crows, following up the word-of-mouth cult success of their debut album Murder and the Motive a couple of years back. Produced by rock veterans Andy Sneap and Colin Richardson, Point of No Return emphasises soul over riffing and the more conventional demands of rock.
Smoke Fairies are back with Darkness Brings The Wonders Home - their first album in five years. The starting point was the woodsy folk of their debut Through Low Light And Trees. They found their performances had a new boldness, however. This coupled with some exciting visits to a guitar shop near producer Phil Ek’s studio meant more guitars and new sounds were added to that sound.
Having started life five years ago as a bedroom project with the aim of uploading a track each month to SoundCloud, London-based alt-pop duo Anthony West and Josephine Vander Gucht - better known as Oh Wonder - have found major label success and international tours and taken those achievements in their stride. No One Else Can Wear Your Crown is their third studio album, and seeks to add new elements to their sound.
Never Not Together is the ninth album by New York indie rock band Nada Surf. Having been together as a band for the best part of thirty years, the title seems to refer to the band as much as anything else, apart from when head Surfer Matthew Caws collaborated with Juliana Hatfield under the name Minor Alps, of course. If you want guitars and melody, look no further.
HMLTD are a rock band based in London who take their influences from David Bowie, Sparks and the New Romantic era. Their sound is guitar based, fused with elements of EDM and experimental pop. They have been likened to The Prodigy and Peaches, among others. West of Eden is their debut album. They may well be pretty big in 2020.
Sátt is the new album by Icelandic singer / songwriter, Ásgeir. It is his fourth album and the Icelandic language version of Bury The Moon. Asgeir is undoubtedly a talent - a multi instrumentalist with a voice to die for and the ability the write a cracking song. The single, Youth, co-written with his father is quite the statement of his talent.
Bury The Moon is the fourth album by Icelandic singer / songwriter, Ásgeir. His earlier work was rooted in folk music, and this album finds him returning there. His dad, a respected poet, helped him write the lead single, Youth, which is central to the album. A tenderly fingerpicked song that grows beautifully about growing up in Iceland, anxiety free and being very happy. Listeners will be drawn in by his voice and ear for melody.
Fat Tony is often to be found in the studio with A$AP Rocky and Das Racist. On Wake Up, he is paired with his good pal and producer, Taydex. Fat Tony’s raps are near the knuckle and detail his lifetime of experiences. This is the Nigerian-American rappers fifth album, but first album for Carpark.
Telling the story of an artist who descends into insanity after taking a hallucinogenic drug in order to stimulate creativity, Joe Begos' 2019 horror movie Bliss was soundtracked in dynamic fashion by former Zombi bassist and multi-instrumentalist Steve Moore, released here on vinyl by Relapse Records.
Laumė, rhymes with the surname of Kim Pflaum, formerly of Yumi Zouma. It is her synth pop project straight outta New Zealand. Waterbirth was made with the assistance of French producer Rude Jude and is inspired by the time she nearly drowned and was saved by two people thus getting a second chance. Musically she takes inspiration from singular female artists such as Sade, Kate Bush and Grimes.
Considering we’re talking about somebody who destroyed the singles chart in 2009, it’s surprising to learn that Supervision is Elly Jackson’s first La Roux album in nearly six years, and only her third altogether. Nevertheless, it’s full of the kinds of flourishes that have always made her music stand out, with eight deep cuts of melodic electro-pop brilliance.
Jon Hassell is best known for his collaborations with non Western music and traditional African acts in a form of music he called Fourth World. On this his 1987 album Flash of the Spirit he records with Farafina - a percussion voice and dance collective. It was recorded by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois and this is its first ever vinyl remaster.
Isobel Campbell started out in Belle & Sebastian before recording under the name The Gentle Waves. She has also released three critically acclaimed albums with Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees. Her new solo album, There Is No Other… has been a while in coming, but Campbell says she likes to take her time and do things properly. The speed that the world is moving makes her want to take more time over the things she loves.
French outfit Heldon’s 1979 album ‘Stand By’ is being re-released on limited edition sky-blue vinyl, courtesy of Souffle Continu Records. It’s essentially a rock record, built on electronic equipment, and is filled with proggy doom, punk ‘tude and guitarist Richard Pinhas’ masterful axework.
French outfit Heldon, with guitarist Richard Pinhas at the helm, were masters of weaving together electronica and rock, resulting in minimalist, doom-laden techno and bleak, apocalyptic soundscapes. Add howling guitars, rattling electric drums and undulating synths and you’ve got a perfect prog soup.
Heldon’s fifth album 'Un Reve Sans Consequence Speciale', released in 1976, is being re-released on limited-edition clear purple vinyl, courtesy of Souffle Continu Records. It’s an intense record, weaving together meaty prog and industrial rock with spicy electronica, to a fiery, aggressive effect.
Elkhorn are guitarists Jesse Sheppard and Drew Gardner. The duo got snowed in at Turner Williams’(of Guardian Alien) place when they were due to play a gig. Instead they ended up with Sheppard on an acoustic 12-string and Gardner playing a 6-string electric guitar improvising and recording two side-long pieces. Williams added some mysticism by playing electric bouzouki on the first piece and shahi baaja on the second. The aptly named Storm Sessions was the result.
Brooklyn’s Antibalas mix afrobeat, funk and jazz, taking their inspiration from Fela Kuti and Harlem River Drive Orchestra. Lyrically they concentrate on political and social issues. Their 20 year career has seen them release 6 albums, with Fu Chronicles being their 7th. It is their 5th album for Daptone. Their name, if you were wondering, means Bulletproof in Spanish.
Following the Years & Years-featuring ‘Dreamland’ and ‘Burning The Heather’, Pet Shop Boys trail the release of their upcoming 14th studio album Hotspot with its third single ‘Monkey Business’. Features a radio edit of the track, remixes from Friend Within and Prins Thomas, plus exclusive B-side ‘At Rock Bottom’.
Gruff-voiced Americana giant John Moreland returns with his fifth album which is helpfully titled LP5. It seems he’s gone for a more brooding sound here, helped by producer Matt Pence (not Mike, that would be super weird) who has worked with Jason Isbel and The Breeders, among others. His music is no less beautiful and heartfelt for it, though.
Houses is the new album by one of the originators of the South London electronic scene, Steve Spacek. It is released through Black Focus. It is an album that he calls ‘long overdue’ taking inspiration from house and threading through some soul, jazz and R&B. Spacek has released records though Eglo, his brother, dBridge’s, Exit Records under the name Blackpocket, through Ninja Tune under the name Beat Spacek and collaborated with Mark Pritchard under the name Africa HiTech, which was released on Warp.
As a former member of legendary electronic music outfit Tangerine Dream and an experienced composer of soundtrack work, Paul Haslinger strikes out by himself on this much-anticipated album that’s taken him eight years to write, record and finesse. Built primarily around Haslinger’s grand piano, Exit Ghost sees this teller of other people’s stories examine his own life and experiences.
Gil Scott-Heron released I’m New Here in 2010. It sadly turned out to be the legendary musician and poet’s final album. The album at least matches his previous work in terms of boundary-pushing and musical quality, so it's well deserving of a 10th anniversary reissue. This version comes with a previously unreleased cut from the original sessions and a cover of Handsome Johnny, originally by Richie Havens, which turned out to be the last song Scott-Heron ever recorded. There’s a bunch of other rare tracks dating from the original album sessions too.
Black Pumas are a funk/soul/hip-hop duo comprising of Adrian Quesada of Brownout and Grupo Fantasma and the previously unheard of but undoubtedly talented Eric Burton. The band made an indelible impression on many that saw them at 2019’s SXSW festival. Their self-titled debut is available on LP and CD on ATO Records.
Having established a fearsome reputation as a live band that’s gotten them signed to iconic indie label Sub Pop, Dutch outfit The Homesick have taken a bit of a left turn on second album The Big Exercise, infusing their intense post-punk with a much wider range of instruments, from piano to clarinet.
The Deer hail from Austin, Texas. For years they have ploughed the folk / Americana furrow. For their new album, Do No Harm, they’ve reached for a bigger sound and bigger hooks whilst retaining their big heart. It would seem they’ve moved into the space opened up by the emergence of Big Thief, which is no bad thing. Fleetwood Mac fans might want to take a look here too.
Apala is the music of Nigeria’s Yourba people. Apala: Apala Groups in Nigeria 1967-70 is the first time a compilation of Apala music has been released outside of Nigeria. The music’s main characteristics are the hypnotic rhythms brought about by the powerful drumming, nasal singing and the Agdigbo, or thumb piano. Other African musical styles are more well known in the West such as Fuji, Highlife, Juju and Afrobeat, but Apala is regarded as more of a roots or neo-traditional form of music. On Soul Jazz.
My Bus are a dream pop duo formed by Joe Cassidy and Gary McKendry. The pair previously recorded as Butterfly Child and Papa Sprain respectively. With their new project and new album, Our Life In The Desert, they take the dream pop roots and create something quite sensational with Joe’s melodic hooks tempered by Gary’s love for atonal subversion.
Great news for readers of Uncut magazine....there's a new Drive By Truckers album in town. The magazine's flagship band haven't released a record in three years which is a long time for them but leader Patterson Hood has been struggling with writers block brought on with worrying about how to convey the very mess the world is in. Thankfully he started to look closer to home, to matters of the heart for inspiration and found that his band were at the peak of their powers on an album that mixes the politics with the personal.
Poliça’s fourth studio record When We Stay Alive was forged in the face of practical adversity, after lead singer Channy Leaneagh suffered a serious back injury after falling off her roof clearing ice around 18 months ago. The regular Poliça sound is intact, but the record is much richer, and features contributions from a wide range of fellow musicians, from The National’s Aaron Dessner to Bon Iver.
Since 2015’s Glass Riffer album, Baltimore’s electronic maestro Dan Deacon has been throwing his whole self into other projects such as soundtracks for Rat Film and Time Trial. He did, however, keep nipping back to his day job of making his music. The songs on Mystic Familiar were formed over this time, and whilst he was returning to what he knows best, the experiences have fed into him expanding his sound on this record.
Bryan Ferry is still quite the old charmer at the ripe old age of 77. When Jorja Chalmers moved to the UK from Australia and started performing old twinkle trousers saw her and invited her to join his band. Her debut Human Again was made in those times on tour when Ferry wasn't swanning about and she set about making some art rock in the style of David Bowie and Ferry's old nemesis Brian Eno. Produced by none other than Johnny Jewel this should appeal to fans of the likes of John Carpenter and of course Chromatics.
Raw Like Sushi, the debut album by Neneh Cherry, was originally released 30 years ago. Here we have a deluxe expanded reissue. It included the massive hits Buffalo Stance and Manchild. Contributors to the album included 3D and Mushroom from Massive Attack and, looking very relaxed, on vibes, Nellee Hooper.
Since they emerged in the middle of this decade, Gengahr have been one of the more slow-burning bands of the British guitar scene, their understated and gently melodic sound outlasting many other Next Big Things. Sanctuary, their third album, brings in Bombay Bicycle Club’s Jack Steadman on production, and promises their most fully-fleshed sound so far.
Sløtface, pronounced ‘Slutface’ which is how they used to be known, hail from Norway and play a brand of '90s / early '00s pop-punk. Melodic and a bit noisy, with loads of energy. Sorry For The Late Reply is the band’s second album and follow-up to the Norwegian Grammy winning Try Not To Freak Out. Features the singles Telepathic, Sink Or Swim, Stuff and S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
Former Soft Cell frontman Marc Almond delivers his 26th solo album Chaos and a Dancing Star. It sees him join forces once again with producer/pianist Chris Braide, who worked with him five years back on The Velvet Trail, and the record’s themes deal with hope surviving amid darkness and depression.
Described by New York rock 'n' roll mag Trouser Press as "a balance of pop-conscious song-structuring and outright-croak as Sonic Youth's Evol-period", UT's 'In Gut's House' is the sophomore record by the New York genre-blenders. It's a fantastic justification on how the No-Wavers became a serious force on the east coast.
One of hip-hop’s heavyweights, Eminem drops another surprise album, just like his clipped 2018 effort Kamikaze. Conceived of as a sort-of tribute to the great director Alfred Hitchcock, Music To Be Murdered By is a 20-track record, and came with a tweet from Marshall Mathers himself warning that there would “undoubtedly be quite a bit of controversy surrounding it”. No kidding, Em.
Hitting the sweet spot between Jonathan Richman and English Invasion-era Sixties pop, then crossing it with literate, bookish Eighties indie references, Toronto-based Kiwi Jr. present their first full-length album Football Money. Concerned with the cost of modern living and the anxiety of irregular employment opportunities, it’s a snappy half-hour of jangling punk-pop.
Initially self-released back in the spring this year, The First Glass Beach Album now arrives on vinyl for the first time, coming in early 2020. This package contains the 15 songs from the original record, with Glass Beach showing admirably little respect for genre boundaries over the hour-long experience.
Well this looks like an absolute treat. 'Black Sarabande' is a collection of piano pieces written and performed by Robert Haigh. The compositions are sparse and skeletal, bolstered only by the occasional synth pad or, in one case, the 'dissonant sounds of industry' (yum, yes please). Haigh's pieces are rooted in a sense of place, namely the pit town where he grew up. They conjur images of something deathly quiet, eerie, and desolate.
This man is a total legend, with records dating back to 1984 where he appeared on his own Le Rey Records label and later on Nurse With Wounds United Dairies imprint. He then went on to produce innovative Drum & Bass as the one and only Omni Trio!
Andy Shauf comes from Saskatchewan in Canada. He grew up playing Christian music with his parents. They ran a music and electronics store which gave him access to all sorts of instruments. His sixth album, Neon Skyline, tells the stories surrounding the customers of a local dive bar. It sees Shauf stretching his already celebrated creativity even further.
Having accumulated a loyal cult fanbase on the back of seven album’s worth of their trademark ‘doom jazz’ style - fans of drone, black metal and ‘Twin Peaks’ ought to be interested! - German act Bohren & der Club of Gore release their latest album Patchouli Blue, ahead of a UK tour planned for 2020.
Algiers hail from Atlanta, Georgia, apart from drummer, Matt Tong, who comes from Bloc Party. They mix disparate styles such as post-punk and gospel into one rocking sound. The band also take influences from non-musical sources such as southern Gothic literature and politics. There Is No Year is their third album.
Kate Davis has an impressive CV. A classical and Jazz prodigy, she has worked withHerbie Hancock, Ben Folds, Alison Krauss and Jeff Goldblum. Before co-writing ‘Seventeen’ with Sharon Van Etten she honed her indie-rock chops by listening to the likes of Beach House, Elliott Smith and TV on the Radio. Trophy is her debut ‘indie’ album, and it’s a cracker!
The precocious Billie Eilish drops her debut LP. WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? - no need to shout, Billie - is a family affair, with Eilish’s brother Finneas O’Connor co-producing the record. Music-wise the songs here lean into Lana Del Rey’s dark-Disney Americana while also incorporating EDM and Adele-ish balladry.
The soundtrack to David Lynch’s 1986 movie ‘Blue Velvet’ perfectly suits the edgy film noir feel of the now classic film. It mixes original compositions from long term Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti with the sort of originals that would suit the jukebox of any any shadowy dive bar.
Immensely popular soundtrack from the critically acclaimed 2017 coming-of-age drama directed by Luca Guadagnino. Features John Adams, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Loredana Bertè, Bandolero, Frank Glazer, Alessio Bax, Giorgio Moroder & Joe Esposito, André Laplante, Sufjan Stevens, F.R. David, Marco Armani, Franco Battiato, The Psychedelic Furs, Valéria Szervánszky & Ronald Cavaye.
Would it be fair to label Miles Kane as a sort of Andrew Ridgeley to Alex Turner's George Michael? Kind of. The twosome are celebrity mates, featuring on each others albums but Kane lacks much of Turner's...well.. talent. Still Colour of the Trap shows that Kane can make albums with more life to them than Ridgeley's despairing Son of Albert being a blend of psych and Brit-pop with guest spots from Noel Gallagher, Gruff Rhys and...yes... Alex Turner.
Spindly post-punk heaven here from The Raincoats. The album was both important for its DIY spirit but also for the fact that it was made by four women in the then male dominated music industry. The album fell under the radar until Kurt Cobain mentioned it as one of his favourite records and since then has taken on legendary status and influenced scores of musicians. Re-issued from original sources for this luxury revamp that no home should be without.