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March pre-orders (part 1)

It's March....so here are your latest pre-orders before the RSD madness. Loads of really good titles here - some of them very limited - so get in quick.

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Band of Horses
Cease To Begin

Fronted by the otherworldly voice of Ben Bridwell, Band Of Horses make dreamy folk music ala Fleet Foxes and My Morning Jacket. Alternating between cushiony pop, unabashed folk and guitar rock, Cease To Begin cuts a wide swath musically. Sometimes the jumps can be jarring,...view item »

Bark Psychosis
Codename: Dustsucker

Phil's incisive review from back in 2006.  Bark Psychosis have been having somewhat of a resurgence of late. So it would make sense to reform and do a new album. Cleverly that's what the boys did and those nice folks at Fire Records Of Nottingham have released i...view item »

Belly
Dove

I don't know about you but I simply don't want to think about the '90s. Amidst the odd slither of greatness it was mostly musically redundant. Belly were a classic case in point  - someone emerging out of a better band to do something less interesting but seemingly with more success (see also Sugar).  The op...view item »

Cindy Lee
Act of Tenderness

Imagine if you could match Pat Flegel's songwriting ability with the band of brother Matt's dynamic ability? Nah. It would just be too good.  Pat Flegel (here Cindy Lee) was instrumental in the alarmingly good band Women but while other members went on to goth rock success, Cindy Lee has forged pretty muc...view item »

Courtney Barnett
Tell Me How You Really Feel

I’d like to think you know by now about Courtney Barnett. A lauded master of the musical walk and talk, her double EP and debut LP were great, profoundly comedic works with telltale lyrics of wit and wonder. Mark Kozelek can but dream. On ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel’, Barnett’s songwriting goes by the old cliche: from st...view item »

Eagle Twin
The Thundering Heard (Songs Of Hoof And Horn)

Doom-laden blues duo Eagle Twin are back with their long-awaited third album, out on 30 March on Southern Lord. This is a commanding record, weaving together rumbling vocals—courtesy of Gentry Densley—sky-scraping guitar riffs and powerfully dynamic beats, with nods to classic folklore and searing storytelling....view item »

Fluxion
Ripple Effect

When electro pioneer Fluxion gets creative, he really goes in. The result of a two-year experiment, this 9-track vinyl release is the soundtrack to a film that doesn't exist, an evocative and compelling record that weaves together a subliminal story with loosely structured film score tropes. Think less dance-floor bangers, more ...view item »

Guided By Voices
Space Gun

Unorthodox Elephant Surgery. Benign LAN Party. Jonathan Telecastar’s Big Day Out. Racing Guy Burns a Sundae. Levitation Suits. Airplane In My Bathroom. Airplane In My Tuxedo. Airplane In The Bagging Area. Sacrosanct Power Socket. Generic Cloning Mishap. Circumnavigated Yoga Pants. Swimming With Bag. Cancelled Goth Canteen Screenplay. Fun I...view item »

His Name Is Alive
Black Wings

I can't pinpoint the exact moment His Name Is Alive got inspired by Hawkwind and Rush but I kinda sometimes wish it hadn't have happened.  This Detroit collective have been putting out wildly varied records since 1986 and kinda do what the hell they like. This latest opus is a 30 track ride...view item »

Jo Passed
Their Prime

The most surprising thing about the recent Arctic Monkeys album is the realisation that people still actually seem to make records with my personal ear in mind. I'm talking about records with unusual melodies, surprising jumps in dynamics and lyrics that you need to think about a couple of times. It's not a o...view item »

Jóhann Jóhannsson
Englabörn & Variations

Ah this is sad. Johann Johannsson was personally involved with the preparation of this re-issue of his debut album in the weeks before his untimely death.  After consultation with his family it's been decided that the re-issue should go ahead and this works as a lovely tribute to the man. It now comes re-mastered and with a...view item »

Mark Pritchard
Four Worlds

The last Mark Pritchard 'Under the Sun' LP was one of those LPs everyone should own. The sort of record that appeals to folks who buy just a few records a year and those who have followed Pritchard from back in his Global Communication days. A catch-all electronic record with nods to ...view item »

Mount Eerie
Now Only

A year after releasing the quiet, sparse and distraught ‘A Crow Looked At Me’, Phil Elverum offers another record of listless and plain-spoken songs grieving for his wife Geneviève Castrée. Hearing these songs live last year, it was obvious they were an expansion of the same repertoire, speaking and moving with similar ...view item »

Natalie Prass
The Future and the Past

Hot off the prasses! It’s the first ever prassing of Natalie Prass’s new album! Prass the ‘Add to Cart’ button immediately. Don’t delay; as soon as you do it you’ll be whisked away from this terrible page of terrible puns about Natalie Prass’ name. You can now add Prass to the club of musicians w...view item »

No Joy / Sonic Boom
No Joy / Sonic Boom

We’ll start with a proud affirmation of the biases that make me unfit to review this album. It involves Sonic Boom, who is the closest thing I have to a nemesis: he once phoned up Norman Records and yelled at me down the phone before realising he was working on misinformation and hung up. I am therefore una...view item »

Pale Waves
All The Things I Never Said EP

Debut EP All The Things I Never Said from indie pop outfit Pale Waves, a quartet hailing from Manchester. Taking subtle hints from 80s synth-pop acts like The Cure and much heavier ones from the likes of The 1975 (the group are endorsed by Matty Healy himself). Out on clear red ...view item »

Parquet Courts
Wide Awake!

I’m sure you’re aware of the form by now. With an energy best described as subliminal, thee Parquet Courts sit you in a seminar room and have you debate whether or not they’re chill and slack or bold and bracing. I can never quite tell, but I’d argue ‘Human Performance’ was their best record to date, a janglin...view item »

Pere Ubu
Les Haricots Sont Pas Salés 1987-1991

This is the third and final vinyl boxset compiling remastered editions of the Cleveland veterans’ earlier albums. 1988’s The Tenement Year is a particularly solid set of tunes, less spiky and more reflectively mature than earlier work, boasting the clever yet heart-wrenching We Have the Technology. Follow-up Cloudland moves even more...view item »

Ryley Walker
Deafman Glance

You simply cannot hide your prog forever. Ryley Walker tried is best, delivering gorgeous folk jazz missives from the bottom of his heart to the top of our bestsellers sheet, but he could not save us from his dark side. ‘Deafman Glance’ stands divisive of this office, a mountain-scaling record that sees Walker try new, outlandish thi...view item »

Shit & Shine
That’s Enough

It’s easy to consider Austin's Shit & Shine as spiritual descendants of near neighbours Butthole Surfers, but it’s a valid comparison in the best possible sense, capturing their unpredictability, abrasiveness, and a giddy humour undercut by subtle malevolence. This indie-only 12”, limi...view item »

Simone Felice
The Projector

You might know him as being one part of competent American folksters The Felice Brothers. Or maybe you recognise his name from the liner notes of some of the 2010s most competent indie-pop (Bat For Lashes, Peace, The Lumineers). Either way, Simone Felice has com...view item »

Stars Of The Lid
Gravitational Pull vs The Desire for an Aquatic Life

Before it was beautiful it was dark, like dusk, and there was fog. Stars of the Lid went on to make two gorgeous, sunshined drone classics in ‘Refinement’ and ‘Tired Sounds’ -- both so hopeful and lovely that they often got compared to the narrative driven music of post-rock -- but once there was disquiet. Their second re...view item »

Stella Donnelly
Thrush Metal

Horribly appearing to have a mouthful of garden worms on the cover of this debut release, this Australian singer songwriter blends lovely sweet melodies with bold instinctive lyrics often aimed at men being arseholes. But like Liz Phair on Exit in Guyville the songs are both gorgeous and unique. Donnelly's voice has a lovely Aus...view item »

The Monochrome Set
Eligible Bachelors (Deluxe Edition)

The third Monochrome Set LP, 'Eligible Bachelors', is overlooked in terms of their more renowned previous work, but it is just as good as their first two albums. It includes many witty indie pop classics such as "Jet Set Junta” and "The Ruling Class". Released on coloured vinyl by Optic Nerve, included here is a poster and two bonus tracks...view item »

The Shacks
Haze

NYC buzz-band The Shacks may have soundtracked an iPhone commercial with a cover of the Ray Davies ditty ‘This Strange Effect’, but they’re out to prove they’re not just the next Stereogram/The Caesars/Franz Ferdinand (oops) with their de...view item »

The Shins
Oh, Inverted World

Exactly what you never knew you always needed: a fifteen-year-old album reissued on cassette. Maybe you need an extra copy for your car. Maybe you want to give it to somebody who can’t afford a record player. What do we know? Either way, The Shins’ 2001 classic Oh, Inverted World is finally stepping into the...view item »

The Streets
Original Pirate Material

The classic debut before he went a bit soft. This was genuinely thrilling back in 2002 and it's combination of UK garage/hip-hop and Mike Skinner's lyrical observations were a unique and fascinating combination. Now we have Sleaford Mods a lot of his work sounds a bit....meh... but this is the good one and still sounds fresh.&nb...view item »

The Third Eye Foundation
Wake The Dead

100% guaranteed not to be a barrel of laughs there's actually no better time for a Third Eye Foundation album than in 2018. Matt Elliott's gruesome drum and bass project initially did what everyone thought Kevin Shields would do in combine noise, shoegaze and dark beats. Fast forward twenty years and the music is no less kinetic...view item »

Tracyanne & Danny
Tracyanne & Danny

How twee is too twee? For me the line is drawn somewhere around Camera Obscura. I quite like a lot of, say,  Belle & Sebastien's songs  but try me on one of Tracyanne Campbell's former bands ditties and it's more than likely I'll be as sick as if I'd just eaten a bag full o...view item »

Trembling Bells
Dungeness

I just can't get over the sleeve. Just look at it. Kind of suits the music Trembling Bells make though. It's shot through with the folk influence of bands who also wore 17th century garb and claimed a kinship with days of yore. I'm thinking Fairport Convention. But Trembling Bells are also very psychedelic. You'...view item »

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Sex & Food

They’ve done it, then: Unknown Mortal Orchestra have found their gear and they’re staying in it for the rest of their existence. Having wowed and united our entire office with the most unlikely of things -- a funky ode to polyamorous living in sonic homage to Prince called ‘Multi-Love’ -- they here offer more of the same,...view item »


I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats: All Hail West Texas

As an undying Mountain Goats fanboy I feel it imperative to review this record that exists simply because a podcast does. If you haven’t heard it, ‘I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats’ is a series of conversations between Night Vale Presents writer Joseph Fink and singer-songwriter John Darnielle, a singular mind and endlessly ...view item »

Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois
Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois

Well I would never have put them two together but it is definitely the former U2 and Bob Dylan producer collabing with breakcore nutcase Aaron Funk of Venetian Snares. Both are, though, Canadian and those lads stick together. Funk did the drums whilst Lanois added pedal steel and weaved the unli...view item »

Zola Jesus
Okovi: Additions

Darkwave foghorn Zola Jesus releases an accompanying album to her recent 'Okovi'. Featuring four unreleased tracks from the same session there are also some remixes by some pretty impressively big names such as Johnny Jewell and Katie Gately - a combination which makes for an album that actually stands on its own.   ...view item »

µ-Ziq
Challenge Me Foolish

Michael ‘Robert’ Paradinas (thank you discogs; so formal, so polite) releases some of his µ-Ziq material previously untouched by mortal hand, collects it and titles it ‘Challenge Me Foolish’ -- on this here CD / double LP for his own Planet Mu, of course. It&r...view item »

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