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40 things to get excited about in 2015

Oh lord it's 2015. If you'd asked me in 1980 whether I'd still be alive in 2015 I'd have probably run off and cuddled my then favourite lampost in terror. 2015: crazy. We'll be dead soon. Anyway, there are already many things to get excited about in 2015. Viet Cong for example - a band worth staying alive for. Here is a batch of some great things we already have up for pre-order to get you through those final dark months of winter.
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Al Lover
Cave Ritual

Producer Al Lover continues to extend the inexplicable fondness musicians have for diamond shapes on their album covers with Cave Ritual, which I believe also has some music: a fascinating mix of fiery psych riffs, gooey synth and real producer shit makes this one up, the beats as firm and thrilling as ever. If Michael Bay ever makes a film on a handheld camera, he knows who to call.
  • Vinyl LP (SBR014)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Alasdair Roberts
Alasdair Roberts

Alasdair Roberts is a softly spoken Scottish folk musician with a gorgeously fragile voice, a voice that feels entirely perfect for the traditional songs he commonly sings. For this album on Drag City however, all the songs are original. From what I’ve heard though, they feel sound just as special and well-worn.

Alex Calder
Strange Dreams

Full length indie pop album from Alex Calder, another talented singer/songwriter from Edmonton, Canada. Focused, psyche and spooky songs meet jangly bright guitar in this album on Captured Tracks. Once one half of Makeout Videotape with Mac DeMarco, now doing his own lo-fi thing. Fans of Deerhunter will love it. Vinyl and CD.

Amen Dunes
Cowboy Worship

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Anthony Naples
Body Pill

The first full length album from NYC’s darling of the latest scene Anthony Naples and it’s a cracker. Body Pill is released on Four Tet’s Text Records. Laid back deconstructed melodies  with elegant strings and a damn catchy beat - touches of Todd Terje’s love of synthetic sounds that add a certain frisson to the tracks. Vinyl.

Aphex Twin
Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2 EP

Available on 12” Vinyl and CD. After Syro, the first material from Richard D. James under his Aphex Twin moniker in 13 years, dropped near the end of 2014, I think most of us hoped that it wasn’t going to be an equally long wait. James says he’s been making computers play real instruments for years, designing and contracting people to build his manic contraptions. Of course, being Aphex Twin, the title could be a complete misnomer.

BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah
Sour Soul

This is the promising collaboration between smoky jazz/hip-hop collective BADBADNOTGOOD and rap champ Ghostface Killah.  Inspired by the '60s/70s soulful music they grew up on the album eschews the sample heavy hip hop of the modern day for live playing which gives the album an atmospheric, organic feel.  
  • Artist(s):
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  • Lex

BC Camplight
How To Die In The North

Unsettlingly serene synth pop returns under the cover of night as BC Camplight check back in to the twilit hotel. How To Die In The North is another night-time pantomime of sorrowful vocal performances, beats that sound like shoes dashing down the street, sparkling electronics and untraceable guitar riffs. Dream pop of the darkest variety. Good night, and good luck.

Belle and Sebastian
Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance

Great music; terrible album titles. That's the golden rule of Belle & Sebastian's output, a band notorious for popularising a smart and lyrically persuasive version of pantomimic twee pop. Stuart Murdoch's song-writing gets more intimate here, occasionally losing its show-boating and cheeky feel for songs about personal struggles, such as the frontman's battle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. But this is also a dance record -- or so this band of merry trailblazers choose to believe. Dancing to indie pop isn't all that easy, so here's hoping Girls In Peacetime Want To Have Fun will be different. 

Boduf Songs
Stench of Exist

Sparse, chilly electronica and guitar underpins this record from Mat Sweet aka Boduf Songs on The Flenser. Intimate, and definitely a headphones sort of album, it conjures up images of opium hazes and anxious, languorous evenings. Eleven tracks move into one another like a slow moving river, meeting everything from post-rock and death metal all with a sonorous yet sparse sound. CD and Vinyl.

Sunne EP

A sunny panzanella (an Italian salad, ok?) from Cheatahs. Their first release since their debut record, Sunne EP is yearning for optimism. Awash with reverb on everything, big hazy vocals, a wall of guitars and grooving drums. This is a nice slice of spring light at the end of the wintery tunnel. Think No Age, Cave-In and Real Estate. Out on 12" vinyl from Wichita.

Christian Loffler
A Forest

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Delia Derbyshire / Barry Bermange
Inventions For Radio: The Dreams

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Diagrams is a project by songwriter and producer Mr Sam Genders. His previous album was pretty good fun. Here on Chromatics Gender’s voice sounds a bit like that of an annoying priest who waters everything he says down a bit with a sickly smile and finishes his sentences with “God be with you and your family my dear”. The music is an equally cheery affair; twingle-twangle pop which is fun, gentle and makes you think the world is a bit nicer than you’d previously thought.  

Father John Misty
I Love You, Honeybear

With a slew of understated folk records secured under his own name and a hell of a fun time had playing soft percussive noises for Fleet Foxes, J. Tillman returns to his Father John Misty project, where he mixes esoteric lyricism with brazen folk rock arrangements. I Love You, Honeybear follows on from Fear Fun.

Gaz Coombes

Gaz Coombes career has gone from surfing the rising wave of Britpop to its zenith, notching up 10 top ten singles and six top 20 albums, to recording a cover of the Kinks classic This Time Tomorrow for a recent John Lewis advert. Now he has an album all of his own, Matador. Coombes, describes the album of having moments of light and dark and says that the “beauty in both of those states” has always intrigued him. Matador is available on vinyl LP and CD.

Jóhann Jóhannsson
The Theory of Everything

The modestly titled Theory Of Everything is the latest astrophysical blockbuster about the life and times of renowned scientist Stephen Hawking. Chronicling his life in both the personal and professional sphere, it needs one of those minimal but ultimately touching soundtracks, and composer Jóhann Jóhannsson steps up to the plate to provide one, creating nuanced but detailed works typical of his style.

Jonny Greenwood
Inherent Vice - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

There’s more to Jonny Greenwood than meets the fringe-draped eye. As well as a guitar extraordinaire, he is also a fantastic composer, working with Paul Thomas Anderson as he has in the past on the Inherant Vice Soundtrack - the grimy looking film featuring Joaquin Phoenix and, weirdly, Joanna Newsom. Double vinyl.

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis The Third

Winsome middle class siblings Kitty, Daisy and Lewis reappear for a third album of laid back old timey organic grooves. If lead single "Baby Bye Bye" sounded just a little too close to Mike Read's "UKIP Calypso" then the lyrics chart a more lovelorn territory that should help get it onto an advert before the summers out. Produced by Mick Jones of The Clash.  

Last Harbour

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Luke Haines
Adventures In Dementia A Micro Opera

Indie God Luke Haines latest offering has been dubbed a micro-opera. Adventures In Dementia finds the former Auteurs, Baader Meinhof and Black Box Recorder frontman, together with artist, Scott King spin such bonkers tales as a Mark E. Smith impersonator's caravan holiday being spoiled by Ian Stuart, frontman of the nasty neo-nazi punk band Skrewdriver. Available on 10” gatefold vinyl, limited to 500 copies worldwide and CD.

Mac DeMarco
Demos Volume 1

Chill daddy and stoner seminar leader Mac DeMarco actually did a few takes of the songs on 2 and Salad Days, if you can believe it. His sunshine pop is given an origin story with Demos Volume 1, a nice little CD that puts the inner workings of his recent songs on display. If you want to hear some unreleased nuggets and the sound of DeMarco fucking shit up from his very own bedroom, you'll want to hear this.

Matana Roberts
Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee

River Run Thee is the third entry in Matana Roberts' so far incredible 12-part musical tapestry (as she called it for part two, "sound quilting") about civil rights and the history of creativity in America. Roberts' discipline is jazz, specifically avant compositions on saxophone, but, as implied with her involvement with Montreal's Constellation label, she is interested in a plethora of experimental genres including post-rock, ambient, opera, gospel and a capella. River Run Thee almost completely departs from her jazz work for a record that takes drone and electro-acoustic noise as its base, while interconnecting different utterances of Roberts' voice as it appears and disperses. There's still sax in abundance, but this time it's processed and sustained to create a haunting sound. 

Menace Beach

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Fantastic Planet

Quite a CV Sarah Lipstate of Noveller has: I’ll leave you to look up the details, but suffice to say that she has played with or alongside at least half of the interesting American musicians you like. Noveller is her solo project, and Fantastic Planet finds her sifting synths into her usually guitar-dominated atmospheres.

Man It Feels Like Space Again

Man It Feels Like Space Again is a futuristic sliver of psychedelic pop from the crazy men/children of Australian band Pond. It continues on the same road laid down by previous album Hobo Rocket by delivering yet more hyperactive rock/pop tunes lathered in strange psych effects with obscure titles such as “Zond”. It’s bound to be another belter. CD or 180g LP.

Public Service Broadcasting
The Race For Space

Second album of history footage-plundering workouts from Public Service Broadcasting. They are like the anti-hauntology. On The Race For Space the theme is the space race, though the players retain their Wrigglesworth and Willgoose monikers. Has this thing got legs? Find out on vinyl, limited indies-only vinyl, or compact disc.

Six Organs of Admittance

Some scuzzed out mutations from Six Organs of Admittance. Hexadic is the new full length from the man that is Ben Chasny. Apparently, he's pioneered some new fangled compositional devices for this one, cause he had to write something heavier than Nick Clegg's woebegone conscience. Chocka with super fuzzed out guitars, warped vocal wailings and the low ended doom that only the bass and drums can supply. Out on vinyl LP and CD from Drag City.

No Cities To Love

They called Carrie Brownstein home from Portlandia; they politely asked Corin Tucker to stop making her quite excellent solo albums; they pointed out that the Shins aren't cool to Janet Weiss. Sleater-Kinney, one of the most important punk rock bands of the modern era, are back, and No Cities To Love is their new document. It's been ten years. We made it.

Sufjan Stevens
Carrie & Lowell

Sufjan Stevens left behind the folk game a long time ago, declaring his plan to write fifty records for fifty states a mere joke -- a sentiment that failed to wash away the beauty of the ornately composed Michigan and the pantomimic Illinoise. In the years since, he's been writing song cycles dedicated to the solar system, conducting orchestras in tributes to American highways, making fun of people on his blog and releasing records that betray deep existential crises -- All Delighted People and the synth-mad Age of Adz. He returns now with Carrie & Lowell, a record which promises a retracing of footsteps, back to the days when Stevens was about acoustic guitars, banjos and soft sadness. It's dedicated to his mum and step-dad. Argh. Crying.

The Decemberists
What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World

Most albums by The Decemberists have a strong narrative running through them (see The Hazards Of Love for example), but for this record, the band apparently let the songs develop into whatever forms seemed right. Consequently, What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World is The Decemberists in a different mode: should be interesting!

The Pop Group
Citizen Zombie

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The Wave Pictures
Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon

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Thom Yorke
Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

Originally released 5 seconds ago, here's a white vinyl luxury re-issue of the album Thom originally released on Bit Torrent in his latest attempt to re-badge the music industry. The music on record makes no such grand statements, comprised of some of Yorke's most minimal and quiet electronic work yet, continuing his descent from dramatic synth artist on 'The Eraser' and modest groover on 'AMOK' to something of an electronica hybrid artist. Out in time for Christmas. 

Thurston Moore & John Moloney
Caught On Tape Full Bleed

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Ty Segall Band
Live in San Francisco

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Viet Cong
Viet Cong

Some men from the band Women get together and put out a full length record. Viet Cong have previously released one tape and a single. They sound like Women in some parts, but Women after quite a few more drinks inside them. Lovely off kilter guitar parts wrap around tight drums (think fried out Nuggets punk), while the vocals bleed over the top. Out on limited colour LP, LP and CD.

Will Butler

Policy is the debut solo LP from Arcade Fire’s Will Butler. Though with contributions from Jeremy Gara and various other musicians, most of the music here was played by Butler himself. Using traditional song structures and clean arrangements, Policy depicts a variety of clashing emotions, and recalls the best in American music both new and old: think the Violent Femmes, The Breeders, The Modern Lovers, Dylan and Smokey Robinson. 

William Ryan Fritch

Available on CD, and vinyl LP presented in a bound jacket alongside matte printed artwork limited to 300 copies. William Ryan Fritch pushes his highly cinematic blend of modern classical and world music which, in a strange way, is simultaneously pleasant and overbearing. Suits the Lost Tribe Sound label down to a T!  

William S. Burroughs
Nothing Here Now but the Recordings

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Zun Zun Egui
Shackles Gift

Everybody be happy, Zun Zun Egui are returning with a new album on Bella Union. Shackle’s Gift features their customary swirl of musical styles, one of those ‘melting pot’ sounds that should probably be awful, but actually gets the balance joyously right. You’ll dance, you’ll laugh, you’ll dance again. Fun, colourful times.