Weekly Update John Talabot, Mac DeMarco, Ron Sexsmith, Sufjan Stevens, The Go! Team, and more...

As I sit writing this it’s Tuesday. It will be Friday by the time you read it, so this comes with the proviso that if in the meantime we’ve all been killed then any inappropriate lightheartness and humour is purely unintentional - we’re sorry.

It’s been a MASSIVE (so big that I’ve had to put it in capitals) week at the towers with ENORMOUS new albums from some of the biggest names in rock. You may know all about stellar new attempts from Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Sufjan Stevens but did you know that our very own Public House imprint have re-issued Advisory Circle head Jon Brooks ‘Music For Thomas Carnacki’ in a limited edition of 300 copies? Get it now or be upset for the rest of your life.

And, as ever, there’s plenty of other stuff you should ensure you don’t ignore. Let’s take a look through shall we?

Out now

  • Clint (...oh hang on that’s me) is the most miserly reviewer in our midst but he’s just gone and awarded the freewheeling folk of Ryley Walker’s second album a rare as hen's ears* 10/10.
  • Benoit Pioulard (Tom to his mates) has a new album of textural explorations and warm undulating melody in the racks.
  • The Soft Moon is back with another melancholic wasteland of cold synth and post-punk.
  • Excitable popsters The Go Team get ready for summer with and album of pure, unadulterated joy. File under: bubbly.
  • Weep yourself stupid by picking up the new Bjork album on vinyl.
  • Happiness make lo-fi pop like it’s 1996.
  • Enablers play Slint-like math rock and add plain speaking poetry.
  • York’s Wolf Solent is a one man psych-pop machine. He drops his second EP this week.
  • Component no4 release a new album on Wayside and Woodland of rain lashed Brit/Synth.
  • Cantaloupe make fun synth pop like a hard partying Vessels.
  • Rejoice, lovers of filth, Bugs & Rats have made a loud, sludgy thing.
  • Cath and Phil Tyler are more Benwell than Virginia but still evoke an appalachian spirit.
  • Quirky They Might Be Giants-like drum machine pop from Jerry Paper (aka the guy from Beach Fossils).
  • Hannah Cohen proves that there’s no bottom in the Bella Union blandness well.
  • Ol’ funny head Ron Sexsmith releases another album of carefully crafted pop music. The world keeps spinning.
  • Young Guv writes for the stars but his debut slab of vinyl is more power pop than Kate Perry.
  • Alt country veteran Simon Joyner returns with a lilting new album on Woodsist.
  • Former Portico Quartet lot Portico release a new album on Ninja Tune. They are hoping we like their new direction.
  • Francis Macdonald who drums with Teenage Fanclub releases ‘Music For String Quartet, Piano & Celeste’ which does what it says on the sleeve.
  • Follakzoid release the self explanatory ‘III’ stretching out their doomy twisted soundscapes.
  • Noisy men Lightning Bolt haven’t calmed down with age. Their new album ‘Fantasy Empire’ is a caustic tunnel of noise/sludge.


  • The Boats' chap Beppu lets the machines take over on the second in his trilogy of LPs.
  • A collection of pure ambient tones and wandering field recordings on the self descriptive Shimmering Moods label by gasansui
  • Stotty is back with a couple of re-presses. Two of his early LPs have now been re-issued on Modern Love.
  • John Talabot is here for those who like a bit of deep melody in their house and techno.
  • German sound experimentalist Florian Hecker teams up with Turner Prize winning multidisciplinary artist Mark Leckey.
  • For those like me who can’t sleep. Two beautiful, sumptuous ‘Meditations’ compilations on the self-describing Shimmering Moods label. Edition of 125 copies in exquisite packaging. Makes bedtime a more peaceful place.
  • Also on Shimmering Moods a collection of pure ambient tones and wandering field recordings by gasansui.
  • Fort Romeau create pulsating bleepy house tones.
  • Donato Dozzy and Anna Caragnano make a record based around the manipulated voice of the latter.
  • Here’s some crushing industrial post punk and techno from Akatombo.
  • Detroit minimal techno legend Plastikman has one of his tracks taken in four directions by several colleagues.


  • Not a re-issue as such but a re-press. Mac Demarco's ‘Salad Days’ is back in at last. Apols to everyone who's had to wait on this one!
  • Remember when Merchandise were good? The re-issue of ‘(Strange Songs) In the Dark’ might help blot out all memories of their last album.
  • Tigercats's debut of jaunty twee-pop gets a timely re-issue
  • Jozef Van Wissem’s disconcerting and volatile score to ‘Partir to Live’ has a nice vinyl re-issue on Sacred Bones complete with DVD.


  • El-g are pick of the pops this week with a lovely, eerie single of beguiling pluckings and whispered French vocals.
  • Hailbails hail(ha!) from Leeds and are a hillbilly/rockabilly outfit featuring top notch guitar plucker Michael Rossiter in their midst.
  • Jacco Gardner is back with some superlative dreamy psych pop.
  • Mountains release a sure-to-be-sought-after 7” as part of the You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever series. Beautiful wistful driftiness
  • Indie folk lovely lady Jane Weaver appears on a split 7” with label mate Welsh person Tender Prey.

Words started by Clinton, finished by Robin
All work done by Everyone Else

* How rare? A quick scan of the reviews database reveals that out of 3,827 (!) reviews Clint has previously awarded full marks to precisely two records: EIAFUAWN's Birds In The Ground and Warm Widow's Widower. And even that was marked up from an original 9/10, if memory serves.

Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Ryley Walker

Primrose Green

10/10 from Clinton

An absolutely breathtaking album from start to finish. Many singer-songwriters are currently mining that 1970’s folk/jazz influenced type territory for inspiration but on »

Sufjan Stevens

Carrie & Lowell

9/10 from Robin

Sufjan Stevens has always been a solo artist, but he has never made a solo album. With American states as his muse and orchestras of the Danielson Famile as his on »


Weird Little Birthday

9/10 from Robin

Happyness (sic) have created an indie throwback sandwich here, crafting a record of referential indie rock as contained in a sprawl as maddening as Pavement’s ‘ on »

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress

9/10 from Robin

Godspeed have always spoken through others. Our favourite anonymous band, their rise has been charted through phonies opening our eyes, nostalgics waxing lyrical, helicopter on »

Anna Caragnano & Donato Dozzy


9/10 from Laurie

As soon as you hit play, you meet the mouth tree. It’s many branches mutter as the breeze passes through it, each sentence lost in a cascade of layered obscurity. Each on »


Sometime, Never

9/10 from Laurie

We’re having to reduce reviewing time today as some Godspeed Empire band released a new LP and has got Norman Towers into one hell of an uproar. So here goes - the bare on »

Jon Brooks

Music For Thomas Carnacki

9/10 from Ant

Jon Brooks is a man of many names: The Advisory Circle, D.D. Denham, Georges Ver, etc. He’s a member of Belbury Poly, creeps about behind the scenes as mastering on »

Benoît Pioulard


8/10 from Laurie

The American not actually called Benoit Pioulard can’t escape the drone. Getting lost in a strong mood seems to be his ultimate liquor, with some extreme potency on »

The Soft Moon


8/10 from Robin

Luis Vasquez’ ‘Deeper’ is the soundtrack to a world that’s turned noir permanently. It borrows the neon streetlights of Dirty Beaches’ on »


Triste Zoo

8/10 from Clinton

This record is not just for those who love having a Frenchman whispering vague threats into their ears. That’s what it starts off like though with just the pluck of a on »

Andy Stott

Passed Me By

8/10 from Laurie

Big Manc Andy Stott’s 2011 excursions get a repress on Modern Love, and for good reason. They’re full of torn up audio morphed into techno loops slow as the earth' on »


You Can't Hide Your Love Forever vol. 11

8/10 from Clinton

Aaaaaah soothing. After another night of impossi-sleep tonight has to be tonight that I manage a whole night - maybe I should try playing some music to help me drift off. If on »


No News From Home

8/10 from Robin

After a day of packing devastating God’s Pee records into little anxious boxes, Houndstooth are quite reassuringly not harbinging the apocalypse. It’s the least on »



8/10 from Robin

The number III printed on the front of their new record like three identical towers, Föllakzoid betray their love of symmetry, their ability to take spaced out, on »

Francis Macdonald

Music For String Quartet, Piano and Celeste

8/10 from Clinton

My ears. My poor, poor ears. They've had Lightning Bolt vomiting in them for at least an hour today and yesterday someone presumably who doesn't have ears played Eddy on »

Florian Hecker & Mark Leckey

Sound Voice Chimera

8/10 from Ant

Florian Hecker & Mark Leckey - two cutting edge artists so advanced of the curve they're doing things they themselves haven't even thought of yet. Take this & on »



8/10 from Ant

I’ve been really looking forward to this second installment in a trilogy from Andrew Hargreaves of The Boats powerful industrial techno meets rhythmic noise/ power on »

Featured albums

Anna Caragnano & Donato Dozzy
Florian Hecker & Mark Leckey
Cath & Phil Tyler
Wolf Solent
Jozef Van Wissem & Domingo Garcia-Huidobro
Francis Macdonald
Fort Romeau
The Soft Moon
The Go! Team
Jane Weaver / Tender Prey
Ron Sexsmith
Jacco Gardner
Bugs and Rats
John Talabot
Lightning Bolt
Ryley Walker
Jerry Paper
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Jon Brooks
Young Guv
Benoît Pioulard
Simon Joyner
Sufjan Stevens
Mac DeMarco
Hannah Cohen
Warm Widow