Rare and unissued Pacific Northwest floor fillers! While soul music might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the music of the Pacific Northwest, Salem Oregon’s Garland Records was churning out high quality hip shakers along with their reels of garage & psych.
Contained here is some super deep ‘Northwestern Soul,’ including three cuts making their inaugural spins 50 years after they were put to tape.
Tindersticks release a new limited four-song EP See My Girls. The four song EP features a radio edit of See My Girls, an instrumental dub version of the track and two new songs – the David Boulter penned instrumental A Street Walker’s Carol and Blood And Bone, with Sidonie on lead vocals. The EP is a companion to Tindersticks’ 2019 release No Treasure but Hope.
North London’s Sorry release their hotly-anticipated debut record 925 via Domino. Together with co-producer James Dring (Gorillaz, Jamie T, Nilüfer Yanya), best friends Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen have woven 925 like a dreamscape in which idyllic and hellish scenes intermingle, forcing the question of what is real and what is make believe. Inspired by everything from Hermann Hesse to Aphex Twin and old-school crooner Tony Bennett, their experimental and holistic approach marks them out as a thoroughly 21st century band; from their open-minded approach to genre to their creativity allowing them to self-produce the music and direct accompanying videos. Joined by drummer Lincoln Barrett and Campbell Baum on bass, Sorry emerged from a thriving scene of bands in London, and though 925 is their debut album, it is by no means their first statement. It follows a series of mixtapes, released sporadically and used as a way to experiment with the disparate influences and sounds that give 925 its distinctively modern and apocalyptic sound. Where previous singles and mixtapes earned the band their status as one of the most vital and relentlessly creative new British bands of the moment, 925 is a record which will undoubtedly cement their status as true originals and cross-genre innovators in 2020 and beyond.
In a shocking turn of events, Daniel Romano has decided to give you exactly what you asked for–– He and his unparalleled live band, The Outfit, have decided that you deserved it, that it is in fact already yours––and they want to say “you’re welcome.” The record is called “OKAY WOW”. Which is probably what you’ll say when you listen to it. It’s all your favourite songs except superior in every way to the versions you’ve exhausted. “OKAY WOW” also features several rarities previously heard only on two albums which received brief, momentary release via Bandcamp before being deleted forever. “OKAY WOW” was RECORDED LIVE by Kenneth Roy Meehan the 1st while on tour across Scandinavia.
Arbouretum’s mystic folk-rock uses English folk, country blues, Americana and 70s psychedelia as touchpoints in their singular and distinctive sound and they’ve perfected the craft of storytelling, using a delicate interplay of melodies and prosaic lyrics. Let It All In is their most accomplished and evocative album yet. Guitarist and vocalist Dave Heumann’s melodies and solos remain a central focus bolstered by the hypnotic rhythms of bassist Corey Allender and drummer Brian Carey, enhanced by Matthew Pierce’s substantial yet understated keyboard figures. Each song a vivid scene or tale; Heumann’s deep sense of spirituality and command of storytelling through myth and metaphor transports the listener to another world and time.
One of the best albums released on NOVA, “Aardvark” features such outstanding pieces as the evocative ‘Once Upon A Hill’, ‘Many Things To Do’ and the powerful album closing track; ‘Put That In Your Pipe And Smoke It’.
This Esoteric Recordings reissue has been remastered from the original master tapes and features a booklet with fully restored artwork and new essay.
The first album by Acrimony (from 1994) for the first time ever on vinyl! Remixed and mastered in 2019 from original studio files by James Plotkin. Includes new artwork from JimBob Isaac (Taint/Hark). Acrimony’s influences were varied, from ’70s rock to trance techno, but their riffs were undeniably heavy, with lyrics exploring the isolation of their hometown and the same kind of disaffection that once launched Black Sabbath to the outer reaches of doom from a blues rock beginning.
British shoegazing/alternative rock band Chapterhouse released two albums during their existence, ‘Whirlpool’ (1991) and ‘Blood Music’ (1993). Their debut album is a fantastic example of shoegaze at its best. The wall of sound approach is built around dance music structures and they’re creating some heavy grooves. Comes on 180 gram vinyl.
The Collectors represents the Canadian psychedelic movement. This self-titled album is one of the true forgotten gems from 1968. The superb song-writing and intelligent use of unusual chord progressions are just brilliant on this record. Comes on 180 gram vinyl.
Epizootic’s sole album is very rare one and in good shape a very expensive album if you are looking for an original one. Longhair is proud to present the first official re-release of this album, first issued in 1976 by Epizootic as a private pressing. Their music could be described as raw hard rock with psychedelic flavours, dominated by organ and guitar. Breaks and tempo changes within the titles are responsible for a diversified album. In his book ‘Scented Garden Of The Mind’ Dag Erik Asbjornsen declares: Epizootic made one of the most obscure Swedish heavy rock albums, in a joyful style reminiscent of Fuzzy Duck and early Atomic Rooster. The album has been re-remastered from an early CD self-release by the band and gains a better sounding. On the insert, keyboarder Lars Liljegren tells the band’s story and some never before seen photos show the band in their glorious days. Don’t miss the limited edition of this extremely rare album. Recommended.
Los Angeles-based Fraction’s heavy psych classic Moon Blood was originally released on the Angelus record label in 1971. Only 200 copies were pressed, so originals are currently worth a small fortune. Fraction, with vocalist Jim Beach, bearing an uncanny vocal resemblance to Jim Morrison (although he was singing on Sunset Strip long before Morrison took to the stage), were often compared favorably with The Doors, although their quasi-religious message would probably not have found favor with the recently-departed Morrison. Indeed, this rather fine record was once famously described as the album The Doors probably wished they’d made! Underpinned by guitarist Don Swanson’s superb Ritchie Blackmore-style guitar work, this is an album full of beautiful psychedelia, acid and hard rock, at once emblematic of the era, but not dated by its association. The five original compositions are consistently of the highest quality and the contribution of Beach’s now legendary vocals places a stamp of originality on the recording that endures from beginning to end. Monstrously heavy, howling, epic psych that is basically a must-own. A truly excellent album. Featuring the original die-cut cover with colored cellophane, and pressed on 180 gram vinyl.
No-bullshit underground free-rock and proto-punk dosage featuring a multi-piece line up of GRs! This acetate slab of defiant mixture makes the magic happens like an hallucinatory disenchantment incorporated into some ultra vindictive power… Infectious, scary, brutal, elegiac, freakish and wickedly stylish, GR’s fifth solo album ‘The GR Record Head’ pushes the boundaries straight up to cook your synapses. Once again, the album comes out outside of the standards, with no other backing than GR himself on all instruments plugged into overheated tubes, then a few dusty razor-like moving coil transducers, a mixing board built like a Panzer and an analog 4 track reel to reel recorder from another age. GuitaRazing, frenzied riffing and cranked soloing vagabondage on corroded strings, mesmeric tone, acid rave ups, rhythms like catapults, motorik plus deconstructive free forms, opaque vocals full of venom and fuelled by raw lines & metrics… Now pair all that with the craft of fixing sounds onto an early ’80s 1/4 inch reel tape and you got an idea of what The GR Record Head is all about.
The mother of all fuckers in actual D.I.Y./low-fi rock’n’roll.
Limited edition of 300 copies on white vinyl. An Opaque Dynamo (FR) and Cardinal Fuzz (UK) co-production.
Golden Earring’s On The Double was the band’s first double album, released in January 1969. It contains 19 tracks varying from poppy songs and acoustics to their well-known heavier rock tracks. The album includes the bands first piano based ballad simply entitled “The Grand Piano”. However, most people will know this album for the song “Just A Little Bit Of Peace In My Heart”, which reached #2 in the singles chart in their homeland The Netherlands. The band was charging like a mad bull through venues all over the country and started to gain attention from countries all over the globe. This is when it started to get really serious for the band.
On The Double is available as a limited edition of 1000 individually numbered copies on red coloured vinyl and the package includes an insert.
Denmark’s finest hard-psychedelic band will now get their first official reissue on vinyl. Hair (no connections to the musical) released their one and only album in 1970 on EMI/Columbia and despite the fact that this was major-label release, the LP still remains as one of the rarest artifacts out of Denmark.
The listener will be rewarded with an effective combination of guitar dominated hard-psychedelic songwriting and strong melodic influences, culminating in their awesome masterpiece ‘Dream Song’. This 2LP-Set includes the original album and all six songs from their singles plus a previously unreleased (on vinyl) song as extensive bonus material. The album and single tracks have all been remastered from the master tapes.
US IMPORT. An exact repro vinyl reissue of the sole album by this Bay Area acid-/psychrock band, originally issued by Mercury in 1968. A classic delivery of guitar dominated psychedelia, recommended to fans of Hendrix, Cream, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Tripsichord Music Box, Frumious Bandersnatch, etc.
Rain was a popular blues inspired rock band from Rochester, New York. Members were Brad Morse on vocals, Ted Paris on bass, Mick Guerin on drums and led by guitar maestro, Helmut Getto. Rain was a real powerhouse in their day! This legendary band broke up shortly after recording their studio album in 1971.
Lost and forgotten for nearly 50 years, the album was never released! ‘1971… The Lost Album’, a collection of original songs that the band recorded in the summer of 1971, was originally planned to be a follow up to their first record, ‘Live Christmas Night’, which came out on the band’s label, Whazoo Records in early 1971. Through fate’s twists and turns, the plan changed and the studio album fell by the wayside. Decades later and after lots of detective work, the studio tapes finally surfaced! These eight previously unreleased original songs have finally manifested themselves on limited edition 12″ vinyl, and Jargon Records are proud to present to you this epic treasure of rock history as a part of Jargon Records’ Time Capsule Series!
Back on vinyl, this is the first of two great albums released by this obscure Hawaii-based band. The album offers the same style of exotic-blues, light psych and hard-edged acid rock as their second album ‘Stuck In Paradise’. This reissue (500 copies pressed) comes with remastered sound, reproduced artwork and an insert.
The rise of power trio T2 in 1970 was rapid: important open-air festivals; headlining residencies at the Marquee Club; appearances at virtually every major venue in London. Then their debut album was released; they seemed poised for a breakthrough. As the band recalled, they were playing the Marquee club, with John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix hanging out backstage, which was all to the good. But people were coming forward saying, “we cant find your album anywhere.” In short order, the band fell apart. Still, their sole Decca album has become well established as an all-time classic amongst progressive and psychedelic music collectors-even the techno and dj crowds. The fact that it has done so without hype is a testament to the innate quality of the music. The album is packed with melodic acoustic passages, frenzied fuzz guitar workouts, not to mention acid-trip induced lyrical and musical content. It is, in every way, an extraordinary album, one of rock musics best kept secrets, on a par with all the other major works that form the rock music canon of the time. Hefty booklet contains extensive musicological analysis by composer and musician Andrew Keeling, which includes illuminating interviews with band members Peter Dunton and Keith Cross, as well as detailed illustrations. Included as bonus are three tracks from BBC Sessions recorded in October 1970. Licensed from Decca/Universal, UK.
After the release of ‘Tomorrow Blue’, we have to wait ’til 1975 to find Toad’s third album, unfortunately their last one. Originally released on Frog, ‘Dreams’ is a very good album that never got the attention it deserved because the band was a little bit disregarded by international press, and what was supposed to be their best seller, turned out being their swan song.
‘Red Sea’ was the second album from the excellent rock band, founded by ex-Deep Purple bassist Nick Simper. As with many original Vertigo releases, collectability and costs have been steadily increasing over the years, as its availability becomes rarer.
The album is a truly long lost classic. It features Pete Parks, formerly of Black August on lead guitar, having replaced Ged Peck. Originally released in 1972, it proved to be their final release for the label, as the band then underwent several personnel changes before finally breaking up.
Among the original seven LP tracks is a stunning version of the Shirley Bassey hit ‘I (Who Have Nothing)’, as well as the title song, and such surging rockers as ‘Back In Time’ and ‘Feeling Better’.
This compilation features the rarest and unknown instrumental tracks of that funky groove early sound. Light music along with wind section and keyboard ready to hit the dancefloor, that might be called Spanish-grooves. Composers, musicians, and arrangers like Gregorio García Segura, Rafael Martínez, Antonio Barco, Antonio Latorre, Jaime Botey, etc. During the ’70s, an important number of orchestras and dance bands popped up in Spain but not many of them released their own songs or covers on vinyl, so it can’t be said that the country’s music library has bulky volumes, rather it’s just the opposite. You have to dig deep in the catalog of obscure record labels to find some quality pieces, which Adarce Records will usually attribute to Tinglado 13, Conjunto Nueva Onda, The Matches, Conjunto Don Pelegrin, Rafael Martínez, Carlos de Ros, Salgado y su Grupo, Mesié Bató, Pedro González, Jorge Enrique. Most orchestras played bossa nova, soul, some lounge, and easy listening, and a usual mix of light music with wind section and keyboards, something like “Spanish-soul” or “rhythm’n’blues-pasodoble”. It was a time when the bands survived playing shows with a repertoire based, mostly, on Spanish popular songs and international hits. Many artists recorded with nicknames, many others used licensed songs paying rights to the original authors and some orchestras changed their names when they pressed their records, in an attempt to appear modern or simply for pure commercial purposes, that’s why it is difficult to trace accurately the musical path of many of these artists. This scene was especially intense in Aragon and Catalonia, where a bunch of labels emerged, often simply as platforms for bands to promote their own music. This compilation aims to discover to a wider audience some of the most sought-after instrumental gems by DJs and disco music collectors, eager for soul, groove, and hot sounds. Vol. 1 features Gregorio García Segura, Los Brandis Con María Nevada, Lin Barto, Blas And His Friends, Jorge Enrique, Roberto Serrano, Rafael Martínez, Orquesta A. Latorre, Orquesta Miramar, Conjunto Nueva Onda, Ramón Gil, Mesie Bató, Red-Key, and Unidades. Edition of 500 (numbered).
This compilation features the rarest and unknown instrumental tracks of that funky groove early sound. Light music along with wind section and keyboard ready to hit the dancefloor, that might be called Spanish-grooves. Composers, musicians, and arrangers like Gregorio García Segura, Rafael Martínez, Antonio Barco, Antonio Latorre, Jaime Botey, etc. During the ’70s, an important number of orchestras and dance bands popped up in Spain but not many of them released their own songs or covers on vinyl, so it can’t be said that the country’s music library has bulky volumes, rather it’s just the opposite. You have to dig deep in the catalog of obscure record labels to find some quality pieces, which Adarce Records will usually attribute to Tinglado 13, Conjunto Nueva Onda, The Matches, Conjunto Don Pelegrin, Rafael Martínez, Carlos de Ros, Salgado y su Grupo, Mesié Bató, Pedro González, Jorge Enrique. Most orchestras played bossa nova, soul, some lounge, and easy listening, and a usual mix of light music with wind section and keyboards, something like “Spanish-soul” or “rhythm’n’blues-pasodoble”. It was a time when the bands survived playing shows with a repertoire based, mostly, on Spanish popular songs and international hits. Many artists recorded with nicknames, many others used licensed songs paying rights to the original authors and some orchestras changed their names when they pressed their records, in an attempt to appear modern or simply for pure commercial purposes, that’s why it is difficult to trace accurately the musical path of many of these artists. This scene was especially intense in Aragon and Catalonia, where a bunch of labels emerged, often simply as platforms for bands to promote their own music. This compilation aims to discover to a wider audience some of the most sought-after instrumental gems by DJs and disco music collectors, eager for soul, groove, and hot sounds. Vol. 2 features Red-Key, Ray Martin, J. Tenafly, Nick Wilson, Blas And His Friends, Conjunto Olivino, El Conjunto De Rafael Martínez, Conjunto Nueva Onda, Greg. Segura Y Su Orquesta, Jorge Enrique, Orquesta Miramar, Dany Roy And His Band, Sarr Incony, and Mesie Bató.
Magic Box present a reissue of Locomotive’s We Are Everything You See, originally released in 1969. Led by the legendary Norman Haines, Locomotive were one of Birmingham’s finest ’60s bands. They had a 1968 hit with the ska-styled “Rudi’s In Love”, but by 1969 they had taken a more progressive direction. Their sole album was produced by Gus Dudgeon (renowned for his work with David Bowie and Elton John), but its release was delayed and the band had split by the time it finally appeared at the turn of the decade, dooming it to minuscule sales. It is now regarded as a lost classic, and is one of the most collectible albums of the era. It makes its long-overdue return to vinyl here, together with an insert containing photos and info. Features keyboardist Norman Haines. Original flipback cover.
Magic Box present a reissue of J.D. Blackfoot’s The Ultimate Prophecy, originally released in 1970. Formed in Ohio in 1969, J.D. Blackfoot unleashed this stunning blend of folk, country, and hard rock in August 1970. Boasting powerful vocals, searing guitar leads and outstanding drumming, it has gone on to be recognized as an underground rock classic and makes a welcome return to vinyl here, in a gatefold sleeve. It also includes a CD featuring the full album and eight rare non-album bonus tracks, including both sides of their elusive debut single.
Raw, in-your-face hard psychedelia with plenty of Vox and Hammond organ, hard guitar, and powerful vocals courtesy of Wildwood. Formed in the late ’60s in Stockton, California, this powerful outfit rubbed shoulders with groups like Country Weather, Steve Miller Band, or Grateful Dead and played at legendary venues such as the Fillmore and the Matrix. Featuring tracks from their two rare 45s for the Magnum label (including the punk-a-delic classic “Plastic People”) plus a selection of their fabulous, not released at the time studio cuts from 1968-1970, recorded at Max Weiss’s Fantasy Studios and originally unearthed by Frantic Records in 2012 for their two-CD Wildwood compilation. RIYL: Public Nuisance, The Doors, Music Machine, Steppenwolf, Hunger, Jungle. Includes insert with rare photos and liner notes by Alec Palao; Includes download card. “This is Wildwood, it’s black, it’s dark, whatever it is, it’s us.” — Frank Colli (Wildwood) “… dark and vaguely sinister in both look and sound, Wildwood melded the fuck-you attitude of the garage era with a soulful R&B streak and some enviable hard rock chops.” –Alec Palao
Out-Sider present the first ever vinyl reissue of Daybreak’s self-titled album, originally released in 1971. This elusive US private pressing was originally released on the legendary RPC custom label. Intense and crude garage-psych with echoing vocals, loud distorted guitar, fuzz bass, and organ. Three killer band originals plus some insane cover versions (Steppenwolf, Neil Young) with a basement sound not unlike Mystic Siva. Remastered sound; Includes insert with liner notes and photos.
Sommor Records present the first legitimate reissue one of the rarest private blues-rock albums from the UK, Levee Camp Moan’s self-titled release, originally released in 1969. In 1969, Bracknell-based blues rock outfit Levee Camp Moan released what was destined to become one of the most sought-after UK private pressings of the period on the County Recording Services label. This LP marked their status as one of the most exciting bands to emerge out of the thriving local underground scene in the Bracknell Delta. The group had taken their name from the old blues number and the band members, manager and assorted roadies took up residence in a local farmhouse known as Peacock Farm. It was there that LCM would rehearse into the small hours, thumping out a mixture of blues standards as well as their own compositions until they had become a tight unit ready to “take on the world”. Influences ranged from the urban blues of Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, and Junior Wells to Muddy Waters, Skip James, and beyond. The more or less contemporary white blues of the time, Canned Heat, Savoy Brown, and Paul Butterfield also served as a major source of inspiration. From their humble roots LCM quickly built up a following on the British Blues circuit, frequenting the likes of the Marquee, Crawdaddy, Klooks Kleek, Eel Pie Island, and Rikki Tik club. On the college circuit they toured extensively with Chickenshack, Canned Heat, and Muddy Waters with performances being of a high enough standard to generate record company interest. Unable to secure a record deal, they had no other choice but to do it themselves. And so, in the winter months of early ’69 that LCM entered Virgin Sound in nearby Windsor to lay down eight tracks recorded on a four-track machine. With no record company interference, the archetypal private pressing, raw, under-produced, and thrillingly primitive. The project successfully captured the spirit and aggression of an exciting new band and the original artefact is now a zeitgeist of that remarkable era. After Levee Camp Moan, Ian Campbell went on to carve out a busy musical career performing with, amongst many others, the Nashville Teens, Arthur Brown’s band and Mungo Jerry. Bassist Dave Stubbs played with a host of notables, including Eric Clapton’s band and Uli Jon Roth (ex-Scorpions). Original artwork. Includes insert with rare photos and full band history by Pete Sarfas.
Arsivplak present a reissue of Matao with Atilla Engin’s Turkish Delight, originally released in 1979. It’s a Turkish jazz-funk delight! Some hard-hitting rhythm section blending into a prime example of the swingin’ sound of the cool influences of jazz, funk, and folk music, with a Turkish flavor. Its fantastic funk jazz groove built on a titanium synth bassline! An instrumental library of traditional Turkish jazz session reaching a great climax in drums and percussion sets, plus electro-bass breaks with Moog and synthesizers from the beginning to the end. Traditional Turkish songs based on drums and synth bass over moody 5/8 fuzz guitars… Album recorded and released in Denmark, 1979, and it has never been released in Turkey. Hard cardboard sleeve; obi.
Bobby Conn on Recovery: “What’s the point of recovery if we were never really healthy to begin with? I started working on this record about four years ago, thinking of the American obsession with self-help, self-care, and self-empowerment as a cruel and cheap substitute for helping each other. It’s a concept that rewards those that have the money to help themselves, and blames those that don’t for not trying hard enough. Then there were some elections. Now there is a narrative of ‘recovering’ our stronger, bolder, racially pure, cultural and economic glory days. And then some of my friends started getting sick, or dying or committed suicide . . . I was really into 10cc, J Dilla, Liaisons Dangereuses, Jean-Claude Vannier, Anna Meredith, Slade, D’Angelo, etc. when writing this record, but I’m sure you can hear it for yourself. Musically, this is a collaboration with my partner Monica BouBou on violin and vocals and our super-band of drummer Josh Johannpeter, bassist Jim ‘Dallas’ Cooper, keyboardist and string player Billie Howard, guitarist Devin Davis, and longtime sound artist DJ LeDeuce. We recorded it over many months in a basement. There is a cameo by synth genius Felix Kubin on ‘Brother’. Mixed by the brilliant Tobias Levin and Hannes Plattmeier in Hamburg, Germany. Some notes on each tune: ‘Recovery’ — the never-ending journey and an addiction unto itself. ‘Disposable Future’ — amazing new technology gives us unlimited choice delivered through devices we cannot control; is this what we were dreaming of? ‘Good Old Days’ — nostalgia for the lies of old white men will kill us all. ‘No Grownups’ — from the perspective of a teenager trapped in a world where all the adults are self-deluded, irresponsible narcissists in terrible clothes. ‘Brother’ — it’s easy to ignore the suffering that surrounds us everyday. ‘On The Nose’ — grandpa’s racism now rebranded as edgy rebellion for the internet generation. ‘Bijou’ — an ode to a recently closed gay porn theatre in Chicago that was part of the struggle for sexual liberty. ‘Disaster’ — our masters imagine themselves as heroes when the mob storms the gates and burns the palace to the ground. ‘Young Man’s Game’ — you can’t play the same game forever. ‘Always Already’ — a misreading of Derrida, Marx and Foucault turned into a nihilist anthem. With apologies to Lionel Richie.”
The Young Gods’ 2007 album, Super Ready / Fragmenté is finally released on vinyl. The twelve compositions of Super Ready / Fragmenté are of a pure sonic power. From the nasty rock song “I’m The Drug” or “Freeze”, to the abstract “C’est quoi c’est ça”, the playful “El Magnifico”, the psychedelic and moving “Stay With Us”, “Super Ready / Fragmenté” (nine minutes of sound journey and pivotal track on the album), The Young Gods have delivered a great album inhabited by Franz Treichler’s clearer, warmer and more powerful voice. That being said, words are, as always, of paramount importance to the Gods. With the political and poetic “About Time”, the group rises up against fear as a market value. Fear is a very current signature of today’s world, recalls Franz Treichler. How many politicians get elected by selling fear by the kilo? Or describes, in detail, the relationship between the couple and the imaginary “Everythere”. Super Ready / Fragmenté is one of those major albums that, behind a palpable sense of urgency and insecurity, is revealed and discovered through poisonous, disturbing and passionate listening. Artwork by IchetKar.
Can’t Make You Love Me is the debut album from Melbourne based Gena Rose Bruce. Bruce’s vocals drive this album; a stirring force amidst the pulsing rhythms, echoes of Mazzy Star and Lynchian undertones. Add to this the masterful restraint in the arrangements and one has an album that is both instantly timeless and unmistakably contemporary. In December 2017, Bruce pulled herself out of a toxic relationship, shifting focus entirely towards her music. “I quit my job, gave up the room I was renting and left the whole situation. I spent three months alone at a family property in Warrnambool on the south coast of Australia and wrote the album. It was a healing time.” The place was a small weatherboard near the ocean in the middle of nowhere. Secluded and eerily quiet, Bruce credits the album’s darker edges in part to this environment; “It’s not a sunny beach town, it’s very melancholic. Even in the middle of summer there was no-one around.” But it was here that she regained focus and confidence, entering a period of intense creative output. With fresh perspective, lyrics fell into place, followed by sound. Producer Tim Harvey and Bruce bounced ideas constantly. “There was lots of demoing and experimenting. We didn’t feel I had to fit to any genre—we just wanted it to be ‘me’.” Consequently, Can’t Make You Love Me is a distinct and dynamic debut from a young artist with a clear vision. With its infectious melodies, sultry vocal performances and biting lyricism it’s thrillingly playful and confessional. Bruce presents a refreshing brand of vulnerability through unfettered explorations of her life choices.
What happens when an abrasive rock trio trades guitars for synths, cranks up the beats and leans into the everyday anxieties of simply being a functioning human in the 21st century? The answer is Uneasy Laughter, the sensational second Sub Pop release from Los Angeles-based Moaning.
Vocalist/guitarist Sean Solomon, bassist/keyboardist Pascal Stevenson and drummer Andrew MacKelvie have been friends and co-conspirators amid the fertile L.A. DIY scene for more than a decade. They are also immersed in other creative pursuits — Solomon is a noted illustrator, art director and animator, while Stevenson and MacKelvie have played or worked behind the boards with acts such as Cherry Glazerr, Sasami and Surf Curse. On Uneasy Laughter, they’ve tackled challenges both personal and universal the only way they know how: by talking about how they’re feeling and channeling those emotions directly into their music.
“We’ve known each other forever and we’re really comfortable trying to express where we’re at. A lot of bands aren’t so close,” says MacKelvie. Adds Solomon, who celebrated a year of sobriety during the Uneasy Laughter sessions, “Men are conditioned not to be vulnerable or admit they’re wrong. But I wanted to talk openly about my feelings and mistakes I’ve made.”
Moaning’s 2018’s self-titled Sub Pop debut featured songs mostly written in practice or brought in already complete by individual band members. It garnered acclaim from Pitchfork, Stereogum and Los Angeles Times, who observed, “Moaning craft anxious music for an increasingly nervous local scene.” But Uneasy Laughter is a collaborative breakthrough which significantly brightens Moaning’s once claustrophobic sound, again abetted by producer/engineer Alex Newport (At The Drive-In, Bloc Party, Melvins). The trio points to first single “Ego,” which features a costume-heavy video directed by Ambar Navarro, as an embodiment of this evolution.
Solomon admits Uneasy Laughter could have gone in quite another direction had he not gotten sober and educated himself on such core subjects as gender and mental health. “I did a lot of reading in the tour van — authors like bell hooks, Mark Fisher, and Alain de Botton, all really inspired me. I don’t want to be the person who influences young people to go get high and become cliche tragic artists,” he says. “What I’d rather convey to people is that they’re not alone in what they think and how they feel. ‘Ego’ specifically and the album overall is about those themes — letting go of your bullshit so you can help other people and be present.”
“We want to be part of a community,” he adds. “I wrote online about being sober for a year, and I had kids from all over writing and asking for advice. One of them said, ‘For the first time I can remember, I didn’t drink last night.’ I thought, for once, maybe we did something besides sell a record. That’s a win. That’s incredibly exciting.”
Porches, a.k.a. Aaron Maine, is back with a new album, titled Ricky Music via Domino. Featuring contributions from Mitski, Zsela, and Dev Hynes, and with co-production by Jacob Portrait, Ricky Music expands on the Porches discography (The House, 2018; Pool, 2016; Slow Dance In The Cosmos, 2013) by delivering 11 emotionally open, cracked-glass pop songs.
When the band Trees Speak, coming out of nowhere, released an exclusive one-off 100-pressing white label 45, described as Can / Neu! meets Liquid Liquid, it sold out so quickly (in less than 30 minutes) that Soul Jazz Records decided to release their album almost immediately. Soul Jazz Records rarely release new music but found the music of Trees Speak’s album Ohms so stunning and to have so many elements of music that they admired that they felt compelled to release it.
The group Trees Speak are from Tucson, Arizona and create new music that sounds like German Krautrock meets no wave/post-punk and psych rock – music for fans of Cluster, Tangerine Dream, Can, Neu!, Silver Apples and early Kraftwerk. The album Ohms sounds at times like a tripped out and moody John Carpenter / Goblin / Morricone soundtrack that seamlessly segues into propulsive, ‘motorik’ Krautrock instrumentals loaded with fuzzy, hypnotic mellotron, synths and analogue effects, as well as elements of Art Ensemble free jazz, and all at times reaching a kind of post-rave psychedelia. More recent comparisons would include Beak> and Ghost Box who draw upon similar themes and styles.
Trees Speak relates to the idea of future technologies storing information and data in trees and plants – using them as hard drives – and the idea that Trees communicate collectively.
The Vinyl format includes an exclusive bonus 45 single (the white label of which sold out so fast) that will only be available with the first order of this amazing and ground-breaking new album.
Originally released in June of 1982, the debut album by the Cocteau Twins is considered far darker than some of their later offerings, being influenced by Siouxsie and the Banshees, early Cure and the Birthday Party. During this early period, Will Heggie’s bass played a significant role in defining their sound, giving it a darker and heavily rhythmic, earthy texture. This combined with Robin Guthrie’s minimalistic and heavily effected guitar arrangements; a great deal of distortion and feed-back, smoothed out with chorus, reverb and flanger. Beneath is the roland 808 drum machine thumping along, as distinctively Cocteau sounding as the guitar. All while Elizabeth Fraser seemed to veer into glossolalia and mouth music. Garlands marks the beginning of their haunting ethereal sound. A masterpiece.