Welcome to the record shop cornucopia, this week is stacked.
In a week of huge sounds, we have picked some exquisitely quiet and pensive ones as our Record of the Week. Bing & Ruth - the ever-evolving project helmed by New York composer David Moore - returns with Species, an album crafted around the spiritual drones of the Farfisa organ. Minimal slow epics, it really is a piece of high, transcendental art.
Detroit post-punks Protomartyr are one of the fiercest bands around, wry and even irreverent with Joe Casey's darker-than-dark humour holding its own in the middle of the sonic storm. They are nothing short of vital - in our sometimes humble opinion - you can get lost in the fiercely clenched teeth of each song, only to get pulled into a stark, cold reality where it feels like Casey is snarling right at you, he can see clean through you.They are often as terrifying as they are thrilling. Ultimate Success Today is far from an easy listen, but like everything else they have done, it is all the types of intoxicating.
+ Available as an indie exclusive pressed on transparent blue vinyl.
If you want to talk about musical forces of nature, Vancouver art collective Crack Cloud are their own audio-eco-system. Seven or so core members and a rolling cast of contributors use their collective strengths to deliver sweeping and swooning euphoria without ever sounding muddled. The collective largely met through addiction recovery programmes and there is such a sense of drive and purpose in their music (and associated visual art) that it's something to be in awe of. It was a thrill to work with them on a Dinked Edition of Pain Olympics, an album that's going to be with us here for a long time to come.
Both as part of Pulp and as a solo artist, Jarvis Cocker's career has been full of idiosyncrasies, restlessly finding new influences to consume and reimagine in his own image. Beyond The Pale is his grand reemergence (as the band leader of JARV IS...) and it feels very much like he is giving away more of himself than ever before. You can all imagine post-disco-pop-music with Leonard Cohen chewing the microphone right? Well that is the styling, but there is so much more going on here, it's meticulously layered. It is droll, funny, honest and just pretty much beat-perfect throughout. He remains peerless.
+ Indie version LP is pressed on limited clear orange vinyl and housed in a 'tip-on' gatefold sleeve.
+ You'll want to head over to Instagram as we'll be giving away a signed test pressing and print.
Dublin five-piece Silverbacks release their debut Fad and it has a lot to rave about. Driving post-punk through to some quite poppy shoegaze shapes. Emma Hanlon's vocals bring some of the brilliantly weirder moments, a sort of Deerhoof timbre.
+ (Very limited) Indies only edition on Blue vinyl.
KiCk i is the fourth studio album by Venezuelan electronic record producer Arca. The production here is just dazzling, a manic-pop take on psychedelia. Whereas her previous work had a sort of steely element to it, this really is joyous. Features expertly crafted guest appearances from Björk, Rosalía, Shygirl and SOPHIE.
+ Arca signed us a test pressing that we're going to give away. More here.
Lianne La Havas returns with her new self-titled album this week and it's got a lush, summery vibe. She has a beautiful voice, but the biggest victory here is the overall vibe, thoughtful but still dreamy.
+ Limited indies only LP pressed on Mint Green vinyl.
LA-based Genevieve Artadi releases Dizzy Strange Summer, and like every great Brainfeeder album, it is full of changes, blurred tones and mind-expanding ideas. A real beauty, this.
XL release this week Yaeji's debut What We Drew 우리가 그려왔던. Billed in part as a mixtape, it has the most delicious flow to it, bubbling ideas that start off in hip-hop, dream pop, house and electronic minimalism before colliding and popping into something even more undefinable.
Oklahoma-born Samantha Crain returns with A Small Death. She had a truly awful (and potentially life changing) time of making it, but what really rings through is her voice, which remains charming and really quite captivating.
Zara McFarlane returns this week on Brownswood with Songs of an Unknown Tongue. Inspired by Jamaica's early folk music and rituals. It's lush to hear her bringing in contemporary electronic production to wrap her amazing voice.
A lush set of headspaces from Future Islands bassist William Cashion. Postcard Music is ambient meditations inspired by meditation, travel and the ocean.
Sun Piano is a set of spiritual keyboard improvisations performed by Laraaji and recorded in a Brooklyn Church. The natural and very physical aspect of the reverbs is really amazing. Fell in love with those just seconds into it.
CORRESPONDENCE is a really lush pen-pal-collaborative album from Jens Lekman and Annika Norlin. Some really beautifully simple moments here from two great songwriters.
As part of the Blue Note Re:Imagined project. we have two really limited double A-sides this week from Jorja Smith / Ezra Collective and Poppy Ajudha / Skinny Pelembe.
We know you know... but we put a few more black midi Sweater / 7 eleven 12"s online here.
Ellie Goulding releases the massive Brightest Blue this week, featuring collaborations with Diplo, the late Juice WRLD, Swae Lee, and the brilliant serpentwithfeet.
A nice double this week from the Music on Vinyl label, with Slowdive's debut Just For A Day getting a limited pressing (on Flaming coloured vinyl) and a limited silver vinyl edition of the David Bowie led Tin Machine II album from Tin Machine.
The Blue Note reissue series has been a constant source of spins this year, but this one really did pique our interest. Just Coolin’, a never-before-released studio album by Art Blakey The Jazz Messengers. It was recorded on March 8th, 1959 in Rudy Van Gelder's living room studio in Hackensack, New Jersey. A really lush vibes, it's so breezey with an extraordinary lineup of Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, Bobby Timmons and Jymie Merritt alongside Blakey's irresistible drumming.
Following on from last years' lush Unknown Pleasures reissue (and surrounding celebration), we this week have a fortieth anniversary edition of Joy Division's equally iconic Closer album. The album is pressed on limited 180g crystal clear vinyl, and to further celebrate the work, we have Transmission, Atmosphere and Love Will Tear Us Apart as limited stand alone 12" singles. The cultural importance and influence of all Joy Division songs goes with out saying, but it is a joy to just stick this one on and play it out, it creates such a mood still.
We did say that it was another of those weeks, gnarly right! We have a playlist up on the blog for you to enjoy and sample some of the many joys.
Oh! Nearly forgot. Bob Dylan's Rough And Rowdy Ways is in the building on vinyl, including that handsome (and very limited) Olive Green vinyl.