The main theme this week is playing things very, very loudly. Do come and join in.
Record of the Week is the joyous and explosive return of Battles with the tightly wound new Juice B Crypts. A duo these days, they welcome some amazing collaborators onboard this time; Tune Yards, space hip-hoppers Shabazz Palaces, the breath of fresh air that is Xenia Rubinos, Americana grandee John Anderson, Prairie WWWW and Sal Principato, all changing the flavours throughout. Battles are one of the very very very few artists out there who can take a huge set of influences, inspirations and voices into the chopper and delivery something that is genuinely more than a sum of its' parts. Gnarly, chopped up and thrilling stuff this.
+ We have an indie exclusive pressing on transparent vinyl.
A huge return from Sam Shepherd as Floating Points with Crush, his first album in four years and his first with Ninja Tune. It twists whatever you think you know about him on its head again. Whereas his most recent works have been expansive and flowing into minimalism and Jazz, Crush harks back to his earlier work with tight and focused beat making. The middle section of the album drops a huge beat and that journey, to and fro, is us pretty amazing. Very highly recommended this.
+ Available as a limited Indie Shop Exclusive Edition - 140g black vinyl housed in an glossy sleeve with exclusive alternate cover art. Artwork printed inside and out, 4 page A4 booklet featuring a score of album track ‘Birth’. Download code included.
Montreal's Corridor release their third LP this week (the first with Sub Pop) and it is absolutely joyous. Without going typically overboard (as we concede we often do), the young francophones have captures some of the most utterly addictive riffs of the year. Domino's lead riff should be filed in the Canadian National Archives as the definition of a hook. Utterly off our heads about this one, we'll be playing it loud until further notice.
+ Limited Loser pressing on yellow opaque vinyl.
clipping return on Sub Pop with There Existed an Addiction to Blood, a horror film inspired rap reimagining. With each appearance they shift so dramatically and the horror film timbres and cues is pretty inspired stuff. In today's context this really has an eerie chill to it. Highly recommend.
+ Loser Edition on double silver vinyl.
Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens releases his acclaimed score for Justin Peck’s ballet The Decalogue via his own Asthmatic Kitty label. Performed by the pianist Timo Andres, the recording is the first time the score, premiered during the New York City Ballet’s 2017 season, is available to the public. Really beautiful this.
+ Deluxe version includes: 40 page songbook, 180 gram vinyl, Stoughton gatefold jacket, and monotype print by Charlotte de Mezamat.
Wave is the sixth album from Canadian singer/songwriter Patrick Watson, follow up to 2015's 'Love Songs For Robots' and his first in four years. Such a brilliant voice, really falling deep over this new set of songs.
+ Indie Edition LP on Blue vinyl
The Mark Lanegan Band return on Heavenly Recordings with Somebody's Knocking. Richly dark, but there is quite a lot of fun in his swagger which plays brilliantly against the electronics and synths. The initial pressing is on double sea blue vinyl.
Foals release the long awaited second part of their 2019 double 'Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost'. A great companion. Gnarlier and heavier than part one with some brilliantly weird tones (the Moogs are wild!). They are undeniably one of the finest UK bands and they are in full flight here.
+ Limited high street edition on orange vinyl.
Norwegian experi-pop quintet Broen return with eyes open to new vistas on their second album, Do You See The Falling Leaves? Really explosive stuff, frenetic and highly jacked, but utterly charming and crammed with ideas and textures. Hugely exciting this.
Taking My Time To Be is the new mii album on Melodic from Alex Stephens (A.K.A. Strawberry Guy). When not playing keyboards in The Orielles, he's found the space and time to create utterly massive pop ballads out of the John Lennon / Harry Nilsson playbook. Sounds like a genius to us.
Lastly for the new ones, a massive return from Jimmy Eat World with Surviving. They will not last, but we have a very limited indie exclusive white vinyl pressing.
The most excellent Moochin About label put out a superb reissue of the Negro Folklore From Texas State Prisons compilation this week. The recordings were made in Texas prison farms in July 1964 by American folklorist Bruce Jackson. The iconic album is re-mastered and features Eric Von Schmidt's original artwork in full.
Erased Tapes group of all Nils Frahm's Encore 12"s as All Encores on CD this week. Superb stuff.
Really into this one too, Marvin Gaye's What’s Going On Live. For decades, this extraordinary live recording of the original album plus an epic medley of Marvin’s Sixties hits sat on the shelves. Previously issued within What’s Going On: Deluxe Edition in 2001, it is now newly mixed, freshly released and available on vinyl for the first time.
In 2018 The Cure performed two historic shows in celebration of a 40-year career. CURÆTION-25: From There To Here | From Here To There was captured on the tenth and final night of the 25th Meltdown Festival (curated Robert Smith) at London’s Royal Festival Hall in June 2018.
Last one this week is an absolute treasure. One of this year's most played and adored albums with a new lilt. Will Burns and Hannah Peel's beautiful Chalk Hill Blue gets a new edition today to include a pair of new pieces, combining the same evocative, powerful sonic palette and plainspoken poetry as their acclaimed album. A commission to create a new collaborative work for the BBC resulted in 'Moth Book', an elegiac mediation on loss which flowers into a driving, hypnotic synth workout, perfectly offset by the haunting 'Wendover, Bucks'.
You can (and should) order the new deluxe edition here. You can also purchase the two tracks as a 7" single here.