Goodbye January, you're been a treat. A nice little set of new releases this week to see us through the cold snap.
Record of the Week. Gallipoli, is the fifth album from Beirut and it's euphoric, swooning and awfully pretty. Zach Condon returned to his old Farfisa organ (the one he used on his first two albums, Gulag Orkestar and The Flying Club Cup) when writing the album and there are some beautifully intimate moments. To be honest, his voice is so special that it's worth the entrance fee alone.
+ Limited indies only edition of the LP pressed on Green vinyl.
Drift Code is the long-awaited return of Rustin Man - aka Paul Webb - formerly the bass player in Talk Talk. It's his first release since Out Of Season in 2002 (a collaboration with Beth Gibbons of Portishead who herself announced a return this week) and is a beautifully measured record. Warm and analogue sounding with the same sort of decadence as Talk Talk but with a much fuller palette, mesmerising stuff.
Unloved - vocalist and songwriter Jade Vincent, her partner the producer/composer Keefus Ciancia, and DJ/ producer/composer David Holmes - release Heartbreak today on Heavenly. A smoky and hazy modern reimagining of '60s girl groups, it's effortlessly cool. You may have already heard them, they crafted the soundtrack to Phoebe Waller-Bridge's acclaimed new series Killing Eve.
+ First pressing is on Red vinyl
Also released today at long last is the physical release of the self-titled Ex:Re LP. Ex:Re is Elena Tonra, guitarist, vocalist and lyricist of Daughter and it's a really special set of songs. Broody and intimate but with some cavernous bits of production. If you buy a copy this week we'll enter you into the hat to win a signed test pressing. Here is a picture. We'll do the draw next week.
Olympic Girls is the new studio LP from New Zealand's Tiny Ruins. The band are formed around the songwriting of Hollie Fullbrook, and this album, in particular, does a really great job of framing her at the front and center with wistful and thoughtful instrumentation. She's got a deliciously laid back delivery, very easy to get locked into this.
White Lies return with their fifth album - Five - today. It's a moody affair, early-Depeche Mode style synths and Ian Curtis via Paul Banks vocals. A pent up sort of energy. That's not to say it's derivative necessarily, it's got some great pop moments here.
+ Limited LP format is on 180g blue vinyl with album download in special packaging along with an exclusive 8-page booklet.
Cherry Glazerr return with Stuffed & Ready on Secretly Canadian and it's stuffed with glistening pop bangers. To date they have had more grime to their rock, but this playful new LP is more complex, whilst remaining brilliantly odd.
+ Limited, red coloured vinyl version for the Indie shops.
The Specials, one of the most electrifying, influential and important UK bands, release Encore, their first new music for 37 years. The first new material from original members Terry Hall, guitarist Lynval Golding and bassist Horace Panter since the seminal Number One single Ghost Town is a release based around the band's political origins rather than needless sentimentalism. It was a relief that it's actually pretty good! Mellow vibes with some poignant moments.
The LP was wildly limited and sold out, but we'll have more in a few weeks. Email us to reserve.
Ripples is Ian Brown's first new material in nine years. Ian produced the album as well as writing the majority of tracks on the album. Three of the songs were co-written with his sons, who also play a multitude of instruments across the release.
+ Coloured vinyl version for the Indie shops.
Long overdue, Anderson .Paak's Oxnard is available on vinyl today. Funk and Soul cues and some lush guest appearances.
Truth is often stranger than fiction. In 1998 Desco Records - a precursor to Daptone and Soul Fire records - released The Daktaris' Soul Explosion, ostensibly as a reissue of an unearthed Nigerian LP from the seventies. Though it’s now common knowledge that the story was a bit of a hoax, the record’s significance as a seminal part of the Afrobeat and afro-funk renaissance of the last two decades cannot be denied. The roots of the Budos Band, Antibalas, and uncountable others can be traced back to this enigmatic afro-funk release. Now, two decades later, Daptone has remastered the album from the original tapes, including a bonus track that had previously only been available on a 45, and featuring extensive all-new liner notes by Bosco Mann telling the bizarre true story behind the Daktaris sessions.
+ Pressed on limited colour vinyl.
Out of print since 2001, John Cameron's beautiful soundtrack to Kes gets a rare reissue on Trunk with new sleevenotes from Jarvis Cocker. The score is only 19 minutes long and therefore fits perfectly onto a one-sided LP, but captures the stunning qualities of the film and also the classic British jazz sound. It's a very lovely thing.
Stay warm out there, we'll battle the storms to keep the doors open.