Dark moments, light moments, beats and beautiful sonics. This week is full of beautiful aurals.
Record of the Week is To Love Is To Live, The debut solo album from Jehnny Beth of the band Savages and French lo-fi duo John and Jehn. It's a collection of songs that are so tightly wound that you can feel the energy and tension in every beat. It is packed with collaborators as diverse as producer Flood, actor Cillian Murphy, The xx’s Romy Madley Croft and Idles frontman Joe Talbot, all adding subtle tones and gestures to the mood. Really excellent.
+ Limited Indie shop version is pressed on white vinyl.
Orlando Weeks, former frontman with Maccabees, releases his debut solo album A Quickening. Every aspect of this is beautifully crafted. It is full of intimacy and deeply personal songs, but the simplicity of how they are presented is such a treat. Although it's his first solo LP, it's not his first picnic and his experience really shows in the production, meticulous but warm and full of really wonderful detail. A very special album this one.
+ Deluxe Limited edition LP is on heavyweight clear vinyl with a signed and hand finished print in a special PVC sleeve and download card.
Nightports w/ Betamax is the second in a series of albums from musician-producers Adam Martin and Mark Slater to be released on The Leaf Label, following 2018’s Nightports w/ Matthew Bourne. This time, Nightports have enlisted the formidable talents of drummer and percussionist Betamax, the beating rhythmic heart of sonic explorers The Comet Is Coming. This one is such a thriller, organic and hugely imaginative beats that gallop along with such drive. They really have captures some dark magic here.
GoGo Penguin return with a self-titled album this week on Blue Note. The fourth album from the Manchester trio moves between pensive and minimal to frenetic and galloping.
+ We have a limited indies exclusive on clear vinyl.
Bibio (aka Stephen Wilkinson) releases the new ten track Sleep On The Wing EP and it is absolutely beautiful. Primarily instrumental, the songs hypnotise like lullabies, full of pastoral beauty and drama. It's lush.
Good Songs For Bad People is the debut LP from Drab City, a band really worth getting excited about. They really have created such a vibe on this album, a merky and smoky mix of dub, hip-hop, experimental-pop and soundtracks.
Wesley Gonzalez returns on Moshi Moshi with Appalling Human. Still very much styled as a lo-fi production, the timbres are routed in funk and electronics and it has a lovely pace to it. We're big fans.
+ LP format is on Pink vinyl
Some big hitters this week with all eyes on the chart. Jack Garratt releases Love, Death & Dancing, we have an exclusive double transparent 180g pressing. Liam Gallagher's MTV Unplugged is released on two colour splatter vinyl. Norah Jones returns with Pick Me Up Off The Floor and she sounds incredible. We had a horror show with the pressing on this one (sorry if you got one of the emails)... looking forward to playing this one properly in the next few days.
A long overdue pressing this week of Kaytranada's superb Bubba album that dropped digitally at the end of 2019. Features collaborations with Pharrell Williams, Tinashe, Goldlink, Estelle, Kali Ushis & more. Can't recommend this one highly enough.
As promised, we managed to get hold of just a few more copies of Built To Spill Plays The Songs of Daniel Johnston. In 2017 Built To Spill was invited to play a few shows as Daniel Johnston's back up band. This is what those rehearsals sounded like. Eleven tracks of Johnston's fractured pop presented through the eyes of Built To Spill. Live now, don't miss out!
Rated PG is a collection of Peter Gabriel songs from the movies. Originally compiled for a limited edition Picture Disc LP release for Record Store Day 2019, released now due to huge demand on black vinyl LP and CD.
Manic Street Preachers re-issue of a deluxe edition of their 1993 second album Gold Against The Soul. LP version is housed in a printed inner sleeve and contains download codes to the original album, plus an album's worth of bonus tracks. CD version is a deluxe, oversize, A4, 120-page, hardback artbook bundled with 2 CDs. Had a nose through and this really is a nice edition.
Last one this week is a bit special. Lucifer Is A Flower is the final album from the legendary Black Devil. We're tracking a box full of the records as we speak, so this one is going to be landing on us at some point today and we really can't wait. We've been hammering Synth Is Not Love since we first heard its otherworldly synth goodness. We have a limited indies edition pressed on red vinyl with a Bonus 7" (with Creepshow remix).
Look after yourself. Look after each other.