Records of the Week: The Smile, Gruff Rhys, Ty Segall, Tapir!, Future Islands, His Lordship, Torres and MIKE.

Records of the Week: The Smile, Gruff Rhys, Ty Segall, Tapir!, Future Islands, His Lordship, Torres and MIKE.

It’s not often that we get a week like this, so soak it in folks and let’s get those turntables spinning…


Wall Of Eyes is the second studio LP from trio The Smile and it’s really quite the listen. Whereas the first (also excellent) album had the feeling of a Radiohead side flex, this second outing is the sound of a fully formed project of its own and the experimentalism is quite thrilling. There is a huge (often ominous) cinematic energy, which acts as a beautiful counterbalance to how stripped back and intimate some sections are. Weird knotty rhythms keep it moving ever forwards

In a week of stunners, this stunner is our Record of the Week.

The Smile

+ Available on limited Sky Blue colour vinyl.

Gruff Rhys returns this week on Rough Trade Records with Sadness Sets Me Free (the 25th LP that he has been part of) and it casts a beautiful spell. There is a pensive energy throughout but only in its reflections, as sonically there is such sweet euphoria. The players lock in with the sort of assured symmetry that you only get from years of doing it and the flashes of Kate Stables’ (This Is The Kit) voice is really stunning. Spiritually uplifting, he’s such a great songwriter.

+ Available on exclusive both Dinked Edition and Blackberry colour vinyl with a custom ‘container doors’ sleeve.

+ Gruff plays (a very sold out) outstore for us next week.

The Pilgrim, Their God and the King of My Decrepit Mountain is the debut LP from South-London-based 6-piece Tapir! and it really is a beauty. Considering all of those many limbs, there is such a lightness and air to the songs, it’s never over fussed. Thematically it’s about a traveller on a mythical journey and they really convey the sense of movement and the fantastical. It’s one to get lost in.

+ Available as a very limited Dinked Edition.
+ The band will be playing a live instore next Saturday 3rd February. Do come and join us.

His Lordship
release their ferocious self-titled debut this week and you really need to check it out. The maximum rock’n’roll duo worked with David Wrench on production, riffling through twelve absolute rippers in just over thirty minutes. From prickly punk, to abrasive grunge to a sort of Ziggy Stardust-esque riffing; it’s all really good.

+ Available on limited Clear vinyl.

Three Bells is the 187th studio album from Ty Segall, and in the week’s least surprising news, we’re already very taken with it. It used to be a case that he was trying stuff out in the studio and finding lush new sonics, but this all feels so much more deliberate and so carefully constructed. It is hugely impressive. Three Bells might not have the instant gratification or irrefutable hooks of some of his more recent works, but it still remains one of his best and most complete works of the last few years. Somewhere Between old folk, laurel canyon 12 string shimmers and the meatiest of Sabbath riffs. It has sounded almost entirely different on each time we’ve played it, a sure sign that repeat plays will offer ever more gold. Three Bells, five stars!

Future Islands

Future Islands return with their seventh LP this week - People Who Aren’t There Anymore - and the production is really masterful. Without ever clearly letting you know which mode they are in, it moves between euphoric bangers and sweetly maudeline synth pop. Samuel T. Herring’s voice is so rich and the band really soar. Great stuff.

+ Available on limited Crystal Clear vinyl.

So, also in this ludicrously full week and not to be missed…

What An Enormous Room is the new LP from Mackenzie Scott as Torres. Full of gig stark riffs, it’s pretty powerful stuff. We have a really lush looking Blue & White vinyl pressing too.

14k Figaro is a collaborative LP from New York rapper Wiki and producer Tony Seltzer. Really dynamic with a lot of timbre in the production.

Burning Desire is the new LP from prolific New York rapper (and recent Wiki collaborator) MIKE. Such huge samples. A mix of funk and soul blasts and MIKE’s vocals are really low, swamping out the mix. We’ve been playing this a lot. It's fantastic and the art (from Ghanaian D.A. Jasper) is next level.

Fairweather Friend is the new LP from supreme San Francisco janglers The Umbrellas. Another of this week’s low-pitch vocals and some absolutely stunning riffs for those big indie swims.

We also have new albums from Tom Odell, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Welsh rock band Casey.

A double offering on 7” this week, with the splendid Borough Council via Speedy Wunderground and also a triple collab with The Beths, Pickle Darling and Car Seat Headrest combining for Sub Pop on Brand New Colony / We Looked Like Giants.

The week’s reissues are pretty splendid too, with Fela Kuti, Bill Evans Trio, John Coltrane, Roberta Flack, Ali Farka Touré, Karate and more!

Thank you Friday 26th January 2024, you have spoiled us.

- Drift

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