This week is bonkers busy. Kesha’s highly anticipated new record is finally here, former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson has dropped his debut solo album, and Torres has released the follow-up to 2017’s ‘Three Futures’.
In the mood for more? Fill your boots below.
Alex Ebert – ‘I vs I’ (Community Music)
Ben Watt – ‘Storm Damage’ (Caroline)
Blossoms – ‘Foolish Loving Spaces’ (Virgin EMI)
Dan Deacon – ‘Mystic Familiar’ (Domino)
Dashboard Confessional – ‘The Best Ones Of The Best Ones’ (Hidden Note/AWAL)
Destroyer – ‘Have We Met’ (Merge/Dead Oceans)
Drive-By Truckers -‘The Unraveling’ (ATO Records)
Frances Quinlan – ‘Likewise’ (Saddle Creek)
Kesha – ‘High Road’ (Sony)
Lil Wayne – ‘Funeral’ (Young Money Records)
Louis Tomlinson – ‘Walls’ (Sony)
Meghan Trainor – ‘Treat Myself’ (Epic)
MIKA – ‘MIKA Live From Brooklyn Steel’ (Casablanca Records/Republic Records)
Mint Julep – ‘Stray Fantasies’ (Western Vinyl Records)
Nathan Gray – ‘Working Title’ (End Hits)
Otherliine, George Fitzgerald and Lil Silva – ‘Otherliine’ (Sony)
Poliça – ‘When We Stay Alive’ (Memphis Industries)
Rhys Lewis – ‘When Was The Last Time?’ (Decca)
Russ – ‘Shake The Snow Globe’ (Columbia)
Sam Lee – ‘Old Wow’ (Cooking Vinyl)
Sløtface – ‘Sorry For The Late Reply’ (Propeller Recordings)
Squarepusher – ‘Be Up A Hello’ (Warp)
Squirrel Flower – ‘I Was Born Swimming’ (Full Time Hobby)
Sqürl – ‘Some Music For Robby Müller’ (Sacred Bones Records/Naked Kiss)
Tall Tall Trees – ‘A Wave Of Golden Things’ (Joyful Noise Recordings)
The momentum of new releases continues to be relentless. Bully have released their sophomore LP, which was engineered and mixed by vocalist and guitarist Alicia Bognanno, Jessie Ware has finally followed up 2014’s ‘Tough Love’ and John Carpenter has put out a collection of newly recorded versions of his classic movie themes. Tegan and Sara, meanwhile, are celebrating the 10th anniversary of ‘The Con’ by releasing a record featuring 14 artists covering songs from it.
Still not happy? Cast your eye over some other new releases below.
And So I Watch You from Afar – ‘The Endless Shimmering’ (Sargent House)
The Bloody Beetroots – ‘The Great Electronic Swindle’ (SPV/Caroline)
Bully – ‘Losing’ (Sub Pop)
Charlotte Carpenter – ‘Shelter’ (EP) (Let It Go Records)
New wave legends Blondie have expanded their autumn tour with new shows in Nottingham, Brighton and Cardiff, while Jake Bugg has announced he will unplug for an acoustic tour in November, following up the release of his new album, ‘Hearts That Strain’, which arrives on September 1. With Bloodstock festival taking over the fields of Catton Hall this weekend, we also have tour news from Polish metallers Decapitated, who will return in the autumn for dates with King Parrot, Venom Prison and Thy Disease. Employed To Serve are also set to return to the road later this year for their first UK headline shows in support of their second album, ‘The Warmth Of A Dying Sun’.
Having already confirmed stops in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and London, the new wave legends will now also call at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall, the Brighton Centre and Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena this autumn. Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets go on sale at 9am on August 11, prices start at £50.00 plus fees.
The singer-songwriter, who will put out ‘Hearts That Strain’ on September 1, is set to unplug for shows in Bath, Cardiff, Leicester, Hull, Edinburgh, Forres, Strathpeffer, Perth, Stoke, Bexhill-on-Sea, Reading and Liverpool in November. Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale at 9am on August 11, prices start at £22.50/£25.00 plus fees.
Destroyer, aka Dan Bejar, will tour the UK later this year, following the release of his new album ‘Ken’, which is due to arrive on October 20 through Merge Records/Dead Oceans. Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale now, prices start at £15.00/£18.00 plus fees.
The Polish metallers, who perform at Bloodstock festival this weekend, will return in November with King Parrot, Venom Prison and Thy Disease. Stops include Norwich, Nottingham, Bristol, Birmingham, Portsmouth, Stoke, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and London, where they’ll play the Underworld. Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale now, prices start at £16.00/£18.00 plus fees.
Employed to Serve
Having just finished touring alongside Milk Teeth, the Woking hardcore band have lined up their first UK headline shows in support of their second album, ‘The Warmth Of A Dying Sun’, which arrived in May through Holy Roar Records. The tour gets underway on November 3 in Brighton before stops in Oxford, Leeds, Newcastle, Birmingham, Nottingham and Edinburgh. Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets go on general sale at 9am on August 11.
Also announced this week, so far
Michael Malarkey, Sacred Paws, Flaws, Jake Clemons, Josh Flowers, Magnum, Mighty Oaks, Peace, Rhys Lewis, City Calm Down, Matt Maltese, Sleeptalking, Noga Erez, Amy MacDonald, Be Charlotte, Newton Faulkner, Josh Kelley, And So I Watch You From Afar, Tigercub, Craig Gallagher, Seamus Fogarty, John Smith, Marshmello, Normandie, William Ryan Key, Kurupt FM, Grave Pleasures, Baywaves, Eric Gales, Michael Head and the Red Elastic Band, King King, White Wine and many more!
Daniel Bejar really is a one of a kind songwriter. ‘Streethawk: A Seduction’, ‘Rubies’ and ‘Kaputt’ were all pretty much perfect, and ‘Poison Season’ isn’t far off the same level. In fact most artists would be lucky to release one record as good as this in their entire career. Full of the sort of low-key gems that populate all of the best Destroyer records, it veers from off-kilter art rock (Archer on the Beach) to ambient pop (Girl in a Sling) with ease. It’s another masterpiece from a genuine legend in the most consistent form of a 20 year career.
Jenny Hval – ‘Apocalypse, Girl’
For those in the know Jenny Hval has been an underground treasure for some time already. ‘Apocalypse, Girl’ is her third solo record under how own name, and it’s also the most complete. Full of innovative (and sometimes disorienting) textures, while retaining a sense of genuine songcraft throughout, it’s hard not to feel that Hval has perfected her formula here. Plus That Battle is Over isn’t just the best feminist avant-garde pop anthem of the year, it’s the best song of the year. Weird, wonderful and important.
Alva Noto – ‘Xerrox Vol. 3’
Raster-Noton chief Carsten Nicolai has made some of electronic music’s most challenging as well as some of its most beautiful records. The third volume in the ‘Xerrox’ series is very much in the latter category, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in any compositional depth compared to his more difficult records. This is really impressive, gorgeous stuff. Perhaps the best Alva Noto LP to date.
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – ‘A Year With 13 Moons’
Naming a record after a Fassbinder film is usually a good start, but ‘A Year With 13 Moons’ has more than that going for it. Cantu-Ledesma’s music has always been emotive, but his hypnotic blend of ambient, drone, noise and shoegaze is more affecting than ever on this release, with the mammoth The Last Time I Saw Your Face and Love After Love being particularly captivating.
Julia Holter – ‘Have You in My Wilderness’
Can Julia Holter do any wrong? Four albums in and I’m still not convinced she can. ‘Have You in My Wilderness’ is the finest blend of the Californian songwriter’s arty oddness and pop genius to date. It’s mesmerising throughout, and dangerously addictive. Believe the hype.
Reissues of the Year
Harmonia – ‘Complete Works’
Harmonia were one of the most important acts of the “krautrock” era, bringing together Michael Rother of Neu! and both members of Cluster with spectacular results. This wonderful box set is pricey but looks gorgeous, and comes with a little pop-up paper village. What more could you want? [P.S. Someone buy me this for Christmas?]
Coil – ‘Backwards’
Finally some Coil music back on vinyl, and affordable, finally an opportunity for new ears to experience one of the greatest artists of all time without having to scour obscure corners of the internet for downloads.
Swans – ‘White Light from the Mouth of Infinity / Love of Life’
Two of the best Swans albums – long overlooked for full reissues by M. Gira – finally get the reissue treatment they deserve thanks to Mute. Essential for any fan of the band.
Richard Dawson – ‘The Magic Bridge / The Glass Trunk’
With ‘Nothing Important’ having won the Newcastle odd-folk troubadour a huge amount of new listeners, Weird World (a subsidiary of Domino) have taken the welcome step of reissuing two excellent efforts from his back catalogue. Dig in if you’re a new convert!
Else Marie Pade – ‘Electronic Works, 1958-1995’
Early electronic music legend finally given a much-needed deluxe reissue treatment by Important Records. A great archival release that will hopefully win the innovative Danish composer the new generation of admirers she deserves.
Labels of the Year
Unstoppable. Prurient, Bell Witch, Bosse-de-Nage, Abyssal, Sumac and Vanum were just some of the great acts to release great records on the US’s finest extreme metal label this year. Let’s hope owner Chris Bruni keeps up the good run of form in 2016.
To be honest Rocket deserve a place in this list just for letting Hey Colossus knock it out of the park twice in one year, but ace records from Gnod, Teeth of the Sea and Shit & Shine haven’t hurt either…
Dominick Fernow’s (Prurient, Vatican Shadow) label is consistently impressive, but even though Prurient’s mammoth contribution to the end of year list season was released on Profound Lore it was still a particularly good year for Hospital Productions. Releases from Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails), Ron Morelli and Akitsa were among the highlights.
If Profound Lore can still be seen to have competition in their field then it comes from Gilead Media. Records from False and Pale Chalice led the field, with the likes of Dead to a Dying World and Yellow Eyes not far behind.
What I love about Thrill Jockey is the sheer breadth of music they put out. This year it ranged from the claustrophobic darkness of Thou & The Body to the weirdness of the new Liturgy to the post-folk hymns of Circuit des Yeux and the dark ambient menace of Evan Caminiti… and that’s just for starters.
Live Shows of the Year
Arve Henriksen – Howard Assembly Rooms, Leeds (12.03.2015)
A spiritual, soul-cleansing experience from the Norwegian ambient jazz legend. Lost for words.
Boredoms – Barbican, London (27.06.2015)
The Japanese experimental legends flanked by 88 cymbal players. Glorious waves of colossal sound: a once in a lifetime musical experience.
Klara Lewis – Incubate Festival, Tilburg (19.09.2015)
A pummelling sonic and visual spectacular from one of the best young electronic artists to have emerged in recent years.
Aaron Dilloway – Café OTO, London (13.10.2015)
The former Wolf Eyes man is – if possible – even more visceral when left entirely to his own devices. Violent noise goodness.
Refused – Electric Ballroom, London (02.12.2015)
Don’t listen to the haters. Refused are as fiercely political and musically vital as ever. Oh, and they are immense live, obviously. Refused are fuckin’ dead – long live Refused!