This Week’s New Releases: Westlife, Katie Melua And Black Label Society

Less than a month until Christmas, and the new releases are still rolling in. Westlife have followed up 2019’s ‘Spectrums’, Katie Melua has released an LP of stripped back reworkings of tracks from her 2020 record, and Black Label Society have put out their 11th studio album.

Still want more? Head below.

A!MS – ‘Offshore’ (3Fifty7)

Allie X – ‘Cape God’ (Twin)

Bernie Marsden – ‘Chess’ (Conquest)

Black Label Society – ‘Doom Crew Inc.’ (Panworkz)

DAF and Robert Görl – ‘Nur Noch Einer’ (Groenland)

David Bowie – ‘Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001)’ (Parlophone)

Deep Purple – ‘Turning To Crime’ (earMUSIC)

Fool’s Garden – ‘ Captain…Coast Is Cear’ (Jazzhaus)

Gary Barlow – ‘The Dream Of Christmas’ (Polydor)

Grace Davies – ‘i wonder if you wonder’ EP (Grace Davies)

Henry and the Waiter – ‘Sweet Melancholy’ (HATW)

Howard Jones – ‘At The BBC (Live)’ (BBC/Howard Jones)

Ist Ist – ‘The Art Of Lying’ (Scruff Of The Neck Records)

Julie Doiron – ‘I Thought Of You’ (You’ve Changed Records)

Katie Melua – ‘Acoustic Album No.8’ (BMG)

Kid Bookie – ‘Cheaper Than Therapy’ (Kid Bookie)

Matt Berry – ‘Gather Up (Ten years on Acid Jazz)’ (Acid Jazz)

Nell Smith and The Flaming Lips – ‘Where the Viaduct Looms’ (Bella Union)

Orchards – ‘Trust Issues’ EP (Big Scary Monsters)

Richard Dawson and Circle – ‘Henki’ (Domino)

Rufus Wainwright – ‘Rufus Wainwright and Amsterdam Sinfonietta Live’ (BMG)

Ryan Hamilton – ‘1221’ (Wicked Cool)

Smith/Kotzen – ‘Better Days’ EP (BMG)

Spectacular Diagnostics – ‘Ancient Methods’ (Rucksack)

The Tea Party – ‘Sunshower’ EP (Coalition Music)

The Temperance Movement – ‘Covers & Rarities’ (Earache)

Westlife – ‘Wild Dreams’ (Warner)

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This Week’s New Releases: Niall Horan, Code Orange And Dead Lips

With all the craziness that’s going on across the world this week, let’s take some time out to celebrate new music and the escapism it offers, however temporary.

Former One Direction member Niall Horan has dropped his second solo LP, Code Orange have released the long-awaited follow-up to 2017’s Forever, and Deap Vally and the Flaming Lips have released their collaborative album under the moniker Dead Lips.

Head below for the rest of this week’s new releases.

The Boomtown Rats – ‘Citizens of Boomtown’ (BMG)

Broken Witt Rebels – ‘Ok Hotel’ (Snakefarm)

Circa Waves – ‘Sad Happy’ (Prolifica/PIAS)

CocoRosie – ‘Put The Shine On’ (Marathon)

Code Orange – ‘Underneath’ (Roadrunner)

Dead Lips, Deap Vally & the Flaming Lips – ‘Dead Lips’ (Cooking Vinyl)

The Districts – ‘ You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere’ (Fat Possum)

Four Tet – ‘Sixteen Oceans’ (Text Records)

The Garden – ‘Kiss My Super Bowl Ring’ (Epitaph)

Grouplove – ‘Healer’ (Canvasback/Parlophone)

Haggard Cat – ‘Common Sense Holiday’ (Earache Records)

Human Impact – ‘Human Impact’ (Ipecac)

Jay Electronica – ‘A Written Testimony’ (Roc Nation)

Niall Horan – ‘Heartbreak Weather’ (Capitol)

Orchards – ‘Lovecore’ (Big Scary Monsters)

Peter Bjorn and John – ‘Endless Dream’ (PBJ)

Porches – ‘Ricky Music’ (Domino)

Rich The Kid – ‘Boss Man’ (Republic Records)

Seafret – ‘Most Of Us Are Strangers’ (Seafret)

The Shires – ‘Good Years’ (BMG)

Two Feet – ‘Pink’ (Republic Records)

Ultraísta – ‘Sister’ (Partisan)

Various Artists – Trolls World Tour Soundtrack (RCA)

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Good Bands, Cool Stuff: Big Scary Monsters’ Cardiff Pop Up

After the success of their previous event in London last year, Big Scary Monsters are bringing their pop up to Cardiff for the first time. From April 11-16, residents of the Welsh capital can expect to see Duke Street Arcade filled with merch, beer, and lots of music. There will be an array of performances across the five day event, seeing the likes of Jamie Lenman and Sorority Noise’s Cameron Boucher take to the stage for exclusive acoustic sets.

Founded almost 20 years ago in Oxford by Kevin Douch, BSM has become one of the most important players in UK alternative music. Whether they’re championing the weird world of math rock or bringing the brightest lights of US emo over for a bit of a look around, they’ve helped to shape the scene that they operate in.

Their pop up will celebrate some of the names currently on the roster – from both sides of the Atlantic – while there will also be rare records, signed stuff, test pressings and even some free shit and giveaways to get your hands on. But get down quick – they’re not likely to stick around for long.

Orchards – April 12 @ 6pm

Describing themselves as a ‘glitter gateway drug’, alt-pop quartet Orchards are a breath of fresh air. The Brighton-based band have recently signed to BSM and will be playing at the likes of ArcTanGent, Truck and the Great Escape festivals thus summer. Their upbeat sound will bring a refreshing twist as they support Tiny Moving Parts on tour this April.

Jamie Lenman – April 14 @ 5pm

After taking a break following the split of his influential rock band Reuben and pursuing a thrash metal/folk direction, Jamie Lenman has stepped back into the post-hardcore scene. He recently reached the top of the iTunes Rock charts with single Mississippi and has since released a new album, ‘Devolver’. He will be playing an acoustic set at the pop up and signing records.

Nervus – April 15 @ 2pm

Nervus’s new album ‘Everything Dies’ details Em Foster’s struggle with the issues of non-acceptance in society by discussing gender dysphoria and addiction. The band give a voice to anyone in the LGBTQ+ community who has ever faced prejudice and their catchy songs make them sound good doing it, too. Recording every instrument (minus drums) in the comfort of Em’s bedroom, the four-piece have produced a great album with an even greater message. They will be performing before Slaughter Beach, Dog at the event.

Slaughter Beach, Dog – April 15 @ 3pm

Slaughter Beach, Dog began as a product of Modern Baseball singer Jake Ewald’s writer’s block. The solo project documented the tales of fictional characters from a fictional town, titled, you guessed it, Slaughter Beach. But now he is taking the reins again. His recent album ‘Birdie’ takes inspiration from John K. Samson, creating a folkier acoustic sound which details Ewald’s progression as an artist. He will be bringing the sound to Wales for the first time at the BSM pop up.

Cameron Boucher – April 16 @ 5pm

Member of Sorority Noise and Old Gray, Cameron Boucher is supporting the Wonder Years on Sorority Noise’s last tour before their hiatus. He will be taking a brief break to perform an acoustic set at the pop up on its closing day.

Big Scary Monsters’ pop up event will run from April 11-16. For more information head to http://www.bsmrocks.com/popup.

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Things We Love This Week: Loma, Orchards, Bodega, Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Happy April! It’s finally spring and you can feel it in the air. I even saw a bumble bee today. Think happy thoughts and listen to some great music with us right here at Things We Love This Week HQ.

Loma – Dark Oscillations

Fine, you got me. This was released last week. But I only found it yesterday, and couldn’t not include it.

If you haven’t found the time to listen to Loma’s self-titled debut yet, you need to have a long hard look at yourself and ask what you’ve been doing with your time. Featuring Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record and Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg, the trio merge to form an amalgam of echoes, beats, and experimentation.

They recently released the video for Dark Oscillations, and like the song itself, it is beguiling. We watch Cross in bed, in her jammies, tossing and turning, flicking through TV channels in a haze of restlessness. The camera angle is weirdly voyeuristic, and we get an extremely intimate look into the monotony and helplessness that comes with how we act in private settings.

Orchards – Luv You 2

Genres are tricky things. Where does one place a band with complex rhythms, time signatures that constantly catch you out, numerous glittery pop hooks, relatable lyrics, and driving, heavy guitars? Alt-pop? Indie? Math-rock? Orchards encompass all of these things and more.

Vocalist Lucy Evers mentioned the lyrics came from bumping into an old acquaintance.

“We both fell in love with the same person, unbeknownst to each other at the time. I felt so inadequate in comparison to the other girls that this person was very obviously attracted to, but after a pep talk with my best friend I realised it wasn’t worth my energy and that if they didn’t want me well it was their loss, that I should rise above it and carry on regardless. I’d totally forgotten about those emotions and how they made me feel because I was too busy trying to be a boss-ass bitch (I’m definitely not cool enough to say that)”

The sentiment evoked is particularly poignant – patience, understanding, never giving up and “just continuing to grow”.

Bodega – ‘Endless Scrolls’

You can’t just ignore a band who use ice creams for microphones. Even if it is as an on-the-nose critique of capitalism.

Can’t Knock The Hustle is short but sweet, and, accompanying the announcement of their debut album, delves into the questions and trials of kids being paid five dollars an hour.

‘Endless Scrolls’ is scheduled for release on June 1 via What’s Your Rupture?.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘Sex and Food’

I’ve been obsessed with this band since discovering the hugely entertaining ‘Multi-Love’ back in 2015, which brought a psychedelic-funk disco right to the polyamorous listener’s ears. Today the group dropped their fourth record.

‘Sex and Food’ brings sweet guitar riffs at every turn, laid-back grooves on Ministry of Alienation, sharp, aggressive angles on American Guilt, and running through the whole album, the broad and varied production skills and rusty vocal tones of UMO’s brainchild Ruben Nielson. The record is silky smooth wherever you dip in, so give it a go.

I hope that gave you all a spring in your step.

‘Til next time 🐝

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