Category Archives: upcoming albums

Supermoon

Supermoon, aka Neil Pennycook of Meursault fame, has been quietly posting lo-fi recordings of new tracks and they are extremely good. These recordings are part of a series entitles A Month Of Black Fridays, presumably due to a new song each Friday that began on Black Friday, as a lament to the last Friday of new year, now fully engulfed by America’s celebration of retailers moving from the red to the black.

The songs are characteristically Pennycook’s, envelopingly miserable yet warm and deeply personal. The recordings are, for now, a hark back to Pissing on Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues, due to their stripped back and intimate bedroom nature. However, these are the building blocks from which the debut album will be formed, an album which we are told will be a marked departure from Meursault.

Supermoon plays The Total Refreshment Centre on Thursday 11th December, which will be an intimate opportunity to see these new pieces in an early live form. Get your tickets here.

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Upcoming Albums

Jonnie Common – Trapped in Amber (Song, By Toad) – 31st October

Stanley Odd – A Brand New Thing (A Modern Way) – 10th November

Poppy Ackroyd – Feathers (Denovali) – 14th November

Sound Of Yell – Broken Spectre (Chemikal Underground) – 17th November

Mogwai – Music Industry 3. Fitness Industry 1. (Rock Action) – 1st December

Eagleowl – Clean The Night 7″ (Where It’s At Is Where You Are) – 4th December

Tuff Love – DROSS EP (Lost Map) – 9th Febuary

Adam Stafford – TBA – Early 2015

Upcoming Releases

Vashti Bunyan – Heartleap (FatCat) – 6th October

Casual Sex – Perfect Storm/Pissing Neon (We Can Still Picnic) – 6th October

North Atlantic Oscillation – The Third Day (K Scope) – 6th October

RM Hubbert – Ampersand Extras (Chemikal Underground) – 13th October

Insect Heroes – Apocalypto (Lost Map) – 13th October

John Knox Sex Club – TBA (Instinctive Racoon) – 20th October

The Twilight Sad – Nobody Wants to Be Here & Nobody Wants To Leave (FatCat) – 27th October

Jonnie Common – Trapped in Amber (Song, By Toad) – 31st October

Poppy Ackroyd – Feathers (Denovali) – 14th November

Mogwai – Music Industry 3. Fitness Industry 1. (Chemikal Underground) – 1st December

Eagleowl – Clean The Night 7″ (Where It’s At Is Where You Are) – 4th December

Adam Stafford – TBA – Early 2015

October

Who knows why, but October is shaping up to be a ridiculously good month for Scottish music. Phantom Band joyously opened the month at Oslo, Hackney last night nonchalantly blasting their folk infused rock to a crowd that got about as enthusiastic as they come in London, there were about ten people losing their shit, whilst everyone else was stood immaculately still.

Max Richter, who used to reside and studied in Edinburgh, plays his debut album (likely written and recorded in Edinburgh) alongside his reworking of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at the Royal Albert Hall. He is joined by Daniel Hope and The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra for what will be a thoroughly moving and extremely morose evening. Monday we have The Twilight Sad playing their 5th gig in London for the year in what seems to be a small-ish tester for new material ahead of the album. As if that’s not enough to get excited about, support comes from Errors. Sorry its sold out. Tuesday Casual Sex bring their post punk to Sebright Arms, its a single launch, and the single is brilliant. Wednesday and Thursday Vashti Bunyan is playing her beautiful music at the equally beautiful St Pancras Old Church, two shows that are guaranteed to be special. October 12th bang yer heed to Holy Mountain at the Lexington, 14th nod yer heed to Withered Hand at Scala, 17th October rub your chin to Hidden Orchestra and Poppy Ackroyd. The list doesn’t stop. 23rd grease yourself up for Amazing Snakeheads, Electric Ballroom, Conquering Animal Sound play Sebright Arms also on the 23rd and finally sing yer heart out with a load of teenagers at Chvrches on the 30th at Brixton Academy.

That’s 13 bands over the course of a month. Not bad eh?

What about releases then? We’ve got Vashti Bunyan’s album on the 6th. The tracks FatCat have previewed are delicious, and this is very unlikely to be anything less than a treat. Similar level of quality will be delivered from RM Hubbert, even if it is an album of scrap material. Ampersand Extras is out on the 13th, and Hubby can do no wrong. Lost Map’s new signing, Insect Heroes release their debut, Apocalypto, also on the 13th, more on this to come. The Twilight Sad’s album is out 27th, the wait is going to be well worth it. Jonnie Common’s second LP is out on Song, By Toad on Halloween, bringing the month to a close. The album is, as always with Jonnie, a hugely enjoyable listen and comes with 2 versions of each track at minimal extra expense – can’t complain with that. Meanwhile Casual Sex also release 7″ A Perfect Storm imminently and excitingly The John Knox Sex Club have a new album coming out, their first full length on vinyl I believe. That’s 6 albums and a single. Also be sure to get Lost Map’s new Rachael Dadd/Rozi Plain split.

So there goes all your money, and that’s only the stuff from Scotland, which is scraping the surface of October’s releases. It’s a good, hefty scape though.

Jo Mango – transformuration

Most remix albums just don’t work. They usually tread a line between relying on one or two very good remixes, or a number of remixes of one very good track. They can often get bogged down in substandard versions of the original strapped behind throbbing beats and bass and invariably don’t work as a start-to-finish listen. It’s refreshing then to hear one in which a consistently high level of quality is maintained, all the mixes are interesting reinterpretations rather than dance remakes and that works as a cohesive release.

Up against such a beautiful source material, Murmuration, each of the remixers face a challenge to create something that doesn’t fall short of the original. Remixes from Ben TD and The Comorant sit in Jamie xx territories, although slightly more laid back. Chopped up and detuned vocals form the backbone of the Ben TD’s Blue Dawn, which give way to an understated, subdued and thoroughly pleasing climax, whilst evermore is has a slightly more summery feel with reverb drenched guitars and a slightly more upbeat feel.

Akira’s remix of The Freedom of Seamonsters has a resemblance to Jonnie Common remixes, with a strong sense of melody and excellently treading the line between playful and serious. The Black Sun sees a darker, bass driven take from Machines in Heaven, Ludwig is given a slice of summer from Joyful Lungs and Cycad takes a more glitchy left field approach to Moth and Moon. The more mellow Every Uncertainty, also remixed by Cycad is a perfectly placed percussionless take providing a welcome airy breather and similarly Adem’s downtempo remix of Cordelia perfectly pulls the album to a close. The inclusion of these two tracks is instrumental in the tape’s flow as an album, and alleviate it from a collection of tracks to a well curated remix album.

Interestingly the two remixes that are probably most keenly looked forward to are both the strongest and weakest. Cross Ties is remixed by Fraction Man, aka Gordon who recently left Frightened Rabbit. Given Gordon’s involvement in other projects, like his Lau remix or backing Siobhan Wilson give this track some buzz, which unfortunately it doesn’t live up to. The track is approached in a much darker and heavier way than the rest, and slightly sticks out because of it. The percussion is neither as strong as the other tracks, nor do they sound particularly nice. There is, however, a redeeming factor in the bridge, the string parts and chord changes intertwine and rise to build up to a chorus which should be better.

On the flip side, Carbs (Jamie of Conquering Animal Sound, Jonnie Common and Jay of Field Mouse) provide the cornerstone of the album. The beauty of their take on Kingdom is unsurpassed, and through interesting beats, atmospheric synths, layering vocals and gentle crescendos they have created a really exceptional few minutes that emotively sums up and pulls together the album as a whole.

The album does have slight peaks and troughs, but these troughs are very shallow and as a whole this is a far more consistent than most remix albums. From the choice of remixers to the careful track placement, Olive Grove have really managed to pull together an album that effortlessly stands up against the original.

The album is out today as part of Cassette Store Day, although is limited to 40 copies and can be bought (I think) from Rough Trade and Lion Coffee + Records. If you miss this, Olive Grove are putting this out on CD and digitally on the 13th October.

The Cassettes I missed…

I missed three releases from my Cassette Store Day roundup a couple of weeks ago. With three days to go they certainly deserve a preview, and quite possibly a review, more of which to follow over the coming days.

It’s worth noting that Lion Coffee + Records in Stoke Newington and Rough Trade will be stocking a few of these releases, exactly what is all up in the air, but Lion Coffee is doing a good job at sweeping them up!

Now Thats What I Call Music 666 (Fuzzkill Records)

A 16 track, 40 minute compilation of garage rock, slacker rock and punk from Fuzzkill. This looks to be a a great lo fi collection of tracks, with Min Diesel, Sharptooth and Poor Things making strong appearances.

Dear Lara – Plans (Eureka Beat)

Debut release from Dear Lara (released digitally last year, stream below) has been taken on for Eureka Beat’s debut release with new CD Cape North to follow swiftly. This is a lovely intimate and sparse folk recording. Go get it! Also listen to the session Dear Lara did with Scottish Fiction this week here.

Hebrew Witches – Rustlung (Common Records)

Another release that sums up the brilliance of this day. Odd one off things can be released in small and stunning batches that would otherwise get lost in a stream of online shit, or be too expensive to print. With relatively little info, except that this is a collaboration between Andrew Pearson and Andrew McCormick (of Now Wakes The Sea), both of whom are responsible for some of this years best from Scotland, this is an intriguing, and will surely be a great tape. Just look at it –

Jonnie Common – Shark

So, at long last Jonnie Common has some new material! It’s not like Jonnie’s not been up to other stuff, with the odd single, a bunch of remixes and playing in somewhat mysterious Carbs. The split released with SteXis on De:Fence Records in 2012 whetted appetites with a couple of reworks and a couple of new pieces, whilst this years Song, By Toad Insider Festival Split had some great live takes, including one of this single, Shark.

Jonnie’s individual style is instantly endearing and cannot fail to put a smile on your face. Everything about his music is a little silly, the melodies, the lyrics, the production, but taken as a whole it loses this and is really just great pop. I suppose it falls under the electro-pop bracket, but not in that shitty grating synths and pumping programmed drums that the phrase brings to mind.

The lead single, Shark, is streaming and available to download free below and it is great. The album, Trapped In Amber, is out on CD, Vinyl and download on Halloween. The CD release comes with an extra disk of alternative versions of each song. More info to follow.