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GOAT ‘Commune’ (Sub Pop)
“Music is everything. The biggest secret of humanity,” as said by GOAT’s leader Mr. Stonegoat. ‘Commune’ is the hugely anticipated follow-up to reclusive Sweden psychedelic maestros masterful and otherworldly debut album ‘World Music’, released in 2012 via Rocket Recordings. Originally from Korpilombolo, Northern Sweden, GOAT have been self-described as a musical tradition as opposed to a band in the classic sense. The band fuse psychedelia, Nigerian afro beat, funk and soul to disco, rock, garage, blues and German krautrock to soul-stirring effect. GOAT’s second LP ‘Commune’ will be released by Seattle-based independent label Sub Pop this Autumn.

‘Commune’ will be available on 23 September via Sub Pop.

www.facebook.com/goatsweden
www.subpop.com/artists/goat

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Craft Spells ‘Nausea’ (Captured Tracks)
Released earlier this Summer, ‘Nausea’ is the wonderful second full-length by Craft Spells’ Justin Vallesteros. Preceded by lead single ‘Breaking The Angle Against The Tide’, ‘Nausea’ is the follow-up to 2010’s debut LP ‘Idle Labor’ and 2012’s subsequent ‘Gallery’ EP. Crucially, the album stems from a bout of writer’s block for Vallesteros; who subsequently put down the guitar for a year while studying the piano which provides the basis for all the tracks on ‘Nausea’. Released on the ever-formidable Brooklyn independent label Captured Tracks (DIIV, Mac Demarco, The Soft Moon), ‘Nausea’ confirm Craft Spells as a hugely exciting and promising artist for the present and the future alike.

‘Nausea’ is available now on Captured Tracks.

http://www.craftspells.com
http://www.capturedtracks.com

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The Bluebells ‘Exile On Twee Street’ (Cherry Red)
The Scottish independent music scene has always been one of the richest sources for innovative, timeless and endearing indie/pop music. The likes of Camera Obscura, Teenage Fanclub and The Pastels have consistently made the kind of perfectly crafted and yet highly individual strand of pop music during the nineties and noughties, while before them, the early 1980s was a golden age for Scottish pop, with such bands as The Bluebells, Orange Juice, Altered Images and Lloyd Cole & The Commotions all making their own beautiful indelible on the music scene of both Scotland and the world. ‘Exile On Twee Street’ is a particular treasure (to be released by London’s Cherry Red at the end of the month) as the vast majority of this twenty-track compilation (with the exception of ‘Happy Birthday’) has yet to see a release previously.

‘Exile On Twee Street’ will be available on July 28 on Cherry Red Records.

https://www.facebook.com/bluebellsofficial
http://www.cherryred.co.uk/

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James Blackshaw ‘Fantomas: Le Faux Magistrat’ (Tompkins Square)
The genesis for this special release by Hastings-based English guitarist and pianist James Blackshaw stemmed from a personal invitation by renowned French composer Yann Tiersen to partake in a special centenary celebration of Louis Feuillade’s Fantômas silent film series at the Théâtre de Châtelet, Paris on October 31st 2013. On the night Blackshaw performed an original score for the fifth and final film in the series, ‘Le Faux Magistrat’. Blackshaw is joined for his set by Duane Pitre and Simon Scott (Slowdive) contributed drums, electronics, synth, bowed guitar, bass and more to Blackshaw’s nylon string guitar and grand piano; Charlotte Glasson contributes violin, vibraphone and several wind instruments to the truly stunning 75-minute score.

‘Fantomas : Le Faux Magistrat’ is available now on Tompkins Square.

http://www.jamesblackshaw.com
http://www.tompkinssquare.com

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Steve Gunn ‘Way Out Weather’ (Paradise Of Bachelors)
The last few years have been remarkably productive for the Brooklyn-based guitarist and songwriter Steve Gunn (Gunn-Truscinski Duo, Kurt Vile’s The Violators). Only this summer, RVNG Intl issued the splendid ‘Cantos de Lisboa’ as part of their ongoing FRKWYS series (where contemporary artists are paired with their influential predecessors), where Gunn performs alongside the inspirational British folk legend Mike Cooper in Lisbon, Portugal. Last year saw Gunn release his timeless classic ‘Time Off’ album, showcasing not only Gunn’s mastery and versatility as a highly distinctive guitarist but also a hugely talented songwriter and lyricist. ‘Way Out Weather’ expands significantly on Gunn’s previously recorded output; most notably where a newfound lush and panoramic wall of sound is created by a gifted artist (and band) in gloriously full stride.

‘Way Out Weather’ will be available on 7 October via Paradise Of Bachelors.

http://steve-gunn.com
http://www.paradiseofbachelors.com

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The Chills ‘Molten Gold’ (Fire Records)
Originally formed in 1980 in Dunedin, New Zealand, The Chills are today regarded as one of the country’s most legendary of bands. Fronted by Martin Phillipps, the band lineup would change over the course of the following decades; the band would enjoy significant critical acclaim early on releasing a string of classic records via the legendary NZ label Flying Nun (‘Kaleidoscope World’, ‘Brave Words’). The band later re-located to London (while subsequently the band signed to Warner’s subsidiary label Slash in ’88) before returning to their homeland of NZ as national treasures. With the announcement that US indie label Fire Records have partnered with The Chills and their label Far South, expect a treasure chest to be unleashed in the coming months and years.

‘Molten Gold’ EP available 28th July on Fire Records.

https://www.facebook.com/thechills
http://www.firerecords.com

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Kölsch ‘Papageno/Cassiopeia’ (Kompakt)
As part of the indispensable SPEICHER record series by revered Cologne-based independent label Kompakt, installment number 79 welcomes back the peerless producer and electronic artist Kölsch, whose most recent full-length, the monumental ‘1977’, has been hailed as one of the most defining modern electronic records. For SPEICHER 79, Kölsch has created a two-track gem with side A’s ‘Papageno’ (featuring Nikolaj Manuel Vorsild of When Saints go Machine on vocals) and the heavenly ‘Cassiopeia’ on the flip-side (where Kölsch is joined by classical composer Gregor Schwellenbach).

‘Papageno/Cassiopeia’ is available now from Beatport HERE.

https://www.facebook.com/kolschofficial
http://www.kompakt.fm

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Deaf Center ‘Recount’ (Sonic Pieces)
This August marks the long-awaited and much-anticipated return of beloved Norwegian duo Deaf Center (comprising the hugely acclaimed duo of school friends Erik Skodvin and Otto Totland). Three years on from their landmark LP ‘Owl Splinters’, a darkly textured, ambient modern masterpiece; ‘Recount’ comes at a time when both Skodvin and Totland have been immersed in numerous side projects of their own (including Totland’s debut solo full-length and Erik K. Skodvin’s stunning 2014 LP ‘Flame’, the follow-up to 2010’s ‘Flare’). ‘Recount’ features two  longform pieces recorded in 2008 and 2012.

‘Recount’ will be issued by Sonic Pieces on 29 August.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Deaf-Center
http://www.sonicpieces.com

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Broken Twin ‘May’ (Anti-)
Broken Twin’s ‘May’ is one of 2014’s most intimately personal and utterly timeless albums by Danish songwriter Majke Voss Romme. ‘May’ is the gorgeous first full-length LP by Romme, who has previously released last year’s ‘Hold On To Nothing’ and ‘Sun Has Gone’ EP’s. An innate ability for song craft combine with constantly gripping, beautifully open-ended lyricism which quietly yields truly moving songs in the process. As Romme has said: “I wanted to get back to basics, seeking a sound that was warm and lo-fi; minimal and spacious and focused on the songs”.

‘May’ is available now on Anti-.

http://brokentwin.com
http://www.anti.com

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Max Richter ‘Retrospective’  & ‘Recomposed’ (Deutsche Grammophon)
This summer Deutsche Grammophon issued the 4-cd box set comprising German neoclassical composer Max Richter’s albums ‘The Blue Notebooks’ (2004); ‘Songs from Before’ (2006); ‘24 Postcards in Full Colour’ (2008) and ‘Infra’ (2010). Only this year, the ever-prolific Richter released his spectacular re-interpretation of Antonio Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’; simply entitled ‘Recomposed’, Deutsche Grammophon’s wonderful package also includes a host of remixes and a stunning live concert from Berlin as a bonus DVD.

Both ‘Retrospective’ and ‘Recomposed’ are available now on Deutsche Grammophon.

http://www.maxrichtermusic.com
http://www.deutschegrammophon.com

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July 18, 2014 at 3:40 pm

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Ela Stiles ‘S/T’ (Bedroom Suck/Fire)
One of the most stunning debuts this year comes from Sydney’s Ela Stiles and her truly breathtaking self-titled LP. Composed entirely of acapella performances throughout, Side A features a string of six vignettes while Side B’s ‘Drone Transitions’ consists of a single vocal drone (looped through tape machine) creating a startlingly hypnotic and beautifully otherworldly feel throughout. Stiles’s name has been synonymous with numerous bands in her native Australia, including Sydney-based Songs and Melbourne’s Bushwalking. Ela Stiles’s debut solo LP is a thing of such rare beauty, recalling the likes of Julianna Barwick and Grouper,  where a mesmerizing gamut of emotion is gradually and subtly unveiled by Stiles’s mythical voice.

‘Ela Stiles’ is available now on Bedroom Suck (AUS) and Fire (US/UK/EU).

http://bedroomsuckrecords.com
http://www.firerecords.com

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Steve Gunn & Mike Cooper (RVNG Intl)
Pioneering indie label RVNG Intl continue their magnificent FRKWYS imprint series (an unrestricted series pairing contemporary artists with their influential predecessors) with the release of ‘Cantos de Lisboa’, an inspired collaboration between legendary British musician Mike Cooper and US-songwriter and guitarist — formerly of The Violators — Steve Gunn. The setting for the record is Lisbon, where Gunn and Cooper spent lengthy sessions performing together, drawing inspiration from their surroundings and Portugal’s native Fado music tradition.

FRKWYS Vol. 11: Steve Gunn & Mike Cooper ‘Cantos de Lisboa’ will be released on 24 June on RVNG Intl.

http://steve-gunn.com
http://www.cooparia.com
http://igetrvng.com

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Roll The Dice ‘Until Silence’ (Leaf Label)
Stockholm-based duo Roll The Dice unleash their masterful third album ‘Until Silence’ this month via the Leaf label. The album sees a departure for Peder Mannerfelt and Malcolm Pardon where a string section is added to the piano and synthesizer rhythms that fans have been accustomed to from RTD’s stunning predecessors; their self-titled debut and 2011’s ‘In Dust’. This time around, the album’s conceptual framework draws from World War I (whereas their debut LP focused on a pre-industrial landscape, their second drawing from the Industrial Revolution) creating a soul-stirring, lushly cinematic and highly nuanced set of modern-day electronic classics in the process.

‘Until Silence’ is available now on the Leaf label.

http://rollthedicesthlm.com
http://theleaflabel.com

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Hiss Tracts ‘Shortwave Nights’ (Constellation)
Hiss Tracts is the collaborative project between David Bryant (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Set Fire To Flames) and Kevin Doria (Growing, Total Life), who released their latest magnum opus ‘Shortwave Nights’ via the ever-inspiring Montreal-based label Constellation. The resultant collaboration is as magical and intriguing as one would expect from two such hugely talented and unique artists as Bryant and Doria, where a rich world of sonic textures are weaved amidst drone and ambient backdrops obtaining thrillingly new territories in the process.

‘Shortwave Nights’ is available now on Constellation.

http://cstrecords.com

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Arc Iris ‘S/T’ (Bella Union/-Anti)
Arc Iris is the solo project of the multi-talented artist Jocie Adams, formerly of Rhode Island’s The Low Anthem. A singer, multi-instrumentalist, classical composer and former NASA researcher, Adams formed her new rhythm section with Zach Tenorio-Miller (piano), Ray Belli (drums), Max Johnson (bass), Robin Ryczek (cello) and Mike Irwin (trumpet). To date, Arc Iris has already shared the stage with such artists as Calexico, Coco Rosie, Menomena and Patrick Watson.

Arc Iris’s self-titled debut album is available now on Bella Union (UK/EU) and on -Anti (US).

http://arciris.net
http://bellaunion.com
http://www.anti.com

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Scraps ‘Electric Ocean’ (Fire/Bedroom Suck)
Scraps is the alias for Brisbane-based artist Laura Hill, a name long associated with the vibrant Brisbane underground music scene. Hill’s Scraps project draws inspiration from 80’s synth rock and has cited the likes of Kraftwerk, Depeche mode, Gary Numan and Devo as influences. Hill’s set-up is wonderfully minimal; armed by a drum machine, keyboard and synth, Scraps creates modern-day songs of love, loss and regret, recalling the likes of John Maus and Susan Schneider’s The Space Lady. The likes of ‘Electric Ocean’, ‘Flying’ and ‘Gone’ are the kind of songs you feel like you’ve known forever, testament to Hill’s highly impressive talents as both composer and songwriter.

‘Electric Ocean’ is available now on Fire Records (USA/UK/EU) and Bedroom Suck (AUS).

https://www.facebook.com/5CRAP5
http://www.firerecords.com
http://bedroomsuckrecords.com

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Heldon ‘Allez-Téia’ (Superior Viaduct)
‘Allez-Téia’ is the second album by French guitarist Richard Pinhas via his Heldon moniker from 1975. The album’s sheer timelessness is testament to Pinhas’s singular vision and has now been re-issued by Superior Viaduct. Heldon adopts a network of guitars, Mellotron and analog synthesizers to create blissfully otherworldly textures and repetitive, meditative patterns recalling the German Kosmiche movement (Cluster, Harmonia, Michael Rother), post-rock experimentalists such as Jim O’Rourke and modern-day electronic artists such as James Holden and John Hopkins. The re-release of ‘Allez-Téia’ follows on from last year’s re-issue (also via Superior Viaduct) of Heldon’s 1978 LP ‘Interface’.

‘Allez-Téia’ is available now on Superior Viaduct.

http://www.superiorviaduct.com

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Klara Lewis ‘Ett’ (Editions Mego)
One of the greatest discoveries of 2014 so far has come in the form of the spellbinding ‘Ett’, the debut full-length release by Sweden-based artist Klara Lewis. Astonishingly, the album’s ambitious scope and stunningly assembled sonic textures sound as if they could be composed by an artist with decades worth of experience. The album’s sonic pallets are at times stunningly sparse and minimal — recalling the likes of Loscil, Félicia Atkinson or Grouper — and while elsewhere there’s mixtures of found sounds, field recordings and highly charged electronic sections recalling the likes of Tim Hecker or Ben Frost. The entire album was recorded, sampled, edited, manipulated, mixed, produced and arranged by Klara Lewis; a hugely exciting new talent with such a bright future in store.

‘Ett’ is available now on Editions Mego.

http://klaralewis.bandcamp.com
http://editionsmego.com

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John Murry ‘Califorlornia’ (Ruby Works)
Available this June is the hugely anticipated new record by the Oakland, California-based songwriter John Murry. The four-song EP (comprising three new songs plus a stunning rendition of Warren Zevon’s ‘Genius’) is the first release since Murry’s modern-day classic, the truly life-affirming ‘The Graceless Age’ (originally released in 2012 on Bucketful of Brains, it has since been re-issued on various labels worldwide). The EP’s first two songs, ‘Glass Slipper’ and ‘Golden State’ were co-written by longtime friend Chuck Prophet, who also plays guitar on the EP (Joe Doyle of The Frames and The Swell Season and Colin Berwick of Big Country also contribute). Recorded in Australia, ‘Califorlornia’ (named by Murry’s wife) concludes with the moving ‘Timmy’, the song Murry wrote for and played at Tim Mooney (American Music Club)’s memorial service.

‘Califorlornia’ is available on 13 June via Rubyworks (UK/EU) and June 17 via Evangeline Records (US).

http://www.johnmurry.com
http://www.rubyworks.com

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The Brothers And Sisters ‘Dylan’s Gospel’ (Light In The Attic)
The Brothers and Sisters were a choir of Los Angeles session singers who sung in a gospel style. This collection of much sought-after Dylan covers was originally released in 1969 on Ode Records, produced by Lou Adler, soon to work his magic on Carole King’s seminal LP ‘Tapestry’, and arranged by Gene Page, noted for his work for Motown, the performers were largely unknown, but many went on to find great acclaim. Features such legendary singers as Merry Clayton (best known as Jagger’s sidekick on ‘Gimme Shelter’), Edna Wright of The Honeycones and Gloria Jones who recorded the original version of ‘Tainted Love’ in 1965. Yet another indispensable record from the flawless, visionary label Light In The Attic.

‘Dylan’s Gospel’ is available now on Light In The Attic.

http://lightintheattic.net

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Fennesz ‘Bécs’ (Editions Mego)
Released at the end of last month, ‘Bécs’ is the masterful new album by legendary Austrian composer Christian Fennesz. Fittingly, the last time Austrian label Mego issued a Fennesz LP was in 2001 for the seminal classic ‘Endless Summer’, ‘Bécs’ (Hungarian for “Vienna”) has been conceived as the “conceptual follow-up” to that modern-day classic, and the first full-length Fennesz solo release since 2008’s Touch LP ‘Black Sea’. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, ‘Bécs’ features contributions from Werner Dafeldecker, Martin Brandlmayer, and Tony Buck.

‘Bécs’ is available now on Editions Mego.

http://www.fennesz.com
http://editionsmego.com

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Erik K Skodvin ‘Flame’ (Sonic Pieces)
This June sees the much-anticipated release of Erik K Skodvin (Deaf Center, Svarte Greiner)’s latest LP, ‘Flame’, and follow-up to 2010’s ‘Flare’. The two albums complete Skodvin’s gorgeous “nocturnal Americana-inspired pair of albums”, creating gorgeously refined cinematic vistas and breathtakingly expansive soundscapes in the process.

‘Flame’ will be released on June 13 (Worldwide) and June 24 (USA).

http://www.miasmah.com/eks
http://www.sonicpieces.com

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K. Leimer ‘A Period of Review’ (RVNG Intl)
One of the true musical gems this year comes courtesy of the Winnipeg, Canada-born visionary composer Kerry Leimer, whose extensive archives were explored to create ‘A Period of Review’. As part of RVNG Intl’s magnificent archival series (‘A Period of Review’ is part three), the spotlight shines on Leimer’s intensive experimentations with tape manipulations and his extensive recordings made between 1975-1983 in Seattle (where Leimer continues to make music to this day). As RVNG state: “A Period of Review is a rewarding step into the canopied, unheard world of K. Leimer and necessarily grand in scope. With its hypnotic, arcadian terraces and nearly narcotic glacial beauty, A Period of Review has a rightful place in the canon of pioneering ambient music.”

‘A Period of Review’ is available now on RVNG Intl.

http://igetrvng.com

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Woo ‘When The Past Arrives’ (Drag City/Yoga)
Some of the most truly rewarding re-issues from recent times have been the re-release of London-born brothers Mark and Clive Ives and their timeless, effortless and charming folktronica output under their Woo guise. Last year saw the re-issue of Woo’s 1982 debut ‘Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going Wrong’ via Emotional Rescue, while in 2012 Drag City re-issued 1989’s ‘It’s Cosy Inside’. ‘When The Past Arrives’ comprises a collection of previously unreleased 70s/80s material, selected carefully from an extensive catalogue featuring hundreds of previously unheard Woo songs.

‘When The Past Arrives’ is available now on Drag City/Yoga.

http://www.woo-music.co.uk
http://www.dragcity.com

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Donovan Blanc ‘S/T’ (Captured Tracks)
June 24th is the date for Captured Tracks (DIIV, Mac Demarco)’s latest signing, Donovan Blanc, to release their self-titled debut album. Comprising the duo of New Jersey-based musicians Joseph Fekete and Raymond Schwab, the pair had previously worked together fronting the more pop-orientated Honeydrum, prolifically releasing nine EPs during this timeframe. Donovan Blanc’s lush self-titled debut is a true sonic delight; weaving crystalline guitar tones, irresistible lyrics, and timeless melodies from start to finish.

‘Donovan Blanc’ is out on June 24 via Captured Tracks.

https://www.facebook.com/DonovanBlanc
http://www.capturedtracks.com

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Lee Fields & The Expressions ‘Emma Jean’ (Truth & Soul)
Legendary New Jersey (by way of Wilson, North Carolina) soul singer Lee Fields releases the hugely anticipated ‘Emma Jean’ this June via Brooklyn’s Truth & Soul label. Fields has re-teamed with The Expressions for his latest LP, featuring the album’s first single ‘Magnolia’, written by J.J. Cale.

‘Emma Jean’ will be out on Truth & Soul on June 3, 2014.

http://leefieldsandtheexpressions.com
https://truthandsoulrecords.com

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Wye Oak ‘Shriek’ (City Slang/Merge)
Available from the end of April, ‘Shriek’ is Wye Oak (Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack)’s fourth full-length and follow-up to the critically acclaimed ‘Civilian’ LP from 2011. Having toured ‘Civilian’ extensively for two years, the pair sought new directions in their next album. Significantly, the album’s genesis was born from solitude; the bandmates lived in opposite parts of the country and would send new ideas to each other, “allowing new work to evolve in their respective solitudes, the culmination of their intent to express the emotional and intuitive self by acting out animalistic exclamations through cathartic release.”

‘Shriek’ is available now on City Slang (EU) and Merge (US).

http://wyeoakmusic.com
http://www.cityslang.com
http://www.mergerecords.com

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Dusted Lux ‘Neverended’ (Preservation)
Dusted Lux is the alias for the Connecticut-based artist Lee Camfield. Previously, Camfield has appeared as Dusted Lux on the artist-run Kim Dawn and No Kings labels, while ‘Neverended’ is the latest release by the ever-inspiring Australian label, Preservation, and the latest in the label’s remarkable ‘Circa’ limited-run series (the list of contributors thus far includes Sophie Hutchings, Panabrite, Padna and Talk West, since its inception in 2011; the art direction and design is courtesy of the incredible Mark Gowing). Camfield’s signature guitar-playing reveals a fragile beauty and ever-shifting sound collages on Dusted Lux’s ‘Neverended’, described perfectly by Preservation as “disarming, bare and tender”.

‘Neverended’ is limited to 300 CD copies and available now on Preservation.

http://dustedlux.bandcamp.com
http://www.preservation.com.au

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Severed Heads ‘Dead Eyes Opened’ 12″ (Dark Entries)
Since their beginnings in 2009, Dark Entries has become one of the most important and rewarding labels issuing out of print and unreleased underground music, shining a light on forgotten bands from all corners of the globe. One of the label’s more recent re-issues have been in the form of Severed Heads, an Australian electronic music group founded in 1979 in Sydney, Australia. Originally released as a single in 1984, ‘Dead Eyes Opened’ first appeared on a C-60 cassette called ‘Since The Accident’ and features lyrics from a radio program narrated by Edgar Lustgarten, a crime journalist from England.

‘Dead Eyes Opened’ is available now on Dark Entries.

http://sevcom.com
http://www.darkentriesrecords.com

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Inventions ‘Inventions’ (Temporary Residence Ltd)
Inventions is the inspired collaboration between Portland, Oregon-based Matthew Cooper of Eluvium and Mark T. Smith of Explosions In The Sky. Interestingly, Cooper hasn’t been a member of any “band” since he was a teenager; while no member of legendary Texan post-rock outfit Explosions In The Sky has ever released material outside of EITS. The inception for Inventions began when Cooper invited Smith (already longtime friends and labelmates) to collaborate on a song for Eluvium’s double album ‘Nightmare Ending’, released last May via Temporary Residence. Through Inventions, Cooper and Smith’s intriguing eponymous debut album reveals eight majestic tracks imbued with otherworldly sonic terrains steeped in beauty, pain and hope.

‘Inventions’ is available now on Temporary Residence.

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Yann Tiersen ‘∞ (Infinity)’ (Mute)
‘Infinity’ is french composer Yann Tiersen’s latest album and follow-up to 2011’s ‘Skyline’, which set for release this May via Mute Records. Last year Tiersen curated — and participated in — a special centenary celebration of Louis Feuillade’s Fantômas series at the Théâtre de Châtelet, Paris (Tiersen was joined on the lineup by Tim Hecker, James Blackshaw, Loney Dear, Amiina).

‘Infinity’ is released by Mute on May 19th in the UK (May 16th Germany/Australia, May 20th USA/Canada).

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Ryley Walker ‘All Kinds Of You’ (Tompkins Square)
‘All Kinds Of You’ is the hugely anticipated debut album by Chicago’s Ryley Walker, available now via Tompkins Square (William Tyler, Daniel Bachman, Mark Fosson). At only 24 years of age, Walker has already established himself as one of the most exciting prospects as both an accomplished singer/songwriter and guitarist. Recorded in Chicago by Cooper Crain (guitarist/keyboardist in Cave), ‘All Kinds Of You’ features the gorgeous ‘The West Wind’ (previously released as a 3-song 12″ EP last November), while Walker cites the influences of Tim Buckley, Bert Jansch and Tim Hardin.

‘All Kinds Of You’ is available now on Tompkins Square.

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Brigid Power-Ryce ‘I Told You The Truth’ (Bandcamp)
Recorded in St. Nicholas’ Church in County Galway, Brigid Power-Ryce’s ‘I Told You The Truth’ is a gorgeous new set of songs confirming Ryce as one of the most special musical talents on Irish shores. The church-setting and early morning recordings add a warm intimacy to proceedings, while Ryce’s immense talents as both vocalist and musician takes center stage. Across seven heavenly tracks — from the dreamy folk offering ‘Where Are You Tonight?’ to the sublime ukulele-led title-track, the spirits of both Sibylle Baier and Vashti Bunyan are brought to mind.

‘I Told You The Truth’ is available to buy HERE, and listen HERE.

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Teebs ‘E S T A R A’ (Brainfeeder)
The New York-born twenty-six year-old producer and painter Mtendere Mandowa AKA Teebs releases the glorious ‘E S T A R A’ this year, and follow-up to the dreamlike ‘Ardour’ from 2010. In the meantime, Teebs also put out ‘Collections 01’, a compilation comprising a collection of material, often ideas or vignettes, composed by Teebs for the Brainfeeder label (described as “neither EPs or full albums. Just mini collections of ideas..”). ‘E S T A R A’ is fluid, magical, blissful and always wholly engaging and utterly enriching.

‘E S T A R A’ is available now on Brainfeeder.

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Greg Gives Peter Space (Erased Tapes)
Greg Gives Peter Space is the debut collaboration between longtime friends, American songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick and UK composer Greg Haines, whose mutual passion for dub music channeled the spark for their debut mini album, to be released by Erased Tapes this June.
As Broderick has stated: “Greg and I became good friends while both living in Berlin, around 2009 to 2013. We spent countless late nights playing records for each other, dreaming the dream of good music. We talked a lot about collaborating and even put in quite a few hours at each other’s studios . . . but for some strange reason we never seemed to finish anything. Maybe we were just busy enough with our other projects and didn’t feel in any rush. But we certainly had it in mind that we’d like to finish something one day. And we are very proud to say that day is finally here!”

Greg Gives Peter Space will be released on Vinyl and Download via Erased Tapes on June 16, 2014.

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WIFE ‘What’s Between’ (Tri Angle)
‘What’s Between’ is the long-awaited debut LP by James Kelly’s WIFE — best known as the sole permanent member and writer behind black metal outfit Altar Of Plagues — is due out this June on Tri Angle Records (Balam Acab, Forest Swords, Vessel, The Haxan Cloak). Previously, Tri Angle have released WIFE’s debut EP ‘Stoic’, heralding Kelly as a huge new talent and creative force in the electronic music scene. ‘What’s Between’ is produced by WIFE alongside The Haxan Cloak, lie & Roly Porter.

‘What’s Between’ will be released on June 10th via Tri Angle Records.

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Alice Coltrane ‘A Monastic Trio’ (Superior Viaduct)
Originally released in 1968, Alice Coltrane’s ‘A Monastic Trio’ will be reissued via Superior Viaduct this May. ‘A Monastic Trio’ is a milestone record for many reasons: it was written in the year following John Coltrane (Alice’s husband)’s passing; it is also the first recording by Alice Coltrane as a band leader, it’s six original recordings echoing the spirit of her husband. As the late Amiri Baraka writes, “‘I Want to See You’ is a monastic piano concerto. With echoes of Europe…It has a solemnity and majesty to it… Yes, monastic is the word. The piano broods in its earth imagination.”

‘A Monastic Trio’ will be re-issued on 13th May 2014 via Superior Viaduct.

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Rodion G.A. ‘Misiunea Spatiala Delta’ (Strut)
Fresh from the spectacular ‘The Lost Tapes’ set, issued by Strut last year to wide critical acclaim, comes ‘Misiunea Spatiala Delta’, an obscure hidden treasure in Rodion Rosça’s considerable songbook. Available for this month’s Record Store Day as a special limited edition vinyl release, ‘Misiunea Spatiala Delta’ is a long-lost film soundtrack originally written in the early eighties, only to be shelved at the last-minute. As Strut write: “Inspired by early ’80s Star Wars mania‚ Victor Antonescu had first created Misuinea Spatiala Delta (Delta Space Mission) as a domestic animated TV series in 1983. Despite recording a 15-minute prototype score, Rodion’s music was tragically shelved at a late stage, remaining an unreleased oddity in his archive until now.”

‘Misiunea Spatiala Delta’ is available on limited release now on Strut Records.

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Trans AM ‘Volume X’ (Thrill Jockey)
Independent music’s beloved Trans AM release their magnificent tenth studio album this August via Chicago-based label Thrill Jockey. The trio have yet again effortlessly re-defined themselves to wonderful effect. ‘Volume X’ was recorded in spurts over three years, mostly at LCR Studios in San Francisco, and demonstrate the full scope of the immense talents of the legendary trio of Phil Manley, Nathan Means, and Sebastian Thomson.

‘Volume X’ is out 11th August via Thrill Jockey.

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Real Estate ‘Atlas’ (Domino)
New Jersey’s beloved Real Estate returned this year with ‘Atlas’, the follow-up to their sophomore classic, ‘Days’, the album which propelled the band to worldwide recognition. Recorded with producer Tom Schick (Rufus Wainwright, Mavis Staples, Low) at Wilco’s Chicago studio, The Loft, ‘Atlas’ features core trio Martin Courtney (guitar/vocals), Matt Mondanile (guitar) and Alex Bleeker (bass/vocals) joined by new full-time members Jackson Pollis (drums) and Matt Kallman (keyboards). The ten tracks cut from ‘Atlas’ confirms Real Estate as one of the most compelling and intriguing bands making music today.

‘Atlas’ is available now on Domino.

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John Matthias ‘Geisterfahrer’ (Village Green)
The award-winning musician, singer and composer John Matthias has previously released three albums to date: ‘Smalltown, Shining’ (2001) on the Accidental label, ‘Stories from the Watercooler’ (2008) via the Ninja Tune / Counter label and ‘Cortical Songs’ with Nick Ryan (2008), a work for string orchestra and solo violin which includes remixes by Thom Yorke, Simon Tong, Jem Finer, amongst others, on the Nonclassical record label. ‘Geisterfahrer’, available on the highly impressive London-based label Village Green, finds Matthias melding folk and classical music traditions to soul-stirring effect.

‘Geisterfahrer’ is available now on Village Green.

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Dean Wareham ‘Dean Wareham’ (Sonic Cathedral)
Legendary former Galaxie 500/Luna frontman Dean Wareham’s self-titled debut solo album is a breathtaking affair — produced by My Morning Jacket’s Jim James — featuring such irresistible gems as the delightful ‘My Eyes Are Blue’ and the nocturnal, introspective album closer, ‘Happy & Free’, Dean Wareham channels a highly intricate and hugely affecting lyrical masterclass across an impeccably realized, timeless record. Wareham’s self-titled debut full-length is effectively Wareham’s follow-up to last year’s wonderful EP-length ‘Emancipated Hearts’, also issued by London-based independent label Sonic Cathedral.

Dean Wareham’s self-titled debut solo album is out now via Sonic Cathedral.

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Linda Perhacs ‘The Soul Of All Natural Things’ (Asthmatic Kitty)
Over four decades on since Linda Perhacs released her masterful debut — 1970’s beloved ‘Parallelograms’ — comes it’s highly sought-after follow-up, ‘The Soul Of All Natural Things’. It’s perhaps fitting Perhacs (who has worked as a dental hygienist) has found a new level of appreciation (and amassed a huge number of fans) over the intervening years, much aided by being championed by the a new generation of musicians, with the likes of Devendra Banhardt and Four Tet’s Kieran Hebden vocal admirers, while the contemporary Los Angeles music scene — including Julia Holter and Nite Jewel — have similarly ensured the music of Perhacs has not been resigned to the realms of myth. ‘The Soul Of All Natural Things’ is a celebration of life’s perseverance and the soul’s undying spirit, and showcases Perhacs’ distinctive and poetic lyricism which has only grown in beauty over the last forty years.

‘The Soul Of All Natural Things’ is available now on Asthmatic Kitty.

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Alias ‘Indiiggo EP’ (Anticon)
In celebration of his forthcoming Anticon LP, ‘Pitch Black Prism’, Brendon Whitney (AKA legendary US beatmaker Alias) releases ‘Indiiggo’, an EP of all new productions. The first taste of music since 2011’s ‘Fever Dream’ (an album inspired by Whitney becoming a father), ‘Indiiggo’ comprises densely layered electronic beats and a highly nuanced sound which makes the wait for forthcoming ‘Pitch Black Prism’ all the less painful.

‘Indiiggo EP’ is available now via Anticon and can be downloaded for free HERE.

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Vermont ‘Vermont’ (Kompakt)
Vermont comprise the duo Marcus Worgull (Innervisions) and Danilo Plessow (Motor City Drum Ensemble) who release their debut collaborative work together via the forever dependable Cologne-based electronic label Kompakt. As Kompakt’s bio reads: “With Vermont, Marcus  Worgull and Danilo Plessow submit a noticeably mature work that seems to come from a well attuned production duo, effectively concealing the fact that this is their first collaborative effort…and a decidedly informal one at that: these cuts were not conceived with specific aesthetic goals in mind, but emerged from a series of loose jam sessions disclosing the trespassing spirit of the sonic adventurer.”

‘Vermont’ is available now on Kompakt.

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The Moles ‘Flashbacks And Dream Sequences’ (Fire)
One of the most amazing discoveries this year thus far has come from Australian underground legends The Moles. Led by Richard Davies, the band only released a pair of full-length albums, ‘Untune The Sky’ and ‘Instinct’, while Davies would later collaborate with Eric Matthews for Cardinal’s self-titled debut album, an orchestral pop classic from 1994. ‘Flashbacks and Dream Sequences: The Story of the Moles’ is the first comprehensive collection of The Moles’ entire recorded output and will be issued by British record label Fire Records. A special Record Store Day compilation release by Fire Records will be issued during April, featuring tracks by both Cardinal and The Moles (as well as the likes of Spacemen 3, ESG and The Lemonheads).

‘Flashbacks And Dream Sequences’ is available on 21 April via Fire Records.

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Tinariwen ‘Emmaar’ (Wedge)
‘Emmaar’ (which translates as “the heat on the breeze”) is the seventh international album by Malinese sensations Tinariwen. The album’s complexities and themes can be best expressed by the band’s website: “If Tinariwen pays homage to old times, it’s because their present is in flux. Turmoil has embroiled their region once again, as governments and powers rise and fall, almost with the regularity of the seasons. Mali, it seems, is the forgotten, or ignored, brother of the Arab Spring, but on ‘Emmaar’, Tinariwen tells about the trials of their people and tells the world of the plight of their families. Though the band’s success has brought them around the world, they rarely can go home, facing threats of incarceration and death by thugs in power. But like creatures of the desert, they adapt and carry on, after all, Tinariwen is a band born into chaos.”

‘Emmaar’ is available now on Wedge in Europe and via Anti- in USA.

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Moon Zero ‘Loss’ (Denovali)
Moon Zero is the alias for London-based composer Tim Garratt who releases his latest EP ‘Loss’, his follow-up to debut EP ‘Tombs’, this April via Berlin’s forever-inspiring label Denovali Records (Hydras Dream, Birds of Passage, Greg Haines). The inception of ‘Loss’ stems from Garratt’s time spent touring ‘Tombs’, his subsequent live shows would inform the basis for Moon Zero’s future recording. Loss was written & recorded last Autumn at St. George in The East Church in London, and features a wide range of instrumentation such ad drawbar organ, bass synth, vocals, fx processors and guitar pedals. As Garratt has stated: “I wanted to create a soundscape that had a propulsion to it, a sense of rhythm but without drums. I like sounds which are dynamic in terms of both volume and frequency range, they need to have a life to them and breathe.”

‘Loss’ is available on 25 April via Denovali Records.

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Damon Albarn ‘Everyday Robots’ (XL)
Blur frontman Damon Albarn releases his highly anticipated solo LP ‘Everyday Robots’ on 28 April. Thus far, videos for both its title-track and ‘Lonely Press Play’ have been unveiled, the latter shot by Albarn on a tablet in Tokyo, London, Dallas, Utah, Colchester, Iceland and Devon. The album is set to feature guest appearances from Brian Eno and Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes. On his ‘Everyday Robots’ announcement last May, Albarn stated he would work with producer and XL Records label boss Richard Russell (who Albarn has previously collaborated with on the making of soul legend Bobby Womack’s ‘The Bravest Man in the Universe’ XL LP), when he described the collaborative process as follows: “Richard does the rhythmic side and I do everything else. It’s sort of folk soul.”

‘Everyday Robots’ will be released on April 28. Full details HERE.

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March 24, 2014 at 12:11 pm

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A Winged Victory For The Sullen ‘ATOMOS VII’ (Erased Tapes/Kranky)
This April marks the hugely anticipated return of the impeccable duo of A Winged Victory For The Sullen as a co-release between London-based independent label Erased Tapes and the Chicago-based Kranky label. Comprising the majestic talents of the duo Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie (Stars Of The Lid) and pianist Dustin O’Halloran, ‘ATOMOS VII’ is bound to capture — just like it’s glorious self-titled predecessor — the imagination of every single music listener lucky enough to cross paths with it. As O’Halloran has stated: “We never imagined 2013 would be such an explosively creative year. The first record took us two years from start to finish, but in the micro span of time over last summer we were able to change the formula for the way we write, record, and let go. It was incredibly liberating.”

‘ATOMOS VII’ is available on 28 April via Erased Tapes/Kranky.

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Christina Vantzou ‘No.2’ (Kranky)
Kansas-born artist, film-maker, musician and composer, Christina Vantzou returns this year with the spellbinding ‘No.2’, and follow-up to her equally gorgeous debut ‘No.1’, released at the beginning of 2012 on the Chicago-based label Kranky. Made over a four-year period, ‘No.2’ sees Vantzou re-unite with Stars Of The Lid and Winged Victory For The Sullen’s Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie and the internationally renowned arranger Minna Choi of the San Francisco based Magik*Magik Orchestra. ‘No.2’ also features the addition of further instrumentation (previously not heard on it’s predecessor) with the use of bassoon, oboe, and an enhanced string section augmenting Vantzou’s timeless and dreamlike floating worlds.

‘No.2’ is available now on Kranky.

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Sharon Van Etten ‘Are We There’ (Jagjaguwar)
Available 27 May on Jajjaguwar, ‘Are We There’ is Brooklyn-based songwriter Sharon Van Etten’s follow-up to her monumental ‘Tramp’ LP from 2012. Thus far, ‘Taking Chances’ has been made available online, revealing a less stark and cleaner sound, yet remaining as utterly captivating and wholly engaging as always. Check out Van Etten’s official website HERE for some wonderful pre-order bundles, including clear vinyls, limited edition 7″, and signed prints of photographic cover art by Van Etten.

‘Are We There’ is available on 27 May via Jagjaguwar.

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Hauschka ‘Abandoned City’ (City Slang)
The impeccable talents of German composer Volker Bertelmann has been widely evident for many years now via Bertelmann’s Hauschka guise. Using the prepared piano as his starting point (Bertelmann positions pieces of foil or paper on the strings of his grand upright piano to create new sounds), Bertelmann has been wowing audiences far and wide over the last decade or so. ‘Abandoned City’ is Hauschka’s latest full-length, available via Berlin-based independent label City Slang (Calexico, Lambchop, The Notwist) and was recorded at his home studio over the course of ten days following the birth of his first son. Talking about the album’s title, Bertelmann has said: “I was interested in finding a metaphor for the inner tension I feel when I’m composing music, a state of mind where I’m lonely and happy at the same time.”

‘Abandoned City’ is available now on City Slang.

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ORCAS ‘Yearling’ (Morr Music)
ORCAS comprise the duo of Thomas Meluch (Benoît Pioulard) and Rafael Anton Irisarri (The Sight Below), who release ‘Yearling’, their hugely anticipated follow-up to their Morr Music 2012 debut ‘Carrion’. For it’s wonderful follow-up, ‘Yearling’, Meluch and Irisarri are joined by Martyn Heyne (of Efterklang) on guitar and piano, and Michael Lerner (Telekinesis) revealing a gorgeous sonic tapestry and an infinite array of emotions throughout, amounting to another pristine, understated sonic gem.

‘Yearling’ is out April 4th in Europe and April 15th in the US on Morr Music.

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The Delines ‘Colfax’ (Decor / El Cortez)
Led by Richmond Fontaine’s principle songwriter, the novelist Willy Vlautin, The Delines are the newly-formed group featuring Vlautin alongside his Fontaine drummer Sean Oldham, Amy Boone (The Damnations), Jenny Conlee (The Decemberists), Tucker Jackson and Freddy Trujillo. Thus far, the single ‘I Won’t Slip Up’ has been revealed, featuring the stunning vocals of The Damnations’ Amy Boone, the gorgeously soulful and late-night feel echoes Richmond Fontaine’s ‘We Used to Think the Freeway Sounded Like a River’ while the heartfelt lyrics (“I get so tired of people / Always worrying about me”) are typical Vlautin; imperfect and true and straight from the heart. The Delines will have a new 7″ single out on record store day called “The Oil Rigs At Night” which features two tracks not on the forthcoming album. The Delines will tour the UK and Ireland this June (tour dates HERE).

‘Colfax’ will be available on Decor on 01 May 2014.

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Lavender Country ‘Lavender Country’ (Paradise Of Bachelors)
This year North Carolina-based label Paradise Of Bachelors re-release Patrick Haggerty’s hugely affecting landmark 1973 self-titled LP by Lavender Country. As Paradise Of Bachelors say: “Widely recognized as the first openly gay country music album—and cited as such even by Nashville institutions like the Country Music Hall of Fame and CMT—the landmark self-titled 1973 LP by Lavender Country stands as nothing less than an artifact of courage, a sonic political protest document of enormous power, clarity, and grace. The record reflects Haggerty’s experiences: his upbringing on a tenant dairy farm in rural Washington, on the Canadian border; his dismissal from the Peace Corps on the spurious grounds of his sexuality; and his righteous struggles as an outraged young gay man navigating the Pacific Northwest in the immediate aftermath of Stonewall.”

‘Lavender Country’ is available on 25 March via Paradise Of Bachelors.

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Cate Le Bon ‘Mug Museum’ (Turnstile)
Cate Le Bon is an artist hailing from Carmarthenshire, rural West Wales and is currently a resident of Highland Park, Los Angeles, having relocated across the pacific to record her latest album ‘Mug Museum’. Her first album ‘Me Oh My’ was released on Gruff Rhys’s Irony Bored label in 2009 and was followed by ‘CYRK’ (OVNI/Turnstile) which was released to widespread acclaim in 2012 and saw her play live across the world. A frequent collaborator, Cate Le Bon has added vocals to the likes of Neon Neon and Manic Street Preachers in recent times, while Perfume Genius contributes vocals on ‘I Think I Knew’.

‘Mug Museum’ is available now on Turnstile.

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Valentin Stip ‘Sigh’ (Other People)
Montreal’s Valentin Stip has quietly released one of the finest electronic albums of the year thus far in the form of ‘Sigh’, available now on Nicolas Jaar’s Other People label. Valentin Stip’s story thus far is best surmised by Stip’s Soundcloud profile:
“My name is Val, I was born in Paris. I started playing piano when I was seven. Missing my piano too much in Montreal, I started playing around with the musical abilities of my computer and have been making electronic music since then…”

‘Sigh’ is available now on Other People.

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Woods ‘With Light And With Love’ (Woodsit)
Brooklyn’s beloved folk collective Woods have been amassing a wonderfully enduring and timeless body of music since the band’s formation in 2005. Albums such as ‘Sun And Shade’ and ‘Bend Beyond’ have introduced the band to new waves of fans and admirers over the years, enchanted by the band’s “DIY” ethos, impeccable musicianship and an innate appreciation for melody. As Wooden Wand’s James Jackson Toth has said: “With Light And With Love is an album of deeply psychedelic, deeply satisfying songs for a new age of searchers, of Don Juan and Animal Chin alike.”

‘With Light And With Love’ is out April 15th on Woodsist Records.

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Mark McGuire ‘Along The Way’ (Dead Oceans)
‘Along The Way’ is the new album from former Emeralds member Mark McGuire, a hugely gifted guitarist and producer who has over the last few years toured with Ducktails, performed as a fifth member of the legendary Afghan Whings, and collaborated with numerous artists such as Ponytail’s Dustin Wong. The album’s first single, ‘Instinct’, featured a remix by Norwegian producer Prins Thomas, while second single ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ has also been issued in the lead up to the album’s release. According to McGuire: “This story is an odyssey through the vast, unknown regions of the mind. The endless unfolding of psychological landscapes, leading to perpetual discoveries and expansions, in a genuinely emergent and infinite world of worlds.” Vast, soul-stirring and vital.

‘Along The Way’ is available now on Dead Oceans.

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Angel Olsen ‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’ (Jagjaguwar)
To date, Olsen has created the mesmerizing ‘Strange Cacti EP’ (Bathetic, 2010) and debut full-length ‘Half Way Home’ (Bathetic, 2012), and has also collaborated with Marissa Nadler and performed extensively with Emmett Kelly’s The Cairo Gang, where she contributed to both Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s ‘Wolfroy Goes To Town’ (Drag City, 2011) and last year’s stunning 12″ ‘Solemns’ by Marquis de Tren with Bonnie “Prince” Billy (a short 3-track gem featuring Olsen alongside Emmett Kelly’s Cairo Gang and Dirty Three’s Mick Turner). ‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’ sees Olsen expand her sound palette (much of the album were recorded as a trio alongside Josh Jaeger on drums and Stewart Bronaugh on bass) while the album sessions were recorded with the band live, with vocals added later. The unmistakable poetic lyricism of Olsen’s remain as strongly evident as always throughout ‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’, a timeless gem detailing life’s intricate complexities in the process.

‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’ is available on 18 February on Jagjaguwar.

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Love Cult ‘Know EP’ (Nightschool)
Love Cult, comprising the Russian duo Anya Kuts and Ivan Zoloto (the pair are based in deepest Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, Russia, to be precise) released ‘Know’ at the end of January on London-based independent label Nightschool Records. In the past, Love Cult have travelled and toured with Ensemble Economique, High Wolf and Lucky Dragons. The pair also run the cassette label Full Of Nothing. Following on from their debut full-length ‘Fingers Crossed’ (Public Information, 2012), ‘Know’ finds Love Cult explore more dub and techno terrains this time around, across the EP’s twenty-minutes and four tracks. Including ‘Mise En Abyme’, ‘My Boy’, ‘Lust Undone’ and ‘It’s True’, the EP is available digitally and as a limited edition vinyl (300 copies).

‘Know EP’ is available now on NightSchool Records.

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Helm ‘Impasse’ (New Images)
Helm is the pseudonym for London-based artist Luke Younger. The origins of ‘Impasse’ can be drawn back to 2008 when Younger released a condensed, edited version of the album as a mini CDR for the Low Point label. This newly issued expanded reissue features two original remastered tracks as well as two compositions from the original sessions that remained unmixed and unreleased until a couple of years ago. ‘Impasse’ comprises four stunning and highly immersive loop-based pieces by Younger, each revealing whole worlds of sound upon every visit.

‘Impasse’ is available now on New Images.

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Beck ‘Morning Phase’ (Capitol)
The long wait for ‘Morning Phase’ — Beck’s forthcoming twelfth studio album and follow-up to 2008’s ‘Modern Guilt’ — is nearly over as Capitol Records plan a late February release. Of course, in the interim Beck has been busy producing a whole host of albums, including Charlotte Gainsbourg’s ‘IRM’, Thurston Moore’s ‘Demolished Thoughts’ and Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks LP ‘Mirror Traffic’. In his Record Club series, where Beck is joined by various musicians (including Wilco, Feist, Devendra Banhart and Thurston Moore to date) members meet and record an album in a day (albums by Yanni, INXS, Skip Spence, Leonard Cohen and Velvet Underground & Nico have thus far been documented), while ‘Reader’ was released at the end of last year, a brand new 20-track album released only in sheet music form. Thus far, two sublime 12″ records have been issued — ‘Blue Moon’ and ‘I Won’t Be Long’ — making ‘Morning Phase’ one of the year’s most anticipated albums. In this month’s Mojo Magazine, Beck reveals his plans for making four new albums — 80% of which are finished — so expect a treasure trove of musical gems courtesy of the forever-indispensable Beck Hansen in the short-term.

‘Morning Phase’ will be released by Capitol on 25 February.

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Black Dirt Oak ‘Wawayanda Patent’ (Mie Music)
The incredible collaborative Black Dirt Oak comprise: Steve Gunn (GHQ, Desert Heat, Violators), Nathan Bowles (Pelt, Black Twig Pickers), Jimy SeiTang (Rhyton, Stygian Stride, Psychic Ills), Justin Tripp (Georgia, Steve Gunn), Margot Bianca (Flown, Key Demo), Dave Shuford (Rhyton, D. Charles Speer, NNCK), and Wednesday Knudsen (Pigeons, Sea Donkeys). Recorded in Jason Meagher’s Black Dirt Studio, ‘Wawayanda Patent’ is released by London-based label Mie Music in a limited vinyl edition of only 500 pressings, while a digital download is also available.

‘Wawayanda Patent’ is available now on Mie Music.

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F.J. McMahon ‘Spirit Of The Golden Juice’ (Rev-Ola / Sacred Bones)
Since first discovering the timeless, haunting sounds of ‘Spirt Of The Golden Juice’ only last year (courtesy of a mixtape compiled for us by Philadelphia harpist Mary Lattimore), F.J. McMahon’s 1969 masterpiece has been a constant ever since. ‘Spirit of The Golden Juice’, McMahon’s only album, is both a deeply personal and wholly life-affirming album featuring McMahon accompanied predominantly by an acoustic guitar, recalling the likes of Bill Fay, Fred Neil or Tim Hardin in the process. The album’s nine timeless tracks cull their inspiration from McMahon’s experiences and time spent in Vietnam while serving in the U.S. Air Force, while “Golden Juice” is a reference to I.W. Harper bourbon, the “fuel of the times”.

‘Spirit Of The Golden Juice’ is available now on Sacred Bones.

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Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier ‘Those Vermillion Sands’ (NNA Tapes)
Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier is the alias for the Brussels-based French composer (and visual artist) Félicia Atkinson, who has been quietly releasing dozens of recordings over the past decade or so (under both Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier and her own name). ‘Those Vermillion Sands’ is the latest recording by Atkinson’s alter ego, released by NNA tapes, a cassette and record label set up in 2008 in Burlington, VT, USA. Like much of Atkinson’s practice over the years, particular attention is taken in layering complex vignettes of skilfully layered electronics together with a myriad of evocative and enchanting vocal work (often consisting of spoken-word pieces delivered in both french and english). As always, Atkinson masterly negotiates fluid, wide-open vistas which are both shrouded in darkness as well as bathed in a heavenly light.

‘Those Vermillion Sands’ is available now on NNA Tapes.

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Xylouris White (Jim White with George Xylouris) (http://www.xylouriswhite.com)
Xylouris White is the inspired collaboration between Greek lute player George Xylouris and the Australian, Brooklyn-based drummer Jim White. Both composers are legends in their own right, the former through his Cretan lute-led sounds of the Xylouris Ensemble, the latter through his membership of mythical Australian trio Dirty Three and myriad collaborations over the years (Nina Nastasia, Cat Power, Bill Callahan, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, to name a few). Both have harnessed truly unique and unparalleled playing styles and levels of musicianship in their respective instruments where inspiration seems in endless supply at all times. Xylouris White create the kind of celestial, contemporary and powerful music which blurs all boundaries and constantly defies all categorization (and logic) in the process.

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Tom Diabo ‘Dark Star’ (Captured Tracks)
From Wuppertal, Germany, Tom Diabo played in several bands during the late 70’s and early 80’s (most notably Western Force and X-112 For Dancing) and also curated “Talfahrt”, a series of local cassettes which reached legendary status. In 1988 Diabo passed away from cancer, shortly after his 30th birthday. ‘Dark Star’ would comprise the many songs Diabo left behind on his untimely passing, featuring Diabo’s extensive home-recorded songs, each song never fails to emit a life-affirming and transformative spirit on the listener.

‘Dark Star’ is available now on Captured Tracks.

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February 10, 2014 at 9:49 am