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  • canshaker-pi.jpg

    Album release: 'Naughty Naughty Violence' by Canshaker Pi
    Release date: May 2018
    Label: Excelsior
    More info: Band website

    Canshaker Pi have premiered their new single 'Put A Record Out' at Exclaim!. The track was described as a "cheeky lead single... which finds them adding a post-punk flair and the Fall-esque cynicism to their off-kilter rock sound." Say the band about the new track, "To us, 'Put a Record Out' is the ultimate party noise and our take on what true and epic motorcycle rock'n'roll should sound like."

    After impressing the likes of DIY, Clash, Drowned in Sound and many more at their Eurosonic performance at the start of 2018, Canshaker Pi are now set to release their new album, ‘Naughty Naughty Violence’. From supporting names such as Car Seat Headrest and Parquet Courts, to local friends Pip Blom, and indie legends The Cribs, the band have absorbed all the skill that surrounds them and poured it into the new record. The Amsterdam quartet burst into the world of indie-rock at such a young age and yet have been no strangers to the more mature sounds of Pavement - in fact, Stephen Malkmus helped to produce the band’s debut LP and in 2017 they toured 15 countries and played 27 shows with Scott Kannberg’s Spiral Stairs.

    ‘Naughty Naughty Violence’ takes the promise and excitement of a debut and refines the style and signature sound of the band to create something unmistakably unique. This strain of ‘slacker’ rock is steadfast, unwavering, and resolute in its own identity. Tracks like ‘Smurf’ and the thundering ‘But Why’ could effortlessly slip themselves into any Pavement fan’s record collection as they celebrate their influences in a way that is both familiar and new. The 5-am stumbling sensation of ‘Legless’ later on in the record captures a dogged yet bewildered atmosphere of a come-down with Willem Smit reassuring the listener to “embrace your fate and crawl on, you’ll be back on your feet’. This underlying despair is then quickly superseded by the addictive ‘Indie Academy’ that revels in joyful sardonicism and self-referential humour.

    Canshaker Pi have quickly become one of Holland’s most exciting bands and after playing every major festival in The Netherlands, 2018 sees them stop-off at the likes of SXSW and The Great Escape to the delight of US and UK fans.

    Raw energy paired with tight instrumentation and sharp-witted lyricism can result in remarkable results and ‘Naughty Naughty Violence’ nails them all.

    Press reaction to date

    “Weaving in and out of vintage rock, fuzz, and punk and easily ramping up and down at the perfect moments” – Stereogum

    “An off-kilter delight… channels the wonkiness of Pavement while adding a noisier Ty Segall-esque slant” – DIY

    “Powerfully crafted, highly intelligent indie rock...” – CLASH

    “Regales the spirit of late 70s punk and early 90s grunge. – Drowned In Sound

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  • black-angels.jpg

    Single release: 'Half Believing' by The Black Angels
    Release date: Out now
    Label: Partisan Records
    More info: Band website

    Austin psych-rock godfathers The Black Angels have shared a music video for 'Half Believing', lead track off their latest record 'Death Song' out now on Partisan Records. Watch the S&M-themed nightmare (featuring punch-drunk ghost clowns) here via Brooklyn Vegan

    Guitarist Christian Bland says of the clip; "The idea was to create a mini 'Twilight Zone’ episode, where a man's life flashes before his very eyes before he enters eternity. Where he ends up, no one knows."

    Fresh off a performance on Austin City Limits, the band kick off a co-headline tour of the US with The Black Lips later this month. Full dates can be found at the band's website.

    Watch the band perform 'Half Believing' live on ACL.

    'Death Song' (their first LP in 4+ years) is band's heaviest, and most politically-charged work yet, and has been met with career-best reviews. Listen to new album 'Death Song' on Spotify.

    The Black Angels will play Green Man Festival this summer

    Press reaction to date

    "The Black Angels are on their way to becoming legends. They're also prime movers in modern psych" - Vice Noisey
    “A menacing return to form” – The Observer
    “A classic bad-trip album” – The Times
    “A combination of garagey psych and doomy VU-with-Nico grandeur” – Uncut
    “A grim sense of hopelessness certainly pervades The Black Angels’ comeback” – Mojo
    “The Black Angels will blow your mind.” – Clash
    "An enormous and frighteningly timely album full of uniquely trippy anthems to oblivion" - NPR
    “Their strongest collection to date… stunning” – The Quietus
    “Thumpingly grand psych from Texan longhairs” – Classic Rock 8/10
    “Death Song is a doomy yet soaring listen” – Louder Than War
    “Written and recorded during the Trump election cycle, the feel is desolate and doomed” – Record Collector
    “Their best record yet” – Shindig! *****

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  • jack-ladder.jpg

    Album release: ‘Blue Poles’ by Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders
    Release date: 4 May 2018
    Label: Self Portrait Records
    More info: Band website

    Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders return with a first taste from their forthcoming album ‘Blue Poles’, the first new music since the May 2017 single 'Susan'.

    Jack has also announced solo support dates with fellow Australian Alex Cameron across Europe and the UK in March and April. Stream / watch 'White Fag'.

     'White Flag' is an unlikely love song about surrendering to a prison that binds two people together. In the music video we find him in Indonesia, struggling with a special kind of captivity. “It’s written from two perspectives”, says Ladder. “I didn’t want to duet so I sang both parts. It allows for more mystery.” The video and the forthcoming album maintain the recurring bone dry sense of humour that has been a thread through all of his work.

    “I’ve got no fingers left to cross, each time I leave you cut one off.”

    'Blue Poles' will be the fifth album from one of the most singular characters in Australian music. Sentimental and mournful, sardonic and surreal. Jack Ladder brings that towering and tender baritone to bear on tales of beauty, love, hope and redemption. A master of musical narrative, he conjures lyrics that celebrate the absurdity and sincerity of the human condition in songs that groove in subtle ways.

    Burke Reid produced HURTSVILLE (2011), Kim Moyes shaped Playmates (2014), but this time Jack Ladder takes total control of his creative process.  “Blue Poles is the most melodic thing I’ve ever done”, he reflects. “I really pushed myself into some uncomfortable places.”

    'Blue Poles' was recorded at Oceanic Studios in Sydney, engineered by Tim Whitten (The Necks, The Church, The Go-Betweens) and mixed in Los Angeles by Noah Georgeson (Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom). Once again he’s joined by The Dreamlanders, Australia’s very own misfit supergroup made up of Donny Benet on bass, Laurence Pike on drums and this time two guitarists - Kirin J Callinan and Ben Hauptmann.

    He has been invited to tour with some of the world’s most intriguing musicians: Angel Olsen, Weyes Blood, Father John Misty, Florence and the Machine and of late has been touring the US, UK and Europe with dear friend Alex Cameron.

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  • sorority-noise.jpg

    Album release: 'You're Not As ____ As You Think' by Sorority Noise
    Release date: 30 March 2018
    Label:  Big Scary Monsters
    More info: Band website

    Sorority Noise have announced a stripped down re-imagining of their 2017 critically acclaimed album 'You're Not As ____ As You Think'. YNAAYT is available for digital purchase now, and is set to be released physically on March 30th via Big Scary Monsters. Hear the Leonard Cohen cover 'Chelsea Hotel No.2'.

    The band also announced, on Friday night, their decision to take a hiatus via the band's Facebook page.

    Sorority Noise head to the UK for dates supporting The Wonder Years in April.

    Sorority Noise write important songs. They go to uncomfortable places, unafraid to let the darkness in – but they’re also not shy at kicking back until the sorrow subsides. They’re songs of confusion, anger, life, death, mental health and, most importantly, hope. They’re what it means to be human.
    That vulnerability has been Sorority Noise’s hallmark since they formed in 2013, but it’s never been as precise as it is on 'You're Not As _____ As You Think', their third album, set for release March 17th via Big Scary Monsters. The album follows the Connecticut-based quartet’s 'It Kindly Stopped For Me' 7” (2016), critically acclaimed 'Joy, Departed' (2015) and debut 'Forgettable' (2014) and is the most collaborative, fully realised version of Sorority Noise to date.
    Sorority Noise recorded 'You’re Not As _____ As You Think' with producer Mike Sapone (Brand New, Taking Back Sunday) over the span of 10 days – three times longer than it took to track 'Joy, Departed' – and this increased time allowed the band to hone the songwriting and visceral performances that have launched them onto tours with Modern Baseball, Citizen, Turnover and The Menzingers and into outlets like Pitchfork, Consequence of Sound, The Fader, Spin, AV Club and Stereogum. 
    Singer/guitarist Cameron Boucher, who prefers not to edit or overthink his lyrics, empties both his pen and soul on songs like 'No Halo', 'Disappeared' and 'A Portrait Of',' stark vignettes that find him coming to terms with the death of close friends. He’s had days, weeks and months to confront these and other emotions, and when it came time to write about them, the words spilled out.
    So what you’re getting is an emotional bulldozer – an unfiltered, inward look at the last year of the band’s life that’s filled with intimate, visceral details yet remains universally relatable. But even amidst heavy subject matter, Sorority Noise want to give you a sense of resilience. “No matter what I feel, it’s going to be OK,” Boucher says. “Things are going to be tough, but it’s going to be fine in the end – and you have to keep going because you just have to. This is how it’s going to be. You’ve just got to do it.”
    It’s in this way that the album’s title comes into view, and it only takes inserting a few adjectives – sad, happy, rich, poor – to realise life is all about perspective. Hardships are inevitable, but so is hope. Rather than living in the shadows, Sorority Noise have learned the only way to move past the struggle is by never stopping moving forward into the sun.

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  • The-Amazing.jpg

    Album release: 'In Transit' by The Amazing
    Release date: 6 April 2018
    Label: Partisan
    More info: Band website

    "Languid, atmospheric sounds wrapped around some charming, highly personal songwriting" CLASH

    The eleven tracks on The Amazing’s new album - ‘In Transit,’ out April 6th via Partisan Records - manage to stay just out of focus. Together, they refine the Swedish five piece’s signature dreamlike soundscape, and cement the band’s status as one of the decade’s most consistently compelling acts. Listen to driving album centerpiece 'Rewind' now, accompanied by a beautifully pastoral music video, directed by filmmaker Jordan Martin in collaboration with artist Richard Fox. Watch the video here.

    Self-produced, and recorded at Buller & Bäng Studio in Stockholm, ‘In Transit’ picks up right where 2016’s acclaimed ‘Ambulance’ left off. The songs expands on frontman/guitarist Christoffer Gunrup's gloomy, textured vision - gorgeous tones, fed through layers of distortion in the style of The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, The Flaming Lips. Gunrup’s fellow bandmembers, Reine Fiske (also of Dungen, guitar), Moussa Fadera (drums), Alexis Benson (bass), and Frederik Swahn (keyboards and guitars) follow suit, melding together in a vivid combination of melody and mood.

    Listen to another album highlight - 'Pull' – here, which The 405 describes as “stretching towards the skyline like trails of light."

    ‘Ambulance’ was one of the best-reviewed rock records of 2016:

    “The group has never sounded richer, fuller, or more confident in their own narcotic powers. Misery suits them.” - Pitchfork

    “[on Ambulance] they excel… they sound like Mark Kozelek drowning in a sea of reverb” – Sunday Times Culture Album of The Week

    “Their third album has an unyielding mood of beatific sadness, or wallowing happily in misery, that makes it blissful” – The Guardian ****

    “Quietly anthemic guitar soundscapes” – Uncut 8/10

    “Effortlessly gorgeous” – Mojo

    "Heavy-lidded, hazy psych-folk-prog-rock." - The Line of Best Fit

    "The rare album to make intimacy sound grandiose" – SPIN

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  • Malady.jpg

    Album release: 'Toinen Toista' by Malady
    Release date: 30 March 2018
    Label: Svart Records
    More info: Band website

    Malady have premiered their epic 23 minute single 'Nurja Puoli' at Invisible Oranges where they said "Modern music consumption isn’t built for looking at trees or wandering through mazes. We live in a culture of straight lines and constant motion. Malady ask that you opt out, reclaim your time, and slow the fuck down for once. Trust me, it’s worth it." Listen to 'Nurja Puoli'.

    The track is taken from side 2 of Malady's upcoming record 'Toinen Toista' that is due out via Svart Records on March 30th.

    Malady’s eponymous debut album was a deserved underground hit, a beautifully realised piece of original Finnish progressive rock which had its roots very strongly in the sound of the early 70s and achieved cult approval. The second album from the quintet, ‘Toinen Toista’, out in March 2018, pushes their boundaries further than ever before.

    Composed and arranged as a collaborative piece by the band, ‘Toinen Toista’ has layers upon layers that captivate and entrance you, permitting more details to be discovered with each listen. Their sound is glazed with the kind of home-grown syrupy finish only vintage Scandinavian Prog Rock can offer, but is combined with wondrous melodies that feel truly timeless. Lyricist and drummer for Malady, Juuso Jylhänlehto, has said “this album is open to many interpretations and laden with symbolism, but at its core lays the basic questions of being human and the transient nature of things.” These are subjects that have been explored since time immemorial, yet ones that continue to be reflected on in new ways by Malady.

    For those that take the pleasurable dive into deciphering the symbolism, queries, and complex melodies that make up Malady, the bands live displays will only intrigue you more as they are also due to set out on tour late Spring of 2018, so stay tuned.

    "Malady ask you to opt out, reclaim your time...trust me, it's worth it" - Invisible Oranges

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  • isle-of-dogs.jpg

    Album release: Isle of Dogs original soundtrack
    Release date: Digital 23 March 2018, physical formats 30 March 2018
    Label: Abkco
    More info/order: Here

     Isle of Dogs (Original Soundtrack) includes Academy Award winning composer Alexandre Desplat’s original score, compositions from acclaimed Japanese films Seven Samurai and Drunken Angel, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band’s brand of American psychedelia, and The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra’s eccentric euphonies.

    'I Won’t Hurt You' originally appeared as a B-side on the debut 1966 single by Los Angeles-based psychedelic group The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra was an American swing band formed in the 1950s that gained a reputation for using non-traditional instruments in their performances. Their 1952 single 'Midnight Sleighride' incorporates piccolo, xylophone, triangle, chanting, and, of course, sleigh bells. Japanese composer Fumio Hayasaka worked with legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa on many projects, including Seven Samurai (1954), one of the most referenced films in history. Isle of Dogs (Original Soundtrack) includes a composition from Seven Samurai, performed here by the Toho Symphony Orchestra, as a cinematic nod to Kurosawa’s work.


    1, Shinto Shrine – Alexandre Desplat
    2, Taiko Drumming – Kaoru Watanabe
    3, The Municipal Dome – Alexandre Desplat
    4, Six Months Later Dog + Dog-Fight Alexandre Desplat
    5, The Hero Pack – Alexandre Desplat
    6, First Crash-Landing – Alexandre Desplat
    7, Kanbei & Katsushiro–Kikuchiyo’s Mambo (from Seven Samurai) – Toho Symphony Orchestra
    8, Second Crash-Landing + Bath House + Beach Attack – Alexandre Desplat
    9, Nutmeg – Alexandre Desplat
    10, Kosame No Oka (from Drunken Angel) – David Mansfield
    11, I Won’t Hurt You – The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
    12, Toshiro – Alexandre Desplat
    13, Jupiter and Oracle + Aboriginal Dogs – Alexandre Desplat
    14, Sushi Scene – Alexandre Desplat
    15, Midnight Sleighride (from “The Lieutenant Kije Suite”) – The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra
    16, Pagoda Slide – Alexandre Desplat
    17, First Bath of a Stray Dog – Alexandre Desplat
    18, TV Drumming – Kaoru Watanabe
    19, Konbayashi Canine-Testing Laboratory – Alexandre Desplat
    20, Tokyo Shoe Shine Boy – Teruko Akatsuki
    21, Re-Election Night Parts 1-3 – Alexandre Desplat

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  • George Howard will release his newest book Everything In Its Right Place: How Blockchain Technology Will Lead To A More Transparent Music Industry, March 15th, via 9 Giant Steps Books. The book features interviews with music veterans about the intersection of technology and music. Click here to read an excerpt featuring his interview with cellist Zoë Keating (Amanda Palmer, John Vanderslice), in Paste Magazine.

    Howard’s third and newest book, Everything In Its Right Place is a natural byproduct of George Howard’s ongoing work in Blockchain Technology and his blockchain column in Forbes Magazine. George Howard is an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music and Brown University and holds MBA and JD degrees. His most recent appointment makes Howard the CIO of Los Angeles music rights company, Riptide Music.

    Catch Howard at SXSW partaking in a roundtable discussion on Blockchain and the music industry, Thursday March 15 from 3:30-5:00. You can also find him signing books at 6:00 PM that same day in room 10C of the Austin Convention Center.

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    Fresh Faves: Batch 274 is hot off the press and features the indie-folk duo, Belle of the Fall

    The way this song has lodged itself in my brain over the past few days has been extraordinary. The Indie Folk duo have worked up a gem of a piece characterised by irresistible melodies and increasing layers of lovely harmony and vocal overlaps. It’s all accompanied by a delicious cocktail of strings, banjo, acoustic guitar and upright bass.

    The review draws comparisons to musical greats such as Simon & Garfunkle, Fleet Foxes, and the Beatles

    There are no breaks in the continuous momentum here. It just builds at its own pace and burrows deeper and deeper into the listener’s sub-conscience. In a perfect world this would be No 1 in about 14 countries across the world.

    You can read the full review by going here, and don't forget to follow Belle of the Fall on Facebook, and Twitter. Their upcoming album, Rise Up, is due out April 6 on Sonic Trepanation Records. 


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  • The new Americana single from Joel Levi, “Will We Ever Change?” is a raw and honest glimpse behind the curtain of a marital dispute. Both haunting and cathartic, the music’s sonic elements wash over the soundscape like a warm and cleaning rain. A harmonica aches against an ethereal background as each melodic piece writes the words of a new chapter. It is the first single off Levi’s upcoming self-titled album, due out May 4.

    “Will We Ever Change?” begs a loaded question that many have encountered in their lifetime. Through the dense layering of Levi’s vocals and lush guitar leads, the single is a sepia-toned snapshot of heated arguments, stubborn feelings, and necessary resolution. Throughout the song duration, Levi writes a first-hand account without any fear of vulnerability. Each time the chorus comes crashing in, the tension rises as if we were in the same stormy room as the impassioned couple. Chaotic, yet filled with soothing purpose, “Will We Ever Change?” follows a real relationship and punctuates the biggest truth...life happens, but you can’t run away from those problems.

    The self-titled album, Joel Levi, is saturated with the feel of Midwestern simplicity, but has layers of emotional introspection. Levi explains, “A lot of what I write about consists of everyday life: getting married, starting a family, and the struggle of life on the road. The Midwest culture wants you to get a real job, but I’ve been fighting that my whole life.” Those honest elements take a timeless approach that transcends age groups and appeals to listeners across generations. Blending the storytelling of country music with an imaginative wordplay reminiscent of Jason Isbell or Tom Petty, Levi’s songcraft draws on painful honesty. Born in a post-GM town with a struggling economy, this Nashville singer-songwriter is no stranger to the hurdles of adversity.

    Joel Levi Track Listing

    1. Middle of Everywhere
    2. Will We Ever Change?
    3. Honest Mistake
    4. Easy To Be Alone 
    5. Harder Times
    6. The Garden
    7. All My Friends
    8. Sweet Melinda
    9. Blind Men Still Dream
    10. Hold On Me

    About Joel Levi:

    Joel Levi is originally from Indiana, but has been living and performing in Nashville for the past five years. His music is saturated with the feel of Midwestern simplicity, but has layers of emotional introspection. Levi recorded his first EP The Little Places (2009) with the Grammy winning producer, Charlie Peacock. He then released Rangeline (2014) and was featured on Songpickr’s Best of 2017 playlist.

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