The inimitable To Rococo Rot return with their first album in four years featuring Arto Lindsay on guest vocals. It is as classy as that sounds. For proof, check ‘Many Descriptions’ here https://soundcloud.com/cityslang/to-rococo-rot-many-descriptions-featuring-arto-lindsay

They also play Cafe Oto on album release day 21 July 2014  http://bit.ly/torococorot1

Artist: To Rococo Rot
Title: Instrument album
Label: City Slang
Release Date: 21 July 2014
Formats: Vinyl/ Digital / CD
Cat Number: Slang 500062
Web: https://www.facebook.com/pages/to-rococo-rot/106967742672114
www.cityslang.com

Walking a line between what has passed and what is yet to come, seminal trio To Rococo Rot have carved an identifiable niche for themselves, and one which has crossed a variety of styles; neither wholly in the realms of ambient or pure electronics. The late 1990s albums of Veiculo and The Amateur View brought their fundamental and innovative landscapes of sound to the fore, whilst 2001’s collaboration with I-Sound, Music is a Hungry Ghost, showed their ability to blend disparate influences into something wonderfully cohesive. Remixed by Four Tet and Daniel Miller and heralded by the likes of Modeselektor, their influence extends as far as their unique approach deserves.

Returning to Berlin-based label City Slang in 2014 for their first full-length since 2010’s Speculation (released on Domino) and their eighth album in total, Instrument is a landmark record for the group. The serenely soft melodies of No Wave pioneer Arto Lindsay adorn three tracks (‘Many Descriptions’, ‘Classify’ and ‘The Longest Escalator in the World’), offering up a new perspective. As much a progression as a refresher course for older material, it is arguably their most refined record so far.

The music of brothers Robert and Ronald Lippok and Stefan Schneider has always existed in its own world. Schneider’s prominent and melodic bass lines sit between drums, guitar, synths and peripheral electronics from the Lippok brothers. The amount of depth is vast; the invitation is nevertheless there to explore the complex levels beyond the basic instrumental foundations, or to simply let the tide of sound wash over and envelope you.

There is a degree of open-endedness in the album’s title. Instrument is not only referred to in its musical sense but also conceptually. “We don’t see the title as only a musical instrument but instrument as a tool to work on your creation as an expansion of yourself.” says Robert Lippok. “Instrument is also something between you and the gegenstand, the thing you interact with.”

After eight records without a bona fide, original To Rococo Rot ‘song’, the band have made their first forays into non-instrumental music. The question of “why now?” is a pertinent one. Lippok explains that it was as much down to happenstance as anything else. “I don’t know how it came but it came quite naturally. A lot of our music people say is longing for vocals,” he says. “We never felt like that but when we were in the rehearsal room and played the stuff we could hear these voices. Maybe because there were about 40 old pianos and when we played, all the strings of the pianos resonated. That made us feel that there should be a new and another element in this music. There was no discussion about it.”

The decision to recruit Lindsay was both swift and natural. He was there the first time the trio played New York, and admired what Lippok calls the “unique handmade minimalism” they were practising in those days. More recently Lindsay wrote a lengthy feature in Germany’s Electronic Beats about the City Slang re-issues of Veiculo, The Amateur View and Music is a Hungry Ghost. In it he states admiration for their form of their “non-musician’s” way of making music, in particular the way a simple idea is manipulated to a variety of ends. Once the band read the article, the decision to ask Lindsay was inevitable. “We thought this is a sign from god or somewhere. He was totally into the idea from the first second on,” Lippok says. The admiration and respect cuts both ways. “I really like the combination of the way he plays the guitar and the beauty of his voice. It’s magic how these two worlds come together,” says Lippok.

The end result exceeded expectations “absolutely”. His way of both composing and singing melodies, all created from scratch in the studio, was especially impressive, Lippok says: “They are so unique and fit so well with the sound structure that we build.” The shared experimental philosophy of Lindsay and To Rococo Rot is what makes Instrument such a fascinating and exciting prospect. The American’s vocal decorations add new colour to the varied textures and sketches in which they feature.

Lindsay’s laid-back and unhurried words lend themselves perfectly to the aesthetic of To Rococo Rot whilst pulling them through to an unfamiliar and occasionally pop-based space. Though melodies have always been a big part of their sound, the inclusion of a human voice is a distinctive modification. It sits perfectly within the warm timbres created by Lippok, Lippok and Schneider.

The pulsing ‘Many Descriptions’ is a bold opening statement; with Lindsay’s breezy vocals the focal point. Its position in being the opener was a must, Lippok says. “We wanted to make clear that something is different.” The difference this time round is not just noticeable, but also profound. Yet, Instrument is still unmistakably To Rococo Rot; with recognisable complex landscapes of sound and structure that they have practised and made their own.

The appeal of To Rococo Rot lies not only in their music but also their ethos, from the writing process to the finished record. An often rudimentary and uncomplicated approach is reflected in their overall world view. “We’ve been nomads through all these years – we’ve never had a studio, we’ve never had a rehearsal space, we hardly own instruments…just the basic stuff. Stefan lives in Dusseldorf, so we don’t see each other very often. This maybe keeps things fresh and exciting.”

Arto Lindsay is more than just a vocalist and what he brings to the record is manifold. His melodic appearances have the potential to bring about a reassessment of what To Rococo Rot are capable of, as well as enabling a fresh perspective on their music. A new figure in the creative process yielded invaluable insight.

“When we work with other people we try to stay focused. Whenever you play your music to somebody new, your view on the music changes. We have never opened up our material so widely to somebody.” Lindsay’s skill as a producer came to the fore. His input and presence was something new and created a “different drive” to their other releases. Aside from the striking nature of the crystal-clear and laid-back vocals, Instrument is incredibly refined throughout its ten tracks. This is partly due to the economical and efficient working manner in which ultimately-unused material was discarded early on and the remainder became the sole focus. “We were just looking for a very clear, focused sound out of only a few elements,” Lippok says.

‘Down in the Traffic’ shows a classic yet refreshed sound as a bass line is locked in, its groove continuing for the best part of five minutes, whilst electronics puncture the foreground and retreat to the background. Lindsay appears again on the languid ‘Classify’, offering up soothing and rhythmic proclamations in the verse and an effortlessly-sung chorus, all among Schneider’s crawling bass chords and Ronald Lippok’s mellow drumming; itself a hugely prominent aspect of the record.

‘Spreading The Strings Out’ begins the more unconventional and electronic-based latter half, a contrast from the earlier pieces which recollect some of the acoustic building blocks of Speculation. A disjointed and robotic piano riff plays the lead role as the texture around it gradually deepens and thickens. Lindsay gives his unconventional guitar tones to the minute-and-a-half of ‘Sunrise’; a metallic and futuristic sounding collection of noises, redolent of some of the unusual textural experimentalism of early releases.

Instrument may be a To Rococo Rot record unlike any other – and one which treads unfamiliar ground, especially on the digital pulse of tracks like ‘Pro Model’ – but it also represents a return to the beginning. “I think maybe we’ve come in a way back to where we started. We’ve been through a lot of experimenting, buying new gear, trying this and that with electronic and non-electronic stuff,” says Lippok. Yet Instrument is by no means a regression; the process this time has merely been a vehicle for To Rococo Rot to reaffirm and even advance their relevance and status as one of electronic music’s great innovators.

Following the release of her stunning, critically acclaimed debut EP ‘Right Thing’ last year, Rosie Lowe is thrilled to announce she has signed to Paul Epworth’s label Wolf Tone. Rosie is currently recording her debut album, more news to follow soon.

The South London singer has a string of festivals and live shows lined up for the summer, including a performance at this year’s Meltdown Festival and a headline London date at XOYO on 19 May. Rosie will also be appearing at The Great Escape and The Secret Garden Party, with more to be announced.

Rosie Lowe Live Dates:
Thu 1 May Liverpool Sound City (Tickets)
Sat 3 May Leeds Live At Leeds (Tickets)
Sun 4 May Salford Sounds From The Other City (Tickets)
Thu 8 May Brighton The Great Escape (Tickets)
Mon 19 May London XOYO (Tickets)
Wed 18 June London Meltdown (Tickets)
Fri 18 July Herefordshire Farr Festival (Tickets)
Fri 25 July Cambridgeshire Secret Garden Party (Tickets)
Sun 31 Aug Dorset End of The Road Festival (Tickets)

Praise for Rosie Lowe:
“One of the most arresting debuts of the year… what a singer, what a find” The Sunday Times
“These deliciously textured songs have depth, mystery and allure to spare… One to watch” 5/5 Daily Mirror
“It really is an EP of the year” The Guardian ‘New Band of The Day’
“Thick with emotion and heavy with soul, this classy lament makes for a beguiling solo debut” NME
“Excellent EP” Q Magazine
“’Right Thing’ is sheer Futurist soul, with clinical, machine-driven production matched against Rosie Lowe’s pitch perfect voice” Clash
“Rosie Lowe’s softly devastating debut EP announces the arrival of an intelligent, open-hearted ascending star… simply gorgeous” Dazed & Confused
“A beautiful and thrilling EP of experimental R&B… We.Love.It” Grazia
“Rosie Lowe gives us something truly special in the form of her debut EP ‘Right Thing’, a wondrous, captivating and elevating affair of crossover beauty” Disco Naivete
“A very strong EP… Lowe’s silky-smooth vocals front and centre, proves why she has the potential to be a massive crossover success” 8/10 The Line of Best Fit
“Produced by Kwes and Dave Okumu Rosie Lowe’s debut EP is going to be quite the exceptional listen” London In Stereo
“Rosie Lowe is possessed of the kind of voice that can get right inside your skull, clinging to every synapse and refusing to let go” Notion Magazine
“From the piano-led title track ‘Right Thing’ to ‘Games’ and ’10K Balloons’, this is an EP of twists and turns which will keep you hooked from beginning to end” Huffington Post
“Rosie Lowe’s future isn’t in any doubt. 2014 is set to be a big year for her… a glistening first stride” 8.5/10 The 405
“Rosie Lowe’s debut on 37 Adventures is a late-night triumph and a must-hear first work” DIY Magazine
“’Right Thing is so quietly powerful that it doesn’t really fully hit you until it’s over. Lowe’s vocal is beautiful but also incredibly low-key, and the production follows suit, Kwes and Okumu creating a tune that’s like iron filings dancing on a sheet of steel” Abeano

Following the excellent Record Store Day release ‘True To You’ featuring Gruff Rhys which bagged him a second Single Of The Week from The Guardian Guide, Tomas Barfod has shared the single ‘Busy Baby’.

Listen to the addictive track featuring Nina K Here

‘Busy Baby’ is the second single to be taken from the forthcoming album Love Me, released on 9 June via Secretly Canadian.

Tomas will be in the UK in May to play The Great Escape and a headline show in London at Birthdays on the 8th, for more details and tickets visit http://eatyourownears.eventgenius.co.uk/events/Tomas-Barfod/

Artist: Tomas Barfod Feat. Nina K
Title: ‘Busy Baby’ single
Label: Secretly Canadian
Release Date: 9 June 2014
Formats: Digital Download
Links: http://tomasbarfod.com
https://www.facebook.com/tomas.barfod
http://twitter.com/tomasbarfod

Praise for Tomas Barfod:
‘His slightly offbeat, sparkling take on body music may stand to reach an even larger audience’ Pitchfork at SXSW
‘Single Of The Week’ Guardian Guide
‘The aptly named track ‘Pulsing’, a three and a half minute long reminder of what got us so excited about this imaginative Dane’s production work in the first place’ JaJaJa
‘Immerse yourself in the ‘Pulsing’ sounds of this brilliantly infectious new cut’ The Line of Best Fit
‘A sombre, pacey switch in direction’ DIY
‘Laid back, relaxed affair that quietly builds and lets you back down again just as easily’ The 405

Tomas Barfod UK Dates:
Thu 8 May London Birthdays Tickets
Sat 10 May Brighton Green Door Store Tickets

After the release of the stunning ‘Pulsing’ EP last month, Tomas Barfod has announced a new album Love Me for release on 9 June via Secretly Canadian.

Back in the summer of 2012, Danish dance music polymath Tomas Barfod released his debut solo album, the sophisticated mesh of electronics that is Salton Sea. Lauded by the likes of Pitchfork, Dazed & Confused and Gorilla vs Bear, its success took Barfod slightly by surprise. Inspired by a move to LA and mainly written and recorded on the road, it was an album that was imbued with a sense of spontaneity and experimentation. Its success has paved the way for the forthcoming follow-up, Love Me, an album that continues this spirit of adventurousness but takes it to a whole new level. Utilising a supporting cast that includes a string and brass section, and the likes of Here We Go Magic’s Luke Temple and long-term collaborator Nina Kinert on vocal duties, it’s a multi-layered album that effortlessly pushes and pulls pop and electronic music into a myriad different shapes.

This is where his recent EP, ‘Pulsing’, and forthcoming second album Love Me come in. While the crystalline rush of Salton Sea was created mainly in fits and starts, the new album is more precise, more defined and ultimately crafted into more fully-formed pop songs. While still keeping his debut’s intimate delicacy and beautiful sense of fragility, this follow-up is also more audacious, as showcased on the sweeping strings of the lovely ‘Aftermath’.

This coalescing of the real and the analog is highlighted by the guest vocalists, who range from long-term collaborator Nina Kinert on the lovely electro-squelch of ‘Pulsing’ and the bouncing electropop of ‘Busy Baby’ and American singer-songwriter Luke Temple on the poignant ‘Bell House’. From the start, Barfod was acutely aware that in order for these songs to come to life they needed to have vocals, even if piecing it all together was like finishing a puzzle. “Often I’ll have a track that’s good but when the vocals are on it the songs grows so much,” he explains. “It’s always a big puzzle actually. I have to pick the right songs for each vocalist and they write to it.”

With so much going on, it would be easy to assume that Barfod’s solo career is just a sideline, or a hobby in-between remixing, producing for other acts or working with WhoMadeWho. One listen to the ‘Pulsing’ EP or Love Me, however, should make it very obvious that this is where his heart is. Love Me is a multi-layered, endlessly rewarding, organic-sounding electronic album utilising real heart and soul, flitting between enigmatic instrumentals like ‘’Mandalay’ and the bubbling drama of the keening, Night Beds-featuring ‘Want To Tell You’. “My career so far has been pretty random,” he laughs. “It all started with me saying ‘maybe I should put out a song’, then ‘maybe I should put out an EP’ and then the album… and that did well for me almost out of nowhere. I didn’t necessarily expect anything from it. With this album, however, I knew what I wanted to make; something that people would love and that would stand the test of time.” Mission accomplished.

Following the news that he will release his second album Wysing Forest on 23 June 2014 via Border Community, Luke Abbott has revealed a string of live dates for the summer. Set to take place across the UK, the tour will make two stops in London – one as part of Tyondai Braxton‘s collaborative HIVE performance at London’s Oval Space in May and one as a headline show at St. Pancras Church on 26 June. Luke will also be taking in Totnes, Manchester and Glasgow, with Rival Consoles supporting on all headline June dates.

Luke also recently went back to The Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridgeshire where the album was made to record this live improvised interpretation of immersive first cut ‘Amphis’.

Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ziEUmnJyfY
Stream the original here: https://soundcloud.com/border-community/amphis

Luke Abbott Tour Dates

Tues 20 May London Tyondai Braxton’s HIVE performance at Oval Space (Tickets)
Sat 21 June Totnes South Devon Arts Centre (Tickets)
Mon 23 June Glasgow Mono (Tickets)
Wed 25 June Manchester Kraak Gallery (Tickets)
Thurs 26 June London St. Pancras Church (Tickets)

“It’s always more fulfilling when something enters your radar through word of mouth. DIY by nature, Abbott is a wizard with noise.” Hayden Thorpe of Wild Beasts (talking to The Guardian)

The slow-burning success of his 2010 debut album Holkham Drones was something of a dream induction into the world of professional music-making for Luke Abbott. The “game changing electronic opus” stood out as “far and away one ofDrowned in Sound’s favourite records of 2010” and landed in Mojo’s ‘Electronica Albums of 2010′ list, amongst wide-spread critical acclaim. It wasn’t just about 2010 though; far beyond its initial release Holkham Drones has continued to win over convert upon convert.

Finding yourself in the position of having to live up to the expectations of such early promise is a rather less enviable scenario, and it is a bold producer that at this juncture chooses to shun the unending cycle of hype and take a step back. This is just what Luke Abbott chose to do before returning, four years later, with his second full length album WysingForest, due out 23 June 2014 via Border Community.

The follow-up to his two EPs for Gold Panda’s label NOTOWN (Object is Navigator and Modern Driveway), Wysing Forestis named after the Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridgeshire where, over a six week period in 2012 as their first ever musician-in-residence, Luke recorded what would later become the album. The finished article’s 52 minute duration may have been chopped into 9 track-sized chunks but this is most definitely an album which is greater than the sum of its parts, designed to be listened to in one immersive go: edited and compiled after a period of after-the-act reflection into one rapturous movement.

As much an exploration into texture and tone as anything else, Wysing Forest does see a return of sorts to his electroacoustic roots, Luke’s intuitive arrangements ensure that the full scope and variety of his electronic tastes are in no way at odds. It’s not strictly dance music but rather, as Luke’s always said, “Like the second-cousin of dance music. Once removed. You can dance to it if you want, but you don’t have to.”

Praise for Luke Abbott:
“It’s always more fulfilling when something enters your radar through word of mouth. DIY by nature, Abbott is a wizard with noise.” Hayden Thorpe of Wild Beasts (talking to The Guardian)
“Electronic music that is at turns subtle and soothing, intense and challenging. You can trace its lineage back through Boards Of Canada to Aphex Twin and beyond to Eno. A richly rewarding experience” Mojo ‘Electronic Album of the Month’
“If Border Community were taking over the world very slowly, Luke Abbott would be their newest lieutenant.” Pitchfork
“Modern Driveway then, sees Abbott join an elite club of producers who are equally as rewarding in quiet bedroom contemplation as they are on a starry-eyed night out” NME
“Warm, intimate arpeggio-driven techno from this excellent producer” Time Out
“Holkham Drones should stand side-by-side with the masterpieces that Kieran Hebden and Dan Snaith have put out this year.” 9/10 Drowned in Sound
“The future is pulsing, with likes of Luke Abbott, releasing graceful, submerged, ambientish dance albums that are inspiring shifts on a tectonic level” Sunday Times
“By learning from the masters, Abbott informs his own work, then twists it with stunning results” Mixmag
“Luke Abbott has that rare gift of being able to produce something that sounds incredibly comforting with only the most cold and mechanical of tools” 8/10 The Line of Best Fit

DEBUT ALBUM BLACK HOURS NOW OUT JUNE 2ND*

WATCH VIDEO FOR ’11 O’CLOCK FRIDAY NIGHT’ HERE

NEW LIVE DATES ANNOUNCED INCL. LONDON’S BUSH HALL ON MAY 27TH

Hamilton Leithauser recently announced  the release of his debut solo album Black Hours via Ribbon Music which will be released June 2nd/June  3rd (North America), inaugurating a new chapter in an already remarkable career from The Walkmen front man. Today, Hamilton revealed the music video for the track ‘11 O’Clock Friday Night’ which features vocals from Amber Coffman (Dirty Projectors).

The video directed by Paul Maroon, sees Leithauser on a late-night ride through the 9th Ward, Marigny, Bywater, French Quarter, and Treme in the early hours of Mardi Gras – before the Bud Light trucks roll in.

Watch ’11 O’Clock Friday Night’ HERE

Following the change in album release date from May to June, Leithauser has released an updated touring schedule for Spring and Summer. All dates below.  In addition to a two night stand at New York’s Joe’s Pub on April 15th and 16th, Leithauser will be joining Ray Lamontagne on his US tour in June. He will also play a show at London’s Bush Hall on May 27th. Tickets are now on sale and the full list of dates can be found below.

Black Hours brings Leithauser full circle and then some, from lonely midwinter piano-and-vocals sessions, to a loud, live Rock n Roll group and back again.  Featuring Leithauser with a slew of talented collaborators including Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend), Paul Maroon (The Walkmen), Morgan Henderson and Richard Swift (The Shins/solo), the album showcases Leithauser at his most passionate, personal and free.

Black Hours will be available on CD (RBN035CD), standard (RBN035LP) and limited edition deluxe vinyl (RBN035LPX ) via Ribbon Music. Pre-order the album from Ribbon Music or iTunes in standard  (RBN035D ) or deluxe (RBN035D1) editions and receive an instant download of “Alexandra.” The limited edition deluxe version of the album features a bonus EP of four songs.

Watch the video for current single ‘Alexandra’ HERE

Tour Dates

APRIL
15th                        New York, NY @ Joe’s Pub – 7:30pm
15th                        New York, NY @ Joe’s Pub – 9:30pm
16th                        New York, NY @ Joe’s Pub – 7:30pm
16th                        New York, NY @ Joe’s Pub – 9:30pm
MAY
6th                          Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
7th                          San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
9th                          Seattle, WA @ The Triple Door
10th                        Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater
12th                        Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Café
13th                        Chicago, IL @ Park West
15th                        Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
17th                        Washington, DC @ Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
26th                         Paris, FR @ La Boule Noir
27th                        London, @ Bush Hall
JUNE
18th                        St Louis, MO @  Fox Theatre  (w/ Ray LaMontagne)
20th                        Lincoln, NE – @ Pinewood (w/ Ray LaMontagne)
24th                        Kansas City, MO @ Starlight (w/ Ray LaMontagne)
27th                        Chicago, IL @ First Merit Bank Pav (w/ Ray LaMontagne)
AUGUST
16th                        Green Man Festival, Wales

Hamilton Leithauser Website@hleithauserFacebook

*please note release date change

White Denim reveal the video for their latest single ‘At Night in Dreams’, released 14 April via Downtown. The song is currently on the A-list at 6 Music. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtAqE48pNsA

The best live band around right now will be touring the UK in May, playing London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on the 28th. They will also support the Arctic Monkeys in the US in June.

White Denim UK Dates:
Tue 20 May Bristol Anson Rooms £16
Wed 21 May Liverpool East Village Arts Club £16
Thu 22 May Edinburgh The Caves £16
Fri 23 May Leeds The Cockpit £16 SOLD OUT
Sat 24 May Newcastle Upon Tyne Hoults Yard £16
Mon 26 May Birmingham Glee Club £16
Tue 27 May Brighton Concorde 2 £16
Wed 28 May London Shepherd’s Bush Empire £17.50 

Tickets are available here:
http://www.gigsandtours.com/tour/white-denim

Austin, TX-based band White Denim have unveiled the video for ‘At Night in Dreams’ the new single from Corsicana Lemonade, released on 14th April. The clip, which was directed by acclaimed Texas artist Brian K. Jones of the art duo Chuck & George, pays homage to iconic Big Tex, a 52-ft. tall mechanical talking cowboy that went up in flames on October 19th – the final day of the 2012 Texas State Fair and Big Tex’s 60th birthday.

Brian K. Jones says of the video, “White Denim had really taken a liking to my ‘Meanwhile…back in Dallas!’ two-second animated burning Big Tex/self-portrait video loop. The animation was comprised. There are winks and nods to psychedelic grind house theater graphics of the 70′s and a sprinkling of old Saturday morning cartoons to lighten the mood.”

Praise for Corsicana Lemonade:
‘The last great rock ‘n’ roll band’ The Guardian Guide
‘Rarely has a band sprung so adeptly between genres, and as quickly, as White Denim… only the Beatles or Tim Buckley (are) comparably questing spirits blessed with the ability to realise so many different ideas with such facility’ ‘Album Of The Month’ 9/10 Uncut
‘This extraordinary foursome just go from strength to strength’ 9/10 Classic Rock 
‘This is pretty near perfect’ 4/5 Mojo
‘A staggering, intoxicating record’ 4/5 Q
‘Just as SFTW was finishing its “albums of the year” list, along comes this stupendous gatecrasher’ 4.5/5 The Sun
‘White Denim are gifted purveyors of a kind of fantasy southern rock: musically voracious, deft and yearning… they remind us that there is a real visceral thrill to be had from watching musicians wrangle the shit out of their instruments’ The Guardian Guide
‘White Denim’s fifth album should, by rights, see them do for psych rock what The Black Keys did for blues rock’ 8/10 NME
‘Dreamy, universally appealing southern rockers’ 4/5 The Guardian
‘White Denim can take the familiar and make it feel new, charge it up and make it something special’ 4/5 DIY
‘4/5’ Evening Standard
‘4/5’ The Independent
‘4/5’ Metro
‘4/5’ Financial Times
‘Albums of the Month’ Dazed & Confused
‘Robust rock too tasty to resist’ Esquire
‘A typically accomplished and uplifting slice of progressive blues’ The Times
‘Every rhythmic lurch and stylistic shift remains in service to the band’s greater groove, giving these ten tracks an ease that belies their ferocious complexity’ The Observer

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/whitedenimmusic
https://twitter.com/whitedenimmusic
http://whitedenimmusic.com

Following the release of her incredible debut EP ’Haters and Gangsters’ in February and a string of live shows supporting Young Fathers, rising primal soul-pop queen LAW has revealed the video for ‘O.G (Original Gangster)’.

Its compact beats and woozy vocals are accompanied by a flickering series of snapshots that you can watch here:http://youtu.be/wWK2f-M00R0

She’ll be confirming a headline date in London for the summer following a handful of shows in Scotland.

 Law Live Shows
Fri 4 April Edinburgh Hidden Door
Thurs 10 April Edinburgh Sneaky Pete’s
Wed 21 May Glasgow Milk

Praise for LAW:
‘A revolutionary new blueprint for R ‘n’ B and soul’ The Skinny
‘It’s the ancient yet modern quality to LAW’s voice that intoxicates. Giving the shivers like prime Etta James or Grace Jones’ Mojo
‘Brilliant debut EP, this hair-raisingly good’ Sunday Times
‘She looks positively iconic’ DIY Magazine
‘Haters’ totally rules, thanks to its dystopian R&B’ 4/5 The List
Lauren Holt’s vocals are arresting and purposeful, and demand your full attention’ ‘Track of the Day’ The Line of Best Fit
‘In its seven captured instances of deconstructionist pop, soul and hip-hop, we’re left with a lasting artefact; one that’s well worth treasuring.’ Notion
‘Track of the Week’ London in Stereo
‘Packed with grit and soul, … her new EP ‘Haters and Gangsters’ is bound to impress’ Clash
‘Backed by a vintage, fly on the wall style video; ‘Hustle’ is more than enough reason to get entirely entranced by LAW’ The 405
‘Deep, dark, and brooding, LAW’s debut track ‘Hustle’ fuses primal, pervading bass lines with a driving percussion’ Crack in The Road

“One puff is all that you’ll get” ‘Haters’ LAW

“All good music is soul music.” Wise words from Edinburgh resident Lauren Holt – the voice behind LAW and debut EP ‘Haters and Gangsters’. Having already caught the eye of those in the know with the darkly hued primal soul-pop of last year’s stand out track ‘Hustle’ and most recently with ‘Haters’, LAW’s recently released EP continues in a similar vein and has already captured the wider world’s attention.

“I see the beauty in darkness, the mystery and sickness of it” says LAW of the menacing, pulsating, seven track offering. “I am much more interested in so called dis-functional people, because in the words of Dylan they’ve ‘nothing left to conceal’. I want the darkness inside of me to produce something that is rooted in feeling: Soul music. I try to write lyrics that are rooted in something, whether it be personal experience or the experience of someone I have imagined. I don’t want to be precise. I want to emphasise the murkiness of it all.”

Murky is definitely a quality reflected in the production of lead track ‘Haters’, a fuzzy number whose cyclic momentum rolls over a clattering percussive back bone and that voice – a subdued yet powerful, intoxicating and deep siren call. A unifying call, especially when it comes to the addictive refrain “fickle sickle fickle sickle ya yaa”. 

A brave, addictive and utterly distinctive listen, ‘Haters and Gangsters’ is out now. Download for free here.

FIRST AID KIT TO RELEASE STAY GOLD – THEIR COLUMBIA RECORDS DEBUT ON 9 JUNE 2014

LISTEN TO FIRST SINGLE ‘MY SILVER LINING’

PRE-ORDER ON ITUNES 1 APRIL AND RECEIVE ‘MY SILVER LINING’ AS A FREE DOWNLOAD. DELUXE EDITIONS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER AT THISISFIRSTAIDKIT.COM FEATURING GOLD VINYL & SIGNED LITHOGRAPH

On 9 June 2014, Swedish duo First Aid Kit will make their Columbia Records debut with their third album Stay Gold. Having had its UK premiere via Lauren Laverne yesterday, the first single ‘My Silver Lining’ is now available for streaming via Pitchfork. The band has also announced UK festival dates at Latitude and Green Man Festivals. More UK dates will be announced imminently.

With Stay Gold, First Aid Kit – sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg – have honed their musical skills and blossomed as vivid storytellers in creating an ambitious 10-song collection. Recorded at ARC studios in Omaha and produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk), the duo also enlisted The Omaha Symphony Orchestra to play on the record, with arrangements by Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes, Broken Bells, Rilo Kiley). They say of the recording process, “We took new directions and turns with the arrangements, building them up and creating more dynamics, yet always following where the songs wanted to go.”

Watch: Exclusive album trailer, filmed on location in Death Valley (directed by Neil Krug): http://youtu.be/KA4Re2zrTHQ

Drawing inspiration from sources such as Townes van Zandt’s Our Mother The Mountain and Lee Hazlewood productions, ‘My Silver Lining’ features the duo’s most sophisticated songwriting to date. They explain, “It’s song about searching for a reason to keep on keeping on, to find the good that comes with the bad. We wanted to create a piece that was dark yet uplifting at the same time.”

Hailing from a southern suburb of Stockholm, Klara and Johanna began composing songs as teenagers in 2007. Their heart-wrenching song ‘Emmylou’ from The Lion’s Roar was chosen by Rolling Stone as a ‘Single of the Year’ in 2012. That year was an astonishing breakthrough that saw worldwide sales of over 250,000 and saw the album gain silver status in the UK with sales of 68K. They have performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, shared the stage with artists including Jack White, Lykke Li, and Bright Eyes, played the main stage at Glastonbury and rounded everything out by winning both the Nordic Music Prize and four Swedish Grammy’s in 2013.

On Tuesday 1 April, Stay Gold will be available for iTunes pre-order, orders will come with a free download of ‘My Silver Lining.’ Deluxe collector’s editions will also be available for pre-order at thisisfirstaidkit.com, featuring limited edition gold vinyl, an exclusive tote bag, and an autographed 14×20 lithograph while supplies last. Pre-order here.

Stay Gold Tracklist:
1. My Silver Lining
2. Master Pretender
3. Stay Gold
4. Cedar Lane
5. Shattered & Hollow
6. The Bell
7. Waitress Song
8. Fleeting One
9. Heaven Knows
10. A Long Time Ago

Festival dates:
19 July Latitude Festival http://www.latitudefestival.com
17 August Green Man Festival http://www.greenman.net

Praise for The Lion’s Roar –
‘Album of the Week’ Independent on Sunday
“A brilliant album from sisters Klara and Johanna Soderberg” 5/5 Sunday Telegraph
“An intoxicating mix of widescreen Americana and Scandinavian poise” 4.5/5 The Sun
“The voices of Johanna and Klara are enough to weaken knees… The lyrics’ heavy-hearted take on relationships is more evidence of an astonishing maturity” 4/5 Mojo
“Klara and Johanna Söderberg have crafted remarkably mature work” 4/5 Uncut
“It’s pretty perfect” 8/10 NME
“Nothing short of magical” 4/5 The Fly
“The second album from the Swedish Soderberg sisters is full to the brim with charm”
4/5 The Guardian
“A country-rock revelation” 4/5 The Independent
“There’s genuine beauty here” 4/5 Evening Standard
“Their truly sublime sibling harmonies are still the shining beacon they always were”
4/5 The List
“The Lion’s Roar is full of rich textures that unfurl around Klara and Johanna’s bittersweet harmonies… First Aid Kit have woven their Swedish sangfroid into a bewitching brand of Americana” 8/10 Clash
“4/5” Q
“4/5” The Times
“4/5” Daily Mirror
“8/10” Loud & Quiet

http://thisisfirstaidkit.com/
https://www.facebook.com/firstaidkitofficial
https://twitter.com/firstaidkitband

Tomas Barfod has announced the new album Love Me for release on 9 June via Secretly Canadian.

Listen to his special Record Store Day release, the touching love song ‘True To You’ featuring Gruff Rhys HERE

Tomas will be in the UK in May to play The Great Escape and a headline show in London at Birthdays on the 8th, for more details and tickets visit http://eatyourownears.eventgenius.co.uk/events/Tomas-Barfod/

Artist: Tomas Barfod
Title: Love Me album
Label: Secretly Canadian
Release Date: 9 June 2014
Formats: CD / Double LP / Digital
Cat Number: SC307
Links: http://tomasbarfod.com
https://www.facebook.com/tomas.barfod
http://twitter.com/tomasbarfod

‘His slightly offbeat, sparkling take on body music may stand to reach an even larger audience’ Pitchfork at SXSW

Tomas Barfod UK Dates:
Thu 8 May London Birthdays Tickets
Sat 10 May Brighton Green Door Store Tickets

After the release of the stunning ‘Pulsing’ EP last month, and scoring ‘Single of the Week’ in the Guardian Guide, Tomas Barfod has announced a new album Love Me for release on 9 June via Secretly Canadian. A very special one off track featuring Gruff Rhys called ‘True To You’ is planned for release on Record Store Day, stream the dreamy love song with Gruff’s typically touching lyrics HERE

You can also listen to the excellent Tomas Barfod Loves You mix right now on Soundcloud, featuring tracks from the upcoming album as well as some of his current DJ favourites HERE

Back in the summer of 2012, Danish dance music polymath Tomas Barfod released his debut solo album, the sophisticated mesh of electronics that is Salton Sea. Lauded by the likes of Pitchfork, Dazed & Confused and Gorilla vs Bear, its success took Barfod slightly by surprise. Inspired by a move to LA and mainly written and recorded on the road, it was an album that was imbued with a sense of spontaneity and experimentation. Its success has paved the way for the forthcoming follow-up, Love Me, an album that continues this spirit of adventurousness but takes it to a whole new level. Utilising a supporting cast that includes a string and brass section, and the likes of Here We Go Magic’s Luke Temple and long-term collaborator Nina Kinert on vocal duties, it’s a multi-layered album that effortlessly pushes and pulls pop and electronic music into a myriad different shapes.

This is where his recent EP, ‘Pulsing’, and forthcoming second album Love Me come in. While the crystalline rush of Salton Sea was created mainly in fits and starts, the new album is more precise, more defined and ultimately crafted into more fully-formed pop songs. “Salton Sea was a bit more of a laptop album whereas with this new one I spent more time working with analogue gear and bringing in string arrangers and using Jeppe’s guitar playing,” he says, referencing his bandmate. “I’ve been getting into more vintage synthesizers on this new one too. I think there’s a bit more of a focus on the songs.” While still keeping his debut’s intimate delicacy and beautiful sense of fragility, this follow-up is also more audacious, as showcased on the sweeping strings of the lovely ‘Aftermath’.

This coalescing of the real and the analog is highlighted by the guest vocalists, who range from long-term collaborator Nina Kinert on the lovely electro-squelch of ‘Pulsing’ and the bouncing electropop of ‘Busy Baby’ and American singer-songwriter Luke Temple on the poignant ‘Bell House’. From the start, Barfod was acutely aware that in order for these songs to come to life they needed to have vocals, even if piecing it all together was like finishing a puzzle. “Often I’ll have a track that’s good but when the vocals are on it the songs grows so much,” he explains. “It’s always a big puzzle actually. I have to pick the right songs for each vocalist and they write to it.”

With so much going on, it would be easy to assume that Barfod’s solo career is just a sideline, or a hobby in-between remixing, producing for other acts or working with WhoMadeWho. One listen to the ‘Pulsing’ EP or Love Me, however, should make it very obvious that this is where his heart is. Love Me is a multi-layered, endlessly rewarding, organic-sounding electronic album utilising real heart and soul, flitting between enigmatic instrumentals like ‘’Mandalay’ and the bubbling drama of the keening, Night Beds-featuring ‘Want To Tell You’. “My career so far has been pretty random,” he laughs. “It all started with me saying ‘maybe I should put out a song’, then ‘maybe I should put out an EP’ and then the album… and that did well for me almost out of nowhere. I didn’t necessarily expect anything from it. With this album, however, I knew what I wanted to make; something that people would love and that would stand the test of time.” Mission accomplished. 

Love Me Track List:
1. Bell House (Feat. Luke Temple)
2. Pulsing (Feat. Nina K)
3. Destiny’s Child
4. Busy Baby (Feat. Nina K)
5. Honey (Feat. Sleep Party People)
6. Blue Matter (Feat. Jeppe Kjellberg)
7. Waiting For Us (Feat. Nina K)
8. Mandalay
9. Sell You (Feat. Night Beds)
10. Lost (Feat. Pell)

EMA shares new track ’3JANE’ and posts accompanying explanation, read the full blog and listen to the track here: http://www.thefuturesvoid.net/3jane

The new album The Future’s Void is out 7 April via City Slang.

EMA has announced a UK tour for June, including The Garage in London on the 3rd.

Praise for The Future’s Void:
‘4/5’ Mojo
‘8/10’ Uncut
‘Both a slab of noise a deftly melodic pop… if the future’s void, the present sounds mighty’ NME
‘A deadpan lo-fi introvert who taps The Velvet Underground on ‘When She Comes’ and 70s Eno on ‘100 Years’ which achieves so much with just a delicate vocal, minimalist piano and lowing strings’ Q

“The standout track ’3Jane’, a beautiful but portentous ballad, contains the lines “It feels like I blew my soul out across the interweb / It left a hole so big inside of me / And I get terrified that I will never get back to me” – words which I will subsequently come to realise are hugely illuminating.” The Quietus

“Did you know Facebook just bought the company that makes the Oculus Rift? The VR headset I am wearing on the cover of The Future’s Void? People ask me about themes of paranoia on the record but obviously I am not the only one with dystopian dreams of our plugged-in future.” writes EMA, introducing the latest song from her new album on her blog today.

‘3Jane’, by Erika M Anderson’s own admission, is the lyrical centre-piece of the new EMA album ‘The Future’s Void’ which comes out on April 7th through City Slang.

“No one was really ever that mean to me on the internet. I never had that “thing” that happens when you wake up one morning and somehow your life is ruined because a mortifying picture goes viral or a “funny” tweet becomes horribly misread.  Sure, there were bitchy things in the comments of videos, but organized trolls never unleashed a wave of death threats on me, and only a few people suggested that I kill myself.

So the internet never actually did that to me. But it did that to somebody. And now we all have this stupid crippling fear that someday it will happen to us.  And the likelihood increases as you move from relative obscurity to becoming more broadly visible on the internet.  There are more cameras on you, more chances to be quoted saying something stupid, and more people out there who relish seeing successful people disgraced and dethroned.

“Do you have that fear yet?  Do you want it?”

Read the full blog post accompanying 3Jane here: http://www.thefuturesvoid.net/3jane/

EMA UK Dates:
Tue 3 June London The Garage
Wed 4 June Manchester Deaf Institute
Thu 5 June Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Fri 6 June Bristol The Lantern

Erika M. Anderson first graced the limelight under the guise of EMA in May 2011, when the brilliantly scuffed debut album ‘Past Life Martyred Saints’ was released to a multitude of acclaim.  After having spent time in the California underground fronting the genre-defying cult duo Gowns with Ezra Buchla, ‘Past Life Martyred Saints’ offered a deeper glimpse into the world of EMA. An absorbing and ambitious masterpiece that revealed a unique and feed-backed noisy guitar style, a skill for visceral songwriting and a DIY recording ethos, it showcased a distinctive sonic signature that sounded like nothing else around.

If Past Life Martyred Saints was an inward exploration of human relationships and their toll, The Future’s Void catapults them out into space, both thematically and musically. The album meditates on universal themes of how we interact with the wider world and how that interaction is increasingly modified by technology. Through collaboration with Leif Shackelford on production duties, the sound of this record reflects these themes and instead of using electronics to create a polished, airless environment, Anderson’s techno-future thrashes strongly between harsh tones and paranoia, to beautiful colour bursts and mellow guitar strums.

EMA continues to evoke a unique and ambitious sound that saw her rightfully recognised as one of the most singular artists to emerge in 2011, and is likely to send her back into the public consciousness once again in 2014.

http://emathefuturesvoid.tumblr.com/
http://www.thefuturesvoid.net/
https://www.facebook.com/cameouttanowhere
https://twitter.com/EMAthorstar
http://instagram.com/_ema_usa_