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Genre > Rock > Alt & Grunge
The Trials Of Van Occupanther (10th Anniversary Edition) (Awaiting Repress)10th Anniversary Edition On 180-Gram Gold Vinyl
Includes A B2 Pull-Out Poster, Handwritten Lyrics & Previously Unseen Photos
Comes With A Special Bonus 7" With 2 Unreleased Songs
Limited To Only 1000 Copies For North America
This Autumn Midlake will celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Trials of Van Occupanther with a deluxe reissue via Bella Union on 180g gold vinyl, complete with a B2 pull-out poster, handwritten lyrics and previously unseen photos. The cover artwork has been reimagined in a fittingly flushed, hallucinatory painting by neo-impressionist (and pavement-scorching skateboarder) Brian Lotti. The original album will be accompanied by a special bonus 7” featuring two previously unreleased tracks, the plaintive rolling lament of “The Fairest Way” and the revelatory psychedelic swirl of “Festival,” two tracks recorded before original vocalist Tim Smith departed the band.
In 2006, Van Occupanther was hailed as an instant classic and over the course of the next year proved to be the band’s commercial breakthrough. While their debut, 2004’s Bamnan and Slivercork, had drawn acclaim alongside comparisons to Grandaddy and Radiohead, Midlake looked further afield and deeper within for the follow-up. Suffused with a romantic yearning for the simpler life, this was a record pitched between 1871, 1971 and somewhere out of time: between Henry David Thoreau and Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush, between 1970s Laurel Canyon thinking and a longing for something more mysterious. Rich reserves of wistful melody, dreamy horns, rolling guitars and plaintive pianos reflect its elusive, idiosyncratic narratives: a couple long to be robbed by bandits so they can start anew, an outcast scientist ponders his pariah status, a woman chases a frisky deer, a river leads who knows where yet leaves you little choice but to follow…
Famous admirers included Thom Yorke, Beck, The Flaming Lips, Paul Weller, James Dean Bradfield, St Vincent, actor/skateboarder Jason Lee and The Chemical Brothers, and the album went on to secure high placings in the end-of-year polls. Since then, their influence has perhaps been felt in the breakthrough of many a band or singer at one with the stuff of beards, bucolic yearning and blissful West Coast harmonies, from Fleet Foxes to Band of Horses, The Low Anthem, Jonathan Wilson, Matthew E White and beyond.
Not that Midlake stood still to lap up the praise: a band acutely attuned to nature’s shifts, they embraced change. In 2010 they ventured into darker psych-folk thickets for The Courage of Others and backed John Grant on his celebrated breakthrough album, Queen of Denmark. When Tim Smith subsequently departed, guitarist/singer Eric Pulido stepped up to the lead vocal role for 2013’s freshly exploratory Antiphon. Since then, Pulido and various Midlake members have embarked on a new musical project with a cast of all-stars including members of Grandaddy, Franz Ferdinand, Band of Horses and Travis, for an album due for release next year. All of this serves to remind us what fertile seeds were sown with The Trials of Van Occupanther: a modern classic, made of vintage craft and timeless magic.1. Roscoe
3. Head Home
4. Van Occupanther
5. Young Bride
7. In This Camp
8. We Gathered In Spring
9. It Covers The Hillsides
10. Chasing After Deer
11. You Never Arrived
Bonus 7” Single
2. The Fairest Way
$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP + 7" Single - 2 LPs SealedAWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Wild NightsManchester all-female four-piece PINS have announced the release of their new album ‘Wild Nights.’
Recorded in Joshua Tree at Rancho De La Luna with Dave Catching (QOTSA, Eagles of Death Metal) and Hayden Scott, and mixed in New York with Ben Baptie at Atomic Sound NYC (Mark Ronson), PINS second album ‘Wild Nights’ will be released through Bella Union.1. Baby Bhangs
2. Young Girls
3. Curse These Dreams
4. Oh Lord
5. Dazed By You
6. Got It Bad
7. Too Little Too Late
8. House of Love
9. If Only
11. Everyone Says
$22.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Shackles GiftZun Zun Egui formed in Bristol in late 2008 – Mauritian guitarist and singer Kushal Gaya met and started making music with Japanese keyboard player Yoshino Shigihara after they had both moved to the UK and a core group of musicians soon formed around them. A love for experimentation, free jazz, fusion, DIY culture, throwing parties and playing wild shows was the glue that bonded the outfit together. After an early clutch of raw and experimental EPs, they focused their song-writing talents and mastery of many styles to create a recognisable Zun Zun Egui sound which included tropicalia, punk funk, Afrobeat, Ethio jazz and no wave. All of these varied disciplines were marshalled to produce their first album “Katang” which was widely hailed as one of the most exciting debuts of 2011. Even for a band as exploratory and talented as ZZE though, the step up in terms of songwriting and inspiration since “Katang” is astounding and it is clear that Shackles’ Gift looks like being one of the most unique and thrilling records that will be released in 2015.
Produced by Andrew Hung of Fuck Buttons, “Shackles’ Gift” is the album that Zun Zun Egui have always threatened to deliver and we always believed they would. Opening with ‘Rigid Man’, it hits the listener with bone-shaking tropical funk. Future single ‘African Tree’ strolls past on a marching band rhythm, complete with an arena-sized chorus and Kyuss-heavy stoner rock guitars. ‘Ruby’ is like imperial period Depeche Mode discovering the delights of industrial dancehall reggae, while ‘I Want You To Know’ is an absolute funk/noise rock monster, sounding like Steve Albini recording Queens Of The Stone Age jamming on ‘Kashmir’. ‘Soul Scratch’ is a very British take on a very Mauritian form of music called seggae, which combines the African island folk music known as sega with reggae, but imbuing it with an adrenalised urban uptightness. The album concludes with ‘City Thunder’ an elemental, dubbed out and dread take on post rock and disco.
Frontman Kushal says that first and foremost “Shackles’ Gift” is a British rock record made by a British group but admits that the first sparks of its creation started flying when ZZE visited Mauritius in March 2013. The African island nation, which lies 700 miles east of Madagascar, deep in the Indian Ocean, invited the band to give a concert as part of their Independence Day celebrations. The island’s dynamic history has led to a multi-lingual, multi-cultural modern nation which has influenced Zun Zun Egui in more ways than one. Not only has Mauritian music been one of the (many) primary ingredients of their sound and inspired Kushal’s multi-lingual approach to singing (the island has 12 main languages) but the diversity of the country acts as a metaphor for the diversity of the group itself.1. Rigid Man
2. African Tree
4. I Want You To Know
5. Soul Scratch
6. Tickle The Line
7. The Sweetest Part Of Life
8. Late Bloomer
9. City Thunder
$22.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
How To Die In The NorthLost treasure needn’t be found in the distant past; the 21st century hides many artists who disappeared into the great wide yonder. BC Camplight is one such example. The alter-ego of American songwriter Brian Christinzio released albums in 2005 and 2007, both gems of a certain psych-pop vintage, combining eloquent songwriting with a self-destructive bent. Christinzio certainly knew it – he’s described himself as, “the guy who blew it.”
But this sublime talent with the keening vocal and fearless approach to lyrical introspection has another chance. His new album ‘How To Die In The North’, recorded in his newly adopted home of Manchester, England, is a fantastically rich, stylistically diverse trip. From dramatic, layered pop to a haunted take on Sixties sunshine-pop, from blue-eyed soul to speedy surf-pop, from sparser piano balladry to psychedelic showstoppers and a grand finale that’s part Nilsson and part Broadway showtune.
Originally from New Jersey, Christinzio started playing piano aged just four, inspired by his mum’s Jerry Lee Lewis and Nilsson records and his Dad’s classical collection. Depression and crippling hypochondria clashed with captaining the football team and a penchant for boxing. Post-school, he fell in with people, “willing to go through shit to be a musician,” which saw him relocate to Philadelphia where he occasionally played live with Philly faves The War On Drugs and guested on Sharon Van Etten’s album ‘Epic’.
He’s already done two sessions for long-term fan Marc Riley at BBC 6 Music, which featured Christinzio’s band of Mancunians who he met at The Castle Hotel pub, a watering hole in the city centre particularly popular with musicians. Christinzio also heard John Grant’s album on the jukebox there, which encouraged him to approach Bella Union. Grant’s cocktail of depression and self-sabotage thwarted an outrageous talent, but he took his second chance. The same deserves to happen to Christinzio, a similarly outsize, sharp and funny personality with a non-conformist streak. Far from dying, BC Camplight has been reborn in the North!1. You Should've Gone To School
2. Love Isn't Anybody's Fault
3. Just Because I Love You
4. Grim Cinema
5. Good Morning Headache
6. Thieves In Antigua
7. Atom Bomb
8. Lay Me On the Floor
9. Why Doesn't Anybody Fall In Love Anymore
$22.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
The Other IBella Union are thrilled to announce the release of The Other I, the new album from 2:54.
Even before Colette and Hannah Thurlow wrote their new album, the London-based sisters’ atmospheric, imaginative and thrilling vein of rock music under the name 2:54 was already a force to be reckoned with. But the events that tested their commitment and resilience have upped the ante, to produce the magnificent drama and beauty of The Other I. From the expansive, tempo-shifting opener ‘Orion’, and the pining roots of ‘The Monaco’ to the ambient haunts of ‘Tender Shoots’ and the shape-shifting tour de force of ‘Raptor’, the album significantly widens the net beyond the achievements of 2:54’s self-titled debut. The Other I is all the stronger for Hannah and Colette’s hands-on approach to production while Colette’s lead vocals show a striking versatility. The album’s emotional terrain has been carved from circumstances out of their control but equally their sisterly bond.
As Colette explains, the album’s title was inspired by a favourite poet, Percy Shelley, “a rousing romantic, politically charged, a proto-punk of sorts. He called his friend and muse Elizabeth Hitchener the ‘sister of my soul, my second self.’ These lines kept returning to me last year and from there I arrived at ‘The Other I’. The Other I is an enquiry into the duality of the human experience – the division between the self that pounds on like a juggernaut in your head, and the self you present to the world. The idea extends to Hannah and I, to our sisterhood. We know intrinsically what the other thinks and feels, music is just another language we use to communicate.”
Written in Paris and London, the album was recorded at Bella Union’s East London studio before the Thurlows and Alex Robins decamped to North London’s Fish Factory to complete it alongside co-producer and mixer James Rutledge, who’s worked with the likes of Radiohead and Fever Ray. ‘In The Mirror’ and ‘Sleepwalker’ are cited as key entry points to the album’s core values, while lyrically ‘Orion’ sets the scene for the album’s adventures. ‘Raptor’ is the album’s brilliant finale, with its simmering intro, hypnotic flow, thrilling coda and rallying mantra: “Calling, I’m calling, I’m calling, I can hear it / You don’t know us / One more turn and then I’ll go / The end, the end, the end is close.”1. Orion
3. In The Mirror
4. No Better Prize
6. Tender Shoots
7. The Monaco
11. Glory Days
$22.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
WeatherhouseFour years after the unexpected and exquisite treat that was Philip Selway’s debut album Familial, the man formerly known only as the drummer of Radiohead returns with his sophomore record, Weatherhouse. At ten tracks and 38 minutes, the album is as concise in shape as it is expansive in mood and assured in execution, mining a generally darker, fuller sound than its gentler, more acoustic-based predecessor and reflecting the band-centred nature of its construction and its creator’s growth in confidence.
Weatherhouse was made in collaboration with Adem Ilhan and Quinta; artists in their own right who had previously performed in Philip’s backing band. “From the outset,” Selway recalls, “we wanted the album to be the three of us, and we covered a lot of instruments between us. With a studio full of inspiring gear and a great-sounding desk, we felt like a band. Different musicians stretch you, and I felt stretched on Weatherhouse, but very enjoyably so.” Working mostly out of Radiohead’s studio in Oxfordshire, Adem also produced and engineered Weatherhouse, while Quinta played an equally integral role in the arrangements. The album was mixed by David Wrench.
Album opener ‘Coming Up For Air’ sets the scene with its brooding, spectral mood, mantra-like pattern and Selway’s simmering, reverb-drenched vocal exploring the album’s dominant theme. “It’s very much about taking stock of my life. I wanted to convey a sense of release and affirmation,” he says. “This was the first song that we recorded. Immediately it felt in a very different space from Familial.”
The album’s talismanic qualities explore a world of hope and plans, connection and disconnection – between family, friends and self – and dreams and fears: “I love records that you can almost live in, where the songs become talismans that you take to heart. That’s what I was trying to create in Weatherhouse.” With its emotional frankness, haunting melodies and gripping tension, Selway has made a great artistic leap and created something that even the most experienced singer-songwriters would be proud of.1. Coming up for Air
2. Around Again
3. Let It Go
4. Miles Away
6. It Will End in Tears
7. Don’t Go Now
8. Drawn to the Light
9. Waiting for a Sign
10. Turning It Inside Out
$22.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Rookie"I’m here to tell you it’s definitely a piece of work to get excited about...the entire album is a standout..." – Indie Shuffle
“Equally fuelled by dissonance and shivers as by soaring melodies and handclaps, Rookie wrenches alt.rock from its indie daydream and tosses it into a well-informed blend that make the kids look more like the connoisseur than the novice.” – Drum Media
“It’s his voice and those lyrics that are going to lunge The Trouble With Templeton into “something special” territory.” – Album of the Week, Herald Sun
“The deeper you go into this full-length LP, the richer the colour and the detail.” **** - Album of the Week, Courier Mail
Bella Union are thrilled to announce the signing of acclaimed Australian quintet The Trouble With Templeton whose debut album is titled Rookie.
Already a huge success in Australia, The Trouble With Templeton is the creation of singer/songwriter Thomas Calder, a 23-year-old wunderkind who formed the band in 2011. The following year saw TTWT expand to a 5-piece, the new members complimenting Calder’s emotive vocals and songwriting with a collaborative, self-assured sound.
Adventurous, eccentric and stunningly melodic, Rookie is an album that leaves a distinct musical impression. With their debut release The Trouble With Templeton have crafted a record full of warmth and heart, whilst displaying a willingness to make music that’s not afraid to affect or surprise. “The only prerequisite we had going in was that if we loved the song and we believe in it, then we were going to record it,” says Thomas. “The element of surprise is something we really enjoy in music, something we’re always shooting for. You don’t want to know where a song is going from the first two lines.”As a result, the album is a whirling dervish of moods and colours, of tempos and genres, melodies and layers, tackling concepts behind relationships and the way unique human narratives emerge from different viewpoints.
Musically, defining Rookie beyond a happily all-encapsulating idea like ‘intelligent melodic alt-pop’ isn’t worth the hassle. It’s an album that demands listening to in order to be understood. “It’s held together by something undefinable,” reckons Thomas. “For me it’s a whole kaleidoscope of sounds and genres, but there’s something holding it together, and that’s us as a band.”1. Whimpering Child
2. You are New
3. Heavy Lifting
4. Like A Kid
5. Six Months In A Cast
7. I Recorded You
8. Flowers In Bloom
9. Secret Pastures
$22.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Shadow Of HeavenDebut album from the British band. Hailing from Manchester, Money released their debut single 'Who's Going to Love You Now' last year. Simon Raymonde was immediately enraptured, and promptly tracked the band down to see if they had anything else in their locker. As it turns out, they did. Promptly signing to Bella Union, the band recently sealed off work in the studio. 'Bluebell Fields' hit the web recently, and made a mighty impression: golden of tone, honeyed of voice, it's the sort of thing spines were meant to shiver to.1. So Long
2. Who's Going To Love You Now
3. Bluebell Fields
4. Goodnight London
5. Letter To Yesterday
6. Hold Me Forever
7. Cold Water
8. Cruelty Of Godliness
9. Shadow Of Heaven
$22.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Alternative rock first emerged in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s, but it didn’t really hit its stride until the 90s with the arrival of bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and
Alternative rock first emerged in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s, but it didn’t really hit its stride until the 90s with the arrival of bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction. That was also right around the time that Nirvana and Pearl Jam fueled the grunge rock explosion.
And when you want the full and real alt rock experience, you’ve gotta try it out on vinyl, and SoundStage Direct is your one-stop shop for all the best alternative rock vinyls.