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Home AgainFew records make such an instant impression as Home Again, the debut album by Michael Kiwanuka, winner of the prestigious BBC Sound of 2012 prize. Immersing the listener in a sound that is both modern and at the same time as familiar as the classics, it manages to strike the balance between being contemporary and somehow utterly timeless. For Kiwanuka, key musical touchstones include Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Shuggie Otis, Roberta Flack's First Take, Bill Withers' Live At Carnegie Hall and D'Angelo's modern soul landmark Voodoo.
Born in Muswell Hill to Ugandan ÉmigrÉ parents, Kiwanuka was brought up in a home from which music was largely absent, with his first introduction to rock (Nirvana, Radiohead) arriving at the same time as he began to hang with the skater kids in the north London suburb during his early teenage years. Later coming across a soul compilation album given away with a music monthly, he was enthralled by the sound of Otis Redding's studio talkback discussions with his engineer while recording an outtake version of (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay. From this point on, he resolved to make music that sounded raw and authentic.
Though deeply into soul and jazz, he found real inspiration in the cross-pollination of the two styles with folk in the music of Bill Withers. "Bill Withers was very rootsy and earthy," he points out, "but people branded him as a soul singer. To me, he was a folk artist. So that encouraged me to keep going, 'cause I didn't know where I would fit in as a black guy with an acoustic guitar."
While performing on the acoustic circuit around London, Kiwanuka quickly attracted interest and made connections, not least with his current manager who in turn garnered the attention of Communion Records, the label that in 2011 released the singer's first two acclaimed EPs, Tell Me A Tale and I'm Getting Ready. Both of these EPs, as with Home Again, were produced by Paul Butler (The Bees) in his vintage equipment-stuffed basement studio at his house in Ventnor on the Isle Of Wight. Together the pair played almost every instrument to be heard on the album, with Butler's remarkably intimate, detailed productions adorned with everything from flute to brass to sitar to aching strings, perfectly matching Kiwanuka's visions for his songs.
"The way we made the record was very modern," the singer points out. "There was loads of editing. We manipulated it to get exactly what we wanted." From the opening bars of the stirring Tell Me A Tale, it is instantly clear that Home Again is a very special album. While its more upbeat characteristics are embodied in the Prince Buster-like loping of the lovelorn but irresistibly catchy Bones and the rolling soul groove of I'll Get Along, elsewhere it proves itself to be a record of real stripped-down beauty.
In I Won't Lie, with its gospel-infused echoes of The Staples Singers, Kiwanuka offers something akin to a modern spiritual, while in Rest he turns in a tender love lullaby and in Always Waiting, he blends classical elements with the confessional intimacy of Roberta Flack. It is with the title track of Home Again, however, that Michael Kiwanuka feels the record's sounds and themes are ultimately encapsulated. "That's the song that really for me ties everything together," he says. "It's one of the earliest songs I wrote for the album and even though I progressed and changed stuff in the studio, it was the one I could never throw away. Like a lot of them, it's a hopeful song. I use home as the metaphor for contentment and peace within."
Other parts of the record, on the other hand, find Kiwanuka struggling for peace of mind and using his songs as a form of self-empowerment, not least in the soulful I'm Getting Ready, the darker, unburdening Any Day Will Do Fine and the self-explanatory Worry Walks Beside Me. "It can really paralyze you, if you worry too much," the singer admits. "I do tend to overthink things. All of these songs are me talking to myself, really. Trying to encourage myself to believe."1. Tell Me A Tale
3. I'll Get Along
4. Home Again
5. I'm Getting Ready
7. Always Waiting
8. I Won't Be Long
9. Any Day Will Do Fine
10. Worry Walks Beside Me
11. Lasan$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Love & HateMichael Kiwanuka's second album, Love & Hate, was recorded in LA and London produced by Grammy Award
winner Dangermouse and young up-and-coming producer Inflo. Love & Hate is a fascinatingly assured and
resonant body of work following Kiwanuka's acclaimed 2012 debut LP, Home Again.
Honest, unabashed, and ambitious, this new record is Kiwanuka emerging from the emotional cocoon of his first album, ready to secure his
position as one of the most exciting and renowned talents or our time.LP 1
1. Cold Little Heart
2. Black Man In A White World
4. Place I Belong
5. Love & Hate
1. One More Night
2. I'll Never Love
3. Rule The World
4. Father's Child
5. The Final Frame$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
You've Got Nothing To LoseProduced By Jack White
Kiwanuka, a 25 year-old UK native of Ugandan heritage, was raised in north London where he split his time between session work and local gigs. Along the way, having found footing as a solo artist, he was signed to Communion Records, then Polydor, and has since performed throughout Europe and North America too-touring in direct support of Adele. He made his way through Nashville this past summer with just enough pause and aplomb to commit these morsels to tape. The A-side ''You've Got Nothing to Lose'' is an original composition, featuring The Buzzards' Dominic Davis on upright bass and Cory Younts on piano, joined also by fellow balladeer Lillie Mae Rische on fiddle. Their contributions transform his work into a stone-cold groove with almost orchestral underpinnings, making it a fitting extension of their previous Blue Series.
The single also features a chilling rendition of Townes Van Zandt's infamous ''Waitin' 'Round to Die'' on the B-side, the perfect compliment to the timbre and mood of the A-side.A. You've Got Nothing to Lose
B. Waitin' 'Round to Die (Townes Van Zandt)$6.997 Vinyl Single - Sealed Buy Now
Joy Of NothingJoy Of Nothing is Foy Vance's Glassnote Records' debut. Recorded in Donegal, Ireland and produced by Irish producer/musician/engineer Michael Keeney, Joy of Nothing includes 10 original songs written and performed by Foy Vance and includes very special guest appearances by Ed Sheeran and Bonnie Raitt.
Foy Vance hails from the seaside town of Bangor in Northern Ireland. As a child, Foy relocated with his father, a preacher, to the American Midwest settling in Oklahoma. With his father, Foy travelled the American South, widening his horizons and absorbing the rich musical traditions he was exposed to. Returning to Ireland some years later, Foy began writing his own music, deeply shaped by the sounds of his youth. After a recent session with Daytrotter, they described Foy's songs and lyrics: They will haunt you with light. They'll haunt you with pangs of love. They'll haunt you with the tears of others. They'll make you realize that you've never felt anything even as remotely deep as he has.
Foy Vance supported Ed Sheeran on his UK tour in late 2012, followed by a sold-out headline UK tour earlier this year. He has spent the past few months on Sheeran's sold out US tour, and has previously toured with the likes of Michael Kiwanuka and David Gray.1. Closed Hand, Full of Friends
2. Joy Of Nothing
3. At Least My Heart Was Open
4. You and I
5. Feel For Me
7. Paper Prince
8. It Was Good
9. Regarding Your Lover
10. Guiding Light$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UNIM-ATO-6712xHurray For The Riff Raff
The NavigatorOn Hurray for the Riff Raff's new album The Navigator, Alynda Segarra tells an interwoven, cinematic story of a wandering soul at a crossroads of identity and ancestral weight. It finds a street kid named Navita traversing a perpetually burning city in search of herself. The Navigator is a thrilling call to arms that could not come at a more crucial time. It also finds Hurray for the Riff Raff at its own musical intersection, delving deep into the worlds of Latin rhythms, searing rock, and incisive ballads.
The Navigator was produced by Paul Butler (Michael Kiwanuka, St. Paul and The Broken Bones, Devendra Banhart) and recorded at Electric Lady Studios in NYC and Panoramic House in California. The album features percussionists Juan-Carlos Chaurand, Gregory Rogove (Rodrigo Amarante), a trio of Bomba drummers, and Doo Wop singers from New Jersey.1. Entrance
2. Living In The City
3. Hungry Ghost
4. Life to Safe
5. Nothing's Gonna Change Girl
6. The Navigator
7. Halfway There
8. Rican Beach
9. Fourteen Floors
12. Finale$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The DeslondesHailed by NPR as "deft assemblers of a sound that traverses decades and styles with humble grace," New Orleans band The Deslondes mine from the rich history of American music to craft their compelling and wholly unique eponymous debut album, released on New West Records.
Co-produced by the band and in-demand producer Andrija Tokic (Benjamin Booker, Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff) at his Nashville studio The Bomb Shelter, the 12 tracks are influenced by classic soul, rock 'n' roll, R&B, folk, roots country, swamp-boogie, honky-tonk and pre-war music and introduce a collective of gifted singer-songwriters with a deep love for the past and a palpable passion for the present. "They manage to resurrect a lost sound, exclaimed Rolling Stone in their "20 Reasons To Love This Year" preview, adding, "Stax and Sun records are distinct touch points, as are upright-bass-driven melodies - while giving it a modern, vibrant swing, building on the foundations of old-time traditions without sounding like they're stepping out of a time machine."
Comprised of five distinct songwriting voices, The Deslondes endeavor to carry on the traveling troubadour tradition of their heroes Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams and Townes Van Zandt. The Deslondes have also toured the country extensively and have supported the Alabama Shakes, Old Crow Medicine Show, Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Lumineers, John Fullbright, Michael Kiwanuka, Spirit Family Reunion and performed at last summer's Newport Folk Festival.1. Fought The Blues And Won
2. Those Were (Could've Been) The Days
3. Heavenly Home
4. Less Honkin' More Tonkin'
5. Low Down Soul
6. The Real Deal
7. Still Someone
8. Time To Believe In
10. Simple And True
11. Same Blood As Mine
12. Out On The Rise$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Critical Equation (Pre-Order)I feel like I'm in a totally new band right now, says Dr. Dog guitarist/singer Scott McMicken. It's a bold declaration considering he's been co-fronting the beloved indie outfit for a decade-and-a-half, but it cuts straight to the heart of the intense and transformative experience behind the group's brilliant new album, Critical Equation.
Produced by Gus Seyffert (Beck, Michael Kiwanuka) and their first studio album in three years, Critical Equation is the most infectious and adventurous collection Dr. Dog has laid to tape yet. The record was born from a journey of doubt and discovery, a heavy, sometimes painful reckoning that ultimately brought the band closer together with more strength and clarity than ever before. Call it an existential awakening, call it a dark night of the soul, whatever it was, it fueled one of the most fertile creative periods in the group's history and forced them to confront that timeless question: what do we really want? Reflects bassist/singer Toby Leaman, This band has been at work a long time and this record is about a concerted effort to push ourselves to grow with courage and confidence built upon our history together. That ends up being a renewed testimony of love for ourselves, each other, the work we do together, and the willingness to approach something you know so well with a beginner's innocence."1. Coming Out Of The Darkness
2. Under the Wheels
3. Listening In
4. Virginia Please
5. Buzzing In The Light
6. Critical Equation
7. True Love
8. Heart Killer
10. Go Out Fighting$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
"Blond and boisterous, music's newest hot chick" - Teen Vogue
"Artist To Watch" - Esquire
"Blown away by her voice" - Perez Hilton
"Dangerously Catchy" - Entertainment Weekly
Pop, blues, soul, and rock'n'roll singer/songwriter/guitarist/ banjoist Elle King announces today that her debut album LOVE STUFF will be released on RCA Records.
Elle worked with acclaimed collaborators on LOVE STUFF including Jeff Bhasker (Fun., Kanye West, The Rolling Stones), Eg White (Adele, Sam Smith), Jacknife Lee (R.E.M., U2, Crystal Castles), Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars, Paul McCartney), Martin Johnson, and Dave Bassett, among others.
Her single "Ex's & Oh's" was #1 Most Added at AAA radio upon release and has received tremendous praise: Billboard raves "Mix Duffy's vocals, the Black Keys' urgent rhythms and a hook and tempo that recalls P!nk's So What, and you have Elle King's catchy and clever RCA debut." Perez Hilton writes: "She's like a modern-day Janis Joplin! Elle King is the real deal! A true talent!" Muumuse declares: "Elle King, the man eatin', shit talkin' spitfire of your dreams or nightmares. (Boys: You've been warned)."
LOVE STUFF showcases Elle's powerful voice, tremendous songwriting, playful spirit, and bad-ass ways with lyrics that chronicle bad boyfriends, passionate relationships, and heartbreak.
Elle has toured with Of Monsters and Men, Train, Ed Sheeran, Michael Kiwanuka, and many others. With the release of her critically acclaimed 4 track EP,THE ELLE KING EP, Elle made her network television debut with her single "Playing For Keeps" on the Late Show With David Letterman (click here to watch her performance).The track was featured as the theme song for VH1's "Mob Wives Chicago" and chosen for the national TV ad campaign for Mad Men. With the release of her EP, Elle has been featured by Esquire, Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Entertainment Weekly, and many more.1. Where The Devil Don't Go
2. Ex's & Oh's
3. Under the Influence
4. Last Damn Night
5. Kocaine Karolina
6. Song of Sorrow
7. America's Sweetheart
8. I Told You I Was Mean
9. Ain't Gonna Drown
11. Make You Smile
12. See You Again$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now