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WildnessSnow Patrol is set to return with Wildness, their first album in seven years, which finds the band searching for clarity, connection, and meaning, while staying true to the melodic songwriting prowess that brought them to prominence. Wildness taps into something raw and primitive, and lead-singer and songwriter Gary Lightbody says of the album: "There are many types of wildness, but I think it can be distilled into two: the wildness of the modern age, all it's confusion, illogic and alienation and a more ancient wildness. Something primal, alive and beautiful that speaks to our true connectivity, our passion, our love, our communion with nature and each other. This is the kind of wildness the album is centered around. The loss of it. Trying to reconnect with it. To remember it."
Since their 1998 debut, Songs for Polarbears, Snow Patrol have racked up an impressive number of critical and commercial accolades, including 15 million global album sales, 1+ billion global track streams, 5 UK Platinum Albums, and are Grammy and Mercury Music Prize nominated. After their Fallen Empires tour ended in 2012, band members -which also include multi-instrumentalist Johnny McDaid, guitarist Nathan Connolly, bassist Paul Wilson, and drummer Jonny Quinn - decided to take a step back from the band, and focus on their own projects. Gary Lightbody continued his work with his Tired Pony side project with members of Belle and Sebastian, R.E.M, Reindeer Section and Fresh Young Fellows and moved to Los Angeles to begin writing songs for movies (including "This Is How You Walk On" for 2017's Gifted), and doing a number of high-profile co-writes with Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and One Direction. Taking this extended break from Snow Patrol proved to be a source of inspiration, and writing songs that were not pulled directly from his own psyche helped heal what Lightbody considered to be not so much writer's block as life block.
It's in this search for clarity and connection that these songs were written and refined. "I think it's the first record I've ever written that I haven't just asked a bunch of questions. I actually tried to figure out why I was unhappy, why I feel out of place, why I'm afraid," says Lightbody. "There's nothing really to protect myself for-- it's all in the album. I want to remember." This impulse was partially inspired by Lightbody's father, who is suffering from dementia. "I think the album is defined by memory in a lot of ways," says Lightbody, "including my father's loss of memory."
The songs are surefooted, displaying a newfound sense of self and purpose, and the rest of the band members rose magnificently to the occasion. The album is produced once more by the great Jacknife Lee, Snow Patrol's longtime producer and collaborator. "Life on Earth" opens the album with its mission statement, "this is something else, this is something else." "Heal Me" feels like an ancient hymn: "Finally, after way too many years of smashing my body to bits with booze, I met someone who helped me find my way back to health and clarity, says Lightbody. "This song is about her, that journey and is dedicated to her." "Empress," written for Lightbody's goddaughters, is fierce and heartfelt, with runaway drums and keen words of wisdom. "What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get?" is a heartstring-puller, posing the question nobody wants to ask. The last track, "Life and Death," is a rumination, and a human story of love and forgiveness- mostly self-forgiveness for Lightbody, demonstrating that perhaps everyone ought to take this long between albums to reflect long and hard before they write.
"Seamus Heaney, my favorite poet of all time, said at 71 that he was only discovering what some of his poetry means, and this is coming from a Nobel Prize-winning poet. It's a great testament to inspiration," says Lightbody. "Sometimes it takes you five years to write the thing. Like now. And you know for sure when you finish an album like that, where you've poured over every detail and put every atom of yourself into it, everything makes sense and I bet you I'm never not proud of this record."1. Life On Earth
2. Don't Give In
3. Heal Me
5. A Dark Switch
6. What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get?
7. A Youth Written In Fire
9. Wild Horses
10. Life And Death$29.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Neck Of The WoodsNeck of the Woods, the third album from Los Angeles, CA fuzz-rockers Silversun Pickups, started with a chance meeting when the band stumbled across Grammy-winning producer Jacknife Lee (R.E.M., U2, Weezer) while recording guest vocals for a Snow Patrol track. But band frontman Brian Aubert is quick to point out that, in fact, pretty much everything about the album from producer to studio location right down to its found-photo album art, has been serendipitous. It's bizarre, the affable singer/guitarist explains. We can't take credit for any of it. It just accidentally happened.
For one example of a happy accident, Aubert was surprised to discover Lee's home studio was smack in the middle of the Topanga Canyon woods, minutes from where the singer grew up. I hadn't been back in years, he recalls. I thought it would be fun to walk down my old street. It was like playing with fire a little bit. So much came back that I had forgotten about and it was a really emotional experience. I just realized this place and the feelings I had are still ingrained in me.
Aubert says the songs sound like a horror movie, all of them beginning to percolate while he was country-hopping and people-watching during a European vacation. (2009's) Swoon was more about what I was feeling at that particular time, he says, whereas with this one, I wanted to see what built me. It was learning why I am the way I am.1. Skin Graph
2. Make Believe
3. Bloody Mary (nerve endings)
4. Busy Bees
5. Here We Are (chancer)
6. Mean Spirits
8. The Pit
9. Dots and Dashes (enough already)
10. Gun-shy Sunshine
11. Out of Breath$19.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Back To Forever (Awaiting Repress)Since the release of her critically acclaimed 2010 debut album 'Catching a Tiger', expectation has been steadily growing for the hugely talented, enigmatic rock-singer's follow up. 'Back To Forever' is Lissie's 2nd studio studio album.
Produced by Garret Jacknife Lee (REM, Bloc Party, Snow Patrol) in Topanga Canyon LA, the record sees Lissie return on blistering form, writing a collection of stunningly frank and beautifully crafted tracks showcasing her captivating and heartfelt voice which has never sounded better.
Lissie grew up in Rock Island, Illinois, near the Mississippi River, speaking her mind and writing songs from an early age. Her full-length debut, 'Catching a Tiger' which was co-produced by Bill Reynolds of Band of Horses and Jacquire King (Kings of Leon) was released in 2010 and won her widespread critical acclaim. Festival performances (including Glastonbury, iTunes Festival, Bonnaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza) television appearances and film/TV song placements followed. Along the way, Lissie also released a live CD/DVD of her sold-out show at London's Shepherds Bush Empire, racked up more than five-million cumulative views for her live videos of songs like Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance', Kid Cudi's 'Pursuit of Happiness' and Metallica's 'Nothing Else Matters', collaborated with cult hip-hop artists Schoolboy Q and ASAP Rocky for their hit track 'Hands on the Wheel' and developed her own brand of special edition Mezcal.1. It's The Habit
2. Further Away (Romance Police)
4. They All Want You
6. I Don't Wanna Go To Work
7. Mountain Top Removal
8. Love in the City
9. Bet on You
10. Cold Fish
11. Can't Take It Back
12. Back to Forever$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
In ConflictWe are pleased to announce the new album from Owen Pallett, In Conflict, to be released
on May 13th in North America. In Conflict was written and produced by Pallett, recorded
with the core rhythm section of Robbie Gordon and Matt Smith, and features contributions
from Brian Eno and The Czech FILMharmonic Orchestra, amongst others.
In Conflict is full of love songs- more specifically, songs about liminal states and our loved
ones locked in battle with them. "The record is meant to approach 'insanity' in a positive
way," Owen says- emphasis on the ironizing scare quotes around singular notions of
insanity. "Depression, addiction, gender trouble, and the creative state are presented as
positive, loveable, empathetic ways of being. Not preferable, per se, but all as equal, valid
positions that we experience, which makeus human."
Pallett was recently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score, alongside
Arcade Fire, for their work on Spike Jonze's Her. Pallett has served as a versatile
collaborator to many projects in both pop and art establishments - The National, The
Mountain Goats, Grizzly Bear, Snow Patrol, and yes even, Taylor Swift - where he is
equally beloved for his accessibility; for the way his art reflects & resonates with Mainstream
Pop Culture; for the emotionally cathartic outlet his music provides.1. I Am Not Afraid
2. In Conflict
3. On A Path
4. Song For Five & Six
5. The Secret Seven
7. The Passions
8. The Sky Behind The Flag
10. The Riverbed
11. Infernal Fantasy$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now