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How Did We Get So Dark?After becoming the biggest breaking British rock band with their self-titled 2014 debut album, Royal Blood's eagerly anticipated second album 'How Did We Get So Dark?' will be released on Warner Bros. Records.
Royal Blood's breakthrough was huge. Their debut album was the fastest-selling British rock debut in three years, hitting #1 in the UK, debuting in the Top 5 on the Billboard 200 Chart in the U.S. and going Top 20 in 12 countries. Before they knew it, they were performing for Howard Stern, touring with Foo Fighters, holding dressing room audiences with Jimmy Page in New York, and being presented with a BRIT for Best British Band in 2015 by the very same guitar god. Their ascendency was further underlined with major awards courtesy of Kerrang!, NME and Q.
The ten tracks that are featured on 'How Did We Get So Dark?' were written in instrumental form during sessions in Brighton, Los Angeles, and Nashville. Always trying to explore ways of stripping their enormous sound back to give it more space and impact, the inspiration for the lyrics came from events in vocalist/bassist Mike Kerr's life since the band first found huge success.
In November 2016, Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, along with producer Jolyon Thomas, spent six weeks in a studio in Brussels that was decked out like a New York diner and featured a warehouse of antique gear. 'How Did We Get So Dark?' was subsequently completed after a final session in London with their debut album's co-producer Tom Dalgety.
The album's first single 'Lights Out' ups the ante from their debut with a wrecking ball of a groove cemented by Thatcher's thunderous rhythms, while Kerr wrangles the twisted invention of his bass riffs to a whole new level. Their patented two-man artillery of carefully constructed melodic aggression is prevalent throughout, especially in 'I Only Lie When I Love You,' which is a compelling cowbell-assisted reminder of the power of a stop-start riff and a strident chorus. There are times when Royal Blood are more visceral than ever - notably the gargantuan introduction to 'Hook, Line and Sinker'and also the intense denouement that brings 'Look Like You Know' to a close.
While the album finds Royal Blood refining their melodic might, there are other moments that fulfill their aim to create songs that will add new dimensions to their live sets. Adorned with Kerr's falsetto, 'Don't Tell' drops the intensity to mesmerizing effect, while 'Where Are You Now?' pulsates with a bounding energy that's quite a step apart from anything else in their catalog. The Royal Blood palette is also expanded with the inclusion of harmony vocals - something that they didn't use on their debut.1. How Did We Get So Dark?
2. Lights Out
3. I Only Lie When I Love You
4. She's Creeping
5. Look Like You Know
6. Where Are You Now?
7. Don't Tell
8. Hook, Line and Sinker
9. Hole In Your Heart
10. Sleep$18.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Death PeakClark returns this spring with Death Peak. The album deftly weaves together the various threads of his extensive work, intertwining euphoric melodies and visceral rhythms of warehouse rave with newer vocal and choral elements.
Death Peak exposes the tension in Clark's musical vocabulary I love finding the fulcrum between opposites - I want my tracks to have sharp teeth, but you want to stroke them too. They sound ancient, but beamed in from the future, soft, corrosive. Album track 'Peak Magnetic' is a club-ready 4 am affair - vigorous, singular, hard to define. As Clark explains I wanted the kick to sound like some massive natural event, barely controlled, a boulder bouncing down a hill with birds tweeting around it. A complete mudball of a pulse that anchors everything to it through sheer mass. It makes me think of outdoor springtime raving. 'Catastrophe Anthem' features the voices of a children's choir eerily chanting the mantra, We are your ancestors. Clark has rarely used vocals before, but here every song has an element of human voice. Nearly all the tracks have some form of vocal recording on them. I only realized this late in the recording process. I get hypnotized by the human voice - the most perfect synth. Vocals can be a bit of an awkward hat, that producers wear to try and get attention. Death Peak voices are the opposite of that. The vocal elements are just another instrument in the mix. It's taken me awhile to get to this level of confidence with it.
Recently he released a split 12-inch with label mates Mark Pritchard & Bibio and worked remixes with the likes of Nils Frahm and Max Richter. Significantly, Clark has turned his hand to scoring. He released the foreboding cinematic soundtrack to the 2016 BAFTA nominated Sky Atlantic series 'The Last Panthers' and composed a score for Macbeth at the Young Vic theatre. Late in 2016 he composed 'Enter The Void' for especially The Echo Society orchestra, conducted by Joe Trapanese (M83 & Daft Punk collaborator) and performed at the historic Ace Theatre, LA. Clark signed to Warp in his late-teens. His studio sound has evolved and matured over two decades; although he would say he's only just starting. His amorphous industrial noise has ever-grown and influenced producers, dancefloors and festivals around the world.LP 1
1. Spring But Dark
2. Butterfly Prowler
3. Peak Magnetic
5. Slap Drones
1. Catastrophe Anthem
2. Living Fantasy
3. Un U.K$27.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Music For DogsThere's a quote tucked into the recent documentary film about the iconic design duo Charles and Ray Eames, commenting on the symbiotic nature of Charles and Ray's marriage, their work life in Venice Beach, their home life not too far away, and their creative life: Work is art is life is work is art... It's a concept so simple a small child could dream it, yet it's one we tend to lose in the strange, abstract grind of modern life and modern ambition. For Gardens & Villa songwriters Chris Lynch and Adam Rasmussen, a return to this very harmonious relationship of art/work/life and a rediscovery of the DIY ethos that once defined the pair's formative creative years mark the defining thread of their head-turning new album, Music For Dogs. The revelation that we hear play out so inspiringly across Music For Dogs is one that came at a make-or-break moment for the band last year. Pushed to fall in line as an indie-pop act while their artistic interests lie as much in the avant-garde. Pushed deeper into debt just to keep their band alive. Pushed from within to leave the comfort zone of their longtime home base in Santa Barbara and set up a new HQ in Los Angeles. Lynch and Rasmussen responded by bucking the idea of art as a career and making art their very way of life. With a top-to-bottom renovation of a warehouse space in LA's Frogtown neighborhood lovingly dubbed The Space Program and shared with visual artists, designers, and creatives, the pair began to live and write music on their own terms, just as they'd done before their music was placed on the marketplace. Music For Dogs is a deeply personal album that pokes, prods, and even strangely celebrates the zeitgeist of music commerce, pleasure culture, technological advances and the new home they've found in Los Angeles. The New Age and Eastern Religion sentiments that rippled across their first two albums (2011's Gardens & Villa and 2014's Dunes) have been swapped out with a new sort of zen pop-Nihilsm. What's Nihilism anyway but Buddhism with a fuck-it attitude? They've found a way to live on the firing line, a way to actually harvest creative energy from our sad Internet tendencies, the uncertain future. My whole life fixation/See if we can make it underneath the radar, goes Lynch and Rasmussen's respective call-and-response on Fixations, a song about the beauty in bottoming out and then finding the false bottom. Lynch could mean living as a creative in the underground or living outside peripheral view of the NSA. Under the stewardship of visionary producer Jacob Portrait and with irreplaceable rhythm section Dusty Ineman (drums) and Shane McKillop (bass), Fixations - and a great deal of Music For Dogs - is really just Gardens & Villa doing what it has always done best. G&V creates Byzantine melodies and richly interwoven arrangements for synths, guitars and vocals that work incredibly well on a cerebral level, but wouldn't upset a 3 a.m. pool party either. The jaunty, jarring piano and bass that begin Everybody perfectly frame the song's anxiety-riddled themes of 21st Century voyeurism, surveillance and the turnstile of avatars intended to represent our true selves. Everybody wants the new you/No one cares who you are, Lynch sings in a repeating chorus before the band collapses into a lovely out of time mall piano breakdown, which itself drops effortlessly back into the jaunty verse section. And the speedball ripper Maximize Results that begins the record is perhaps G&V's most ecstatic, vulnerable moment laid to record to date. It alone is worth the price of admission.1. Intro
2. Maximize Results
6. Alone in the City
7. General Research
9. Happy Times
11. I Already Do$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now