Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You) (extended remix)
The More You Live The More You Love (extended remix)
Nightmares (extended remix)
DNA (extended remix)
Electrics (extended remix)
Man Made (extended remix)
Tranfer Affection (extended remix)
Review: This year, the original A Flock Of Seagulls line up is touring together for the first time since 1984. To celebrate, they've decided to put out this collection of "Extended Essentials" - club-ready 12" versions of their original 1980s hits. There's naturally plenty to enjoy throughout, from the hazy shuffle of "Transfer Affection" and the alien freakiness of "Space Age Love Song" (a cut smothered in eyes-closed guitar solos that changes tempo midway through), to the surprisingly cheery hustle of "Nightmare" and the classic new wave creepiness of early single "Modern Love is Automatic". These aren't 12" mixes that showcase 1980s production trickery, but rather tasteful extensions that ratchet up the atmosphere and thrusting grooves.
Review: Since debuting as Grouper back in 2005, Liz Harris has delivered a swathe of experimentalist albums that explore almost every aspect of ambient and drone music. Here she launches a new project, Nivhek, via an expansive double-album of sparse, atmospheric compositions that tend towards the epic. Really, it's two albums in one. The first slab of wax is entitled "After Its Own Death" and boasts a two-part, non-stop suite of tracks built around echoing choral vocals, dark electronics and blissful bells. It's alternately melancholic, blissful and grippingly intense. In contrast, "Walking In A Spiral Towards The House", the piece stretched across both sides of the second record, is breathtakingly beautiful - a meandering, soft focus trip through chiming, reverb-laden motifs and gentle music box melodies.
Review: The best thing since the Klaxons or Bloc Party have arrived. black midi! The student art rock band are bringing a new youthful energy and slight of malice back to the arena of post-indie inspired alternative guitar and synth music. They make this overtly known from the start with the supercharged opener that is "953", introducing an album that is said to have laid down eight of the record's nine tracks in just five days. Drums are fast and skittering, rhythms are dancey and guitars keep it Madchester jangley. "Speedway" (is that a wry Prodigy reference?) is among the album's highlights alongside the punk-funky "bmbmbm" and the short but trippy "Years Ago". With a 100 per cent backing by UK music institution Rough Trade: meet this generation's newest sensation.
Review: The last ten years have seen no shortage of bands with their delay pedals set to stun intent on capturing an aura of dreamlike radiance. Yet Texas 'pop-noir' troupe Cigarettes After Sex are no ordinary shoegazers, for a variety of reasons - frontman Greg Gonzalez' androgynous and dulcet tones may be part of the appeal, yet moreover it's the quality of the songwriting here, which never falls prey to the style-over-substance traps of their peers. Indeed, this debut is more than enough to justify the considerable hype around this outfit, being a collection of ditties as sultry as they are atmopsheric.
Review: Dublin's Fontaines D.C. have been itching for their debut album to arrive on Partisan Records for seven singles now (all of which released in the past 18 months). Full of semi-ironic lyrics delivered like a drunk Mike Skinner replacing Archy Marshall (King Krule), each track on the album delivers a jangley, dimly light, beer swindling vibe, though not all songs are for bar fights and moshing. Flashes of Bloc Party to Morrissey subtly streak across the album (see "Television Screens") while there's some sombre punk, funk ballads in "Roy's Tune" to be heard too. The album overall is electric, highly danceable, cooler than a denim jacket, and a quality first missive.
Review: Dutch indie four piece spearheaded by its singer-songwriter Pip Blom realise their debut album, Boat. Delivered by a label associated with artists like Mattiel and Amber Arcades, Plip Blom see themselves in good company to deliver a full length LP following a run of 7" & 10" singles. The album features previously heard numbers like "Daddy Issues", a riffing example of the band's quick, almost surf rock style, with other semi-ironic titles like "Bedhead" offering something sentimental. With a host of other raucous and heavy distorted numbers too, Pip Blom's music falls somewhere between The Strokes, Hole and the best of alternative but radio friendly punk and garage rock.
Review: It's fair to say that when The National release an album the Cincinnati originating supergroup garner the same type of attention that Radiohead once drew. With some futuristic production techniques creeping its way into the band's engineered sound, a new expressionism in the group's sound on "I Am Easy To Find" makes its way into the open, if only subtly. With the opening passages of "You Had Your Soul With You" sounding something like Battles' "Atlas", the music breaks down into a fanfare of traditional yet supercharged folk instrumentations; with drums, spoken word, strings in all their various forms, and the familiar smokey drawl of Matt Berninger's voice sitting snugly on top of subtle drum machines and synthesisers. Super ballads and sincerity.
Review: This East London duo honed their style in their own studios, sculpting a homespun sound that marries electronic innovation with a warmly soulful approach redolent of a welcome British answer to the glitzy R&B more commonly found across the Atlantic - kneed that rendered bt self-admitted heroes of this pair such as Usher. Yet boasting a neon-drenched late night aesthetic that's somehow maintains enough brio and quirky charm to avoid it sounding like the soundtrack to a perfume advert, 'Warm On A Cold Night' is as sleek and sophisticated as it is earthy and characterful.
Review: After years of what has seemingly been live record after live record - (not to mention their debut Broken Boy Soldiers album haunting our Juno offices for nearly a decade) Jack White's inspired troupe are back with a bang - exploding with Help Us Stranger. Think the amplified epicness of The Who. The album twists and turns through telephone amplified blues ("Help Me Stranger"), the dandy piano ballads in "Shine The Light On Me" to the rolling, western, country drums of "Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness)". Regardless of the tracks, this album teems with an energy that rock music has not felt for some time and there's no denying the future classic that this will become. Rock on The Raconteurs!
Review: Atina 'Mattiel' Brown is a 60s psyche-pop inspiration from Atlanta, Georgia, giving the ears of a modern age a new way to appreciate a lo-fi, garage rock style of storytelling. Satis Factory presents the band with its second album since debuting in 2017 with a self-titled LP, and Brown's voice for Mattiel still reigns supreme in its bluesy, telephone filtered manner. Co-produced by Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley and recorded in their native Atlanta, the vintage touches applied to the band's music sees an authentic blend of deadpan vocals, jangly guitars meet with a touch of spaghetti western, subtle touches of folk and rockabilly, with that perfect smattering of dusty sundown blues.
Review: American singer-songwriters Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst are two accomplished musicians in their own right, with the latter largely known for his role in Bright Eyes and other bands, with an enviable solo discography too, while the former, after a slew of singles, released her debut album Stranger In The Alps in 2017. Together the pair form Better Oblivion Community Center, who recently scored some airtime on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert with a beaty rendition of their dust-kicking vocal number "Dylan Thomas". The album delivers a bevy of duets and folk-tales with references to '90s pop rock and grunge never that far off, and it's best heard on "Dominos" and the cutesy synth-play of " Exception To The Rule".