Category Archives: New Release Section

New Release Section: Jimmy Cliff, “Refugees” ft. Wyclef Jean

VIA PRESS RELEASE | One of the most important reggae artists of all-time, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame® inductee, and GRAMMY® Award-winning icon Jimmy Cliff makes his long-awaited return with a new single entitled “Refugees” (feat. Wyclef Jean). This international anthem paves the way for his first album in over a decade, Refugees, on August 12, 2022 via UMe.

With a Dance Version now and Rap Version (due out later), “Refugees” captures the spirit of Cliff’s most classic output with a neo-soul hip-hop twist courtesy of the legendary Fugees co-founder Wyclef Jean. It also continues the creative and spiritual connection between these two mavericks as Wyclef famously inducted Cliff into the Roll Hall of Fame® in 2010.

Regarding this generational collaboration, Wyclef commented, “For me, coming to America wasn’t easy when I first got here. Having family members who suffered political torment, it wasn’t easy for us. When I say ‘Fugees,’ ‘Fugees’ is short for ‘Refugees.’ I was always like, ‘If I could penetrate a message, it would be that.’ And who inspires that? Jimmy Cliff is one of my biggest inspirations ever, and he has always stayed on message when it comes to peace, love, and unity.”

“The collaboration with this record is just what we are, talking for the forgotten. In an era where love is needed, I don’t think anybody can convey that better than the king.” That’s what the “King” does best on Refugees. Jimmy said, “I’m very proud of this, because it sees Jimmy Cliff in a new musical direction. I’ll always go into something new. Even though Refugees is a heavy title, you’re going to be moving your feet, because it’s on the dancefloor. There we go. I love it.”

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New Release Section: Robyn Hitchcock,
“The Shuffle Man”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Robyn Hitchcock has announced the long awaited release of Shufflemania!, arriving via Tiny Ghost Records on 21st October. Pre-orders—including limited edition blue vinyl, classic black vinyl, CD, cassette, and digital download, are available now exclusively at www.robynhitchcock.com.

The veteran British artist’s first full-length collection in over five years, Shufflemania! is heralded by the mischievous first single, “The Shuffle Man,” available now on all streaming services. The single features instrumental and vocal accompaniment from musician/ producer/ artist Brendan Benson.

“The Shuffle Man is the imp of change, the agent of fortune” explains Hitchcock.”He throws the cards up in the air and leaves you to deal with where they fall. He is the exhilaration of chaos—with fast hands and a stovepipe hat.”

Recorded in locations around the world over the pandemic era, Shufflemania! offers up 10 gloriously ingenious new Robyn Hitchcock songs in just under 40 minutes—a “proper pop album” as nature intended. Songs like “Midnight Tram To Nowhere” and the optimistic, album-closing “One Day (It’s Being Scheduled)” are state-of-the-art Hitchcock, manifesting his signature wit, miraculous gift for melodic craftsmanship, and striking humanity in a world gone mad.

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New Release Section: Blancmange, “Take Me”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | On 30 September Blancmange will release the new album, Private View. Marking a return to London Records, almost 40 years since the label released the band’s debut; the release is preceded by the track “Take Me.”

Of “Take Me,” Neil Arthur explains: “As usual I’m playing with double meanings and domestic references. Can you take me, in terms of the unpredictable aspects of a personality, or can you literally take me to our favourite place by the sea? And also how much does someone have to “take” before a relationship breaks down? How many times can your partner be expected to accept repeated mistakes? Where is the tipping point?”

Across the album, there’s a deft marriage of futuristic electronic sounds, Arthur’s unmistakable vocal hooks, and songs that veer from buoyant and joyful to dark and brooding. Benge returns as a key collaborator, and David Rhodes (Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Scott Walker) returns as the guitarist, having previously performed with the band on 1982’s debut Happy Families (as well as several other Blancmange albums).

In their post-punk early days, Blancmange made tape loops and experimental sounds with kitchen utensils, before developing into one of the definitive chart-topping British electronic pop acts. Since reforming in 2011 (Luscombe had to leave shortly after for health reasons) Arthur has harnessed a duality of experimentation and seamless pop melody to release a staggering 10 albums in the last decade. “I don’t know whether I’m on a roll but I feel something in me has been released,” he says. “I used to hold back and I didn’t trust myself. While I’m still full of self-doubt I’m now quite comfortable with it. This is it. We’ve only got one time around the block, so make the most of it.”

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New Release Section: Marketa Irglova,
“My Roots Go Deep”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Marketa Irglova, the Academy Award winner known most famously for staring in the movie Once and as one half of the duo The Swell Season, is ready to step back into the spotlight with LILA, her first record in over eight years. Irglova’s time away has been far from quiet as she married, had three children, and built a studio all while working on music near constantly in the intermitting years.

While many artists are busy offering up their pandemic record, LILA is a work that has been long in progress. With its confessional-like nature, the record offers insight into Irglova’s journey and how she has managed to find balance in her career as an artist, wife and mother, while embracing the full paradox of love, which softens even as it provides strength.

The central premise of LILA’s nine-song journey is one of LOVE. It finds Irglova living her dream life offering insight into the healing power of love and being at peace with that which you cannot control. As Irglova states: “Simply sitting with things I can’t change, rather than trying to solve them or run away from them, has brought me into a deeper place in my heart and I am grateful for that.”

LILA was conceived in Iceland with her partner/producer Sturla Mio Thorisson bringing Irglova’s vision into sharp focus. Recorded at the couple’s studio Masterkey, LILA is a showcase for Irglova’s exceptional piano and arrangement skills which have come to be known through her most famous song “Falling Slowly.” The singer-songwriter is joined by noted Finnish born / Irish based string player, Marja Gaynor, Czech guitarist Peter Moc, and Venezulan percussionist Manuel Barreto throughout the record.

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New Release Section: Lightning Seeds, “Sunshine”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Hard to believe it’s been more than a decade since Lightning Seeds released a new album but at last we can celebrate with the release of See You In The Stars, their first on new label BMG, out October 14th. This intoxicating 10 track collection is tunefully, emotionally, uplifting and is destined to kick start the summer with the feel good warmth of first track “Sunshine.”

One of the album highlights, “Emily Smiles,” was co-written with Specials man Terry Hall, whom Ian wrote Jollification’s “Lucky You” with. All songs on this ten track opus were written and recorded in short bursts over the last three years. The first two songs recorded were a pair written with the Coral’s James Skelly: “Great To Be Alive” and “Live To Love You.” “I always think music’s like attack and defense in football—or like politics—or like life. It’s about balance,” Ian Broudie says. “And achieving that is the challenge for me.” He’s more than succeeded with “Sunshine,” the first taste from the new album, out now.

“The song is about the sun being the source of life. I’ve had many dreams worrying about the future of an uncertain world,” Ian admits. “But then the sun shines and everything feels more positive and hopeful.

In 33 years as a recording artist, the man who is Lightning Seeds has sold a lot of records. Those include a million copies of Jollification, the 1994 album whose platinum-tipped success was spearheaded by era-capturing hit single “Change,” and which Broudie recently celebrated with a sold-out, 25th anniversary tour.

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New Release Section: Foals, “Crest Of The Wave”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Foals share the new song “Crest Of The Wave” ahead of this Friday’s release of their 7th studio album, Life Is Yours. The band—Yannis Philippakis, Jack Bevan, and Jimmy Smith—have released a succession of euphoric singles so far, including “Wake Me Up” to “2001.” The band yesterday announced their North American tour and are also confirmed headliners on Glastonbury’s Second Stage and at Latitude, which adds to their recent high profile live moments that have included Later… with Jools Holland, and a UK headline tour that saw them play to a combined audience of 40,000 people in London alone.

“Crest Of The Wave’ presents a more tranquil ambience than we’ve heard from Foals’ other recent singles. Yannis’s lyrics, however, present similarly evocative and escapist imagery. Fittingly, the band’s soundscape is dreamy tropical pop, all luminous guitar patterns and sparkling synth textures, while vocal harmonies coo and swoon around Yannis’s lead.

Yannis says, “A portion of ‘Crest Of The Wave’ existed in 2011, we had demoed it in Australia and just left it for years. But it was one of those songs which had always been at the back of our minds, like there was some unfinished business there.

As we were playing around with it with some of the themes on this record, we cracked it open and really revelled in adding lots of layers to it in the studio. I was looking at the power of the lyrics to transport myself and the listener somewhere else. It’s set in St Lucia which is an island that has always visually struck me as being very powerful.”

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New Release Section: Simple Minds, “Vision Thing”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Today, Simple Minds release “Vision Thing,” the first track to be taken from the band’s eighteenth studio album Direction Of The Heart. Currently playing acclaimed shows throughout Europe (“Back in fashion and back on thrilling form.” The Times), Direction Of The Heart is Simple Minds’ first album of new material since 2018’s outstanding UK Top 5 album Walk Between Worlds.

Throughout its nine tracks Direction of The Heart, which is scheduled for release October 21 via BMG, finds the band at their most confident, anthemic best on an inspired celebration of life, none more so than on lead track “Vision Thing.” “Vision Thing” is a euphoric song—all pounding drums, synth washes and the unmistakable guitar-playing of Simple Minds’ lifelong six-string wonder, Charlie Burchill. With music written by Burchill and lyrics by frontman Jim Kerr the song is a tribute to Kerr’s “best pal,” his late father who passed away in 2019.

Direction Of The Heart’s opening track, “Vision Thing” sets the pace for a concise nine-track album. One which manages to perfectly encapsulate the essence of past and present Simple Minds, a band whose reascent over the past 10 years has seen them, once again, capture the magic and critical praise of their early days.

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New Release Section: Jesca Hoop, “Hatred
Has a Mother”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Jesca Hoop returns with her sixth album, Order of Romance, the follow up to her 2019 LP Stonechild, an album that earned high praise from outlets like Pitchfork, NPR, The Guardian and The New York Times, saw Hoop perform her second Tiny Desk Concert, and was the critical high watermark of her career to date. Her latest LP fortifies her position as one of the most striking and original voices in contemporary music, an intricate and finely balanced album that draws on classic songwriting, recalling anything from Gershwin to Paul Simon, but creating something that is unmistakably, indelibly her own.

To mark the announce Hoop is sharing the album’s first single, a track called “Hatred Has A Mother.” “Hatred Has a Mother” was seeded whilst Jesca Hoop toured the US in early 2020 with Ani Di Franco. Watching side of stage, Hoop was struck by the phrase “Revolutionary Love” from Di Franco’s then unreleased song of the same name, a song itself written in response to See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love by Valarie Kaur. Kaur describes Revolutionary Love as the choice to enter into labour for Others who do not look like us, for our opponents who hurt us and for ourselves. Revolutionary Love is a force for justice and a freedom from Hate. Hoop picks up the baton with “Hatred Has a Mother” as a devotion to the practice of Revolutionary Love and to pass it on to the listener: “Empathy is contagious. The train is leaving the station. All aboard.”

Like a lot of tour ready musicians in 2020, Jesca Hoop suddenly found she had time on her hands, and like a lot of musicians, with stages blacked out, she turned her work inward. As it was for many people, those housebound days were some of the most tumultuous of her life, and she found the discipline and balance of a daily writing routine essential in coping with the unknowns that assailed us all during that time. But Order of Romance is most assuredly not a journaling of the last two years. It is a deep dive into craft. As Jesca says “I set out to mature as a writer, to further clarity my voice and stance, through melodies and phrases only I can construct. Order of Romance feels like every person, character, or artist, I ever was over the many seasons of my life was handed an instrument to play across the songs.”

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New Release Section:
The Umbrellas,
“Write It In The Sky”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The Umbrellas are back and they’re announcing a new 7″ single for Slumberland Records and sharing the lead single/video, “Write It In The Sky.” The 7″ is out on June 24th via Slumberland and is available for pre-order here.

The band gave some context on the A-side’s origin: “The instrumental and melody for “Write it in the sky” was improvised one morning by Matt. The song makes use of droning via the guitars’ A and high E strings. While recording we strived to create an abrasive but beautiful production. We even have a track of Morgan just making feedback. Nick and Matt wrote the lyrics together. The verses alternate between the two; the first section by Matt, the second by Nick and so on. The lyrics to the chorus were written collaboratively while waking back from Taco Bell on Geary… repeating different variations until “write in the sky” stuck.”

The Umbrellas are one of the most exciting bands to come from the indie-pop underground in ages. Bursting out of the SF Bay Area’s fertile indie scene, The Umbrellas come correct with a sound that fits snugly into a long line of classic pop, from The Byrds to Orange Juice, The Pastels, Comet Gain, Veronica Falls and Belle & Sebastian, along with a noticeable garage-pop/Paisley Underground flavor that is a hallmark of San Francisco’s best bands. Their self-titled 2021 debut album dazzled with a dozen perfect pop tunes, charming the indie-pop faithful but also winning fans outside the scene, leading to sold-out tours with bands as disparate as Ceremony and Destroy Boys.

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New Release Section: Suede, “She Still Leads Me On”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The London Suede return with the announcement of Autofiction, their ninth studio album, due for release on September 16, 2022 via BMG and available to pre-order HERE.

Later today, The London Suede will debut the brand new single “She Still Leads Me On” live on stage at a headline performance in Belgium at Brussels’ Cirque Royal. Fans can livestream the performance HERE from 4 PM EDT. Following a premiere on Steve Lamacq’s BBC 6Music show this afternoon, the new single is available to listen to now, HERE.

As The London Suede began work on the songs that would become Autofiction, they decided to go back to basics. In a move that recalled their most formative days, Brett Anderson, Mat Osman, Simon Gilbert, Richard Oakes, and Neil Codling schlepped to a rehearsal studio in deserted Kings Cross to collect a key, hump their own gear, set up and start playing.

Speaking about Autofiction, Brett Anderson said: “Autofiction is our punk record. No whistles and bells. Just the five of us in a room with all the glitches and fuck-ups revealed; the band themselves exposed in all their primal mess.” Autofiction was recorded live at Konk studios in North London with long-time The London Suede collaborator, Ed Buller. Ed first worked with the band producing their debut single “The Drowners,” which sees its 30th anniversary this month.

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New Release Section: Martha and the Muffins, “Save It For Later”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “We pitched a cover of it to the Sex Education producers who were looking for a new version to use in their third season trailer.”

“We recorded it in three days, and normally we would spend a lot more time refining things like the vocals. However, the lack of time actually contributed to capturing the spirit of the song while adding our own colours. The music supervisor loved it, but the whole idea was discarded by the producers. “Just hold my hand while I come…to a decision on it.” Clever…would’ve worked really well in a Sex Education trailer!

This left us with a pretty catchy version of the song without a home. We suggested to our manager that maybe all of the artists on his Popguru/ Confidence Emperors roster could do a cover, to put “Save It For Later” to good use! And so the Coverama album out May 20th came about.

We added a few embellishments that made our cover almost like an early Martha and the Muffins song. Something about that interesting open tuning Dave Wakeling used on the original inspired my chiming 12 string electric guitar hook. They seem to belong to the same world.

For the video collage, we collected little objects from around the house and random images from the Internet, working intuitively.”
Mark Gane, Martha and the Muffins

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New Release Section:
Les Claypool and Eugene Hütz, “Zelensky: The Man With the Iron Balls”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | On the night of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Les Claypool of Primus and Eugene Hütz of Gogol Bordello began collaborating on a joint release to rally support for the Ukrainian people. Irreverently titled “Zelensky: The Man With the Iron Balls,” the track also features Stewart Copeland, Sean Lennon, Billy Strings, and Sergey Ryabtsev. Proceeds from the sale of the single will be donated to Nova Ukraine, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine.

“As soon as Russian aggression broke out, Les and I connected to address the catastrophe ASAP,” recalls Hütz, a Ukrainian native. “We jumped on creating affirmative music that calls for unity and pays respect to the real doers in Ukrainian defense—such as President Zelensky, who demonstrated previously unheard-of stamina and heroism.” “The night of the invasion, I was dining with close friends of mine from Poland who were hosting their family visiting the US from their town, which is 50 kilometers from the Ukraine border,” Claypool adds.

“Needless to say, they were stressed and concerned about what was happening in their homeland. After a few vodka shots of solidarity, I started texting with my buddy Eugene from Gogol Bordello to get his perspective and insight. In that vodka-laced dialogue, we started mutually praising Zelensky for his surprisingly epic display of courage. ‘Zelensky has balls of steel!’ we agreed. It was then that we decided that some freaky, ‘East meets West’ art needed to be thrown that way.”

“After a couple weeks of file trading with Sean Lennon, Stewart Copeland, Eugene Hütz, and Sergey Ryabtsev, a visit to my studio by my buddy Billy Strings, as well as some enthusiastic rhythmic claps from local supporters of Ukraine, we now have a recording to help rally support for a bullied country and a David vs. Goliath-type man who stood up for their liberty, freedom and homeland.”

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New Release Section: Steve Forbert, “Buffalo Nickel”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Steve Forbert has shared a new song, “Buffalo Nickel,” which appears on his new album, Moving Through America, out May 13 on Blue Rose.

Forbert explains the inspiration behind the track: “As the white man’s culture moved ever westward, two elements that were very negatively affected by it all were the Native American culture AND the millions of range roaming buffalo that were slaughtered for sport by the likes of ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody… the Buffalo nickel is pretty ironic when you think about it. On one side a profile of an American Indian, on the other side, a buffalo! This five-cent coin was in everyday use for twenty-five years!”

Forbert was an early proponent of what evolved into the Americana sound, helping to pioneer the genre’s mix of folk, roots-rock, and richly delivered storytelling. He’s been a torchbearer of that sound since he burst into the national consciousness with his iconic 1979 hit “Romeo’s Tune.” In the four decades since, he’s navigated the twists and turns of an acclaimed career that’s taken him from gold records to Grammy nominations, from New York City’s CBGB to Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, from his 1978 debut album to 2022’s vital and versatile Moving Through America.

As always with Forbert, it’s the songs that take center stage. Filled with character portraits and quirky insights, Moving Through America unfolds like a mosaic of modern-day American life, delivered by someone who’s been crisscrossing the country for nearly half a century. With an author’s nuance and a humorist’s wit, Forbert offers glimpses into the everyday lives of his characters: a dog running from the sky’s thunderclaps; a Houston man preparing to take his girlfriend out for fried oysters; a road-tripping motorist steadily making his way across the Midwest. Forbert inhabits each character, turning their storylines into first-person narratives that blur the lines between subject and scribe.

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New Release Section: Zola Jesus, “Desire”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Zola Jesus releases a new song, “Desire,” the second single from Arkhon, her first album in five years, out May 20th on Sacred Bones. The single comes with a new video directed by A. F. Cortes.

A minimal yet sweeping track, “Desire” features only Danilova and her piano. The melodies ebb and flow like tides, filling the space only to recede as echoes in the air. It boldy demands compassion and care at the end of a relationship, a final request before it truly comes to a close. Like the song, the video is raw and bare, largely focused on the artist and her piano.

Danilova’s quote on the new track: “‘Desire’ was written in one sitting at my piano at home. The song was an exorcism for my pain and lack of closure around heartbreak. Sometimes songs are written simply for the cathartic effect of playing them. This is one of those songs. Performing it feels like the most tangible way to experience that closure for myself. Some days I would sit at home playing this song over and over on my piano, just to provide myself that sense of control over what I was feeling. I recorded the song at the studio in one take, and also got video while I was there to document the memory of the performance. The footage of that day is the core of the video for ‘Desire.’”

Director Cortes shared their own experience with the song and video: “I’ve seen Zola Jesus perform live many times in the past. Still, nothing prepared me to see the vulnerability of this piece unfolding as it was performed in front of my camera. It was visceral, personal, and profoundly moving. From that first shoot day, I knew I wanted to complement the live performance with a parallel story: A tale of grief, loss, and the capacity of a cathartic metamorphosis to overcome personal trauma. All set in a minimal space, a transitional moment of learning how to let go of the baggage of a previous existence. In making this piece I wanted to capture a unique moment in time that reflects the vulnerability of the music.”

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New Release Section: UB40 Featuring Ali Campbell & Astro, “Sufferer”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | UB40 Featuring Ali Campbell & Astro will release their new album Unprecedented, June 17 via UMe. The album will be released as a black 2LP, a limited-edition white-color 2LP, 1CD, limited-edition cassette as well as digitally. All formats include their new single “Sufferer,” which Ali has dedicated to his beloved friend and bandmate of over four decades, Astro, who tragically passed away last November.

“‘Sufferer’ is a song that Astro and I have always loved, from the brilliant Kingstonians,” comments Ali. “Astro was so proud of our version of this song, as am I. It’s the first track off our new studio album Unprecedented which will be out in the summer. This song is more poignant and special than I ever realized after Astro heartbreakingly passed away after recording this album. We want to keep his memory alive through his music and this song and album.”

UB40 Featuring Ali, Astro & Mickey’s most recent album, 2018’s A Real Labour Of Love, debuted at No.2 on the UK album chart, only dropping one place a week later to No.3, and the album spent a month in the Top 10. UB40 topped the UK singles chart on three occasions and sold 70 million records as they took their smooth yet rootsy musical blend to all corners of the globe.

Between 1983 and 1998 the group produced three Labour Of Love albums, bringing hits such as Eric Donaldson’s “Cherry Oh Baby,” Lord Creator’s “Kingston Town,” and Johnny Osbourne’s “Come Back Darling” to a new, global audience. They also topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic with their reggae covers of “Red Red Wine” and “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You” and had a further UK No.1 with their cover of “I Got You Babe” with Chrissie Hynde.

In addition to touring across Europe in 2022, the legendary British reggae-pop group has announced three tour dates in North America beginning May 12 in Las Vegas, NV.

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