Here we are again for a second bout of our music club, providing details of new music from outside our usual confines and stepping out internationally with a spring in our step……
Simon and The Astronauts Debut Album with Rachel Haden
Cambridge/London based writing/recording collective, Simon and The Astronauts have shared a new single I Have a Name, taken from their upcoming self-titled album collaboration with acclaimed US musician Rachel Haden of The Haden Triplets, Jimmy Eat World, Weezer, and Todd Rundgren, Hadestown, due out 22nd April 2022.
The follow up to recent single ‘10 League Boots’, ‘I Have a Name’ finds the collective continuing to flex their melodic, alt-rock muscles. Haden’s performance is brilliant and defiant, declaring “I don’t care what you think or say, I have a name, just a face on a clouded day but I have a name” – her vocals delivered with the confidence and authenticity of an artist who has led the way and followed their own path and passion for many years. A key figure in some of the most iconic music created in the last few decades, this is Haden stepping to the front and demanding our attention – with good reason.
Beginning life as a collaboration between songwriters Simon Wells and Ben Hewerdine with producer and musician Chris Pepper following their introduction by Ben’s father and Simon’s mentor, the acclaimed English songwriter and record producer Boo Hewerdine, ‘Simon and The Astronauts’ have already been creating music together for a number of years.
The trio, along with an impressive list of collaborators, released their debut EP ‘The Entertainment Suite’ in 2019, quickly followed by their debut, self-titled album later that year, spawning the unlikely viral TikTok hit ‘I’m Just A Cat’ – currently featured in just under 300,000 posts.
As the trio set about recording their second full-length album, they decided their group was missing something crucial and after some soul-searching reached out with what they thought was ashot-in-the-dark request to a musician and singer they hugely admired – Rachel Haden.
Haden, a founding member of That Dog and The Haden Triplets, respected solo artist and collaborator of artists including Jimmy Eat World, Weezer, Anais Mitchell, Todd Rundgren and many others, reacted positively to the pitch from the guys in the UK, who promptly set about writing an album of songs with Haden and her iconic voice in mind.
Working remotely between Pepper’s studio in Cambridge and Haden’s base in LA, the group began their international collaboration, writing and recording this fantastic collection of 12 new songs. An ambitious and sonically varied record, this new album effortlessly shifts from the classic alt-rock of ‘I Have A Name’ to the gorgeous balladry of ‘Lost In London’ all the way to the crushing guitars and cinematic atmospherics of new single ‘10 League Boots.’
Featuring additional contributions from LA studios Sea Grass Studios & Spirit Kid Sound, as well as English musician Boo Hewerdine, Swedish multi-instrumentalist Gustaf Ljunggren, lyrics inspired byHaden’s jazz legend father Charlie Haden and the blessing of Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo tointerpolate their song ‘Surf Wax America’ – the album is a tribute to the possibilities of the global sharing of ideas. Each track bouncing between countries and continents, heading to its next destination richer and more developed – ‘Simon and The Astronauts’ is an unlikely cast of characters hailing from a wide variety of musical backgrounds and traditions – and all the better for it.
‘Simon and The Astronauts’ will be released via the bands own imprint on 22nd April 2022 with the possibility of summer tour dates on the horizon.
Tenja in Dub
I’ve been loving this steppers riddim with a glorious vocal, kindly sent by Tenja in Dub, for airtime on my Boot Boy Radio show. Tenja is a Paris born reggae producer & vocalist currently based in Norfolk, who settled in Bristol in 2011.He works with a variety of artists across the reggae spectrum and has toured widely across the UK and Europe.
Once lead vocalist for renowned UK Roots Reggae band Dubheart, winners of the 2013 Rototom European Reggae competition, extensiving touring of Europe and shows at major festivals including Rototom, Reggae Sunsplash, Overjam and Summerjam. More recently, Tenja is continuing to focus on his music production and released a few projects as Tenja in dub, and this tune Faith in Love, features Bristol’s sweet and soulful singer-songwriter Rudey Lee.
Landon Lloyd Miller Releases Debut Solo Album
Texan singer-songwriter Landon Llyod Miller, ex-The Wall Chargers vocalist released his debut solo album, Light Shines Through this week.
The album follows recent teaser tracks, Light Is Growing, a song praised by Americana UK as “an uplifting dose of positivity” and Feel It Again, championed by God Is In The TV for its “air of hope and positivity as it barrels along with a spring in its step,” as well as latest single Bluebonnet which arrived with a cinematic video directed by Evan Falbaum.
Taking inspiration from folk songs, murder ballads, country classics, and everything in between, Landon offers a suite of songs influenced by his Texan roots and glued together by his unflinchingly biographical lyricism. A diverse record of confessional piano ballads, cinematic roots rockers, and plenty of troubadour soul, Landon creates an album about vulnerability and strength, hope and darkness; with the ultimate message that light will always shine through. Buy it here.
Atalhos Released New Album A Tentação do Fracasso
Ambitious Brazilian indie rock duo Atalhos released an interesting new album this week, A Tentação do Fracasso. Already receiving warm reviews, the band have been praised by Rolling Stone as “a delight to listen to… reminiscent of The War on Drugs”, whereas Prog magazine hailed new album as “like Caetano Veloso channelling The Dukes of Stratosphear…there are strong flavours of 80s neo-psych in their swirling sound, filtered through layers of tropicalia.”
Typical of the record’s loose and hazy qualities, the album opens with the shimmering six-minute Tierra del Fuego. Featuring dreamy guitar strums, clouds of synth imagery, intoxicating looping beats and evocative melodies, the track was mastered by legendary American producer Greg Calbi (Tame Impala, The War on Drugs, Bon Iver) at Sterling Sound, along with the other 8 tracks that make up their sumptuous latest album.
A work that crosses borders and celebrates the Latin American brotherhood in collaborations, ‘A Tentação do Fracasso’ flirts with the psychedelia of the Chilean’s The Holydrug Couple (Ives Sepúlveda of whom produced the record), the sunshine-kissed South American sounds and the Spanish-flecked vocals of the Argentine’s El Príncipe Idiota and Delfina Campos (who both guest on the record).
Blending woozy soundscapes with wistful philosophy, ‘A Tentação do Fracasso’ combines the reverb-rinsed touches of 80s’ Springsteen, the gentle grandiosity of Arcade Fire and the day-dreaming guitar pop of Real Estate to create something as touching as it is timeless. Find the album link-tree here.
In support of the release, Atalhos confirms a Europe and UK tour between September to October 2022.
The Return of The Asian Dub Foundation
Asian Dub Foundation play five UK shows in April and proudly released deluxe remastered editions of ‘Enemy Of the Enemy’ and ‘Tank’ on March 11th through X-Ray records; both albums are released with bonus tracks and will be available on CD and for the first time ever 12” vinyl.
“We’re very happy that X Ray have put together these magnificent packages, the remasters sound crisp and a lot of the subject matter is still relevant, such as the opening lines of “Fortress Europe” exclaims Steve Chandra Savale.
First released in 2003 ‘Enemy of the Enemy’ Asian Dub Foundation’s fourth album opens with the lyrically prophetic ‘Fortress Europe’; “2022, a new European order. Robot guards patrolling the border. Cybernetic dogs getting closer and closer. Armoured Cars Immigration Officers.” The album also includes ’1000 Mirrors’, featuring the inimitable Sinead O’Connor, and Ed O’Brien who also played the title track. This new edition includes three bonus tracks: ‘Illegal Minds’ featuring Mark Stewart, plus two remixes by Adrian Sherwood and The Bug.
‘Tank’ their fifth studio album released two years later sees the original twelve tracks joined by three bonus tracks including; “Easy Man’ ft Perry Farrell, plus two remixes by San J and Shiva Sound System.
Asian Dub Foundation are a genre unto themselves. Their unique combination of tough jungle rhythms, dub bass lines and wild guitar overlaid by references to their South Asian roots and militant high-speed rap has established them as one of the best live bands in the world. During their long and productive career Asian Dub Foundation have shared the stage with the likes of
To pre -order / pre save ‘Enemy Of the Enemy’ and ‘Tank’ go to: https://bit.ly/3tswlVq
Asian play five UK shows in April starting at Trinity in Bristol on Friday 1st and includes Earth in London on Friday 15th.
Asian Dub Foundation April UK show
Fri 1st Bristol Trinity
Fri 8th Manchester Band On The Wall
Sat 9th Glasgow Studio Warehouse
Fri 15th London Earth Hackney
Fri 22nd Brighton Chalk
New Single From Jesse Mac Cormack
Montreal songwriter and producer Jesse Mac Cormack has shared his new single “NHFN,” from his upcoming album SOLO. SOLO will be released on April 8th on Secret City Records, and is currently available to pre-order HERE.
“Losing freedom and privileges made me realize how great and important they were”, describes Jesse. “Going through a hard time in a relationship and looking forward to happiness gave me purpose. It really helped me find what nourished me and made me stronger. Everything wasn’t about passion anymore. I started thinking, taking good decisions for myself, and remembering what I wanted in the first place”.
The new track follows the release of lead single “Blue World,” which is similarly brimming with pulsating beats and an expansive palette of sounds that reflect Mac Cormack’s impressive production skills.
The Kooks New EP
Following their sold-out tour across the UK throughout January and February, here’s a teaser from a forthcoming album, Ten Tracks to Echo in the Dark, due in July, from British indie trailblazers The Kooks; a new EP, Connection in the Dark Pt1, with this song, Jesse James, is out this week.
The video stars model Lottie Moss, half sister of Kate Moss, who said, “It was so fun to be involved in this, I’ve never been able to live out my main character dream before so this was really cool for me to do! I have loved The Kooks since I was younger so that made it even more special!”
Frontman Luke Pritchard comments on the track and video, “Really excited to release ‘Jessie James’, it’s a song about not always trying to prove yourself and losing the ego. We are so thrilled to have the amazing to bring the song to life in her retro future bedroom floating through space, she really elevated the euphoria of the song with her performance!”
Listen or buy the EP from this link-tree.
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