Release: November 8, 2019, Young Turks/Remote Control
Words: Young Turks
MAGDALENE is the follow up to FKA twigs' critically acclaimed Brit Award and Mercury Prize nominated debut LP1 (2014, Young Turks). Created in a period where her confidence was knocked following heartbreak and laparoscopic surgery, MAGDALENE is the sound of twigs reconfiguring, emotionally and physically. As she sings on 'Mary Magdalene', the album track that opened her highly-praised, sold-out live shows earlier in the year, “A woman’s time / A woman’s work / A woman’s time to embrace / She must put herself first”. MAGDALENE is produced by FKA twigs and, as with LP1, the recording process has been directed by her at every stage. It was recorded between London, New York and Los Angeles over the last three years and features major contributions from Nicolas Jaar alongside a host of other collaborators. MAGDALENE sees FKA twigs creating a whole new artistic universe and it is, without doubt, her most masterful work to date.
Release: November 8, 2019, Young Turks/Remote Control
Words: Young Turks
Stepping into her sound like a silk robe, Elizabeth is the patron saint of sad girls on The Wonderful World of Nature, her debut album, produced by John Castle (Hatchie, Angie McMahon, Cub Sport, Vance Joy). Elizabeth is a glamorous tragic, a queer pop anti-heroine holding a curtain of glittering melodies over ugly truths.
Casting herself as the antagonist wielding pop songs as weapons, she wipes away her running mascara and escapes a destruction of her own making. This debutante divorcée has traded in her white veil for a cocktail and concocted a collection of shimmering heartbreak bangers that celebrate the femme and her indulgent indiscretions. The record is a testament to obsession and the desire to consume as much – of people, of substances, of herself – as she can.
These are pop songs that leave a lasting mark; lovebites that linger. Operating with an absolute absence of ego, together Castle and Elizabeth succumbed to their purest pop whims.
A fixation on intimacy extends far beyond just the lyrics – in designing the sound of her record, Elizabeth sought to create a feeling of intense closeness with listeners, to give the impression she’s hovering close, dealing out melodic incantations like a trusted friend or conscience on your shoulder. The effect is immediate, drawing the listener fully into their body and reminding them of the weight of heartbreak and desire. In facing the futility of holding onto something that’s already slipped out of her grasp, Elizabeth has created a new kind of heartbreak album.
Release: November 1, 2019, Our Golden Friend
Words: Our Golden Friend
Emma Russack & Lachlan Denton have unveiled their new collaborative album Take The Reigns.
Written over a tumultuous 6-month period for the two artists, Take The Reigns is a stunning showcase of Russack and Denton's singular songwriting abilities, masterfully melding the prolific artists' signature sounds for a compelling listen that spans earnest pop, melodic indie rock and melancholic balladry.
The album was recorded in just a few sessions with friends. Dylan Young (Way Dynamic) recorded and produced the record and mixed half of it, with the other half being mixed by Liam 'Snowy' Halliwell (one of Denton's bandmates in The Ocean Party), who also mastered it. Dainis Lacey from Cool Sounds played guitar and bass on some tracks.
On this album the pair have captured an incredible friendship that has had profound ups and downs over the past year, yet has only grown stronger.
Release: October 18, 2019, Spunk Records
Words: Spunk Records
Nashville-via-Boston DIY scene duo Twen's long awaited debut album, Awestruck, is a time capsule two years in the making and recorded in different locations along the way. Though unabashedly indie rock, Twen’s songs genre-bend from shoe-gaze-sized walls of sound to Beatle-esque call-and-response harmonies, while frontperson Jane Fitzsimmons’ voice weaves through guitarist Ian Jones’ guitar lines with Cocteau Twin’s inspired flair, giving breath of ethereal mysticism across the album.
For the past two years, Twen has been re-defining what a touring band looks like. In an age of homogeneous pop crafted for streaming consumption, Twen have been touring endlessly and perfecting a raw and mesmerizing live show without a proper release in tow. With DIY at the core of the band’s ethos, the two Twen masterminds have run Airbnbs while touring, played in exchange for skydiving, screen printed self-designed merch items by hand, and booked their own tours. Now based in Nashville, Twen have been gearing up to release the explosive debut album Awestruck.
Despite the band's non-traditional start, promise grows with each step Twen takes. The freedom and chaos brought on by their nomadic roots leaks into their live performance, only to saturate further with time. With touring now defining how a rock band can earn keep in 2019, Twen represents a refreshing antidote in an increasingly digital world. Awestruck serves as their digital flag, a compressed promise of the joyous energy that awaits in their tours and records to come.
Release: 20 September, 2019, Frenchkiss/The Orchard
Words: Brain Drain PR
Ireland's Girl Band have released their critically acclaimed long-awaited second album The Talkies out via Rough Trade Records / Remote Control Records.
The album was recorded in November 2018 at Ballintubbert House, Ireland - where better to accommodate Girl Band’s unsettling sound than a manor house? The alien construction of Ballintubbert and its corridors helped to navigate Girl Band's cataclysmic sound. The Talkies knowingly deals with the phenomenon of sound, the artistic blast upon the senses as artistic communication becomes sensory rather than cognitive.
Lyrically, the language on the record is decontextualised, allowing it to rock seamlessly between the absurd and the every day, creating new forms of meaning and emotion. “The songs, for us, can be up to interpretation. It’s rarely about specific ideas and more about the process of dovetailing lyrics to fit the music.” And so it is not meaning, but the physical weight of sound that brings these lyrics into existence.
“In many ways the idea behind the album was to make an audio representation of the house. We recorded all the drums twice: once on the landing and once in the cellar, and during production we could actually cut in between both these sounds. After we cancelled the last tour we weren’t really writing together as much anymore so we were more into demoing and writing down parts then cutting them up, collaging them together in the computer and reconfiguring them that way”.
Release: September 27th, 2019, Rough Trade/Remote Control
Words: Rough Trade
Angel Olsen has released her bold, yet vulnerable fourth album, All Mirrors. In every way, All Mirrors is “about owning up to your darkest side, finding the capacity for new love and trusting change.”
In creating All Mirrors, Olsen found a new sound and voice, a blast of fury mixed with hard won self-acceptance. Throughout, she takes an introspective deep dive towards internal destinations and revelations. Seemingly simple, cooed phrases expand into massive ideas about the inability to love and universal loneliness. And then suddenly — huge string arrangements and bellowing synth swells emerge, propelling the apocalyptic tenor. Produced by Olsen and John Congleton, All Mirrors features arrangements by Jherek Bischoff, multi-instrumentalist/arranger/pre-producer Ben Babbitt, and a 14-piece orchestra.
Release: Jagjaguwar/Inertia, October 4th, 2019