Happy Release Day, Bernard + Edith!

JEM by Bernard + Edith is out now!
order in our store

Everyone at the label would like to wish the warmest release day salutations to Bernard + Edith!

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Jem tracklisting:
1. Wurds
2. Dagger
3. Crocodile
4. Tidal Wave
5. Jem
6. China
7. Heartache
8. Poppy
9. I Will Be
10. Rosemary
11. Underwater
12. Girls Night Out
13. Young Woman

Fellow Manchester-based artist Jamie Lee of the band MONEY has penned the below idiosyncratic bio-cum-tribute to Bernard + Edith:

“Perhaps Bernard and Edith would think that what I’m about to say is going too far. But I remember drinking with vocalist Edith in a bar in Manchester and talking about how her and Bernard come to creating their songs. Edith observed: “Rather than say ‘let’s go out’ or ‘let’s watch TV’ I say, ‘should we make a cheeky song?’ And he says ‘Alright then’.” And that laughter I’ve come to know so well erupts from her maniacally, childishly, freely.

Edith’s singing style reminds me of the kind of emancipatory freedom of the modern American school of writing. Her melodies are uninhibited by traditional rules of structure – she moves where and when she feels the impulse to; and knowing the woman behind the voice I see that the impulse in her can be as chaotic as it is beguiling. She is like a bouquet balanced precariously on the edge of a table unsure of whether it will fall and break – hinged between extreme goodness and feeling on the one hand and on the other, chaos and perhaps even madness. Lyrically, again, the comparison is relevant: “cos poppy says she loves me and I’m feeling right” is as naked, unpretentious and brave as the revolutionary poet Robert Lowell’s assertion; “why not say what happened?” that triggered his confessional movement producing and influencing writers from Sylvia Plath to Anne Sexton – a place where the uncompromisingly personal and high-art met in the middle. This applies to Bernard and Edith too. A place explored by Daniel Johnston and Arthur Russell – it is the artful balance between a highly private expression and having the skill and intelligence to communicate that to the world. It is testing the limits of what a person can say within their art but  also lends a universality to their language and style. Having mentioned these artists, there is clearly a strongly cathartic drive to why Bernard and Edith even exist at all – it is art being made for the right reasons – for the love of it! It is esoteric but never indulgent, original but not reactionary or avant-garde, otherworldly but unpretentious.

It is my belief that whatever art is, it is the direct opposite of whatever money is. It is made by the maker to save oneself briefly from the inevitable and in doing so (where the craft comes in) may end up saving other people briefly too. Bernard + Edith make their music from home and (I cannot help but feel) predominantly for each other – a kind of covenant to their particular and special bond.”

Watch: Landshapes – Ader

Noisey & Urban Outfitters have premiered the new video for Ader, from Heyoon – released this week on Bella Union. Directed by David Graham, you can watch it now below…

Catch the band live:

Thu May 7 – XOYO, London (w/Stealing Sheep)
Thu May 14 – Banquet Records, Kingston (FREE INSTORE 6pm)
Thu May 14 – New Slang, Kingston (w/Summer Camp)
Fri May 15 – Bush Hall, London (w/ She Keeps Bees)
Sat May 16 – The Great Escape 2015, Brighton UK
Fri May 29 – Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham UK
Sat Jun 6 – Nacht van Kunst & Wetenschap, Groningen NL
Wed Jul 1 – Sommerloft Festival @ //:about blank, Berlin DE
Thu Jul 2 – Sommermolotow @ Molotow Bar, Hamburg DE
Sun Aug 23 – Green Man 2015, Brecon Beacons UK

BUY HEYOON IN OUR STORE HERE!

Introducing MAMMÚT

Bella Union is very pleased to welcome Icelandic-quintet, MAMMÚT, to the family. The new EP River’s End will be released digitally on Monday 1st June.

The band have been playing together since their teens. In this time they have refined a sound that is saturated with heavy energy and sense of melody, something that comes to the fore in their live show, which is known for its intensity.

They recently gained prestige in their native Iceland with their latest album  “Komdu til mín svarta systir” winning the Icelandic Music Award for Best Album and their song ‘Salt’ awarded Best Song of the Year… Mammút is now ready for the rest of the World!

Listen to ‘Salt’ below…

MAMMÚT will play End Of The Road Festival in September

Friday 4th – Sunday 6th September – END OF THE ROAD FESTIVAL, Larmer Tree Gardens

River’s End EP will be released digitally on Monday 1st June via Bella Union.

Happy release day, Landshapes!

It’s the full moon, Star Wars day AND Landshapes have released their new album Heyoon into the world.
O whatta day. Celebrate!

Landshapes – Heyoon
AVAILABLE NOW

Heyoon packshot copy

Lost practices, hidden worlds, secret topics – Landshapes shift around the dark, magical borders of alternative culture, soaking up poetry and peccadillos, high art and low desires.

On their second album Heyoon, released on Bella Union on May 4th, Landshapes explore everything from a 17th Century tale about migratory space geese; tragic Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader who died on a failed Atlantic crossing, the desire to inhabit another’s psyche and nights out at drag bars. With Landshapes, anything could happen.

Previously Lulu And The Lampshades, 2012 saw them accrue a wealth of guitar pedals, a fascination for mind-expanding noise and, following a mis-billing in Paris, a new name: Landshapes.

2013 debut Landshapes album Rambutan was a voyage of discovery as they hunted out this elusive new soundscape. Electronics clashed with traditional shanties, eastern atmospherics met spaghetti western overtones, nothing was out-of-bounds.

Described by one reviewer as “conjuring up images of twisted Tim Burton nighttime fairgrounds where all the rides are manned by Tom Waits”, it combined art, folk, psychedelia and math-rock in a beguiling morass of ominous strings, oddball found-sounds and insidious melody.

The band were still mapping Landshapes though. Over the next year of intense rehearsals and live outings – including CMJ, Green Man and End Of The Road, they honed the self-professed “unleashed and loud” sound into a focused tornado.

They worked with an open palate and freeform approach. “Making patterns, moods, and noises, enjoying conflicts of sound that can be explored and then resolved.” Key to this development was a fortnight spent in a cottage in the woods of Cornwall in September 2014

“Something about all that fresh air, sea, and woods and fire manifested in something much darker and much more menacing than anything we’d written so far,” Luisa explains. “That’s when it felt like we’d started the album.”

After road testing the new material and earning all-female mosh-pits in the process, the band hit Soup Studios in Limehouse with producers Giles Barrett and David Holmes. Here two more songs came together including lead single Moongee, a masterpiece of hallucinatory sludge rock inspired by interplanetary wildfowl, a tale by 17th century Bishop Francis Godwin recently re-imagined by artist Agnes Meyer Brandis.

The resulting album Heyoon is astounding, both sonically and thematically. If you want to take the highbrow road through this dense maelstrom of psychedelic math-fuzz beauty, then focus on the lustrous, unsettling lounge drone of Fire. A reflection of a Lydia Davis story called Forbidden Subjects, the track documents a post-break up friendship. “Conversations are so barbed and loaded, it’s the fire of conflict but also the memory of the fire of chemistry.”

There’s a rich seam of break-up philosophy running through Heyoon. The Lynchian torch-gaze of Red Kite concerns “still feeling deeply affected by a past relationship, but putting that neatly, and tenderly in a box so that you can move on.”

The untamed, carnival-whirling pop of Ader recalls tragic visual artist Bas Jan Ader, whose work still remains unexplained following his death in a little sailboat, alone on the Atlantic. “People have speculated over what he’s sad about,” adds Luisa. “That it could be the absolute loneliness of all humans and that you can never completely know another person.”

Wallow in the bass-fuelled end of Heyoon and you’ll embrace the stampeding thunk-punk of opener Stay, a booty-call set to music that shape-shifts into a post-orgasmic bliss dream in its second half. Then there’s the sultry Gallic trembles of Francois, a courage song exploring gender with luring verses coaxing someone to go out, go to a party and be themselves.

Brooding, beautiful, haunted and occasionally barbarous, Heyoon is a record about secret, hidden things, right down to it’s title, a mispronunciation of a secret pavilion hidden in the woods of south-east Michigan, near Ann Arbor.

“These two guys built this weird structure, kind of a pavilion, on one of their properties, hidden in a clearing in the woods. The story goes that teenagers stumbled across it and it became a place people would escape to. Young teens looking for somewhere to hang out, somewhere just to smoke and drink and do all that stuff, a temple of firsts. You can only find it if somebody takes you there who already knows it. It’s a beautiful story, although we’re probably doing something blasphemous, because it’s a secret, calling our album that.”

Landshapes: climb inside and explore.

Dan Blackett (drums, vocals), Luisa Gerstein (ukelele, vocals), Heloise Tunstall-Behrens (bass, vocals), Jemma Freeman (guitar, vocals)