Watch: Peter Broderick – One Way

Ahead of the release of his new studio album Colours Of The Night on 27th April via Bella Union, Peter  Broderick has just unveiled a light-hearted video to new track “One Way”.

Directed by Bernhard Wittich & Nicolas Lastschenko, the video is about “a cat that has such confidence in itself that it thinks it’s a human. The cat lives with an old lady but owns the place and does whatever it likes. And just like cats are, they disappear and leave you in the dark to do stuff you never get to see.”

Peter has also just announced a bunch of UK live appearances to follow the release of his new album. Dates / info below:

Wednesday 29th April – NOTTINGHAM – Rough Trade
Thursday 30th April – BRISTOL – Rise
Friday 1st May – LONDON – Rough Trade East
Monday 4th May – BRISTOL – The Lantern
Tuesday 5th May – COVENTRY – The Tin Music & Arts
Wednesday 6th May – GLASGOW – Mono
Thursday 7th May – BELFAST – Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival

Full list of dates (including EU and Ireland) here.

Colours Of The Night, Peter Broderick’s first full-length for Bella Union in three years, had a rather odd conception to say the least. The American born multi-instrumentalist and songwriter went along for the ride when invited for a so-called “recording residency” in the small town of Lucerne, Switzerland. Through several memorable concert evenings in the town on various tours, he developed a friendship with some of the locals, who eventually got the idea of inviting Broderick to be a guest of the city for three weeks while recording an album with a backing band of local musicians. All of which was to take place in the studio of Timo Keller, a local producer and engineer known primarily for his involvement in the Swiss hip-hop scene. The album’s enticing opening track, ‘Red Earth’, is streaming HERE.

Rewind a few years, back to 2012, which saw the release of Broderick’s last album for Bella Union, the ambitious http://www.itstartshear.com, recorded over the course of three years by Berlin’s producer/pianist extraordinaire Nils Frahm. After spending all that time in the studio, working and reworking to the point of exhaustion, Broderick struggled with the idea of recreating the album on stage, and eventually cancelled all tour plans, ending up in the hospital with a stress-born illness. Struggling to stay healthy and lacking the energy to carry on, Broderick returned to his his native Oregon, where he took a much needed break and slowly started rebuilding his approach toward music and life in general.

At this time of respite came the offer from Lucerne. Having always taken pride in playing all of the instruments himself, without anything in the way of a proper rhythm section, Broderick found the idea of working with a backing band intriguing and refreshing. And refreshing it proved! “I arrived with a pile of songs and just sort of watched as they got carried through the filter of this group of musicians who were coming from an entirely different place,” says Broderick. “It was exciting to let go a little bit, to simplify and consolidate my own role in the music.”

Recording all the basic tracks as a live band, they quickly found a groove and lilt that carries throughout the variety of song styles. From the Afro-tinged title track and playful ‘One Way’, to the doo-wop swing of ‘The Reconnection’ and rather unclassifiable analogue/digital blend of tracks like ‘Red Earth’ and ‘On Time’, Peter Broderick’s latest outing sees the well-versed musician truly embracing his surroundings, however foreign they may be, and allowing himself the freedom to be transformed by those surroundings and elevated to new heights in creative expression.

Colours Of The Night will be released 27th April on Bella Union.

Watch: Ezra Furman – Restless Year

Having recently signed to Bella Union and with a new studio album due in the summer, EZRA FURMAN has just unveiled a highly entertaining video for new single ‘Restless Year’.

Asked for  a quote about the video Ezra says: “Hello my dears, I hope you enjoy this musical video-film, made by the incomparable Jo Brett. This is pretty much an accurate depiction of what my life is like. Zipping around the San Francisco Bay Area, feeling insane, looking amazing. Reading, dancing, falling, encountering Death. This is how I live, moving wildly and freely through a world that has nothing to do with me. Special thanks to the fabulous Restless Year Dancers, the good people at Kayo Books, and Death, who as always was available at short notice.”

Director Joseph Brett adds: “Ezra pushes so much energy through his music and I knew it would be important to find that same energy in the video for Restless Year. Stop motion might not seem like the obvious choice for that, but with a huge amount of patience from Ezra we were able to make something together which is as energising and adventurous as the song itself. Over a process of days we made our way around San Francisco frame by frame, step by step, in what is probably the slowest tour of a city I’ve ever been on. Ezra took to the technique almost immediately, and it’s his performance within that brilliant city which makes the video so fun.”

Ezra has just announced news a number of European shows and festival appearances including a performance at Roskilde in Denmark in early July. He’ll also be playing his biggest London headline to show to date in the Autumn, performing at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire… Date/info below:

Thursday 22nd October – LONDON – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire tickets

Ezra’s music is an inspirational blend of seminal influences, from Fifties skiffle and doo-wop to Sixties garage and a righteous mix of winning melody and caustic humour. His last album, Day Of The Dog, was dedicated to, “all those who are rejected, abused, destitute, misunderstood, bullied, forsaken, broken-hearted, hopeless, sick, strange, lonely, alienated, widowed or orphaned,” and Furman gives emotionally charged voice to the aforementioned while penning lyrics that jump off the page. The punchy middle-eight of ‘Restless Year’ – “Death is my former employer / Death is my own Tom Sawyer / Death waits for me to destroy her / I never wanna die and I never grow older” – is brilliant testimony to his mixture of outsider-angst and life-affirming energy, which is always reflected in his electrifying stage persona.

Summer 2015 will see the release of Furman’s most fully realised and streamlined record, chock-full of snarling, zestful tunes and invested with the feeling that, this time, people are paying attention. “One of the main things my music is about is feeling totally insane!” Furman concludes. “I feel desperate a lot – desperate to try to explain something, I’m not sure what it is. You can hear it in a lot our songs; that I’m trying to shake people by the shoulders and explain something. And when you feel like that, here’s some music to put on!

Happy Release Day, Hannah Cohen!

HANNAH COHEN – PLEASURE BOY
We are very happy to be releasing the new Hannah Cohen record into the world today.
Buy in the Bella Union store

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Music often comes from a deep place, and in the case of Hannah Cohen’s stunning and heartrending second album, it’s very deep indeed. Mainly inspired by a painful break-up and the anxieties that loss can trigger, Pleasure Boy cushions its sadness in an exquisitely nuanced soundscape of aching melancholy and lush melody where Hannah’s vocal conveys all the different shades of heartbreak. Following the album’s completion, she’s survived the calamity and found a new level of happiness, but to paraphrase the classic Sixties hit, there will always be something there to remind her with Pleasure Boy.

‘Pleasure Boy’, like her debut ‘Child Bride’, was produced by Thomas Bartlett, aka Doveman, whose work with artists such as The National, Antony Hegarty and David Byrne singles him out as one of America’s current finest producers and collaborators, though he’s also a talented pianist. The dynamics of ‘Pleasure Boy’ was the result of Hannah and Bartlett, “bunkering down with my songs, experimenting with different tones and sounds, and layering them. My first record was so airy and roomy, I didn’t have patience for that again, I wanted more movement, something more mysterious and witchier, so we created this sound wall together.”

“I wanted the music to hurt, to have a visceral effect,” Hannah says. Her voice sometimes sounds delirious or icy; other times she recalls the vulnerable, piercing beauty of Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) and Karen Peris (The Innocence Mission). But Pleasure Boy‘s sound wouldn’t exist without the vision that launched it. The album title arrived as the record took shape. “Pleasure Boy is a character of who it’s about, someone who represents gluttony and decadence and richness,” Hannah explains. She admits it was a tough record to make, given she was aiming to heal emotionally while feeling “devastated and hurt. But it wouldn’t be the record it is if I hadn’t done that.”

Pleasure Boy is released today, 30th March on Bella Union.

Happy release day, Inventions!

MAZE OF WOODS IS RELEASED TODAY!
We would like to wish Inventions the happiest release day wishes to their sublime Maze of Woods.

“the range of sounds that they draw from has broadened considerably: percussion, strings, synths and, most noticeably, soaring wordless vocals build a bigger and more involving sound than their first release.” – Drowned In Sound

“a vivid, gorgeous, and multi-faceted release” – DIY

Watch the beautiful animated video by Dan Jacobs for Springworlds here, and listen below:

Order now from Bella Union
Stream on Spotify