Introducing: Tiny Ruins

Tiny Ruins will release their second album, Brightly Painted One, on 5th May.

The album is their first since signing with Bella Union in the UK/Europe.

Formed as a solo project in 2009 by songwriter Hollie Fullbrook, the band now includes bassist Cass Basil and drummer Alexander Freer. While continuing to be based in their native New Zealand, Tiny Ruins has spent much of the past three years touring throughout Australia, Europe & the US, opening for artists such as Beach House, Joanna Newsom, Fleet Foxes, Father John Misty, The Handsome Family and Calexico.

Lyrically ambiguous and poignant, the songs roughly follow in the traditions of folk and blues that Fullbrook has drawn on in the past, engaging moods both hopeful and world-weary. Yet there is more of an expansive approach to this album – where debut Some Were Meant for Sea presented a host of characterful vignettes, Brightly Painted One follows a journey, cyclical and whole, with tones falling between dream pop and folk-blues.

While still retaining a minimalist approach, this sophomore release is layered and shaped with an array of brass, percussion and strings.The arrangements are lush and fully-realized, with the warm fuzz of hammond and rhodes keyboards, subtle string parts and electric guitar jangles and thrums. Brightly Painted One was recorded with engineer Tom Healy over several months in an underground warren of passageways and small rooms known as ‘The Lab’, in Auckland, the band’s hometown.

The writing of these songs spans roughly three years, growing out of Fullbrook’s varied life of touring, working when home, relationships and everyday observation. From the mountain walks of She’ll Be Coming ‘Round , the roof-tops of White Sheet Lightning and the street corners of Reasonable Man, the songs document the stasis and the movement of life; of persevering its humour and mystery.

Brightly Painted One will be released 5th May on Bella Union.

Introducing: The Trouble With Templeton

Bella Union are thrilled to announce the signing of acclaimed Australian quintet The Trouble With Templeton whose debut album Rookie will be released Monday 12th May.

Already a huge success in Australia, The Trouble With Templeton is the creation of singer/songwriter Thomas Calder, a 23-year-old wunderkind who formed the band in 2011. The following year saw TTWT expand to a 5-piece, the new members complimenting Calder’s emotive vocals and songwriting with a collaborative, self-assured sound.

Adventurous, eccentric and stunningly melodic, Rookie is an album that leaves a distinct musical impression. With their debut release The Trouble With Templeton have crafted a record full of warmth and heart, whilst displaying a willingness to make music that’s not afraid to affect or surprise. “The only prerequisite we had going in was that if we loved the song and we believe in it, then we were going to record it,” says Thomas. “The element of surprise is something we really enjoy in music, something we’re always shooting for. You don’t want to know where a song is going from the first two lines.”As a result, the album is a whirling dervish of moods and colours, of tempos and genres, melodies and layers, tackling concepts behind relationships and the way unique human narratives emerge from different viewpoints.

Musically, defining Rookie beyond a happily all-encapsulating idea like ‘intelligent melodic alt-pop’ isn’t worth the hassle. It’s an album that demands listening to in order to be understood. “It’s held together by something undefinable,” reckons Thomas. “For me it’s a whole kaleidoscope of sounds and genres, but there’s something holding it together, and that’s us as a band.”

Rookie will be released 12th May on Bella Union.

“Rookie” Track Listing:

1. Whimpering Child
2. You are New
3. Heavy Lifting
4. Like A Kid
5. Six Months In A Cast
6. Climate
7. I Recorded You
8. Flowers In Bloom
9. Secret Pastures
10. Soldiers
11. Glue
12. Lint

Watch: Marissa Nadler – Was It A Dream

With her new album July gaining many plaudits – including a BNM on Pitchfork last week – Marissa Nadler has unveiled a new video for her latest single ‘Was It A Dream’. The song explores the blurry lines between reality and fantasy, something which is captured perfectly in the video as an elderly man gets lost within old archival footage.

Directed by Ryan Walsh, you can check this out below.

 On the video Marissa says…

” I definitely wanted something beautiful and dreamlike. I dressed in a white-and-black dress that was very simple. We had this older gentleman named Archie who had never been an actor before. I met him at a party and thought he’d be perfect for the video, so I asked him. He’s going through this old footage and he becomes kind of attached to it. He’s watching her, and he passes her on the street. The lines between reality and dreams are blurred.”

Marissa Nadler will embark on a four-date UK tour in April. Those dates below…

Sunday 20 April – BRISTOL – The Cube
Monday 21 April – HALIFAX – Square Chapel
Tuesday 22 April – BRIGHTON – Komedia
Wednesday 23 April – LONDON – Café Oto

Nadler lays the listener – and herself – on the line with ‘July’, her sixth full-length album in nearly a decade. Recorded at Seattle’s Avast Studio, the album pairs Nadler for the first time with producer Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))), Wolves in the Throne Room). Dunn matches Nadler’s darkness by creating a multi-coloured sonic palette that infuses new dimensions into her songs. Eyvand Kang’s strings, Steve Moore’s synths and Phil Wandscher’s guitar lines escalate the whole affair to a panoramic level of beautiful, eerie wonder. The results are astonishing and occasionally reminiscent of David Lynch (who is, appropriately enough, among her label mates on Sacred Bones). As Pitchfork once wrote, her songs are “as gorgeous as they are elliptical and intriguing.”

Her voice, too, is something to behold here, at once clarion but heavy with the kind of tear-stained emotion you hear on scratchy old country records by the likes of Tammy Wynette and Sammi Smith. Long gone are the days when Nadler summoned images of 1960s folk singers who got lost in the woods. She is a cosmic force on “July,” shooting these songs to euphoric highs and heartbreaking lows.

Introducing RÁJ

Bella Union are delighted to be releasing Let Me Love You, the extraordinary first single from RÁJ.

Hailing from LA and just 20 years old, RÁJ is an artist that prefers to let his music do the talking. Though like Jai Paul or Burial before him, he’s a singular voice, one whose mysteriousness complements his brooding and elegant songs. ‘Let Me Love You is available digitally today and can be heard here.

The b-side to ‘Let Me Love You’ is the equally arresting ‘Ghost’ which has already been the subject of much online excitement.

Directed by Everdream and shot on location in Budapest, the video mirrors the song’s cinematic reach and can be viewed below.

RÁJ will make his UK live debut a week today supporting The Neighbourhood at XOYO:

Monday 17 February – LONDON – XOYO (with The Neighbourhood)