Introducing: Hannah Cohen

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Introducing: Hannah Cohen // Debut album released April on Bella Union

Hannah Cohen comes from a family of poets and musicians, broadcasters and booksellers. She left home as a teenager to travel the world working as a model, soon finding herself in New York and becoming over the next few years something of a muse to the city’s art scene, posing for Richard Prince, Terry Richardson, David Salle, Will Cotton, and Ryan McGinley. Working on the other side of the lens, Hannah shot album covers and music videos for friends, and her first book of photography, “Fotografias Brasil”, was published earlier this year.

She also immersed herself in NYC’s music scene, becoming friends with singers, writers and producers. And quietly, privately, she started teaching herself guitar and writing songs. They were simple songs, sung to herself, private reflections on love and loneliness. But when she did start sharing them with her friends, usually in the wee hours as a party was winding down, rooms were hushed, jaws dropped, and it became clear to everyone who heard them that these songs were something very special indeed.

Hannah’s debut record, “Child Bride”, was produced by Thomas Bartlett, aka Doveman, known for his keyboard work with artists like The National and Antony and the Johnsons, and also producer of upcoming records by Glen Hansard and Julia Stone. Drawn from Hannah and Thomas’s mutual friends, the core band is a small but potent group of some of New York’s finest musicians, including Sam Amidon, Rob Moose (Bon Iver, Antony and the Johnsons), Brad Albetta (producer for Martha Wainwright and Teddy Thompson), Doug Wieselman (Laurie Anderson, the Lounge Lizards), and Kenny Wollesen (John Zorn, Bill Frisell). Together they have created an expansive, haunted album, lush and welcoming, but also at times almost painfully intimate. Hannah’s strikingly distinctive voice and casually assured phrasing are at the centre of it all, from the heartbroken outpouring of “The Crying Game” to “California”, an irresistibly catchy love letter to Hannah’s home state, with a sunny disposition that can’t quite hide the undercurrent of melancholy and homesickness.

“Child Bride” is released 23rd April on Bella Union records

Watch “The Crying Game” below:


Photo and video by Matthu Placek.

XIU XIU unveil video to ‘Hi’

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Avant-garde pop provocateurs XIU XIU have just unveiled the video to new singleHi‘.

Directed by David Horvitz and Jamie Stewart, the video features footage shot on a crazed road trip through upstate New York and photos taken throughout 2010 – 2011 Xiu Xiu world tours, including sneaking out during the wee hours to burn dolls in church courtyards, throwing copies of Dick Cheney’s autobiography in a Barnes & Noble garbage, graffiti lyrics next to a gas station sink, and Jamie setting his hand on fire. As you do.

‘Always’ is released 27th February on Bella Union records. This will be followed by a UK tour in March, dates below:

Monday 12 March – BRISTOL – The Fleece
Tuesday 13 March – MANCHESTER – The Ruby Lounge
Wednesday 14 March – GLASGOW – The Captain’s Rest
Thursday 15 March – BRIGHTON – Sticky Mikes Frog Bar
Friday 16 March – LONDON – Rich Mix

Listen: Andrew Bird – Eyeoneye

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Have a listen to the stunning ‘Eyeoneye’ below, from the forthcoming Andrew Bird record:

Andrew will celebrate the release of Break It Yourself with a string of European shows that will include a SOLD OUT show at The Barbican, London on Monday 5th March.


Monday 5th March – LONDON, Barbican
Tuesday 6th March – PARIS, La Cigale
Thursday 8th March – BRUSSELS, Cirque Royale
Friday 9th March – AMSTERDAM, Paradiso
Saturday 2nd June – LONDON, Field Day Festival
Saturday 9th June – WELBECK ABBEY, No Direction Home Festival

M Ward signs to Bella Union

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

In the three years since Portland, OR-based troubadour M Ward released his last solo album – the universally lauded Hold Time – he’s toured the globe, released two albums as one half of Grammy-nominated duo She & Him as well as one with the talented group of friends collectively know as Monsters Of Folk.

Bella Union records will release Ward’s highly-anticipated sixth solo album, A Wasteland Companion, his first for the label, on Monday April 9th 2012.

Inspired by his increasingly itinerant lifestyle Ward set forth to create something of a musical travelogue. He explains, “Between now and when I made Hold Time there has been a lot of travelling which requires a lot of reckoning with what to leave behind and what to carry – material and otherwise – and thinking about what I want versus what I need, creatively and otherwise. I wanted to get a reflection of that on the album. It was a process of stripping away my security blanket, which is the same four walls I always record in.”

The album, consisting of 12 stunning tracks, was made with 18 musicians and recorded in eight different studios in Portland, Omaha, New York City, Los Angeles, Austin and Bristol (UK). Ward’s honey-soaked vocals, deft finger-picking, innate sense of melody and beguiling lyrics have already cemented his reputation as one of America’s true musical treasures and A Wasteland Companion features some of the finest songwriting and most striking delivery of his career. With each and every recording Ward finds new ways to make the colours of his songwriting palate sparkle and his dexterous skills as producer, arranger, guitarist and singer seem to burst into even brighter bloom on each release.

A Wasteland Companion features the talents of M Ward (piano, guitars, voice, production), Mike Coykendall (percussion, bass), Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb (piano), John Parish (percussion, marimba), Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis (organ), Susan Sanchez (vocals), She & Him’s Zooey Deschanel (vocals), Jordan Hudson (percussion), Adam Selzer (bass), Nathan “JR” Andersen (piano), Scott McPherson (percussion), Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley (percussion), Dr. Dog’s Tobey Leaman (bass), Devotchka’s Tom Hagerman (strings), Oakely Hall’s Rachel Cox (vocals), Amanda Lawrence (violin), John Graboff (pedal steel) and Tyler Tornfelt (bass). The recording utilized eight engineers, including Tom Schick (Rufus Wainwright) and John Parish (PJ Harvey).

Ahead of the release of “A Wasteland Companion” M Ward will perform a headline show at the Leicester Square Theatre as well as joining Feist as special guest on her European tour.

Upcoming UK live dates below:

Tuesday 20 March – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre (£16)
Sunday 25 March – LONDON – Royal Albert Hall (with Feist)
Monday 26 March – MANCHESTER – Apollo (with Feist)
Tuesday 27 March – GLASGOW – Royal Concert Hall (with Feist)

Bella Union sign Poor Moon

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Poor Moon is Christian Wargo (Fleet Foxes, Crystal Skulls), Casey Wescott (Fleet Foxes) and brothers Ian and Peter Murray (The Christmas Cards).  The band, named for frontman and primary songwriter Christian Wargo’s favorite Canned Heat song, began four years ago as a long-distance project with demos being created and sent back and forth while Wargo and Wescott were touring in support of the Fleet Foxes 2008 self-titled debut and Ian and Peter were living in the Bay area. Their first shows were at intimate Seattle house parties where they used playful throwaway monikers like Rabbit Kingdom and Cookie Mask. It wasn’t until the band opened up for Daekon at Seattle’s Neumos that things began to really take form. Recording began and the four longtime friends became a band and Bella Union (and Sub Pop in the US) didn’t hesitate to pursue them with unabashed enthusiasm. And it worked!

Illusion was recorded in a variety of bedrooms, practice spaces, the Murray residence, as well as AVAST! and Fastback studios in Seattle, Washington with the help of engineer Jared Hankins with guest performances by many a musician friend.

You can download the EP track People In Her Mind on the Soundcloud link below:

Poor Moon – People In Her Mind by Bella Union

Listen: Dirty Three – Rising Below

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Just before Christmas we announced that post-rock heroes Dirty Three will make their long-awaited return on Monday 27th February with a new album titled Toward The Low Sun… And now we’re very happy to share with you the first taste of music from this exceptional record in the shape of Rising Below. It is everything you could hope from a Dirty Three song, beginning slowly and subtly before erupting into a cacophony of noise. Speaking about the material Warren Ellis remarks ‘Dirty Three has always been about the way we play together and feed off each other. We wanted this one to be a return to the more improvised and instinctive approach of the earlier recordings’…

Dirty Three will be bringing their wondrous live show to these shores in May & June to play two festival dates:

Saturday 26 May – LONDON, ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror @ Alexander Palace
Friday 8th – Sunday 10th June – NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, No Direction Home Festival

Lanterns x Explosions

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Bella Union are pleased to announce that their rising stars Lanterns On The Lake will be joining label-mates Explosions In The Sky as special guests on their UK tour in late January. A pleasing synchronicity of band names and music if ever there was one!

Dates below:

Sunday 22 January – BELFAST – Mandela Hall (with Explosions In The Sky)
Monday 23 January – GLASGOW – Academy (with Explosions In The Sky)
Tuesday 24 January – LEEDS – Academy (with Explosions In The Sky)
Wednesday 25 January – GATESHEAD – The Sage (with Explosions In The Sky)
Friday 27 January – LONDON – Brixton Academy (with Explosions In The Sky)

Andrew Bird ‘Break It Yourself’ artwork + tracklist

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Andrew Bird’s much-anticipated twelfth album, Break It Yourself, is due on Monday 5th March on Bella Union, and we have the artwork and tracklist for you here. Produced by Bird, the album was recorded at his barn in Western Illinois near the banks of the Mississippi River. Break It Yourself follows Bird’s 2009 full length release Noble Beast, which was hailed as his “most instantly inviting album by far” by the Los Angeles Times while Rolling Stone praised him for “fusing…emotive indie rock with the chamber-music experimentalism of his early recordings.”

Andrew Bird ‘Break It Yourself’

1. Desperation Breeds…
2. Polynation
3. Danse Caribe
4. Give it Away
5. Eyeoneye
6. Lazy Projector
7. Near Death Experience Experience
8. Behind the Barn
9. Lusitania
10. Orpheo Looks Back
11. Sifters
12. Fatal Shore
13. Hole in the Ocean Floor
14. Belles

Andrew Bird will celebrate the release of Break It Yourself with a string of European shows that will include a SOLD OUT show at The Barbican, London on Monday 5th March.


Monday 5th March – LONDON, Barbican
Tuesday 6th March – PARIS, La Cigale
Thursday 8th March – BRUSSELS, Cirque Royale
Friday 9th March – AMSTERDAM, Paradiso
Saturday 2nd June – LONDON, Field Day Festival
Saturday 9th June – WELBECK ABBEY, No Direction Home Festival