Introducing… Tallies

Bella Union Records are thrilled to announce the signing of Tallies. The Toronto-based band are today sharing their captivating new single, “No Dreams of Fayres”, which is released via Bella Union (UK/EU), Kanine Records (US) and Hand Drawn Dracula (Canada). The new single marks the first new music from the band since their acclaimed self-titled debut that found fans atClash, NYLON, DIY, CRACK, MOJO, Exclaim, Under the Radar and more. 

“No Dreams of Fayres” marks a step up in what 2019’s Tallies promised, once again drawing on the ethereal dream-pop aesthetics of Lush, Beach House and Cocteau Twins but this time turning the dial on some of those shimmering guitar lines. Produced by Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and Dylan Frankland of the band at Palace Sound, Baskitball 4 Life and Candle Recording in Toronto, “No Dreams of Fayres” documents singer Sarah Cogan’s battle with depression; the moments when she was trying to work it out but couldn’t find the energy to do so.

Speaking about the new single, Cogan says: “’No Dreams of Fayres’ is a reflection of thoughts that I remember going through my mind when I stayed still in bed. Feeling as though staying still in bed was the only thing that would help the sadness – basically, disconnecting myself from family, friends, and having a life. Finding the way out of depression was hard but possible. ‘No Dreams of Fayres’ is also about the realization of letting yourself feel real feelings but not mistaking them for emotions. I had to learn to get a grip of what I wanted out of life and go for it with no self-sabotage – which was music, as clichéd as it sounds. It pulled me out of bed, physically and mentally.”

Tallies, who have previously opened for the likes of Mudhoney, Hatchie, Tim Burgess and Weaves, is made up of founding members guitarist Dylan Frankland and singer/guitarist Sarah Cogan, who are joined by drummer, Cian O’Neill. Tallies were recently announced to play at next year’s SXSW Festival in Austin and New Colossus Festival in New York. We’ll have more new music and live dates to share shortly.

“this quartet hit a melancholy sweet spot between The Sundays, Sarah Records and Slowdive” – Q

“Dreamy guitar pop with that Canadian sensibility, with influences ranging from The Pastels to The Sundays, Orange Juice, and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.” – CLASH

“this Toronto-based quartet inject sufficient Sundays / Cocteaus-ish vocal and melodic bounce to soften even the most calcified indie heart” – MOJO

“Chuck in a dollop of shoegaze and dream-pop, and a smidgeon of surf pop, and you’ve got a rather lovely complete package.” – CRACK

“Combining upbeat drum beats, melodic bass riffs, jingly guitar leads, and fluttery vocals, TALLIES gives out a soft, yet bouncy ray of sunshine.” – ROUGH TRADE

Happy Release Day Penelope Isles

To celebrate the release of their new album Which Way To Happy, out today via Bella Union with the physical release following on 21st January,Penelope Isles have shared a video to current single and album highlight “Terrified”. The track is a reflection on anxiety set to a dreamy sunburst of psychedelic jangle-pop while the colourful video features frontman Jack Wolter getting the full clown makeover. Of the video Jack says: “We wanted to capture some kind of juxtaposition within the video for “Terrified”. The manic, hurried face-painting getting slapped on but with me singing almost bored and spun-out in real-time. A funny, supposed-to-be-joyful clown framed in a wonky black and white frame. The instrumentation of the song is very much the polar opposite to what I’m singing about and so we tried to continue this theme in the video. We also wanted something visually a little less busy and intense than the other videos we have shared from the album.

“Jack and Lily Wolter balance the bitter and the sweet with real delicacy on the follow-up to their 2019 debut… An endearing mixture of emotional wobble and creative confidence, Which Way To Happy is on exactly the right track.” MOJO

“Festooned with macroscopic, reverb-smitten production and sumptuous orchestral arrangements, Which Way To Happy balances the raw confessionalism of its lyrics with the lavish ethereality of sound… A genuinely healing listen; an album to get cosy with while its music lovingly soaks your wounds.” DIY – 4 stars ****

“Widescreen, expansive stuff, given added scale by Dave Fridmann’s mix. ‘Rocking At The Bottom’ mixes jangle and shoegaze with a dose of the Bunnymen at their most grandiose, while ‘Play It Cool’ is irresistible retro-pop. The stately psych stroll of ‘Sailing Still’ and woozy glide of ‘Pink Lemonade’ are both dreamy high points.” Shindig – 4 stars ****

“This sibling duo’s forthcoming album Which Way to Happy builds further upon their explorations of sound, unbound to the constraints of style. The result is a cohesive grab bag of influences ranging from The Smiths to Tame Impala.” Paste

“Cause for joy as winter looms… Which Way To Happy is sprawling and multi-coloured and really, really big, though ultimately hugely friendly – maybe like the creatures from Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are seen through an acid prism.” Backseat Mafia – 8.5/10

Psychic Markers Release Remix EP

To celebrate their upcoming UK tour this month, Psychic Markers have today released a remix EP featuring remixes by Astrel K (Ulrika Spacek), The Beat Escape and Radiant Light. Speaking of the EP the band had the following to say… “It’s always interesting to see how people interpret art as it’s so often in a wide variety of ways. With that notion we wanted to ask a couple of people who we dig to reimagine some of the tracks from our recent LP, the outcome is great as it’s not necessarily something we would have done but inherits our DNA all the same.”

Psychic​ ​Markers​ ​are​ ​a band driven​ ​by​ ​a collective​ ​psyche,​ ​where​ ​the​ ​rule​ ​of​ ​friendship​ ​and​ ​instinctive​ ​democracy trumps​​ ​any​ ​forced​ ​idea​ ​of​ ​aesthetic. Core members Leon Dufficy, Steven Dove and Luke Jarvis create music that weaves seamlessly between pulsing groove-locked electronica and psychedelic pop as frequently as it glides from sparkling melody to rich cinematic ambience.

In 2020 Psychic Markers release their self titled album, as well as a follow up mixtape titled Blue Dreams, or Sucre De La Pastéque.

Lanterns On The Lake debut “Don’t Have Nightmares”

Mid-way through a headline UK tour, Lanterns On The Lake today share a new track, “Don’t Have Nightmares”. The track was created for the hit BBC podcast “Uncanny” in which The Battersea Poltergeist’s Danny Robins investigates real-life stories of paranormal encounters from ghostly phantoms through to UFOs. 

Of the track Lanterns On The Lake vocalist Hazel Wilde says: “Danny and his producer Simon were keen for us to create something simple that would fit the themes of the series and send a shiver down your spine. Lyrically, I was trying to come up with something that could cover the range of unique stories and link them all. Each episode and story is different. Some include ghosts, UFOs, poltergeists and some even touch on mental health. So I wrote it from the point of view of someone being haunted by their experience. The thought/ memory of what they’ve experienced behaves like a ghost in a way. We wanted the music to get under your skin if you were listening on headphones to the podcast. We included subtle footsteps as the percussion for the song and piano sound is warped to give it that otherworldly, unnerving feel.”

Originally formed in Newcastle in 2007, Lanterns On The Lake combine dreamy, melancholic Indie rock with beautiful layers of texture and celestial melodies that thread around intricate instrumentation.

Their fourth studio album Spook The Herd was released in February 2020 to critical acclaim and earned a place on the shortlist for the Mercury Prize. Recorded live where possible, the band’s natural touchstones of gauzy dream-pop and monumental post rock still float in the air on this album.

Spook the Herd sees Hazel Wilde’s voice and preoccupations rise to the fore like never before. In tandem, the band break new ground on a set of songs that are unavoidably direct – and crucial. Wilde does nothing less than dive headlong into the existential crises of our times, and proves herself a songwriter possessed of a rare talent for finding the personal contours to contemporary issues.

The nine songs turn the microscope to our hopelessly polarized politics, social media, addiction, grief and the climate crisis. Yet Wilde’s romantic streak is still the record’s beating heart and shines a hopeful beam of light into the darkness. The band’s sound has been beautifully winnowed into something more pared back, urgent and direct, with songs full of arresting intimacy. “Swimming Lessons” is writhing and supple as Gregory’s arpeggiated guitar dovetails with Ol Ketteringham’s pulsating drumming and Wilde’s keening vocal, while “Every Atom” rides on insistent beats which lay a bed for a warped and playfully robotic guitar line.

Lanterns on the Lake, completed by bassist Bob Allan and viola player Angela Chan, have always known how to cannily manipulate texture and space. But rarely before have they captured such sheer presence. Stripping layers away, unearthing their essence, proves to be a new alchemy as their sound is writ large at its boldest.

Spiritualized announce “Everything Was Beautiful”

Following this year’s acclaimed reissue of their classic first four albums, Spiritualized today announce news of their new studio album, Everything Was Beautiful, released 25th February 2022 via Bella Union and available to preorder here. To mark the occasion the band have shared a visually striking and timely video for lead track and album opener, “Always Together With You”, directed by J Spaceman and announced news of an extensive international tour running from March – May 2022 which includes a headline performance at London’s Roundhouse. The dates are listed further down the announcement.

While some people imploded in the lockdowns and isolation of the epidemic, others were thriving. “I felt like I’d been in training for this my whole life” says J Spaceman.

He was referring to his fondness for isolation and when you reframe loneliness as “beautiful solitude” then it isn’t so bad. He would walk through an empty “Roman London” where “even the sirens had stopped singing” and where the world was “full of birdsong and strangeness and no contrails.” He used the birdsong walks to listen and try and make sense of all the music playing in his head. The mixes of his new record, a ninth studio album, weren’t working out yet. 

Spaceman plays 16 different instruments on Everything Was Beautiful which was put down at 11 different studios, as well as at his home. He also employed more than 30 musicians and singers including his daughter Poppy, long-time collaborator and friend John Coxon, string and brass sections, choirs and finger bells and chimes from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. So there’s a lot going on. 

“There was so much information on it that the slightest move would unbalance it, but going around in circles is important to me. Not like you’re spiraling out of control but you’re going around and around and on each revolution you hold onto the good each time. Sure, you get mistakes as well, but you hold on to some of those too and that’s how you kind of… achieve. Well, you get there.” 

Eventually the mixes got there and Everything Was Beautiful was achieved. The result is some of the most “live” sounding recordings that Spiritualized have released since the Live At The Albert Hall record of 1998, around the time of Ladies & Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space. 

The opening track “Always Together With You” is a reworking / supercharging of a track originally released in demo quality in 2014. This new version is a perfect Spiritualized song; a breathtaking, hard-edged, psychedelic pop tune where themes of high romance and space travel collide.

The artwork is designed once again with Mark Farrow. If you buy the vinyl you can pop a pill box out of the sleeve, revealing gold foil underneath, and assemble the Braille-embossed little thing and put it somewhere in the house. The box set has 8 of them. Literally a boxset. It looks more beautiful in the flesh. “Farrow and I were talking about what we should do and we just said, ‘It’s called Everything Is Beautiful, how could you not have a pill?’” 

All these layers, all these details, the year-long mixes, the making sense of it all and the lives lived within these lyrics; for somebody so famously unconfident of his own abilities, isn’t this a punishing thing to keep doing? “Yeah, but I like what I do. There’s a line from Jonathan Meades that’s about having all the attributes to being an artist. ‘Paranoia, vanity, selfishness, egotism, sycophancy, resentment, moral nullity and more idiot than idiot savant.’ “And that’s what it feels like, this kind of thing. You’re your own worst enemy and biggest supporter. “There’s a ‘Of course this is worth it. It’s me’ and then this kind of deep doubt of ‘What the fuck is this all about?’ “And then ‘Why is it important?’ and then knowing there’s no easy answer. But it’s there. I know it’s there.”