Hannah Cohen announces UK tour

Today New York singer-songwriter Hannah Cohen announced tour dates in the UK and Europe to present the captivating songs from her third album Welcome Home. The dates include headline shows in London, Paris and Amsterdam, as well as appearances in support of Sam Evian. Hannah’s tour with Andy Shauf’s Foxwarren continues in the eastern US and Canada after a successful run in the western states.

Hannah Cohen has arrived home. From the title of her new album to the depth and beauty of the music, the Woodstock, NY-based singer-songwriter’s third album, Welcome Home, displays a new level of confidence and comfort with the many creative tools at her disposal. Cohen’s remarkably evocative voice is surrounded by dreamy, swooning incantations, from the rippling ‘This Is Your Life’ and the slow-burning, forthright statement of ‘All I Want,’ to the soul swagger of ‘Get in Line’ and dramatic vocal leaps of ‘Wasting My Time.’

Produced by Cohen’s partner Sam Owens, the producer/writer who performs as Sam Evian, the artist began developing the material that became Welcome Home in 2017. Taking her time with the songs, she wrapped herself in the fulfilling quiet of a new home, and a new creative partnership that supported finding a clarity in her writing and vocals. Many of the songs were written on an old, nylon-string guitar painted with Hawaiian scenes of beaches and palm trees (which can be heard on ‘This Is Your Life’), that, no matter the final arrangement, gives the songs a lighter touch, a warming glow that suffuses the whole album. Listeners may find echoes of folk and R&B, radiating with vocal-powered pop production, electronic accents, and bursts of pulsing guitar/bass/drums energy. Irresistible echoes of soul enchanters such as Carrie Cleveland (an early touchstone for Cohen and Evian), Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and their friend and sometime collaborator Nick Hakim blend with the reflective shadings of singer/writer forebears such as Carole King and Harry Nilsson.

Today New York singer-songwriter Hannah Cohen announced tour dates in the UK and Europe to present the captivating songs from her third album Welcome Home. Listen to the album HERE. The dates include headline shows in London, Paris and Amsterdam, as well as appearances in support of Sam Evian. Hannah’s tour with Andy Shauf’s Foxwarren continues in the eastern US and Canada after a successful run in the western states.

Hannah Cohen has arrived home. From the title of her new album to the depth and beauty of the music, the Woodstock, NY-based singer-songwriter’s third album, Welcome Home, displays a new level of confidence and comfort with the many creative tools at her disposal. Cohen’s remarkably evocative voice is surrounded by dreamy, swooning incantations, from the rippling ‘This Is Your Life’ and the slow-burning, forthright statement of ‘All I Want,’ to the soul swagger of ‘Get in Line’ and dramatic vocal leaps of ‘Wasting My Time.’

Produced by Cohen’s partner Sam Owens, the producer/writer who performs as Sam Evian, the artist began developing the material that became Welcome Home in 2017. Taking her time with the songs, she wrapped herself in the fulfilling quiet of a new home, and a new creative partnership that supported finding a clarity in her writing and vocals. Many of the songs were written on an old, nylon-string guitar painted with Hawaiian scenes of beaches and palm trees (which can be heard on ‘This Is Your Life’), that, no matter the final arrangement, gives the songs a lighter touch, a warming glow that suffuses the whole album. Listeners may find echoes of folk and R&B, radiating with vocal-powered pop production, electronic accents, and bursts of pulsing guitar/bass/drums energy. Irresistible echoes of soul enchanters such as Carrie Cleveland (an early touchstone for Cohen and Evian), Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and their friend and sometime collaborator Nick Hakim blend with the reflective shadings of singer/writer forebears such as Carole King and Harry Nilsson.

Hannah Cohen’s third album “Welcome Home” is out now via Bella Union.

Hannah Cohen will tour the UK and Europe this summer, including dates at the Lexington supporting Sam Evian on 27 August and a headline slot at SET in London on 2 September. Tickets are available HERE.

Modern Nature announce UK tour

Having recently announced the release of their debut album How To Live, available 23rd August via Bella Union, and shared a video to lead track “Peradam”, Modern Nature have today announced news of a UK headline tour in September. The band will also be performing at festivals including Port Eliot, Green Man and Freakender over the next few months.

The city and the country both have distinct, vibrant energies – but there’s something happening in between, too. As factories give way to fields, and highways drift into gravelly roads, the friction can be palpable, the aura electric.

The lines between city and country were on Jack Cooper and Will Young’s minds when they named their new band Modern Nature. They took the phrase from the diaries of filmmaker Derek Jarman, written on the coast of Kent in his Dungeness cottage. Visiting Jarman’s home, Cooper was struck by what he calls a “weird mix of urban and rural” – such as the way a nuclear power station sits next to open grasslands.

On Modern Nature’s debut album, How to Live, urban and rural cross into each other. Plaintive cello strains melt into motorik beats. Pastoral field recordings drift through looping guitar figures. Rising melodies shine with reflective saxophone accents, placing the record somewhere between the subtle mediations of Talk Talk, the stirring folk of Anne Briggs and the atmoshperic waves of Harmonia.

Throughout this continuous work, where no song ever really seems to end, there’s an indelible feeling of constant forward motion. It’s as if the band is laying down a railway and riding it simultaneously, and you can hear all kinds of landscapes passing by.

The endless feel of How to Live was inspired by Cooper’s experience making his 2017 solo album Sandgrown. It was the first time he made a record with a defined theme – a suite of songs about his hometown of Blackpool – and imposing a narrative framework turned out to be refreshingly liberating. “When I started thinking about a new project,” he recalls, “going back to making an album of unconnected songs seemed as strange as making a movie with completely unconnected scenes.”

As he began writing songs, Cooper was also tuning to the vibes of Earth Loop, an instrumental solo album by BEAK>’s Will Young (under the name Moon Gangs). For a long time, Cooper had hoped to work more with Young, who almost joined his first band, Mazes, and was in the touring version of his next group, Ultimate Painting. So he decided now was finally the time, as he puts it, “to make good on hundreds of late night ‘we should really do music together’ conversations.”

“Over the next few weeks I started sending Will songs, and we began meeting up, working on ideas and formulating the bigger picture as it were,” Cooper recalls. “Approaching the album as a film or play made complete sense, and from that came the idea to have a very defined narrative, reoccurring themes and chord progressions, field recordings and a set palette of instruments and sounds. Each song came with pages and pages of notes, musical references, films, books, places, words and feelings.”

The richness of the ideas in these songs is matched by the resonance of the music. Cooper and Young’s organic compositions gain muscle through the thoughtful cello of Rupert Gillett, the insistent drumming of Aaron Neveu (of compatriot outfit Woods), and the expressive saxophone of Jeff Tobias, from Brooklyn jazz/rock juggernaut Sunwatchers. Each track on How to Live evolved as these creative forces joined the group, and it shows. The entire album courses with both precision and vitality, and is a work of surprising layers and limitless depths. Modern Nature may have been inspired by the line between urban and rural, but with How To Live they’ve gone a step further, and created their own complete world.

How To Live will bereleased 23rd August via Bella Union.

Ezra Furman announces UK tour in November

Just a year and a half since the release of his critically acclaimed LP Transangelic Exodus, Ezra Furman returns with Twelve Nudes, yet another incendiary and inspiring classic from the singer/songwriter. The album will be released worldwide on 30th August via Bella Union and is available to pre-order here.

Today, Furman also announces a UK tour in November, including London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town on 14th. The new dates go on-sale this Friday 7th June at 9am GMT. All dates listed HERE.

“This is our punk record,” says Ezra Furman. “We made it in Oakland, quickly. We drank and smoked. Then we made the loud parts louder. I hurt my voice screaming. This was back in 2018, when things were bad in the world. The songs are naked with nothing to hide.”

Immediate proof is offered by ‘Calm Down’ (aka ‘I Should Not Be Alone’), the album’s insanely catchy opening track and lead single, bound up in a compact two minutes and 22 seconds.

“Desperate times make for desperate songs” says Furman. “I wrote this in the summer of 2018, a terrible time. It’s the sound of me struggling to admit that I’m not okay with the current state of human civilization, in which bad men crush us into submission. Once you admit how bad it feels to live in a broken society, you can start to resist it, and imagine a better one.” 

Furman’s preceding album, 2018’s Transangelic Exodus, was “an angry and fearful and pent-up reaction to events too,” he recalls. “But it was a carefully written and recorded version; we took a lot of time with edits and overdubs. I knew I wanted I make this album quickly and not spend time thinking how to play the songs. Twelve Nudes is a ‘body’ more than a ‘mind’ record – more animal than intellectual, And by affirming negativity, it gives you energy, to reject stuff. There’s more space for positivity.”

Far from being defeated by a world in turmoil, Furman’s productivity has only increased the worse things have got – and he’s taken up different disciplines to boot. Between Transangelic Exodus and Twelve Nudes, the 33⅓ imprint published his deeply personal, thoughtful and incisive book on Lou Reed’s legendary 1972 album “Transformer”, before Furman scored the soundtrack to Netflix’s acclaimed comedy Sex Education (it aired in January), which showcased the tender side of his songwriting.

But all his pent-up energy had to be channelled somewhere: hence Twelve Nudes, which Furman and band recorded in October and November 2018 before the album was mixed by the venerated producer John Congleton (Sharon van Etten, St Vincent, John Grant). Furman says the album has two spiritual heroes – the late great punk rock rocker Jay Reatard, and Canadian poet, philosopher and essayist Anne Carson. “She’s one of my top three living writers,” he says. “Anne had these visions, or meditations, to deal with the intense pain in her life, which she calls ‘nudes’, and similarly these songs are meditations on pain and recognising what’s there if you go digging around in your anger and fear and anxiety. So, my album is called Twelve Nudes.”

“The record is political,” says Furman, “but it offers an emotional reaction rather than being specific or partisan.” Furman’s Jewish identity shapes ‘Rated R Crusaders,’ triggered by the Israel/Palestine conflict and its complex web of refugee trauma. ‘Trauma’, meanwhile, seethes with the spiritual malaise brought on by watching wealthy bullies accused of sexual assault rise to power. America, Furman well knows, is balanced on a knife-edge between white male supremacy and the dream of universal opportunity; hence the references to Mexico, slaveowners and US ‘founding father’ Ben Franklin in ‘In America’. As Furman sings, reiterating the spirit of punk rock, and positivity, “Put it all in a two-minute pop song / A really-mean-it-a-lot song for America.

“One of my goals in making music is to make the world seem bigger, and life seem larger,” he concludes. “I want to be a force that tries to revive the human spirit rather than crush it, to open possibilities rather than close them down. Sometimes a passionate negativity is the best way to do that.”

Twelve Nudes will be released 30th August via Bella Union.

The Soft Cavalry share sign language video for ‘Bulletproof’

With the release of their self–titled debut album just over a month away, and having recently shared a video for lead track “Dive”, The Soft Cavalry (husband/wife duo Steve Clarke and Rachel Goswell of Slowdive) have today shared a b/w video for new single “Bulletproof” in which the band use sign language to convey the track’s lyrics. Of the video Goswell says: “For a long time now I have wanted to do a video that incorporates BSL (British Sign Language) due to my son being Profoundly Deaf with no hearing. He also has additional needs with CHARGE Syndrome that brings many added complications. I live within two worlds both Hearing and Deaf; and have learned a lot in the last nine years about the many barriers Deaf people can face in our society. One of the main points I was taught very quickly is how music is accessible to Deaf people. Of course music can be felt through vibration but visually I feel so much more could be done to enhance the experience. We made this video with the support of Sign Up BSL to translate ‘Bulletproof’ so that the song flows properly in BSL. Sometimes with signing videos – they can be a literal translation of the words (Sign Supported English) which will make little sense to the Deaf viewer. Our hope is that we have achieved this and also that one day as my son gets older and develops his language skills he will be able to understand this song.

Penelope Isles debut ‘Leipzig’

Today the Brighton, UK-based quartet Penelope Isles, led by brother and sister Jack and Lily Wolter, have released “Leipzig” from their forthcoming debut album Until the Tide Creeps In, due out  July 12th on Bella Union. Stereogum premiered the video, saying: “Much like the other songs from this album, there’s a youthful, frolicking feel to the vocals that additionally serves to sweeten the top-line melody.

Jack and Lily Wolter had this to say about the video:

We filmed the video in Berlin, Munich, Hannover, Diest and Luxembourg whilst on tour in Europe last year. We would constantly be on the lookout for perfect spots along the way and would keep our jeans and white t shirts folded up in a pile in the van ready to go. It’s funny that we actually forgot to shoot anything whilst in Leipzig! Although the shot of of J Sow playing drums in the woods looks very picturesque, we were actually all surrounded by German truck driver’s roadside turds! We had a laugh making the video and were all very impressed by Becky’s moves on the bridge in Munich! Germany is one of our favourite places to tour and it feels lovely to have these places within our music video. 

Early praise for Penelope Isles…

“Sweltering guitars scorch the earth [on ‘Chlorine’]… While summery synths and keys frolic in spaces left between the drum line and spiraling vocals, the riff phrases communicate nearly as much warmth and meaning as the lyrics do.” – Stereogum

“There is a grandeur to their songs, big and swelling, ebbs and flows…The whole band is seriously talented, and…seriously rock, too.” – Brooklyn Vegan

“Choppy guitar and thumping percussion combine to create a markedly DIY aesthetic throughout the video’s three minutes and five seconds of scrapbooked collage visuals. Said DIY aesthetic, both sonically as well as visually, operates as a self-aware style, one that brings an element of dirty garage rock to the haze of dream-pop flushes.” – Paste

“…a dreamy but biting piece of guitar pop…soaring, pastoral, highly intelligent songwriting.” – Clash Music

Formed around the chemistry between siblings and dual songwriters Jack and Lily Wolter, Until the Tide Creeps Inis an album deepened by shared experience. Born in Devon and raised on the Isle of Man, the Wolters’ bonds were strengthened by separation when Jack moved away to study art at university at 19, when Lily was 13. As he puts it, wryly, “By the time I moved home Lily was not so much of an annoying younger sister anymore and had grown up and started playing in bands and writing songs. We soon became very close. I had written some songs, so we started a band called Your Gold Teeth. We toured a bit and then Lily left for Brighton to study songwriting. A couple of years later I moved down and we started Penelope Isles together.” For every sibling band forged in rivalry, many others mount an unassailable genetic argument for keeping the music in the family. The latter is assuredly the case with Penelope Isles, a quartet completed by Jack Sowton and Becky Redford.

Crisp and woozy, blissful and biting, Until the Tide Creeps In is an album deepened by shared experience: experiences of, in Jack’s words, “leaving home, moving away, dealing with transitions in life and growing up. We are six years apart, so we had a different experience of some of this, but we share a similar inspiration when writing music.”

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Jambinai share ‘Sun.Tears.Red’

With the release of their new album ONDA less than two weeks away, Jambinai have debuted yet another enthralling single, titled ‘Sun.Tears.Red’, showcasing their extra-ordinary fusion of metal, post-rock and noise. Of the track, band spokesperson Lee Il-woo explains that, “Most people expect Asian traditional music to make something smooth for yoga or meditation. We wanted to break all of that.”

Early acclaim for Jambinai’s upcoming new album ONDA

“A triumph… Countless bands can switch from quiet to loud effectively; few do it with such overwhelming power as Jambinai.” MOJO – 4 stars ****

“Fusing traditional Korean music with post–rock, ONDA is their heaviest yet… ’Sawtooth’ starts as an ambient wash of dulcimers and oboes that mutates into a piece of grindcore, while ‘Sun.Tears.Red’ is a riot of overlapping zithers and post–punk beats… Clever and thrilling in equal measure.” Uncut – 8/10

“With soaring melody lines, ONDA is a seismic return… Especially striking is Sun Tears Red. Culminating in a cascade of bittersweet, melancholy arpeggios, wailing haegeum, pounding geomungo and screaming vocals that wash over like ocean waves, it’s one of Jambinai’s most emotive tracks to date.” Record Collector – 4 stars ****

Jambinai have announced a number of international festival appearances and headline shows, with further dates to be added soon. Tour dates + ONDA album artwork below:

31st May – Hilvarenbeek – Best Kept Secret Festival

5th June – Brussels – AB Club

6th June – London – The Garage

7th June – Porto – NOS Primavera Sound Festival

5th July – Belfort – Eurokeennes De Belfort

13th July – Monts – Festival Terres du Son

8th – 10th August – Incheon – Pentaport Rock Festival

20th September – Clonakity – Clonakilty

22nd September – Monthey – Route Du Pont Rouge

24th September – Quasimodo – Berlin

25th September – Dresden – Beatpol

26th September – Prague – Palac Akropolis

27th September – Linz – Stadtwekstratt

28th September – Kulfstein – Kultur Quartier Kulfstein

2nd October – Brighton – Green Door Store

4th October – Canterbury – University of Kent

6th October – Manchester – The Night People

7th October – Leeds – Lending Room

8th October – Birmingham – The Flapper

10th October – Arnhem – Luxor Live

11th October – Tilburg – 013

12th October – Rotterdam – Grounds

13th October – Utrecht – De Helling

16th October – Gronigen – Vera