Getting ready for 2016 part 2: Tortoise


Tortoise will release their first album in nearly seven years on January 22, 2015.

Their seventh album is entitled The Catastrophist. Amongst the songs on the album are a cover of David Essex’s 1973 hit song “Rock On” with vocals by U.S. Maple’s Todd Rittmann. Additionally, for the first time a Tortoise album will feature a guest vocalist singing original lyrics – Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley adds her vocals to the track ‘Yonder Blue,’ described as a ‘bittersweet classic soul/R&B vibe ballad.’

The first track to be heard from the album is ‘Gesceap’ which can be streamed below.

The album tracklisting is as follows:

1. The Catastrophist
2. Ox Duke
3. Rock On
4. Gopher Island
5. Shake Hands With Danger
6. The Clearing Fills
7. Gesceap
8. Hot Coffee
9. Yonder Blue
10. Tesseract
11. At Odds With Logic

Additionally, January 22 will also see the re-issuing of their previous six albums – Tortoise, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, TNT, Standards, It’s All Around You and Beacons Of Ancestorship on limited edition vinyl. These can be pre-ordered from the Thrill Jockey store here

Getting ready for 2016 part 1: Bloc Party

Bloc Party 2015 01 - credit Rachael Wright - LOW

Photo Rachael Wright

Bloc Party will release their fifth album Hymns on January 29, 2016. They have released the video for the album’s opening track and first single ‘The Love Within’ today. The track is available to stream and download now.

The album artwork and tracklisting can be seen below:

Bloc Party - HYMNS art

1. The Love Within
2. Only He Can Heal Me
3. So Real
4. The Good News
5. Fortress
6. Different Drugs
7. Into The Earth
8. My True Name
9. Virtue
10. Exes
11. Living Lux

Additionally, deluxe versions of the album will feature the following tracks
12. Eden
13. Paradiso
14. New Blood
15. Evening Song

Hymns sees the two founding members of Bloc Party, Kele Okereke (vocals, guitar) and Russell Lissack (guitar), joined by new members Justin Harris (bass) and Louise Bartle (drums). Below you can watch the video of the band performing album track ‘Exes’ live for Lauren Laverne at 6Music in October.

‘Exes’ – Live at Maida Vale October 2015

The return of Savages


Savages have announced that they will release their sophomore album Adore Life on January 22, 2016. It’s the long-awaited follow up to their debut Silence Yourself which was released in 2013.

Released on Matador, the tracklisting for the album is as follows:

1. The Answer
2. Evil
3. Sad Person
4. Adore
5. I Need Something New
6. Slowing Down The World
7. When In Love
8. Surrender
9. T.I.W.Y.G.
10. Mechanics

The first track to be heard from the album is ‘Adore,’ the video for which can be seen below:

The return of Adele


Nearly five years since the release of her second album, 21, Adele has today revealed the first track from her third album 25.

Entitled ‘Hello’ the track is available to download now, and the album is available to pre-order. It will be released on November 20. You can stream the video below, which has had nearly 5 million plays in its first day. The video also features a cameo by American actor Tristan Wilds (The Wire, The Secret Life of Bees). The track is already topping the iTunes charts in the UK, and not surprisingly, the album’s pre-sales are topping both Amazon and iTunes, too.

The artwork for the album is at the top of this post. The tracklisting for the album is as follows:
1. Hello
2. Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
3. I Miss You
4. When We Were Young
5. Remedy
6. Water Under The Bridge
7. River Lea
8. Love In The Dark
9. Million Years Ago
10.All I Ask
11.Sweetest Devotion

25 is released by XL on November 20.

Album Review – Mogwai

Mogwai - Central Belters art

Mogwai -’Central Belters.’ (Rock Action)

According to legend round these parts of Scotland, when one Aidan Moffat told his Gran that his band was called Arab Strap, she responded by saying ‘But you’re from Falkirk! You should call yourselves Central Belt!’ One assumes that she didn’t know what an arab strap was (be careful where you google it, for most people it’s definitely NSFW). Obviously he didn’t take his Gran up on her suggestion, but a couple of decades later, erstwhile labelmates (on Glasgow’s legendary Chemikal Underground label) and collaborators Mogwai have given the title Central Belters to this exhaustive (but most definitely not exhausting) anthology of their first twenty years as a band.

The central belt refers to the middle of Scotland, the bit that includes Glasgow and Edinburgh. Central Belters is a massive 3-CD or 6LP vinyl set that stretches from early singles through albums and EPs up to last year’s Rave Tapes which became the first Mogwai album to reach the top 10 in the UK. Whilst most of Mogwai’s music is instrumental – but not all – the distinctiveness of their sound has ensured over the decades that their fanbase has grown and soundtracks the the experience of living in Scotland incredibly well. Not least the beauty of the place and the bleakness that descends.

Mogwai might seem to have specialised in the very quiet to the BLOODYFUCKINGHELLIJUSTJUMPEDOUTOFMYSKIN with their music (it’s not on here but the track ‘Like Herod’ from their debut Young Team is a prime example of this), but one of the very impressive things about this band is how they have continued to evolve and develop over the years. And whilst Mogwai fans might grumble about tracks they think should have made the cut (no ‘Ex-Cowboy’ or ‘Dial:Revenge’ guys?!), the album has been awesomely sequenced showing the many facets of the band. So there’s a chance to hear favourites again (I never get tired of ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’ or ‘Stanley Kubrick’ for example), and also rediscover tracks again (I’d forgotten how good ‘Friend Of the Night’ and ‘Remurdered’ are). And it finishes with their 2001 single ‘My Father My King’ which is a twenty-minute long version of a Jewish prayer that rams the point home about how unusual and damn special they are.

At thirty four tracks and close on four hours, it’s a lot of Mogwai to ingest. Practicalities of the modern age may mean that not many will be able to deal it all in one listen (nothing to do with quality but those interruptions and irritations). It’s maybe Mogwai for connoisseurs rather than a simple ‘Introduction to…’ – though in this day and age of playlists rather CD-Rs or C90s perhaps that’s a moot point. But it is a wonderful collection, and proof of how utterly vital they remain.


Central Belters is released by Rock Action on October 23.

Forthcoming from Elvis Costello


Elvis Costello fans, especially completists, have a very expensive few weeks ahead of them.

The man, born Declan McManus, has just published his autobiography, entitled Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink. Later this week (October 23) will see the companion ‘soundtrack’ entitled Unfaithful Music + Soundtrack album. This is a genuinely career-spanning compilation, which also includes two previously unreleased tracks ‘I Can’t Turn It Off’ from 1975, and ‘April 5,’ a collaboration with Kris Kristofferson and Roseanne Cash. It also features collaborations with a diverse selection of artists, including The Roots, Brian Eno, Burt Bacharach and The Brodsky Quartet.

The tracklisting is as follows:

1. ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN (LIVE) – Elvis Costello And Steve Nieve
2. POISON MOON- Elvis Costello
4. OLIVER’S ARMY – Elvis Costello And The Attractions
5. RIOT ACT – Elvis Costello And The Attractions
6. NEW LACE SLEEVES – Elvis Costello And The Attractions
7. MAN OUT OF TIME – Elvis Costello And The Attractions
8. I WANT YOU – Elvis Costello And The Attractions
9. WHEN I WAS CRUEL NO.2 – Elvis Costello
10. STRANGER IN THE HOUSE – George Jones With Elvis Costello
11. BEYOND BELIEF – Elvis Costello And The Attractions
12. HOME TRUTH – Elvis Costello And The Attractions
13. INDOOR FIREWORKS – The Costello Show Featuring His Confederates
14. SHIPBUILDING – Elvis Costello And The Attractions
15. CINCO MINUTOS CON VOS – Elvis Costello And The Roots
16. BEDLAM- Elvis Costello And The Imposters
18. ASCENSION DAY – Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
19. RED COTTON – Elvis Costello And The Sugarcanes

1. VERONICA [DEMO] – Elvis Costello
2. IN THE DARKEST PLACE – Elvis Costello With Burt Bacharach
3. I WANT TO VANISH – Elvis Costello And The Attractions
4. MY DARK LIFE – Elvis Costello With Brian Eno
5. THE OTHER SIDE OF SUMMER – Elvis Costello
7. GHOST TRAIN – Elvis Costello
8. SUIT OF LIGHTS – The Costello Show Featuring His Confederates
9. JIMMIE STANDING IN THE RAIN – Elvis Costello And The Sugarcanes
10. THE BIRDS WILL STILL BE SINGING – Elvis Costello And The Brodsky Quartet
11. WISE UP GHOST – Elvis Costello And The Roots
12. ALMOST BLUE – Elvis Costello And The Attractions
13. ALL THE RAGE – Elvis Costello
14. COULDN’T CALL IT UNEXPECTED NO. 4 – Elvis Costello
15. ALISON – Elvis Costello
16. MY THREE SONS – Elvis Costello And The Imposters
17. I’M IN THE MOOD AGAIN – Elvis Costello
18. APRIL 5TH – Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello And Kris Kristofferson *
19. I CAN’T TURN IT OFF – D.P. Costello *

In addition, there will be a reissue in conjunction with Back To Black of his first eleven studio albums, released between 1977 and 1986, and the issue of the Taking Liberties collection of b-sides and rarities, previously only available in North America. The list of albums, which will be released on October 30 is as follows:

My Aim Is True, This Years Model, Armed Forces, Get Happy, Trust, Almost Blue, Imperial Bedroom, Punch The Clock, Goodbye Cruel World, Taking Liberties, King of America, and Blood and Chocolate.

Elvis Costello albums

In honour of this, an Elvis classic:

and ‘April 5′

A song for today #23

Written In Waters

Photo credit: Philip Wagner

As I’ve mentioned before, as well as this, my own blog (now running for over nine years, which I’m very proud of), I write for various other websites as well.

One of these is God Is In The TV – and for today’s ‘A song for today’ feature I’d like you to link to God Is In The TV for the rather fantastic ‘…And The Things We Bury’ by Written In Waters.

Follow this link

Presenting…Lost Cassettes

Lost Cassettes

I get no shortage of recommendations of music to check out. This one came from an old school friend.

Hailing from Huddersfield, and drawing on influences including The Buzzcocks and The Fall, unsigned (as far as I can see) Lost Cassettes are Danny Maguire (Vocals), Rob Martindale (Guitar), Gary Bamforth (Bass), and Matty Roberts (drums). They posted this ode to Mr. Lau who could fix everything, and it’s absolutely fantastic. Whilst I do not claim to speak for the dead, once in a while I hear something, and I think ‘I’m sure John Peel would have loved this!’

I know I do…

I can’t find out a huge amount of information about the band – not even really a press photograph, but it’s the music that matters, right? You can stream and pay your own price here for the EP here: