Now Hear This
Produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Conor Oberst, First Aid Kit) I’ll Get By, Avi Kaplan’s new 7-track EP firmly establishes the renowned bass vocalist as a generational songwriting talent in the mold of inspirations such as Fleet Foxes, Hozier and Iron and Wine. I’ll Get By is an absorbing introduction to an artist with a timeless voice, an independent spirit and a limitless future. Indie exclusive LP pressed on black ice-colored vinyl.
After years spent looking out at landscapes and loved ones and an increasingly unstable world, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have turned their gaze inward, to their individual pasts and the places that inform them, on their second full-length, Sideways to New Italy. Led by singer-songwriter-guitarists Tom Russo, Joe White and Fran Keaney, the guitar-pop five-piece returned home to Australia after the relentless touring schedule that came following their critically regarded 2018 debut Hope Downs. Feeling the literal and metaphorical ground under their feet had shifted, the band began grasping for something reliable. For Keaney, that translated into writing "pure romantic fiction" and consciously avoiding the temptation of angsty break-up songs, while Russo looked north to a "bizarre place" that captured the feeling of manufacturing a sense of home when his own had disappeared. The New Italy of the new album’s title is a village near New South Wales’ Northern Rivers – the area drummer Marcel Tussie is from. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it pit-stop of a place with fewer than 200 residents, it was founded by Venetian immigrants in the late-1800s and now serves as something of a living monument to Italians' contribution to Australia, with replica Roman statues dotted like alien souvenirs on the otherwise rural landscape. The parallels to the way the band attempted to maintain connections and create familiarity during their disorienting time on the road was apparent to Russo. "These are the expressions of people trying to find a home somewhere alien: trying to create a utopia in a turbulent and imperfect world." The record's geographic identity emerged from the band losing their grip on their own, whether that was through the pressure of touring, the dissolution of relationships, a frustrating distance from their daily lives – or some combination of all three – that came from being slingshotted all over the world, playing sold-out headline tours and festivals including Coachella, Governors Ball, Primavera Sound, All Points East, and Pitchfork Music Festival. The notion of crafting, in Russo’s words, “a utopia of where your heart’s from,” permeates Sideways to New Italy, in which early attempts at writing big, high-concept songs about The State of the World were abandoned in favor of love songs, and familiar voices and characters filter in and out, grounding the band's stories in their personal histories. There’s something comforting, too, in knowing the next time they’re buffeted from stage to stage around the world, they’ll be taking the voices of their loved ones with them, building a new totem of home no matter where they end up.
Sports Team a band of six singular characters who have been variously described as one of the most raucous, electrifying and chaotic acts in the UK release their debut album Deep Down Happy. The highly anticipated record, is their first release on the legendary Island Records label. Sports Team came up on the back of word of mouth live hype, drawing round the block queues to chaotic early gigs at The Five Bells and Moth Club before releasing any music. Recording their first EP (Winter Nets) in a converted Timberyard in Hammersmith, the band have consistently set themselves apart from the acts they came up playing with, showing an intoxicating ambition, and their debut album Deep Down Happy, delivers on all bold claims, and confirm their place at the head of a group of young guitar acts.They've been defined though by an increasingly cultish fanbase spawned from online community pages, making 1000s of memes, pieces of artwork and crucially turning up wherever Sports Team play - from the bands annual Margate trip (where many of the songs were written) to the living room of the group's shared house, first in Harlesden, now Camberwell. Sessions for Deep Down Happy have been snuck in between huge tours at various London studios, including Konk and Livingston, with long-time collaborator Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever) once again at the production desk. Having first worked together on the anthemic Kutcher in 2018, the debut features Reid-produced singles Here It Comes Again, The Races and Fishing while also featuring a re-recording of early single and live favourite Camel Crew - until now, only available on 2018's Winter Nets.