Album Review: The Flaming Lips – With A Little Help From My Fwends

While the Beatles are remembered as a band that recorded staggeringly good albums, it is in the live arena that the Flaming Lips truly excel. Their shows are magical and euphoric, whereas even their best albums – The Soft Bulletin (1999) and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002) – are patchy. In short, they are yet to record their masterpiece. And this isn’t it. Twenty years ago Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was widely revered as... Read More

PINS: HEAR TITLE TRACK ‘COME BACK’ FROM LTD EDITION CASSETTE EP

Manchester all-female four-piece PINS first released material via cassette back in 2012 and will return, following on from their accredited 2013 debut album release ‘Girls Like Us’, with a limited edition cassette EP released through Bella Union, for Cassette Day on 27th September. Featuring three covers of 1960’s Girls in the Garage bands, PINS take each track and make it their own adding their unique dark pop, post punk, fuzzed up garage sound... Read More

NEWS: MONEY – NEW VIDEO TO ‘SHADOW OF HEAVEN’

Having released a short film for ‘Goodnight London’ last month, MONEY have just unveiled a somewhat more DIY video for ‘The Shadow Of Heaven’, the title track from their debut album. Directed by their friend Liam Healy, the video brilliantly captures the band’s distinctive aesthetic along with the madcap antics of singer and lyricist Jamie Lee. MONEY are Jamie Lee, Charlie Cocksedge, Billy Byron and Scott Beaman. Having... Read More

NEWS: JOHN GRANT – NEW VIDEO FOR ‘GLACIER’

Its been yet another incredible few weeks for JOHN GRANT. Pale Green Ghosts figured highly in the Top 10 of most Best of 2014 lists, including the Guardian, Q, Uncut, MOJO and the Sunday Times, as well as being Rough Trade’s album of the year. Last week saw him nominated for International Male Solo Artist at the Brit Awards and his Roundhouse show in March has long-since sold out. And in yet another plot twist, an extraordinary video... Read More

NEWS: PINS SHARE NEW VIDEO FOR ‘WAITING FOR THE END’

PINS share a brand new video for their song ‘Waiting For The End’, the final single to be taken from their Bella Union debut album, Girls Like Us. Shot at the newly renovated, historic Manchester pub Gullivers, it features helpful karaoke-style on screen lyrics throughout so fans can sing along. Several luminaries of the Manchester music scene appear on stage with PINS, aping Northern club singers of yore. Having just played a one off... Read More

NEWS: PINS – CHRISTMAS SONG ‘KISS ME QUICK’ + LIVE DATES

PINS are excited to share their Christmas song ‘ Kiss Me Quick’, a song taken from a Christmas compilation curated by the band, featuring the likes of Shinies, September Girls, Brown Brogues and Post War Glamour Girls, to be released on their Haus of PINS label. Proceeds from the compilation go to SWAP, an organisation helping asylum seekers and refugees. 2013 will be remembered fondly by post-punk scrappers PINS, having seen the breathless monochrome... Read More

Album Review: Midlake – Antiphon

Having started in 1999 and already been through a roster of line up changes, Antiphon is the fourth album from Midlake. Arguably with the most important line up change to date, this album is the first without frontman Tim Smith. Unlike many bands who lose a front man, Midlake have not broken up and fallen by the wayside. Armed with new members in Jesse Chandler (keyboards, piano, flute) and Joey McClellan (guitars), guitarist Eric Pulido steps into... Read More

NEWS: PINS – NEW VIDEO FOR ‘GIRLS LIKE US’

PINS have unveiled a video for the title track of their hotly anticipated debut album Girls Like Us. Directed by Sing J. Lee, a filmmaker much in demand since his work on the Manchester four-piece’s early videos the video for ‘Girls Like Us’ perfectly captures the band’s girl gang mentality. To say there’s excitement for Girls Like Us would be an understatement. Even before the rousing reception to their oscillating, reverb-drenched... Read More

NEWS: LANDSHAPES – NEW VIDEO FOR ‘INSOMNIACS CLUB’

This week Landshapes release their new single ‘Insomniacs Club’ through Bella Union. Accompanying the single we have a brilliantly eerie new video directed by the very talented Ian Pons Jewell. A mix of live footage and stop-frame animation cut together from the unnerving and darkly comic short film 1/4” fits together perfectly with the song. Landshapes Facebook Twitter Soundcloud  Read More

Album Review: Lanterns on the Lake – Until The Colours Run

Lanterns On The Lake is a five-piece band hailing from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Consisting of Hazel Wilde, Paul Gregory, Ol Ketteringham, Sarah Kemp and Andrew Scrogham, they have had a successful debut album and are now signed to Bella Union. They have performed at numerous music festivals, including Glastonbury, SXSW and Bestival and even toured with Explosions in the Sky as its supporting act in 2012. Until The Colours Run is the latest delivery from... Read More

Album Review: Money – The Shadow of Heaven

Money, The Shadow of Heaven, wealth and religion, the twin asteroids of humanity’s destruction, grand topics for an equally grand album. When you listen to this debut from the Manchester 4-piece it certainly seems that they are looking to encompass the city, the earth and stars and everything inbetween. Money mainman, Jamie Lee, expands in this interview in the Guardian: “If you truly love and trust a band, then you’ll gladly surrender... Read More

NEWS: PINS SHARE BRAND NEW SONG ‘LOST LOST LOST’ + TOUR

Manchester four-piece PINS have unveiled a brand new song from their Bella Union-released debut album Girls Like Us. A lithe two and a half minutes, the echoing monotones of ‘Lost Lost Lost’ induce chills like a PJ Harvey mantra. The song perfectly showcases the stark, analogue sound of the album, and the MP3 has been made available as a free download from the Bella Union Soundcloud. To say there’s excitement for Girls Like Us would... Read More

Album Review: Laura Veirs – Warp and Weft

With her last album comprising a collection of songs for children and having recently given birth to her second son, it would be an easy assumption that Laura Veirs’ latest material is characterised by more insular themes. However, this is hardly the case at all. After the lofty, scientific subject matter and metaphors of Carbon Glacier and Meteors comes Warp and Weft, which sees Veirs expand her subject matter further, into the annals of history... Read More

NEWS: MONEY – HEADLINE TOUR + ‘HOLD ME FOREVER’ VIDEO

Following their performances at two sold-out Manchester International Festival shows, MONEY are shaping up to be one of the most talked-about bands of the year and The Shadow Of Heaven one of the most eagerly-anticipated debuts. The good news is Jamie Lee and co have just announced a November UK tour, taking in some of the country’s less conventional performance spaces, MONEY being a band who do things very much on their own terms. Upcoming... Read More

LIVE: MONEY – 13/07/2013

- ALBERT SQUARE, MANCHESTER –  I first read about Money about six months ago in the music press. There seemed to be a buzz about the potential of this five piece from Manchester, renowned for holding exhibitions in unusual buildings around town, and being artists as well as musicians. So when they popped up on the bill at Manchester International Festival, I felt it was time to investigate the hype. After braving the searing temperatures... Read More

NEWS: PINS ANNOUNCE DEBUT ALBUM + LISTEN TO ‘GET WITH ME’ + TOUR DATES

To say there’s excitement for ‘Girls Like Us’, the storming debut album by fiery Manchester four-piece PINS, would be an understatement. Even before the rousing reception to their oscillating, reverb-drenched EP ‘LuvU4Lyf’ on Bella Union last autumn, first shows in disused office blocks and hotel basements left barely an inch of elbow room whilst an uber-limited gold cassette single released on their own Haus of Pins label... Read More

NEWS: MONEY – DEBUT LP + FESTIVALS & UK TOUR

MONEY will be releasing their debut album ‘The Shadow of Heaven’ on 26th August via Bella Union Records and are about to embark on a UK tour to support the release. Recorded in London through the deep, dark winter of 2012/13, it’s an ethereal, transcendent record that’s notable for its musical and intellectual ambition. MONEY are Jamie Lee, Charlie Cocksedge, Billy Byron and Scott Beaman. Having formed in Manchester amidst a... Read More

NEWS: PINS – NEW SINGLE: ‘STAY TRUE’ / ‘GET WITH ME’

Manchester girl-group PINS have announced a new double a-side single, set for issue on Bella Union on 22nd July and are also playing a few live shows to complement the release. The band have been busy demoing and recording songs for their forthcoming debut album – which will also be released on Bella Union – as well as working on the EP artwork and accompanying video for ‘Stay True’. The sessions for the album were conducted... Read More

NEWS: MONEY – ‘BLUEBELL FIELDS’ VIDEO + TOUR

Having signed to Bella Union after two limited edition 7″ singles last year, Manchester-based quartet MONEY are putting the finishing touches to their much-anticipated debut album, due for release late summer. In the meantime, they have revealed the mesmerising video to ‘Bluebell Fields’, the  first single from the album. The video represents a loving collaboration between the band and young animator Dan W. Jacobs. MONEY comprise... Read More

Album Review: The Flaming Lips – The Terror

As a writer of sorts, I use the advice of others when writing. One quote which I come back to again and again is from George Orwell and it is, ‘If it is possible to cut a word out, cut it out.’ And for me I find that this helps me produce more accurate and accessible writing. With that in mind, I struggle to imagine what George Orwell would have made of the new Flaming Lips album, The Terror. Obviously if he listened to it in 1945 he... Read More

Album Review: Veronica Falls – Waiting For Something To Happen

In the week that My Bloody Valentine have crashed back into the collective musical conversation, it’s particularly intriguing to listen to the sort of new record that Veronica Falls have created. Where the Valentines use their endless list of hip references to find some new path forward of their own making, Veronica Falls are more interested in using existing styles and techniques for their music. The London-based four piece first made an impression... Read More

VIDEO: PINS – ‘LUVU4LYF’

The first track from PINS debut EP LUVU4LYF, released on glittery 10″ vinyl in collaboration with Bella Union. Order here Video credits: Director – Sing J Lee Director of Photography – Davey Gilder Editors – Sing J Lee & Dan W Jacobs  Read More

NEWS: BELLA UNION – 15TH ANNIVERSARY COMPILATION WITH ROUGH TRADE

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the birth of Bella Union Records, and to celebrate they have teamed up with Rough Trade Shops to compile 145 minutes and 52 seconds minutes of music, old and new, that reflects fondly on the beginnings of the label and looks towards the prospects of the future. As well as old favourites like Midlake, Lift To Experience and Dirty Three, there are  6 new and unreleased tracks from Jonathan Wilson, The Walkmen,... Read More

ALBUM: WILD NOTHING – NOCTURNE

To me, Jack Tatum’s music has always seemed contradictory. On his 2010 album, Gemini, Tatum used the stylistic devices of pop music as a stencil to aid his vision. Verses sunk into choruses perfectly, bridges obligingly followed and earworms were unearthed in their masses. As if Tatum’s song writing was akin to slotting together pieces of a jigsaw, the finished articles, when looked upon from afar, just made perfect sense. With indelible hooks... Read More

NEWS: RIMAR – STREAM A TRACK FROM THE FORTHCOMING EP

On Monday 23rd July Brooklynite Rimar will release his new EP ‘Closer’ on Bella Union. Rimar came to our attention last year with the rather sublime EP Higher Ground, seven songs which showcased his talents to mould 70’s funk with the smoothness of modern R&B. These are themes he continues on Closer, taking the brash rhythm of beat music and coating it with delicate melodies to curate a decidedly unique sound. We are offering a... Read More

NEWS: THE WALKMEN – TWO NEW VIDEOS + UK LIVE DATES

The Walkmen have a new visual accompaniments to share with you for ‘The Love You Love’ taken from their new album Heaven. This beautifully shot black & white video was directed by Sean Pecknold and sees Hamilton and his son looking rather creepy in a house with floating cats and fireworks, the whole thing has a very eerie feel. Check it out for yourself below (the video comes courtesy of the folks at Urban Outfitters)… The Walkmen... Read More

NEWS: WILD NOTHING – VIDEO FOR NEW SONG ‘SHADOW’ + 2ND ALBUM DETAILS

Bella Union records are thrilled to announce the signing of Wild Nothing who returns this summer with second album ‘Nocturne’, the follow-up release to his acclaimed debut ‘Gemini’. Ask Jack Tatum what ‘Wild Nothing’ means and he’ll answer: ‘a contradiction’. In 2010, 21 year old Tatum released one of the finest cult pop records of the summer whilst ensconced in his senior year of college in Blacksburg, VA, a small mid-atlantic... Read More

NEWS: FLAMING LIPS – NEW ALBUM & NEW LABEL

Bella Union are truly thrilled to announce the signing of one of our all-time favourite bands The Flaming Lips. The Flaming Lips’ first release for the label will be a project that’s shaping up to be one of the most talked-about releases of the year: THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS. In between one-off shows scattered around the world over the past several months The Flaming Lips still found time to record a series of unique and experimental... Read More

NEWS: BEACH HOUSE – ‘LAZULI’ VIDEO + UK LIVE DATES

Beach House are pleased to announce the ‘Frightened Eyes‘ 2012 tour, in support of Bloom, the Baltimore-based band’s critically-acclaimed new album. The tour will begin September 13th in Richmond, VA at The National and close on November 19th at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. Upcoming UK live info below… Friday 31 August – DORSET – End Of The Road festival Friday 26 October – BELFAST – Mandela Hall (£16.50) Saturday 27... Read More

NEWS: LAWRENCE ARABIA – WATCH THE VIDEO TO ALBUM TRACK ‘TRAVELLING SHOES’

New Zealand songwriter / producer Lawrence Arabia returns this July with The Sparrow, the follow up to the critically-acclaimed and award-winning Chant Darling. One of the album’s many highlights is Travelling Shoes which has just been made available for free download. Venturing away from the harmony-laden, classic pop production of that release, The Sparrow is a more measured and minimalist work than its predecessor, drawing particularly... Read More

NEWS: JESCA HOOP – ‘BORN TO’ VIDEO + NEW ALBUM DETAILS

Approaching the release of her eagerly anticipated album ‘The House That Jack Built’ (due out June 26th via Bella Union) Jesca Hoop releases the video for her first single from the album “Born To”. The video features two versions of Jesca and illustrates the “what if?” “Born To” asks a question we’ve all asked ourselves “how is it that I was born into the circumstances I was born into. How is it some of us are born into... Read More

Album Review: Beach House – Bloom

The Wire, widely regarded as the best TV series of all time, is particulalry celebrated for its complex story lines, slowly coiling plot, use of authentic slang (only understandable via subtitles), and the way it mercilessly dissects a self-annhilating society from the bottom, with its petty drug dealers and tenement tower blocks, all the way to the top, to City Hall, and its array of corrupt, corrupting and soon to be corrupted officials. The system... Read More

NEWS: LAWRENCE ARABIA – NEW ALBUM ‘THE SPARROW’ VIDEO TEASER

New Zealand songwriter / producer Lawrence Arabia returns with The Sparrow, the follow up to the critically-acclaimed and award-winning Chant Darling. Venturing away from the harmony-laden, classic pop production of that release, The Sparrow is a more measured and minimalist work, drawing particularly on the influence of the symphonic late-sixties work of Scott Walker and Serge Gainsbourg. While various ominous words like ‘mature’... Read More

NEWS: THE WALKMEN – WATCH THE ALBUM TRAILER

New York quintet The Walkmen will release their new album, Heaven, on 4th June 2012 on Bella Union. The record is the band’s sixth and was produced by Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, The Shins, Band of Horses) whilst Robin Pecknold sings harmonies on two songs on the record. “We felt like it was time to make a bigger, more generous statement…” When describing The Walkmen’s new album, lead singer Hamilton Leithauser portrays a band hitting... Read More

NEWS: FATHER JOHN MISTY – FREE DOWNLOAD, NEW ALBUM DETAILS & VIDEO

When discussing ‘Father John Misty’, Tillman paraphrases Philip Roth: ‘It’s all of me and none of me, if you can’t see that, you won’t get it’. What I call it is totally arbitrary, but I like the name. You’ve got to have a name. I never got to choose mine.” He goes on, “‘People who make records are afforded this assumption by the culture that their music is coming from an exclusively personal place, but more often than not... Read More

NEWS: BEACH HOUSE – NEW ALBUM DETAILS ‘BLOOM’ + HEAR A TRACK IN FULL

Beach House are pleased to share details of their fourth album, Bloom. Like their previous releases it further develops their distinctive sound and stands apart as a new piece of work. The landscape of Bloom was largely designed on the road, between the countless sound checks and myriad experiences of two years of touring. These ideas were later gathered and developed in Baltimore, where the band lives and works. Bloom was recorded in late... Read More

ALBUM: I BREAK HORSES – HEARTS

‘Hearts’ is the product of 2 years of refining and experimenting from the Swedish duo. The sound, which now cascades from my speakers like a pure, hot spring, wastes no time in elevating you to a lofty vantage point. Waves of reverb emerses you and the Cathedral-esque organs inspire while the light guitar adds sparkle. I Break Horses are unashamedly influenced by My Bloody Valentine and the like. They are ‘Only Shallow’ with the grunge turned... Read More