ROUGH TRADE STAFF PICKS
I defy anyone to not enjoy this one! I think the word 'simple' is far too often misused as a negative adjective. Penelope Isles' debut album Until The Tide Creeps In is simple in the very best sense: unashamedly melodic and emotional in a way that feels very sincere. Very much looking forward to them playing in-store later on in the year.
I kind of slept on this album when it was released earlier this year in March, so maybe it's old news to some of you, but it's probably one of my favourite albums of the year so far. Shifting across genres including punk / hardcore / trap / hip-hop / spoken word, the album's a bit of a mad journey but one I definitely enjoyed. Plus I just can't get enough of that banjo!!! Can anyone find me a ticket to see them live?
If you don't immediately understand why I've chosen this one, then why are you wasting time reading this???! Go and listen to the album immediately. Cry yourself to sleep. Wake up and do it all over again.
I’ve never really been an avid fan of Peggy Gou’s recorded mixes, or even her productions for that matter, but this compilation/mix is a really important addition to the DJ Kicks series. The selection is well structured, not oversaturated with melody (I often feel her mixes are too densely musical for the purpose of club music), and some of the more leftfield tracks over 130bpm are really special.
I’m not sure where to even start with describing this record but I’ve really enjoyed hearing it in the shop this month. The drums and bass sort of hold everything together amongst screeching, delayed bridges and huge hardcore punk-esque strumming, while some of the most erratic timing changes I’ve heard outside of a jazz record keep things really interesting. All of this is all wrapped up and presented as something that resembles a really good alternative rock record and the album art/general aesthetic of the physical record is stunning.
I’d never heard of Goon before, but their debut full length is huge. Similar to Slint’s ‘Tweezer’ in parts, but with an almost Britpop vibe on the more laid-back numbers, it’s a cool mix of abrasive and relaxed guitar music, albeit in its’ own fuzzy, grungy way. The production really adds something too – it feels a bit DIY without sacrificing clarity and authenticity, while the drums have been written perfectly and compliment rather than overpower. There’s even some weird 80s Sci-Fi synth parts near the end of one track. Great stuff.
Was worried I wouldn’t find my ‘song of the summer’, I can’t enjoy the holidays till I’ve found that dizzyingly euphoric nostalgia driver. I yearn for it, like a refreshing cold cocktail It has to offer immediate satisfaction, with just the right level of fruity sweetness and an addicting after-taste that has you thirsting for another sip. And then along came Sizzlin’ from Daphni aka Dan Snaith aka Caribou aka 'the man who’s saved summer', serving up flagellated disco house perfection with a sparkler and little umbrella.
Let the Dad’s know, being disgracefully good at playing your instrument and indulgent jams are back, baby. De Lorians are a Japanese psych-jazz-rock group obsessed with mastering the schizophrenic but knuckle-bitingly good sound of The Mothers of Invention and the Canterbury Scene. It’s pure mind-melter, full of fun and otherworldly musicality.
There’s no other record giving me as much joy as What the Broken Hearted Do by Tim Heidecker aka one half of impossible-to-describe comedy duo Tim & Eric and a man with the ability to write heartland-rock bangers about Donald Trump’s bowel movements. On this record Tim imagines his wife has left him and his life is spiralling, Jonathan Rado is on production and helps achieve a record that nods to all the great American songwriters from Neil Young to Paul Simon to Brian Wilson.
Before we get down to business, the question of how many times in one segment it’s acceptable to use the word ‘choogle’ should be addressed but, I’ll leave it to the professionals. This is the debut LP from Manchester’s real-dealing, free-wheeling and ever-so-gleaming Fruit Tones and somehow, they’ve gathered the most organic garage rock ‘n’ roll and baked it into a drool worthy apple pie. Eat up and re-energise so we can all wake up in paradise.
I’m also a sucker for a cheeky bit of ad-lib and in the track I’m Allergic, vocalist Tom calls “oh guitar” very sassily and it gets me chucklin’ every time. Absolute magic.
I was told on Monday by my favourite man called Jack that I would like this record and he wasn’t wrong. To be fair Jack is rarely wrong, he wears shirts with waves on and started South American grooved Sunday’s over at West (complete with a bag of oranges for added vitamins) so, this Castle Face gem was inevitably listened to with background noise of myself going ‘arghhh whatttt this is so good!!’ at every given moment. Also, Jack won’t read this so we don’t need to worry about raised ego’s.
Dude c’mon this doesn’t need a justification. When has fuzzed bouzouki ever been a bad idea? Strawberries make my skin itch but try and stop me from wearing a replica suit to that on the back cover.