The Paperhead have been Nashville's best-kept secret for years now. The trio have crafted three albums of psych-pop perfection, last leaving us with 2014's "Africa Avenue". They return in fine form with their fourth magnum opus, entitled "Chew". Having been lifelong fans of psychedelia & prog rock, They've found a way to straddle four decades of music. Rather than committing the cardinal sin of many modern acts by drenching everything in reverb, "Chew" revels in clarity & melody - the listener finds themselves disoriented by the jarring juxtaposition of styles, rather than gimmicky studio trickery. This was purposeful, as the band wanted "Chew" to seem like criss-crossing AM radio broadcasts. Melodic psych-pop drifts up against crunchy, progressive riffs and good ol' steel-guitar driven country rock, but it all works. The album's centerpiece "Dama de Lavanda" is perhaps their most accomplished composition to date, with it's breezy latin rhythms - it swings with an assuredness unseen from the band as yet. Horns & flutes pepper the mix, but it's the Bacharach-meets-Pretty Things outro that really hits a home run. The obvious peak of an album crackling with ideas & creativity. "Chew" was recorded by the band in bassist Peter Stringer-Hye's garage studio in Nashville & mixed by Cooper Crain (Bitchin' Bajas, Cave) at Chicago's Minbal Studios. "Chew" is released on compact disc & black vinyl, and includes a download code.
Dusk is the third album from London-based duo Ultimate Painting, a ten song set that expands the group's sound from their self-titled debut and their critically acclaimed sophomore effort Green Lanes. Dusk heads along the same path, albeit in a slightly different direction, forging to new territory by heading inward. The group's discovered a simple lushness in Dusk's arrangements, sometimes only with subtle additions like Hoare's recently acquired Wurlitzer piano that drives tunes like 'Lead The Way' or washes underneath others like 'Monday Morning, Somewhere Central'. Dusk feels different and cements the group's presence in the modern world guitar pop, finding voice in the allure of quietude.
Melbourne, Australia band Chook Race formed in 2010, starting out as a scrappy, garage/surf band, but soon developed a greater pop sensibility, born of their love of the Flying Nun bands and other bedroom favorites. After a string of of tapes and 7"s Chook Race return with new album 'Around The House', due for release on September 2nd through Chicago's Trouble in Mind Records. The ten songs on "Around The House" are oddly withdrawn yet highly personal tunes, but performed by the band with a desperate urgency. Songs like the immediate & catchy "Hard To Clean" & "Sometimes" clang & clatter like chrome-plated pop earworms, while others like the somber "Pink & Grey" and album-closer "Start Anew" hum pensively, quietly insinuating themselves into your subconscious. Captured in a single day by Tom Hardisty (NUN, Woollen Kits) and mastered by Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring) the album has a compelling sound defined by jangly guitars, boy-girl harmonies and lyrical observations of the everyday. "Around The House" is released digitally, on compact disc, and pressed on black vinyl w/download.
Chicago trio The Hecks have been skulking around Chicago's DIY scene for some time now honing their unique twin-guitar sound, weaving tense and beautiful sonic passages of dissonance and harmony into weird and infectious pop songs. The band's eponymous debut has been two years in the making and manages to cram knowledge gleaned from years of absorbing sounds and tones both ugly and beautiful, hitting all the wrong notes in all the wrongs ways to deconstruct sound into their own vessel. Noise drones like "Landscape Photography" and "Tea" sit comfortably amidst the more 'traditionally structured' tunes as well as the apocalyptic mid-album belter "Favor" which sound like something akin to the heavens falling. Recorded by the band at guitarist Dave Vettraino's Public House Recording Studio, "The Hecks" is released digitally, compact disc and pressed on black vinyl. Vinyl includes a download code.
Beef Jerk's debut LP "Tragic" was self-released in a small run by the band in 2015 & has now been re-released for a deservedly wider audience by Trouble In Mind in 2016. The band often get lumped in with the Australian "dolewave" scene - a joke title referring to bands of the jangling pop variety whose lyrics often touch on the more mundane aspects of modern life in Australia. Beef Jerk's principal songwriters' Jack Lee & Mikey Branson certainly write tunes that seem to fit that mold, but upon further investigation & attention, reveal an intelligent, deeper & poetic understanding of working class culture in Australia. "Tragic" is re-released by Trouble In Mind with all-new artwork, and includes a download code.
Omni - the band, not the hotel - are from the former home of the Braves: Atlanta. Playing lo-fi pop that channels the spectre of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Omni brings you back to an era where any sane person was reeling from the unfulfilled promise of the Space Age and Age of Aquarius bleeding into the looming threat of "Morning in America.” Omni distills the buzz and grit that snakes through the best of Television, Devo, and Pylon into surprisingly danceable, hook-laden slabs of raw, angular, sonic bliss. It’s still the summer of '78, and pushing the roots of rock & roll to its limits remains in vogue. "Deluxe" serves as a fresh reminder that rock music can work outside of blues rooted, formulaic progressions without playing it safe behind a wall of effects. Arty enough to impress record enthusiasts, yet melodically attractive enough to transcend to those who’ve never asked: “’Sister Midnight’ or ‘Red Money’?”
Portland, OR trio Alto! was formed in 2011 by guitarist Derek Monypeny alongside drummers Kyle Emory & Steven Stone, who over the course of five years have evolved into a fierce and explorative ensemble on the Portland scene. Having self-released two eponymous full length albums on Monypeny's Raheem Records in 2012 and 2014, Trouble In Mind presents their third album, the appropriately titled "LP 3". Past albums have seen Monypeny's guitar leading the fracas, & it's no surprise why; his style is equal parts influenced by the sunbaked deserts of Phoenix & the Bishop Bros (Alan & Richard - whose 'Freak of Araby' ensemble Monypemy was a member of) as well as the swirling sands of the Middle East & guitarists like Omar Khorshid & Bombino, but the real stars of "LP 3" are drummers Emory & Stone, who fuse together into an unshakeable elemental pulse, dancing around each other in dizzying & danceable polyrhythms. "LP 3" was mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk (Grouper / Golden Retriever) at Stereophonic Mastering, with artwork by band member Steven Stone.
In celebration of their 2016 tour together, Woods and Ultimate Painting team up for a limited edition 7" featuring one exclusive unreleased track from each band in what can only be described as a "double A-sider ".
Ultimate Painting offer up Into The Darkness, a lost track from their Green Lanes sessions, a mellow jammer heavy on mood & thick with the spindly, intertwining guitar picking that's quickily becoming synonymous with the band. Woods deliver a jaunty pop hit, Know Your Minute that starts with an infectious bubblegum guitar stabs, launches into a devastatingly hooky chorus before descending into a delicious acid-fried psychedelic freakout.
This match-made-in-heaven split 7-inch is a one-time pressing on black vinyl, and is limited to 1,000 copies. Housed in a 7-inch pocket sleeve with artwork by Andrew Savage of Parquet Courts. This is a split release between Trouble In Mind Records & Woodsist.
One year after releasing Dick Diver's third album,"Melbourne, Florida" Trouble In Mind is pleased as punch to make the revered Melbourne, Florida band's first two albums 2011's "New Start Again" & 2013's critically acclaimed (and The Age-nominated Best Album) "Calendar Days" FINALLY available domestically for eager & discerning listeners. "New Start Again" was the band's first full-length offering after their debut single, surprising many & no one with it's sprawling range of melodic twists & turns. From opener "Through The D" - which starts with a patient drum pulse before launching into the infectious jangle of guitarists Rupert Edwards and Alistair McKay's chiming chords - to casual anthem & album closer "Head Back" (penned by bassist Al Montfort), the band holds the listener's attention steady and true with inventive and memorable songs.
One year after releasing Dick Diver's third album,"Melbourne, Florida" Trouble In Mind is pleased as punch to make the revered Melbourne, Florida band's first two albums 2011's "New Start Again" & 2013's critically acclaimed (and The Age-nominated Best Album) "Calendar Days" FINALLY available domestically for eager & discerning listeners. Building on the promise of their debut, "Calendar Days" a truly communal album with each band member contributing hit after hit, from the punchy first single "Alice" (penned by bassist Al Montfort) to Al McKay & Rupert Edwards' elegant ditties & pop bangers like "Water Damage" "Calendar Days" & "Lime Green Shirt". The real highlight is drummer/guitarist Steph Hughes whose vocal duties on the Edwards-penned title track & duet on "Two Year Lease" add a melodic richness. Not to mention her absolute classic tune "Gap Life" a beguiling & charmingly casual take on "Australian-ness", cementing "Calendar Days" as an unquestionable modern classic. People started to take notice too, as the band was nominated for The Age's Music Victoria Awards for Best Album & Best Band.
Klaus Johann Grobe continue to avoid easy classification with "Spagat der Liebe", the follow-up to their mind-scrambling 2013 debut album "Im Sinne der Zeit". The sinister, late-night grooves present of their debut have been tempered a bit, in favor of somewhat sunnier dispositions, calling to mind an ecstatic party somewhere in sunny Ibiza. Tunes like album opener "Ein Guter Tag" & first single "Wo Sind" feel like a warm up, preparing the listener for the four-on-the-floor propulsion of "Rosen des Abschieds" - a song tailor-made to sweat to. Elsewhere the fragile "Heut Abend nur" ("Tonight Only") & the synth-tickled "Ohne Mich" - which is closest the band has come to an honest to goodness pop tune - guides the listener by the hand towards floor fillers like "Geschichten aus erster Hand" and the absolutely DEVASTATING groove of "Liebe am Strand", which is anchored by a rubbery bass groove & a killer flute solo that takes it over the event horizon.
Chuck Johnson has cemented his reputation as a master of solo guitar with his critically acclaimed solo albums "Crows in the Basilica" (Three Lobed, 2013) and "Blood Moon Boulder" (Scissor Tail, 2015) perfecting his modernist style of American fingerpicking over the course of those two albums. "Velvet Arc" finds Johnson returning to territory he explored in bands like Idyll Swords and Spatula, utilizing an expanded lineup of like-minded musicians to augment his captivating guitar stylings. On "Velvet Arc" Johnson is playing at the top of his game, unafraid to re-evaluate & redefine himself any chance he can get.
New Hampshire-native Doug Tuttle (ex-MMOSS) presents the follow-up to his acclaimed 2013 solo debut self-titled album with "It Calls On Me."
Eschewing the jittery, love-lorn anxiety of his first solo outing, "It Calls On Me" presents a decidedly more dreamy journey through softer, sun-burnt landscapes, while still showcasing Tuttle's trademark masterful guitar-work and his very own brand of impeccably-crafted, fractured psychedelic pop.
Klaus Johann Grobe continue to confound listeners who dare to pidgeonhole them as a "psych" band with their newest single for Chicago-based Trouble In Mind Records, "Baby lass uns Sein" b/w "Ich Bien nicht der Grund". "Baby Lass uns Sein" is a mainstay of the group's live repertoire, a tender ballad that - depending on the band's vibe opens or closes their set with it's mellow metronomic pulse, lilting organ chords & tinkling Moog sparkles. The flip side "Ich Bien nicht der grund" is classic a KJG dance-floor-filler; it's stark beat & thumping bass grounding stratosphear-arching organ drones and chorded keyboard musings. Landolt guides his Moog Prophet thru an array of effects, oscillating it toward new, and decidedly weirder places. The 7-inch single of "Baby Lass Uns Sein" is pressed on black vinyl, comes housed in the Trouble In Mind company sleeve & includes a download code.
Peter Stringer-Hye hails from Nashville, TN - a town that is no stranger to music. Having cut his teeth in local garage & psychedelic bands such as D. Watusi & (Trouble In Mind alums) The Paperhead, Stringer-Hye takes a side step, revealing a strong cache of solo material with his debut solo release, the "Sunday Girls" EP. Kicking off with the title track, "Sunday Girls" bops along familiar territory for Stringer-Hye, conjuring up whispers of UK popsike as well as late-Sixties folk & Americana, punctuated by a stinging guitar solo."When My Eyes Are Closed" ends the firstside; a wistful folk-rocker, whose jangling guitars hearken across decades of music from the late Sixties, thru the present day. Side B kicks off with "Girl With No Name",loping off the grooves with a sensitive grace, before Stringer-Hye launches into a solo worthy of the hottest of Nashville session players. The EP closes with "Throw Away The Day", a fitting ender & a jaunty country rocker with hope & yearning for the future & the possibilities it holds. Expect big things from Stringer-Hye in 2016.
The “Sunday Girls” EP is pressed in an edition of 500 copies,comes housed in a full-color picture sleeve & includes a download code.
Chris Forsyth & Koen Holtkamp have earned reputations as fierce, creative artists and respected masters of their instruments (guitar & synthesizers, respectively). "The Island" is the 2nd collaborative album from these Philadelphia and Brooklyn-based musicians. Rehearsals for the sessions amounted to a couple of days drinking wine, cooking, and hanging out on the beach at the Jersey Shore, and the rhythm and motion of the water seems to have had an undeniable effect on the sessions. The result is an album that despite the freewheeling nature of it's origins, sounds thoroughly composed & song-oriented. Songs like "Long Beach Idyll" and "Cosmic Richard" fuse Forsyth's desert-dusted guitar & Holtkamp's cascading electronics into airy, blissful meditations afloat on an endless ocean, while "Sun Blind" and "Alternator" crackle with intensity, with both musicians seemingly coaxing each other towards something new and primal.
The Butterscotch Cathedral is the new psychedelic studio project from Matt Rendon (The Resonars, Lenguas Largas) with Chris Ayers & Jim Waters. Featuring three tracks total (side one is one 18-min sidelong track, & side two contains "Loud Heavy Sun" & the 17-minute suite "Lisa's Dream") the project is Rendon's homage to the great Sixties & Seventies concept records from bands like The Who & The Beach Boys, both of whom Rendon cite as an influence. Art & design by Jason Willis.
"Parts Primitive" is the debut album from London-based band Primitive Parts; consisting of Sauna Youth, Monotony and Male Bonding alumni Lindsay Corstorphine (guitar / voice) Kevin Hendrick (guitar) and Robin Christian (drums). After signing to Trouble in Mind earlier this year they immediately bought a Tascam 388 multitrack tape device & set to record their debut. "Parts Primitive" consists of ten close-knit and succinct songs that aim to evoke a sonic space that could be an imagined 1970s. 'Miracle Skin', 'Signal', 'Rented Housing' and 'Troubles' are influenced equally by the dynamic Australian garage rock of The UV Race, Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Total Control as they are by the pop sensibilities and British charm of early Eno, The Kinks and Blur. Parts Primitive was recorded by the band directly onto two 7" reels of quarter inch tape, mixed by Mark Jasper at Soundsavers and mastered by Mikey Young overseas. Primitive Parts have shared stages with Twerps, Franz Ferdinand, The Homosexuals and Juan Wauters. Having recently bought a car, they are due to embark on a full UK tour in Autumn.
Salad Boys came together at the end of 2012 with members from other illustrious Christchurch groups T54, Bang! Bang! Eche! and the Dance Asthmatics. Recorded, the Salad Boys are deceivingly charming, presenting a careful but curious balance of well-informed pop melodies, hypnotizing rhythms and heady instrumentation. The group's self-titled mini-album released in 2013 caused something of a mini-sensation, receiving praise from the likes of Stolen Girlfriends Club, Mess and Noise, hhhhappy.com and many more. In real life, the Salad Boys perform a wondrous assault: a charged up blitz of clanging guitars, intoxicating drones, head-down acid repetition and an abundance of dazzling pop hooks. This notoriety has scored the group a wealth of engagements up and down New Zealand including slots at the Camp a Low Hum and Chronophonium festivals, gigs with Sebadoh, The Bats, & Parquet Courts as well as a highly honorable spot performing as backing band for David Kilgour of legendary NZ group The Clean. 2015 finds the band prepping their proper full-length debut "Metalmania" out in September on Chicago label, Trouble In Mind Records.
Pridjevi is the recording project of Dino Santaleza , Ivana Picek & Nina Romic; a trio of Croatian songwriters who formed the band on a lark, trading ideas & songs over email until birthing what would become Pridjevi's debut album. After releasing it via Bandcamp in the spring of 2014 as a digital-only release, the album caught the ears of Trouble In Mind who present it here in the vinyl & compact disc format. Pridjevi's s/t debut is a dizzyingly psychedelic magnum-opus & a stunning debut, stitching together a seemingly disparate range of inspirations such as psychedelia, acid rock,baroque pop, Tropicalia, and Eastern ragas into an addictivel listenable whole. The band sings entirely in Croatian, but the melodies & songs carry the entire weight of the album, holding the listener's attention until the last note is struck. Pridjevi's tunes feel almost like rock devotionals to a higher spirit; heavy, hypnotic & wholly unique. The band has evolved into a fully functional live unit, playing shows & festivals in Europe, building a solid fanbase, particularly in their native country, where the band has already been featured in Rolling Stone & beyond.