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Alternative & Indie - To be released August 21, 2020 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 28, 2020 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 17, 2020 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 9, 2020 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 1, 2020 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 20, 2020 | 4AD

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Garlands, the first album by the Cocteau Twins published in September 1982 by the 4AD record label lay the groundwork for that unique post-punk, shoegaze and dream pop combination that the Scottish band would develop until the early 90s. Liz Garland imposes a totally atypical vocal bolstered by a dreamy charisma and which would later see dizzying acrobatics, to which Robin Guthrie adds a wall of sound: his reverb-filled guitar paints electric and often impressionist landscapes. Guthrie also pilots the machines, notably an omnipresent TR-808 which offers a nice balance against the dreamlike guitar/voice solo. On the bass is Will Heggie, who would leave the adventure in due course, replaced in 1984 by Simon Raymonde who is more inspired in this field. In hindsight, even though Garlands remains one of the greatest albums of the 80s, these Cocteau Twins appear to still be searching for some identity, too stuck in the same universe as The Cure and Siouxsie & The Banshees. However, Liz Garland and Robin Guthrie would eventually cut their ties with the cold wave and broaden the colour of their sound to deliver gems such as Treasure (1984), Victorialand (1986), Blue Bell Knoll (1988) and Heaven or Las Vegas (1990). ©️ Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 17, 2020 | 4AD

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The shoegaze revival is upon us, so a revisit of the classics can only do a world of good. The first Pale Saints album, which came out in February 1990, is precisely a milestone record in the dream pop and shoegaze movement. For its 30th anniversary, it is being rereleased in a remastered deluxe version, in 24-Bit Hi-Res quality, adorned with never-before-heard demos. At the time, the 4AD label was living a sort of golden age with the establishment of the Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Throwing Muses, This Mortal Coil and of course Pixies. The record label headed by Ivo Watts-Russell kept their roster fresh by signing bands such as Belly, Lush and Pale Saints. The Leeds-based group, formed in the late-1980s, based the originality of their sound in the duality of singer Ian Masters’ delicate voice and the wall of sound created by the guitars carrying fairly pop melodies. Evanescent fury, raging daydreaming… in a way, this is the dichotomy of shoegaze. Gil Norton, who made a name for himself by producing Ocean Rain by Echo & the Bunnymen and Doolittle by Pixies, is in the mixing booth for five of the tracks, with John Fryer from This Mortal Coil covering the other half of the album. Once the album starts, the sound of this first Pale Saints opus is unmistakably Cocteau Twins or Jesus & Mary Chain. Some may even draw comparisons with My Bloody Valentine, despite their iconic Loveless coming out only a year and a half after Comforts of Madness in November 1991. More of a cult figure than he is given credit for, Ian Masters is more than just a run of the mill shoegaze singer: he knows how to orchestrate different rhythms and especially how to compose often-perfect pop songs, stringing them together so that the project as a whole feels like one single composition. This feeling is amplified by the absence of any gaps between the eleven tracks. Thirty years later, this masterpiece has not only not aged a bit, but stands out amongst its contemporaries. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rock - Released November 8, 2019 | 4AD

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Though wildly misunderstood when first released (like most art that’s ahead of its time), Gene Clark's third solo album—his most focused and intricately-produced shot at musical immortality—is now revered as something of a lost masterpiece. Expectations were high for the former Byrd, who had signed a solo deal after he’d been the bright spot in the band’s abortive 1973 reunion. Clark seemed poised to write and record a blockbuster that could power his solo career; the studio was filled with choice players like Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks, percussionist Joe Lala, ex-Byrd Chris Hillman on mandolin, Steve Bruton, Jesse Ed Davis, Danny Kortchmar on guitars and Claudia Lennear on vocals. Instead, No Other busted its recording budget, disappointed its label and perplexed fans—an expensive commercial flop that hung over Clark’s career until his death at 46 in 1991. Remastered with a brighter, more multidimensional sound for its 45th anniversary reissue, the original eight tracks are supplemented by twenty extra takes from sessions that show the songs’ evolutions, including a slow, loopy version of Clark's earlier hit, "Train Leaves Here This Morning," co-written by Bernie Leadon and later recorded by The Eagles. Producer Thomas Jefferson Kaye (aka Tommy Kontos) grew close to Clark during the sessions and came to share his vision for the project. Their collaboration proved to be the doubled-edged sword at the heart of No Other, one that fashioned a mystical, multi-layered, intricately-arranged singer/songwriter album with forward looking psychedelic and R&B touches. The strongest tracks, the menacing synth-backed folk of "The Silver Raven" (written about his wife's shoes), the fragile melody of the seemingly anti-drug themed "From A Silver Phial" (which speaks of "a mind that sleeps inside tomorrow,") and the glorious title track, with its sinuous changes and low keyboard line doubling the vocal choruses, are among the best of Clark's short career. And his singing throughout is extremely moving. He clearly believed in this project. And yet the overdubbed production confounded many. Slow ballads and mid-tempo songs predominate, and as Chris Hillman points out in the liner notes, Clark refused to tour, do interviews or participate in any promotional efforts, essentially dooming an ambitious project to failure. Original label Asylum refused to employ any marketing muscle and the album was deleted from the label's catalog within two years. Genius or a colossal miscalculation? This confounding prism continues to turn. © Robert Baird / Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 31, 2019 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 7, 2019 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 18, 2019 | 4AD

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In 2015, two years after Monomania, Bradford Cox and his men signed off on Fading Frontier, a surprising seventh album that offered up new perspectives for Deerhunter. The Atlanta gang used to play muffled sonic pop with an impressive melodic mastery. A fascinating type of music inherited from My Bloody Valentine’s sound wall. This dreamlike rock was still more or less on the agenda with Fading Frontier but Cox leaned towards more purity, more melodies, and more pop, like on the frenetic and groovy single Snakeskin...Four years later, Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? proves that Deerhunter have not yet completed their metamorphosis. The richness of this eighth album, which is even further removed from the shoegaze spirit of their early days, shows that Bradford Cox's brain is still in turmoil. From the harpsichord of Death in Midsummer, reminiscent of The Kinks (as well as No One's Sleeping, which is also in the spirit of Ray Davies) to the futuristic/synthetic sound of Greenpoint Gothic (it's like David Bowie's Berlin period led by Brian Eno) and the exhilarating and catchy power pop of Futurism, the album dares to do just about everything. But that’s not to say that there’s no common thread. Bradford Cox, Lockett Pundt, Moses Archuleta, Josh McKay, Javier Morales and, as a guest on three tracks, Cate Le Bon always find a plan, a melody, a punchline, an atmosphere or an unexpected digression to impress their audience. Amazing and captivating. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 7, 2018 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 7, 2018 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 24, 2018 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 22, 2018 | 4AD

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Following 2011's widely lauded Eye Contact, Gang Gang Dance largely disappeared as the bandmembers pursued solo projects -- Brian DeGraw's 2013 album as bEEdEEgEE, SUM/ONE, was the most prominent -- and just lived their lives. A seven-year gap between albums could be career suicide for many acts, but Kazuashita proves that in this case, it was a rebirth. The importance of taking a break to return better than ever echoes throughout the band's sixth album, from its hopeful title (a Japanese play on words that means "peace tomorrow," inspired by the name of one of their friends' children) to its sanctuary-like sounds. DeGraw, Lizzi Bougatsos, and Josh Diamond took their time composing these pieces rather than improvising them, and this lengthy creative process is reflected in Kazuashita's immersive feel. Ambient and new age influences come to the fore on the vast yet caressing finale, "Salve on the Sorrow," where a gliding harp underscores the track's blissful intentions and embellishes swathes of guitars and synths. As Gang Gang Dance explore heavy issues and deep concepts with a light touch and effortless flow, they sound more emotionally engaged, and nuanced, than ever. On "J-Tree," they combine radiant music with field recordings of a buffalo stampede at the Dakota Access Pipeline protests at Standing Rock to majestic and moving effect. While they expand on the calmer moments that took a back seat on their previous albums, Gang Gang Dance don't trade invention for serenity on Kazuashita. Their mix of rock, electronics, and global music feels particularly organic on the title track, where rumbling tablas and a sprightly African guitar line mingle while artist Oliver Payne calls colors into being in what sounds like a primordial ritual. Similarly, "Young Boy"'s tropical melody and ricocheting drum rolls and the steamy, bubbling "Snake Dub" prove that Gang Gang Dance's creative energy is still potent even in their gentlest music. They also make time for the breezy pop that emerged on Saint Dymphna and blossomed on Eye Contact. "Too Much, Too Soon" is a feast of textures -- syrupy guitars, droplet synths -- anchored by gorgeous harmonies. Meanwhile, Bougatsos' vocals shine on the dreamy single "Lotus," which reflects Gang Gang Dance's influences on artists such as Grimes. Some of the band's finest music yet, to say that Kazuashita was worth the wait is an understatement; it's a timely, necessary expression of hope that also feels like a union of the new and the eternal. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 2, 2018 | 4AD

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Internal feuds and heroin in the crook of the arm of her twin didn’t rattle the more relaxed female rocker: Kim Deal. Nirvana with boobs and with ballsy grunge, the Breeders kindled the indie rock scene by reminding people that even if there wasn’t anyone to welcome them, there was a feminine scene. Imploding in 1993 after the aptly named Last Splash, the quartet saw Kim go back to the Pixies when Kelley went into rehab. Two other albums, Title TK in 2002 and Mountain Battles in 2008, reminded us that the beast could still move… Since a concert in 2013 brought back the hope of a reunion, the two sisters, the bass player Josephine Wiggs and the drummer Jim MacPherson went back to the studio for All Nerve. Grunge entanglement resuscitating from the rough nineties, this lightning opus (33 minutes) blasts a tried and tested formula. If the dirty guitar-bass-drums and vocal distortions recipe doesn’t cause the Cannonball effect that made their success, All Nerve carries the mark of the painful decades that followed. As proof, the distorted ballads Space Woman, Dawn: Making An Effort, Blues At The Acropolis. It is dark and nervous. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Electronic/Dance - Released October 20, 2017 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 3, 2017 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 27, 2017 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 22, 2017 | 4AD

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While we’re waiting for a proper second album, The Lemon Twigs are releasing this EP with six songs composed and recorded on their eight-track recorder in New York in 2015, shortly after recording their first album Do Hollywood, most of which has already been performed live. The D’Addario brothers – Brian, 20 years old, and Michael, 18 years old – see Brothers Of Destruction as “the last chapter of their Do Hollywood era”. Both style and substance sail through familiar waters, at the crossroads of the Beach Boys (Why Didn't You Say That?, Night Song), the Kinks (So Fine) and the Beatles (Beautiful). Making something new out of something old is one thing. But it is quite another to consistently pull compositions of this calibre out the bag. The young D’Addarios undeniably impress with the maturity of their writing. © MD/Qobuz

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  • Sohn who?
    Sohn who? British Electro Soul... Tremors is the new album from Sohn released at 4AD earlier this week and frankly, we love it.