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New Gods

Withered Hand

New Gods LP/CD/Ltd Edition LP

The long-awaited second album from this respected Edinburgh artist. Produced by Tony Doogan (Mountain Goats, Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, The Pastels) and featuring a stellar array of guests including members of Belle & Sebastian, Frightened Rabbit, Black Tambourine and The Vaselines, New Gods is a brilliant and impassioned piece of songwriting and arranging. Calling it "folk" or "pop" really only tells part of the story -- Withered Hand's music is beautiful, melodic, honest and beyond easy categorization.

[more info + MP3s]

Stars Are Our Home

Black Hearted Brother

Brilliant space-rock/shoegaze/post-everything album from this new group that features Neil Halstead (Slowdive, Mojave 3), Mark Van Hoen (Locust, Seefeel) and Nick Holton (Holton's Opulent Oog). They've all worked together for years on various projects and now team up to give us wide-ranging double-LP that could only come from a band with this much talent and experience. A gorgeously-textured yet experimental album, it's rich tapestry of sound creates an almost synaesthesic experience, overflowing with enraptured, glowing textures, flaring white light like magnesium, in consort with brilliant red-blue waves of psychedelia.

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Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere

Terry Malts

The Bay Area's Terry Malts are back with a smashing new album, and it's every bit the equal of their debut "Killing Time." On this tough second album, Terry Malts deliver up eleven bone-crunching punk/pop anthems that ably blend smart, disgusted lyrics with breakneck tunes and stick-in-your-head melodies. From ripping opener "Two Faces" through alienated first single "I Was Not There" right down to closer "So Serious," "Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere" is a total blast and one of the records of the year.

[more info + MP3s]

Weird Sister

Joanna Gruesome

Weird Sister LP/CD

We're excited to announce the release of the debut album by thrilling Cardiff-based noisepop five-piece Joanna Gruesome. Brimming with irresistible pop melodies and spiked with dissonant fuzzy jangle, their songs are shot through with loud discordant feedback and super-fast, hardcore punk drumbeats. Kicking against sexism and homophobia, nothing is off-limits, drawing inspiration from DIY scenes such as Riot Grrrl/noisepop/C86/K Records as well as post-hardcore like Drive Like Jehu/Converge and the art rock of The Velvet Underground, Swirlies and My Bloody Valentine.

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Jinx

Weekend

Jinx 2xLP/CD/cassette

Weekend's insanely great second album more than delivers on the promise of their first album and EP, and renders the lengthy wait moot. Blazing, cathartic post-punk that thoroughly transcends its influences, creating something uniquely effecting and powerful. A mile away from their debut "Sports" but instantly recognizable as the same band, Jinx is loud, dark, melodic, brutal, beautiful, danceable and utterly unique.

[more info + MP3s]

Sob Story

Spectrals

Sob Story LP/CD

Second album of sterling classic pop from the pen of Leeds' Louis Jones, with help as always from his brother Will. Produced by Girls' JR White, "Sob Story" displays Louis's wide-ranging influences - from Big Star and The Rolling Stones, through Nick Lowe, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello and Dave Edmunds. Recorded in White's SF studio, they've created a wide-ranging album that traverses many styles while remaining totally cohesive, and never losing Jones' own style and voice. "Sob Story" sees Spectrals back and better than ever, brimming with confidence and the best songs of the Jones brothers' careers so far.

[more info + MP3s]

Long Enough To Leave

The Mantles

The Mantles are back with their second great album! Recorded with Kelley Stoltz, this fine album delivers all the classic Mantles 60s-tinged garage-pop thrills of their previous record, but with an even clearer, punchier, dare we say better sound. Sharp ears may spot bits of early Love, New Zealand's Flying Nun label and LA's Paisley Underground, but The Mantles are very far from revivalists and have more song-writing and arranging skill at their disposal than many bands could hope to have.

[more info + MP3s]

Discipline And Desire

Wax Idols

Discipline And Desire LP/CD/cassette

Dark, dramatic post-punk from Oakland's awesome Wax Idols. Helmed by Hether Fortune, Wax Idols have improved on their already-great debut album in just about every way. The melodies are stronger, the vocals echoed and haunting, and the playing is at an unflagging level of intensity. While early 80s Siouxsie And The Banshees and 4AD are decent reference points, the song-writing is all Wax Idols and they bring a very modern sensibility, along with sterling production help from Monte Vallier (Weekend, The Soft Moon). It's pop in the largest sense - strongly melodic, confident and impossible to ignore.

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The New Life

Girls Names

The New Life LP/CD

Amazing second album from this unique Belfast group. Following up the superb, driving "The New Life" single, this album is the sound of a band on the fringes striving to forge their own path, purposefully out of step - and time - with their surroundings. Dark, almost psychedelic post-punk that brings to mind early Cure and Bunnymen, but with Girls Names' signature melodies and fluid guitar work. Gorgeous, euphoric, bold and totally compelling.

[more info + MP3s]

Golden Grrrls

Golden Grrrls

Glasgow's Golden Grrrls have spent the last few years thrilling pop spotters with a series of excellent singles and tapes. What began as bedroom guitar experimentation soon bloomed into a fully-formed pop language inspired by the 80s New Zealand and Australian indie pop scenes, DIY punk and Glasgow's own rich pop history (think The Vaselines, The Pastels). For Golden Grrrls the band has written eleven perfect songs about life's realities dressed in three-part harmonies, heart-tugging changes and a playing style derived from punk and classic crash-pop enthusiasm.

[more info + MP3s]

Waiting For Something To Happen

Veronica Falls

Simply superb second album from London's finest export. At once more immediate and deeper than their excellent debut album, Veronica Falls have created a pop album full of rich melodies, shimmering guitars and perfectly harmonized vocals, all wrapped around a baker's dozen of the best pop tunes you're likely to hear this year, or next. A complete triumph.

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Enterprising Sidewalks

Lorelei

DC's Lorelei are back with their first album since 1994 and they haven't lost a step. Their distinctive blend of post-rock dynamics, sneakily melodic song-writing and ear-blasting guitar noise is 100% intact, and is paired with some very sophisticated song-writing. Rich with rhythmic twists and melodic intrigue, the ten songs on this new album stand tall as Lorelei's best material yet. Excellent.

[more info + MP3s]

Wild Peace

Echo Lake

Wild Peace LP/CD/LP bundle

Brilliant debut album by this London band that ably combines tripped-out psychedelic pop (think Deerhunter or Spiritualized) with dense layers of guitar noise and catchy song-writing. The overall vibe is pastoral, perfectly treading the boundary between atmospherically hypnotic and shimmeringly poppy. Add in flawlessly hazy production and subtly driving rhythm and you have one of the best dream-pop albums in recent memory. Gorgeous.

[more info + MP3s]

True

Violens

True CD

Amazing album that stakes out a totally unique place in the dream-pop landscape. Combining the sonic guitar-driven sound of bands like Pale Saints and Boo Radleys with stellar song-writing, peerless arranging and lovely 60s-tinged vocal harmonies, Violens have managed to create a truly new sound. Tunes like "Totally True", and "Der Microarc" are at once visceral and ethereal, typical of an album that delivers some of the most accomplished, powerful and challenging pop you'll hear this year.

[more info + MP3s]

Evans The Death

Evans The Death

The eagerly-awaited debut album from Evans The Death more than delivers on the promise of their brilliant "Threads" and "Telling Lies" singles. Tough, smart pop that touches on the best bits of Brit-Pop (Echobelly, Sleeper), Pulp, The Long Blondes and The Pixies. Great song-writing combined with noisy, passionate playing and Katherine's amazing vocals all add up to uniquely assured debut.

[more info + MP3s]

Europe

Allo Darlin'

Europe LP/CD

The stellar follow-up to their excellent 2009 debut. Achingly personal, incredibly poignant and familiar all at once, Elizabeth Morris' songwriting has deepened and developed since their debut, serving only to enhance the band's ability to create sophisticated, intelligent pop music with an uplifting, joyous feel. Featuring the singles "Capricornia" and "Europe", this beautiful album is one of the finest, most complete pop records in recent memory.

[more info + MP3s]

Interstellar

Frankie Rose

Interstellar LP/CD

The eagerly-awaited second album from Frankie Rose handily exceeds all expectations. Foregoing much of the fuzzy girl-group pop of previous releases, Interstellar is a gorgeous record marked by Frankie's very unique take on dream-pop, shoegaze and electronic pop. Stellar tunes combine with Le Chev's imaginative production to create something quite special.

[more info + MP3s]

Killing Time

Terry Malts

Killing Time LP/CD/cassette

Smashing chainsaw pop from this great San Francisco group. Smart, funny punk-pop with all the hooks, energy and attitude you could ask for. If you're into The Undertones, Buzzcocks and/or The Exploding Hearts you should definitely check out Terry Malts. Fourteen big tunes, including "Something About You," "Nauseous" and a slamming cover of Negative Approach's "Can't Tell No One."

[more info + MP3s]

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