This week Upset The Rhythm announced our 100th release. To mark this unimaginable milestone we'll be releasing on September 15th the debut 7" EP from Olympia, WA's Gen Pop, a new band erupting from the frenetic bedrock of Vexx. Have a listen now to caustic closing track 'Dear Jackie' in our playlist below, you won't be disappointed!
PIKACYU-MAKOTO OUT NOW
4 August 2017
Today we're releasing our new album from Pikacyu-Makoto entitled rather suitably 'Galaxilympics'. 'Galaxilympics' is a giant album of future-facing song and noise, where better to find harmony enthroned? Buy Galaxilympics now from our webshop!
ROBERT SOTELO - LET'S TRANSCEND
10 July 2017
We're thrilled to be working with Robert Sotelo on his debut album 'Cusp', out September 1st. Noisey have just premiered the brilliant first video from the record: Let's Transcend!
'Cusp' by Robert Sotelo is available to pre-order now here, look out!
REMEMBER TERRY RELEASED
30 June 2017
Terry released their second album 'Remember Terry' today! The album is full of wish fulfillment, critiqued characters, memorial muscle and historical hustle. Check out this week's live session for Marc Riley to get a scoop on how great they're sounding right now! Also look up their European tour dates that are happening as we speak.
WARM DIGITS are Steve Jefferis and Andrew Hodson; a trans-pennine, krautophonic blizzard-wave duo that emerged from Newcastle upon Tyne's underground scene with a sound like Neu and Cluster forming a supergroup with Giorgio Moroder, Kevin Shields, Eno and Keith Levene. Their first album, 'Keep Warm... with the Warm Digits', came out in 2011 on Newcastle's Distraction Records; Andrew Weatherall described them as producing some fine "machine funk kraut-a-delia" and the duo were soon went on to headline one of his Live From Outer Space events. Live, Warm Digits are a motoric epiphany of drums, guitar and pulsing hardware, complete with mesmeric kosmische visuals; all that on-stage multi-tasking making their live sets a dynamic kraut-disco experience. The last few years have seen Warm Digits release a second album entitled 'Interchange', tour with British Sea Power and support the legendary Goblin, St Etienne, Future Islands and ESG. Warm Digits now have a new album out now on Memphis Industries, featuring vocal contributions from Field Music, Sarah Cracknell, Devon Sproule and Mia La Metta.
COMFORT are a queer punk two piece from Glasgow that make music that trades out guitar and bass for a more electronic/sample based approach. Pulsating bass, glitchy synths, crushed drums and vocal rhetoric all feature in their contagiously brilliant dialogue. Check out their first collection of songs titled 'Built to Waste' on their bandcamp now.
NAP EYES hail from Nova Scotia and make crooked, literate guitar pop refracted through the gray Halifax rain. Recorded live to tape with no overdubs, their songs are equal parts shambling and sophisticated, with one eye on the dirt and one trained on the starry firmament, inhabiting a skewed world where odes to NASA and the Earth's magnetic field coexist easily with lyrics about insomnia and drinking too much. In the world of Nap Eyes, workaday details punctuate (and puncture) cosmic concerns, as songwriter, singer, and rhythm guitarist Nigel Chapman wrestles with air and angels, struggling (and often failing) to reconcile the Romantic rifts, both real and imagined, that define our lives: between chaos and order; solipsism and fellowship; the anxiety of social (dis)orders both big and small; and the various intersections and oppositions of religion, art, and science. It's the sound of being young and alive in the city, a tenuous and impermanent counterpoise of recklessness and anxiety, archness and earnestness. Following the reissue of their 2014 debut 'Whine of the Mystic' on Paradise of Bachelors, Nap Eyes released an album of all-new material entitled 'Thought Rock Fish Scale' last year, following that up with two incredible London shows!
H. GRIMACE are a London-based quartet with a penchant for exhilarating rock music, having released their debut album this year it looks set to cement their status as one of the UK's brightest prospects. Ripping between shoegaze and post-punk influences, H. Grimace are a no-holds-barred explosion of sound and energy, the foundations of which are laid by the integral guitar pairing of Marcus Brown and Hannah Gledhill, from Yorkshire and Melbourne respectively. Debut LP 'Self Architect' is out now on Opposite Number records and has received glowing reviews.
GARDEN CENTRE is a band formed out of necessity. The specific function of the band was to tell the story of a group of people who found themselves drawn to an abandoned plant nursery in southern England. The band hoped that their messages were transmitted efficiently, broadcast via audio in the form of their debut album 'Garden Centre'. With this task well and truly complete, the members of Garden Centre have become distracted. Some members still obsess over semi-rural boredom and exploration. Others have the audacity to write love songs. The most cretinous members opt to write about energy drinks exclusively. Their distracted and unfocused efforts come to the fore in their new album 'Monster Energy'.
LARAAJI is a musician, mystic and laughter meditation practitioner based in New York City. He began playing music on the streets in the 1970s, improvising trance-inducing jams on a modified autoharp processed through various electronic effects. Brian Eno saw him playing one night in Washington Square Park and invited him to record an album for his seminal Ambient series (Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance, released 1980). Laraaji went on to release a prolific series of albums for a wide variety of labels, many of which he recorded himself at home and sold as cassettes during his street performances.
In recent years he has had his career celebrated extensively, with two All Saints/Warp retrospectives Celestial Music 1970-2011 and Two Sides of Laraaji - as well as reissues on Glitterbeat and Leaving Records/Stone Throw. He has also collaborated with a new generation of underground musicians such as Sun Araw, their new LP Professional Sunflow (Superior Viaduct) being the fruit of the live shows they played together in 2014.
This September sees All Saints release a stunning pair of LPs of new studio recordings by the celestial music pioneer. Bring On The Sun is a magical mixtape of tracks that run the full gamut of 'Laraaji music', from blissed-out percussive jams to reflective vocal hymnals to trance-inducing drones. A perfect Laraaji entry-point on his never-ending creative journey through inner light. The record is recorded by Davey Jewell (Peaking Lights/Flaming Lips) and mixed by Carlos Niño (Leaving Records). This will be preceded by Sun Gong, a major new self-contained work experimenting with gong micro-tonalties processed through various electronic effects. The results are unlike any music he has made before - two side-long long-form pieces that evoke the sound of a shimmering metallic eternal wave.
LE TON MITE
Monday 4 September
NB. This is the new date for Deerhoof's postponed Feb 6th show, original tickets remain valid
DEERHOOF are an alchemy of '77 punk, pop, glam, hair metal, doo-wop, hip hop, and R&B, late-night car rides, long days, spandex, shadows, and attitude. Poetry into noise, volume knobs into pleasure, friendship into rock band.Twenty years deep into their career it's safe to describe them as legends of the American underground, releasing 14 albums and treating the world to their never-the-same-twice thrill-ride of a live show. Recent album 'The Magic' is out now on Upset The Rhythm, it is a mixtape imbued with Deerhoof's sorcery; boldness, wonder, technical know-how, risk. A mixtape by the kid with the biggest music collection you've ever seen, who will take you camping and show you how to pull a rabbit out of a hat. Are Deerhoof the greatest live band in the world? If you shake the Magic 8-ball, "all signs point to yes"!
LOWTIDE's murmurs have been growing of late. The shimmering vocal exchanges between Lucy Buckeridge and Giles Simon and their unique dual bass lines are pivotal to their shoegaze sonics. These hazy vocals and swirling guitar effects are given room to breathe as the band masterfully exploit rhythm and space. Australian fans have been enjoying all of this since 2014 - as well as a cover of Asylum Party's 'Julia' in 2015. Here in the UK we only got the record last August - and it's been spinning on our stereo regularly since then. 2016 was a breakthrough year for the dream pop / indie pop / shoegaze specialists who received critical acclaim for their inaugural long-player including in Rough Trade's renowned 'Albums Of The Year' list whilst also having amassed 4 and 4.5 star reviews in many of their homeland of Australia's magazines, and a string of sold out shows.
ROBERT SOTELO is the nom de plume of Andrew Doig, a 36 year old serial musician originally from Peterborough, UK. Andrew's middle name is Robert, whilst Sotelo is his mother's maiden name. Using this alter ego he's been able to write and record the twelve songs that make up his debut solo record 'Cusp' (released on September 1st though Upset The Rhythm). Sotelo plays every instrument on the album and recorded and edited it with long term friend John Hannon throughout 2016 at No Studios in Rayleigh, Essex. Sotelo's verdant world of sound is at once intimate, choosing to build songs up from ambitious layers of instrumentation into miniature psych pop overtures of genuine sincerity of feeling. Very much grounded in that particular forward-facing strain of mid-60s rock that edged towards Sgt Pepper, Sotelo's music owes as much to Davies and McCartney's unashamed belief in melody as it does to the uncertainty and confusion that comes with mid-thirties existentialism. 'Cusp' is an album that explores the individual in a post-social life era, with Sotelo starting the project initially as an attempt to re-engage with the people he used to know, without relying on nostalgia as a common bond. From this worthy spark of a plan, he's created something grand and compelling, a vast tapestry of songs that stand up and sound afresh.
CLEMENTINE MARCH was born in France, and musically trained in Brazil, now as a Londoner she writes songs and instrumentals that cross language and genre borders, mashing raw rock sounds, pastoral pop compositions and Brazilian influences with her experience of playing with, to name a few excellent co-conspirators, Snapped Ankles, Julien Gasc, Mega Bog, Pollyanna Valentine, and her own previous band, Water Babies.
POZI are a new London-based trio and brainchild of Toby Burroughs formerly of Totem (Moshi Moshi Records). Synth-like electric violin weaves through rampant drums and stomping bass, filling your headspace with sparse, angular energy. Their unique world will hypnotize you - it can be manic, fun and unnerving but will get you moving!
AMOR is a new quartet based largely in Glasgow, consisting of Richard Youngs, Luke Fowler, Michael Francis Duch and Paul Thomson. AMOR is a master-class in blissful, searching, avant-disco fuelled by telepathic ensemble playing and an untouchable, higher joy. With a life-giving force that's found in the balance between hefty, bass-thick kicks and crisp percussion, an elastic double bass that lends a bounce to proceedings and floating piano chords that recall a warped take on Philadelphia International Records, a live AMOR performance is a ritual of dance, of togetherness. Fowler's subtle electronic touches set up some of the most open-hearted, love-infected vocals Richard Youngs has ever set to tape. Guided through various drops and ecstatic highs by ceaselessly inventive rhythm composition, the listener is elevated to several plains, to different levels and spirits. Richard Youngs has a 140+ long discography covering any number of musics often invented by Youngs himself, while Luke Fowler is an award winning film-maker and visual artist, as well as an electronic musician in his own right. Paul Thomson is a drummer and percussionist with Franz Ferdinand and The Yummy Fur and Michael Francis Duch is a double bassist based in Norway with deep roots in the world of improvisation and minimalist composition. AMOR's debut 12" Paradise / In Love An Arc surfaced earlier this year to rapturous acclaim on Night School, but the merging of minds in a space, locked in to the collective sound is where this music really breathes. This is a rare chance to be part of it.
MIDDEX trades in suburban deliberation and galactic musings. This is outer space hidden in the outer boroughs plastered over the flat thump of frosted Perspex hearts. Check out his lathe cut 7"s out now on Polytechnic Youth.
SHANNON AND THE CLAMS are from Oakland, California and comprise of Shannon Shaw (vocals, bass), Cody Blanchard (vocals, guitar), and Ian Amberson (drums, vocals). Sounding like a prom band from 1964 getting dosed with acid and having the sweetest lovelorn freak out, Shannon And The Clams defy expectations. Imagine a brawling Etta James, backed up by the 13th Floor Elevators singing Shangri La's tunes. Shannon has a voice that can go from a sweet girl group croon to a bluesy ballsy growl before you realize you're headed for the (dance) floor. It's total punk rock bop, brimming with doo-wop glory delivered to your door by the Homecoming Queen and Kings of weirdo rock 'n' roll. What started as an open mic project for a shy, young Shannon to try out some tunes ended with the Clams meeting and forming a band. Many have said to have been possessed by thee (eerily similar at times) haunted howls and beautiful growls of their two lead vocalists, hypnotized by their heavy heartbeats, and mesmerized by their magical music. Your ears may become infested with a real Buddy Holly jolly kinda joy (oh boy) while you stutter along to a hiccupy song. Take a scratch and a sniff at these stickers and get bit by their bad-brained snarls. It's always Christmas (if you want it). It's your party time, and it's excellent. Cry-yi-yi if you want to, but be sure to surf a splish-splash with a laugh later. Recent album, 'Gone by the Dawn' (Hardly Art) is monumental; immense, magnificent, and unforgettable. Shannon and the Clams have pioneered their way into a lonesome land where the past still lives in the long shadows of a hot afternoon, where whispering spirits follow high along canyon walls, and if you sink your fingers into the dusty hard-packed earth you pull out hands smeared with blood.
PRIESTS are Daniele Daniele (drums), Katie Alice Greer (vocals), G.L. Jaguar (guitar), and Taylor Mulitz (bass). Formed in 2011 in Washington DC, the band has proven a valuable force for strangeness in a city that is increasingly terraformed by norms. At a time when few groups were making serious moves beyond the Beltway, Priests toured throughout North America and Europe. More significantly, they've helped to raise the general standard of show-going at home through cassettes and singles released on Sister Polygon, including music by bands like Sneaks, Snail Mail, Pinkwash, Cigarette, Downtown Boys, and numerous Priests-affiliated groups like Gauche and Flasher. Still, even amidst thriving hometown creativity, Priests possess a singular gravity. They are physical and combustible, urgent and visceral.
This January, Nothing Feels Natural, the band's first full length LP was released on their own label Sister Polygon Records. It's the bands most stylistically diverse set of songs to date, expanding on their lo-fi post-punk bona-fides with ideas drawn from pop, R&B, and industrial noise. Thematically, Nothing can be understood as a series of vignettes - nine stories that crystallize into a bigger picture about the economics of human relationships, the invisibility of feminized labor, and the dual purpose of art for both the group and the individual. It's a record that thrives amid the tension between that what is valued and what is dismissed; between what is desired and what is presented.
DOWNTOWN BOYS use their ferocious energy and powerhouse live shows to unite crowds in the struggle to smash racism, queerphobia, capitalism, fascism, boredom, and all things people use to try to close our minds, eyes and hearts. The Providence, RI band have just announced their third album, Cost of Living, to be released August 11th on Sub Pop. The new album - the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed sophomore album, 2015's Full Communism - is at once incendiary, cathartic, and fun, melding the band's revolutionary ideals with boundless energy. Produced by Fugazi's Guy Picciotto, one of indie-rock's most mythological figures (he also produced Blonde Redhead, The Gossip, and others), Cost of Living shows a sense of maturity without compromising the band's righteous assault and captivating presence.
The position of Downtown Boys has been clear since they started storming through basements and DIY spaces with their radically-minded, indefatigable rock music: they are here to topple the white-cis-het hegemony and draft a new history. This is how Downtown Boys began, and their resolve has only strengthened as both their sound and audience have grown. Like the socially conscious groups of years past, from Public Enemy to Rage Against the Machine, Downtown Boys harness powerful sloganeering, repetitive grooves, and earworm hooks to create one of the most necessary musical statements of today.
SHOPPING are propulsive bass lines, primitive disco-not-disco drums and guitar lines sharp as broken glass. The band was formed in 2012 by members Rachel Aggs (guitar), Billy Easter (bass) and Andrew Milk (drums), who've all done time in a plethora of notable UK DIY bands including Trash Kit and Wet Dog. They pull from a well of 70's post-punk with a voraciousness seldom seen these days, bringing to mind the jagged aggression of Gang of Four, the voracious yelp of The Slits and the dance inducing thrust of Delta 5 . Their debut LP 'Consumer Complaints' was released November 2013 in the UK via MILK records and quickly sold out its first pressing. A US re-issue of 'Consumer Complaints' came out in 2015 via Fat Cat records, followed up by their excellent second album 'Why Choose?' The band are tirelessly committed to taking their sound to new audiences and spreading the Shopping gospel, securing impressive gigs along the way including main support for ESG and Gang Of Four as well as a BBC 6 Music session for Marc Riley. They have toured in the UK and throughout Europe numerous times over the last few years and last year toured the USA with also awesome Gauche, look out for a new album imminently!
GAUCHE are made up of Daniele Yandel of Priests and Mary Regalado & Adrienne Berry of Downtown Boys, plus a cast of friends. Gauche bring a funked groove to scratchy, minimal post-punk on their debut Get Away With.... Originally released on cassette via Sister Polygon Records, it is now also available on LP through Danger Records. Taking elements of Young Marble Giants, ESG (who they have played with) and Grass Widow, the DC band inject an explosive energy into songs about fraught relationships, a dependency on technology and social media and unfair working conditions.
MOUNT EERIE is the current project of Phil Elverum. In high school in Anacortes Washington in 1996 Elverum started calling his tapes of self-recorded noise and songs 'The Microphones'. Since then he's produced two decades worth of records that span a wide spectrum from studio heavy atmospheric landscaping to simple raw songs. The Microphones project was nourished by and located within the community of artists around K Records in Olympia in the late 90s/early 2000s, and Phil Elverum's musical ideas were clearly the product of the flood of independent music in the NW during those years.
After five albums the project was renamed Mount Eerie just as the Microphones were getting some unexpected attention from the widespread acclaim of 'the Glow pt. 2' (2001). The Mount Eerie recordings got weirder and broader, and Elverum left K Records and began releasing everything himself, ultimately building a self-contained small town operation in Anacortes called P.W. Elverum & Sun. Radical self-sufficiency has been a theme and obsession; all all ages shows and never though a manager or booking agent, always self-recorded, hands on in all details. Mount Eerie's albums have always aimed to push into new territory, both in sound and idea, but the thread of Elverum's voice has remained constant throughout, soft and human amid the wide range of textures and worlds. Often the lyrics have attempted to grapple with big questions, the briefness and the smallness of human life being a running theme. On occasion the music has been called "black metal" (Wind's Poem, 2009), "dream landscape" (Clear Moon, 2012), and "raw and direct" (Lost Wisdom, 2008).
The new album, 'A Crow Looked At Me', sounds closer to the latter; minimal instrumentation, no production, clear and heavy words right up front. The difference here is the subject matter. In 2015 Elverum's wife, the French Canadian cartoonist and musician Genevieve Castree, was diagnosed with a bad cancer just after giving birth to their first child. She died a year later. Elverum wrote and recored the album throughout the fall of 2016 in the same room where Genevieve died, using mostly her instruments; her guitar, her bass, her pick, her amp, her old family accordion, writing the words on her paper. The songs are about the brutal details of that experience, from the hospitalisations to the grieving, the specific domestic banalities that become existential in the context of such huge and abrupt loss. These songs are not fun. They are pretty and they are deep, and they find a love that prevails beneath the overwhelming and real sorrow. It is unlike anything else in the Mount Eerie catalog in its unvarnished expressions of personal grief, metaphor-free.
PROTOMARTYR play a taut, austere rock that's been incubated in a freezing Detroit warehouse littered with beer cans and cigarette butts and warmed occasionally by space heaters. Short songs made for short practices, and the band learned quickly not to waste time. Despite the cold, Protomartyr emerged with a sound that is idiosyncratic but relatable, hooky but off-kilter. With respect to the local predecessors, this isn't the primitive stomp of The Dirtbombs or The Stooges' greasy roar. Punk works, kind of, even if it leaves the hardcore kids confused. Post-punk suggests something too retro; indie rock, something too precious. What Protomartyr is, is "stuck between the cracks." If that's the case, though, they aren't alone. Protomartyr's economical rock elicits comparisons to possible antecedents like Pere Ubu or The Fall as well as local contemporaries like Frustrations or Tyvek (whose frontman Kevin Boyer played bass in an early iteration of Protomartyr). Singer Joe Casey's dry declarative snarl serves as a reliable anchor, granting his bandmates (guitarist Greg Ahee, drummer Alex Leonard and bassist Scott Davidson) the opportunity to explore textures and reinforce the rhythm section. This is never more apparent than on the band's recent LP on Hardly Art, 'The Agent Intellect'. A brand new album entitled 'Relatives In Descent' from Protomartyr is due for release on September 29th through Domino, this show will be in support of that new record.
SAUNA YOUTH are an evolving band of young future humans making truly irregular punk not quite comparable to anything else. The band, attracted to the possibilities apparent within a DIY philosophy have been self-recording and self-releasing their own music since 2010, creating a number of seven inches, splits and cassettes. Artistic affinities are pledged to Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Pissed Jeans and The Intelligence, but as Kurt Cobain once asked "Why can't we be both Black Sabbath and The Beatles?", Sauna Youth consistently and urgently pose the question, 'Why can't we be both The Ramones and Steve Reich?'. Sauna Youth's debut album, 'Dreamlands' was released in 2012 through Gringo Records and Faux Discx, whilst the barn storming 'Distractions' album came out on Upset The Rhythm in 2015. In the first 5 months of 2017 Sauna Youth wrote and recorded a new album, holing themselves up in a railway arch in Peckham employing automatic writing techniques, instrument swapping and sampling the electrical interference constantly present in the room. They wrote the final instalment of their trilogy based around the fictional town of 'Distraction' - that has been home to their ideas from the beginning. Upset The Rhythm will be releasing this record in the foreseeable future, look out for lots of new songs!
BOMBER JACKETS are a three piece consisting of Russell Walker, Daniel Bolger, and Sian Dorrer. Both Walker and Bolger will be familiar from the ticklish post-punk of The Pheromoans, whilst Dorrer has a varied CV with groups such as Plug, and Ravioli Me Away, and with involvement across London DIY nodes. 'Kudos To The Bomber Jackets' is the horrifically wry new album from The Bomber Jackets. Following on from 'Lister,' their debut for Alter, 'Kudos To The Bomber Jackets' has a restlessness that takes broader strokes. It finds and holds a register of meandering hope by setting the perverted detail of domestic minutiae against an acutely self-conscious melancholy that cynically daydreams its way into an awkward middle-ground between profundity and platitude.
RICHARD DAWSON can never been accused by listeners of a lack of artistic ambition. Whether they got on at the last stop - the 4 track Tyneside-Trout-Mask-through a-Vic and Bob-filter of 'Nothing Important' - or earlier in the journey, with 'The Glass Trunk's visceral song cycle or 'The Magic Bridge's sombre revels. Devotees of his earlier recordings will be at once intrigued by and slightly fearful of the prospect of a record that could make those three landmark releases look like formative work. 'Peasant' is that album, released on June 2nd through Weird World / Domino. From its first beguilingly muted fanfare to its spectacular climax exploring a Dark Ages masseuse's dangerous fascination with a mysterious artefact called the Pin of Quib, it will grab newcomers to Dawson's work by the scruff of the neck and refuse to let them go until they have signed a pledge of life-long allegiance.
Driven forward by exhilarating guitar flurries, Qawwali handclaps and bursts of choral ferocity, 'Peasant's eleven tracks sustain a momentum worthy of the lyrics' urgent subject matter. Dawson describes the themes of these songs as "Families struggling, families being broken up by circumstance, and - how do you keep it together? In the face of all of these horrors that life, or some system of life, is throwing at you?" The fact that these meticulously wrought narratives all unfold in the pre-mediaeval North Eastern kingdom of Bryneich - "any time from about 450AD to 780AD, after the withdrawal of the Roman Empire"- only makes their contemporary relevance more enduring.
Dawson's objective was to create "A panorama of a society which is at odds with itself and has great sickness in it, and perhaps doesn't take responsibility - blame going in all the wrong directions". But encountering 'Peasant's captivating sequence of occupational archetypes ('Herald', 'Ogre', 'Weaver', 'Scientist'), listeners might find themselves wondering if these multitudes could somehow be contained with one person. Dawson has already supported the release of 'Peasant' with a full UK tour - his first featuring a full live band. After wowing audiences at St John On Bethnal Green this June, it's a pleasure to welcome Richard back for an Xmas show with live band to play the esteemed Islington Assembly Hall.