Blues Funeral by Mark Lanegan Band
“A masterpiece.” – Word
“It’s all brilliant.” – NME 8/10
“Darkly majestic.” – The Independent 5/5
“Lanegan’s most accessible to date.” – Uncut 4/5
“His own career-best collection, Lanegan’s time has come.” – Daily Telegraph 5/5
“It’s the curveballs rather than the reliable Laneganisms that make Blues Funeral such a powerful return.” – Q 4/5
“No other singer of his generation plumbs the depths so credibly, or does mournful with such grace.” – MOJO – Album of the Month 5/5
Blues Funeral, the new Mark Lanegan Band record, is officially out now. The first record since 2004’s Bubblegum, Blues Funeral was recorded in Hollywood, California by Alain Johannes at his 11ad studio, and see appearances from Greg Dulli, Josh Homme et al.
To coincide, Mark Lanegan Band will tour Europe from the end of February, starting in Helsinki and ending in Barcelona. All dates are listed here.
Watch the video for lead single, ‘The Gravedigger’s Song’.
4AD / iTunes / Amazon / Rough Trade / HMV / Resident
Stars and Topsoil by Cocteau Twins
Stars and Topsoil, Cocteau Twins’ collection of the best of their 4AD years, is belatedly issued on vinyl this week. The first pressing is on heavy-weight, white vinyl.
Over a career at 4AD that spanned six albums and seven EPs, Cocteau Twins retained an intriguing uniqueness of style that defied comparison. Elizabeth Fraser (vocals), Robin Guthrie (guitars) and Simon Raymonde (bass guitar) were always fiercely protective of their privacy, preferring to let the music speak for itself; it spoke volumes and continues to do so. Following their ascent from alternative novices to universally acclaimed artists, Stars and Topsoil is a fine testament to one of the most original bands to emerge in the last three decades.
This chronological collection is a fitting reminder of why Cocteau Twins are so important: musical visionaries who transcended convention yet achieved massive international success.
4AD / Amazon / Rough Trade / HMV
Works In Progress
Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead has announced the release of Works In Progress, a 15-song benefit album to support Japan and it’s ongoing efforts to heal post-tsunami. Born in Kyoto, Japan, Kazu’s love for her home country is strong. She wanted to help her homeland and turned to her friends and colleagues to ask that they donate tracks for the album. The response was unbelievable, and Kazu has collected an amazingly cohesive group of songs. Kazu said “It is so ironic that an event so devastating can allow me to do something that is so inspiring”.
Proceeds from the album will initially go to Japan Society and Architecture For Humanity, and more will be added. It’s important to Kazu to add additional charities as the situation keeps developing and worsening, and people’s needs keep changing. Her hope is that they can work with agencies that also help changing the way we live and think and help us become less reliant on nuclear power.
Full details and tracklisting, which includes a new Deerhunter track, available here.
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