Following 2014’s critically-acclaimed album Kid Face, singer-songwriter Samantha Crain will see her fourth album, Under Branch & Thorn & Tree, released on July 17, via Full Time Hobby.
The new album was recorded and mixed at Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco, and produced by John Vanderslice, (The Mountain Goats, Spoon) who also helmed Kid Face. The album’s intimate vignettes are marked by Crain’s smoldering vocals and lyrics that call attention to the details of everyday life that often escape us, supported by the subtle musical settings she crafted with Vanderslice and the backing musicians.
About the new songs Crain said, “I don’t write protest songs in the traditional sense, but I’m always listening to the voices of people around me. These stories are told from the perspective of the underdog, the 99% of us that are working people. They might not be literal protest songs, but the lives of the people within these songs speak at the same volume if you listen.”
Crain and Vanderslice recorded and mixed the album in 10 days. “I like to work that quickly,” Crain said of the process, “and John’s good with spontaneous creation. We recorded straight to two-inch tape on a Studer 24-track machine and mixed down to 1/2-inch tape on an Ampex machine. The pre-amps were tube and we never used a computer. Our effects were done manually through tape looping and manipulation. Most of the arrangements happened in the moment, as we recorded. My guitar and vocals are all first or second takes.”
The album’s overall tone may be somber, but Crain’s vocals and the sensitive, striking arrangements bring unexpected flashes of light to even the darkest scenarios. The new songs are marked by expansive melodies that veer off in unpredictable directions, with lyrics that explore conflicting emotions with uncommon insight and compassion. She has a jazz singer’s phrasing, often breaking words into rhythmic fragments that land before and after the beat, stretching syllables or adding grace notes to uncover hidden nuances in her lyrics.
Stream first track “Outside The Pale” on Stereogum
Pre-order the album now and receive “Outside The Pale” for free, instantly:
The Leisure Society’s new album “The Fine Art Of Hanging On” is OUT NOW!
“intense beauty” – The Independent 4****
“Hemming is as eloquent as Rufus Wainwright” – Mojo, 4****
“exquisitely cadenced melancholia” – Financial Times, 5*****
You can pick up a physical copy of the album from the following places. CD format is a hardback bookpack, LP is 180g heavy-weight vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with printed inners – both lovely objects.
Note – bookpack format is now almost sold out, standard version of the CD is a gatefold digipack.
Dralms is the latest project by Vancouver’s multi-faceted artist Christopher Smith. Working with long time collaborators Shaunn Watt and Peter Carruthers of Siskiyou and William Kendrick of Failing, The project delivers a darker, more complex sound than that of Smith’s previous work. Bringing Andy Dixon (Secret Mommy) into the equation for his signature electronic beats and programming, Dralms packs a heavier punch, pulling the listener into its depths, and demanding undivided attention.
Smith’s Lyrics expose powerlessness, fear and rhetoric. Beyond this poetic prowess, the band’s strength lies in their ability to manipulate and play off of this content. Nothing captures this more than the band live. Cultivating an ebb and flow of all-encompassing build ups and ruthlessly catchy grooves, Dralms dramatic sound and pure volume creates a visceral and profound reaction in their listener.
Dralms will play a series of shows throughout May –
Mon 11th May – UK, London, Barfly w/ Baxter Dury (SOLD OUT)
Thu 14th – 16th May – UK, Brighton, The Great Escape (Stages + times TBC) TICKETS
Thu 21st May – Germany, Berlin, Antje Oklesund TICKETS
Tue 26th May – UK, London, The Sebright Arms TICKETS
More performances to be announced shortly.
Dralms’ debut album is due for release this summer.
It gives us great pleasure to welcome Jacco Gardner to Full Time Hobby!
We will be releasing Jacco’s new album “Hypnophobia” on 4th May 2015 on CD, coloured vinyl and high quality digital download. The coloured vinyl is a one-time-only pressing of 500 for Europe. Pre-order the album now and receive “Find Yourself” for free right away!
Screen prints of Julian House’s awesome album art will be available in a numbered edition of 50. These are available to pre-order separately or as part of an album bundle. All pre-orders will ship for album release date.
There will also be a limited 7″ of “Find Yourself” which includes the exclusive b-side “Mixed Feelings”, available to pre-order HERE
Stream the first track “Find Yourself”
Jacco is on tour throughout Europe, full tour dates HERE
Read all about Jacco HERE
The beautiful first video for the new Leisure Society album is live!
Directed by James Moore whom we’ve worked with for Tunng and Erland & The Carnival videos in the past has produced a wonderful, heart-felt insight into the day in the life of a modern day fisherman.
James went down to Newhaven on the South Coast to follow Martin for a day out on the seas. What we have is a perfectly fitting video for The Leisure Society’s “Tall Black Cabins”, mirroring the melancholy and highlighting the album theme of “hanging on” – doing something because you love it and not necessarily because it’s easy or financially viable.
The new Leisure Society album is out 13th April in UK, 28th in North America and 1st May in Germany. You can pre-order the album from HERE and you’ll receive “Tall Black Cabins” for free, instantly.
Ahead of the release of their debut 7″ single of the same name, The Line of Best Fit have premiered the Ewan Jones Morris directed video for Crushed Pleats.
Check out the video HERE
Dralms are playing live at St Pancras Old Church on March 4th. Tickets are on sale now, support comes from VENN.
The debut album will be released this year.
On April 13th (28th in North America) The Leisure Society will release their new album “The Fine Art Of Hanging On.”
The Line Of Best Fit premiered the first track “Tall Black Cabins” – stream it HERE
The album will be released as a limited edition CD bookpack, 180g heavyweight vinyl in gatefold sleeve with digital download and as a high-quality digital download. All versions are available to pre-order from the links below.
The band are heading out on tour in April. Tickets on sale Friday 30th Jan
The new Diagrams album “Chromatics” is out now!
You can buy the album on special edition CD which features the complete instrumentals (exclusive to the CD version), 180g vinyl in a beautiful gatefold sleeve (includes digital download) and also as a high-quality digital download (320 MP3 or FLAC).
All versions are available from our store, and physical versions are available at your local record store.
Happy new year everyone! Let’s kick 2015 off with a stream of the new Diagrams album. You can stream the whole glorious thing here.
You can pre-order the album from our store or via Rough Trade
Diagrams play live this month at London’s Lexington, tickets on sale now.
Check out a brand new Diagrams track “Gentle Morning Song.”
Premiered on The 405 yesterday, “Gentle Morning Song” is taken from the forthcoming album “Chromatics” released 19th January 2015 in Europe, March 10th in North America. You can pre-order the record from the following places:
Diagrams play live in London on 21st January 2015 at The Lexington – tickets are on-sale now.
To give you a taster of what to expect from the new album “Wild Winter”, Smoke Fairies have put together a homemade video for “3 Kings”, featuring a cameo from the girls themselves. You can watch the video HERE.
And if that’s not enough – here’s one more track from the album – “Give And Receive” was the first track we heard from the record here at Full Time Hobby and it’s remained an office favourite ever since. Perfectly encapsulates the atmosphere of the record as a whole and we’re not at all ashamed to admit – it even makes us feel a little festive.
Stream “Give And Receive” HERE.
The new Diagrams album “Chromatics” is available to pre-order now, you’ll receive a free download of Phantom Power instantly.
Diagrams plays live in 2015 – tickets on sale now.
Smoke Fairies announce Christmas-themed album of 10 brand new tracks and 3 December shows, Rough Trade album of the month for December.
Following on from the release of their self-titled third album, Smoke Fairies are set to release “Wild Winter”, the 10 track Rough Trade-exclusive album of seasonally-themed songs on December 8th 2014.
In support of the release, the band will play 3 exclusive shows:
TUE 9TH DEC – RISE, BRISTOL
WED 10TH DEC – ROUGH TRADE, NOTTINGHAM
FRI 12TH DEC – ROUGH TRADE EAST, LONDON (W/ DJ BOB STANLEY)
When asked about the album, the band (Katherine Blamire & Jessica Davies) had this to say:
“We have a love/hate relationship with winter and the Christmas holiday. When it was suggested Smoke Fairies make a Christmas album the last thing we wanted to do was make a classic, jolly, celebratory album that can only be played once a year. Sometimes winter provides us with a sense of togetherness and love and sometimes it leaves us feeling alienated, cold and playing a glockenspiel alone in a darkened room. It’s part of the year that will always be bittersweet and wild. This was the inspiration behind the record.
We got together with our band, played around with the songs a few times then headed off to the studio to record them all live. It’s buzzy and raw and not one tinkling of sleigh bells can be heard.”
To pre-order your copy of “Wild Winter” direct from Rough Trade shops and to add a ticket to attend the tour date of your choice, click here
You can aslo pre-order the digital version here
Stream the first track “Christmas Without A Kiss”
The John Steel Singers’ new album is out on now! Available on Double CD, LP & high quality digital download.
“…a dizzying mash-up of irresistible kinetic force: sunshine pop, surf pop, locked grooves, powerpop, ’70s pop smarts, highlife guitar.” MOJO****
“The More you listen, the more it pulls into focus as a fabulous soundtrack for a heatwave” The Guardian****
Look out for Autumn tour dates announced soon.
When unassuming young Orkney music-maker Erland Cooper picked up his guitar and travelled the length of the country to play a show in London’s Notting Hill, little did he know that a chance encounter with musical veteran Simon Tong (The Verve, The Good The Bad & The Queen, and Gorillaz) would be the start of a unique songwriting friendship. Together they formed Erland & The Carnival and now, nearly a decade later, arrives Closing Time – the band’s third, most accomplished album yet.
“Closing Time doesn’t mark the beginning of the end; rather it marks an end to permit a new beginning,” explains Erland. “When Summer dies it’s to let winter in, then spring opens it up again; it has to happen. It’s enjoyable when you accept that you have a limited time to make things happen to the best of your ability.”
Opening a new chapter, Closing Time is an understated, inward looking collection of songs that feature stunning string arrangements and Erland’s impassioned vocals at centre stage. But rather than the modern folk adaptations of traditional songs, children’s poems, and ancient literature on the band’s earlier albums or the pair’s recent conceptual folklore project The Magnetic North, this time the band tell tales of a more personal nature. “Previously we didn’t know what we wanted to say or how to say it and would use stories and direct references to help us get to a place we could feel secure,” admits Simon. Erland adds; “in making this record we discarded an album’s worth of material that sounded like the first two albums. We wanted to make something different – doing another Jackson C Frank cover wasn’t an option.”
Originally bonding over Jackson C Frank’s song ‘My Name is Carnival’ after his show all those years ago, Erland was first approached by Simon with a view to recording for his Butterfly folk label. The next day they were recording Frank’s song in the studio together and by the end of the session a band had formed. “It’s hard to find people who you instantly click with and Erland was one of those people” tells Simon. “He’s very driven and will get out of bed in the morning which is half the battle sometimes.”
Above all, Closing Time is the very first time the listener can truly hear the wholly collaborative process that is Erland & The Carnival. Lyrical and musical duties have always been shared, yet here the combined creativity of the pair’s working friendship is only solidified with Erland taking a more ‘hands on’ approach to production. The string arrangements, brought about by the album’s unashamed twisted and selfish love song ‘Quiet Love’, were scored by Simon before being recorded by a quartet in his living room later that week.
“We have an ‘open’ relationship. We’re both free to pursue other musical relationships and do – but then we always drift back to working with each other eventually,” explains Simon. “Over the years we’ve developed a very intuitive way of making music together which is really free, exciting and rewarding. To quote Woody Allen: ‘a guy walks into a psychiatrist’s office and says, hey doc, my brother’s crazy! He thinks he’s a chicken. The doc replies, why don’t you turn him in? Then the guy says, I would but I need the eggs.’ We need the eggs!”
Album track ‘I Am Joan’ sums up their rapport by referencing Simon’s nickname for Erland, Joan of Arc; “It’s a light-hearted play on how Erland carries troubles on his back and would rather burn at the stake than give in,” teases Simon. Elsewhere a wall of guitars with pounding John Cale-esque piano and Joy Division Arp keyboards, really drives ‘Birth Of A Nation’ whilst the beautifully simplistic ‘Daughter’ was written and recorded after Erland became a father for the first time – and half a bottle of whiskey. “I was trying to write and record the simplest song that can say a number of deeper things while saying something completely obvious,” says Erland. “It’s more about hopeful reassurance than departure. To be honest, that pretty much sums up the entire record to me,”
Recorded in Damon Albarn’s studio13 with previous Erland & The Carnival engineer Steve Sedgewick and mixed by London Grammar producer Tim Bran with Paul Weller guesting on two tracks. Despite creating more than 40 songs in the process of writing the album (“Some of the song melodies and ideas on this may have even been written when I was 21 to be honest. ‘Hopeless’ certainly was,” admits Erland), it was a brilliantly spontaneous and productive time taking just over 3 days to come to fruition. “We learnt to be incredibly disciplined” tells Simon. “It feels like pruning a tree – when you cut away the needless and weaker branches, what you get is something much fresher and stronger coming through.”
Check out the video for “Quiet Love” here:
Directed by James Moore and featuring Sienna Guillory.
“Curtains?!” is taken from Timber Timbre’s new album “Hot Dreams”, out now on CD / LP / MP3 / FLAC
Next up, take a listen to an alternative version of the track with Fiver on lead vocals:
Timber Timbre are playing live in Europe this summer, click here for full tour dates
The release of third album “Kid Face” in January brought Samantha’s music to a larger and broader set of audiences across Europe and gathered a huge amount of excellent press along the way. With that in mind, we thought it only right to give the back catalogue the attention it deserves. So on 2nd June 2014, you’ll be able to own:
If you pre-order any of the releases before 2nd June you’ll receive a track from each instantly.
Samantha Crain is back in the UK and Europe this summer. Full dates list here
Here’s what the critics have said so far:
“A new stronger sound” - The Independent
“Their best work to date” - Q
“Listen to their passionate plight and sparkling harmonies” – The Sun ****
“Gorgeous” - MOJO ****
“At their unsettling and atmospheric best “- NME 8/10
“Scuzzily atmospheric” – Uncut 8/10
“New and ravishing self-titled third album ” – The Mirror
The album is also available to stream on Spotify: Smoke Fairies – Smoke Fairies
The band will be heading out on a UK tour at the end of May, full tour dates over on the Smoke Fairies page on the left.
“Everything’s A Thread” will be availble on CDx2, 180g LP and high-quality digital download. The bonus tracks included on the second CD will be included in the digital download code supplied with the LP as well as available digitally via iTunes.
“Hot Dreams” is available to pre-order now in a number of formats.
You can pre-order the physical version of the record from the following places:
Full Time Hobby direct (feat. exclusive t-shirt bundle options): bit.ly/1aEOC5x
The Drift Record Shop: bit.ly/1hIHt2Q
Plus, if you pre-order the album from iTunes you’ll receive the track “Hot Dreams” for free instantly: http://georiot.co/271c
The band are also embarking on a UK & European tour this April:
April 3- Brussels, Botanique
April 4 – Paris, France, Fleche d’Or
April 5 – Amsterdam, People’s Palace
April 7 – Zurich, Switzerland,Rote Fabrik (Aktionshalle)
April 8 – Munich, Germany, Hansa 39
April 9 – Berlin, Germany, Lido
April 10 – Hamburg, Germany, Uebel & Gefährlich
April 12 – Stockholm, Sweden, Debaser Strand
April 13 – Copenhagen, Vega (small room)
April 15 – Nijmegen, NL, Doornroosje
April 16- London, UK, Scala
April 17 – Manchester, UK, Roadhouse
We’re very pleased to announce that Full Time Hobby will be releasing the new self-titled Smoke Fairies album on 14th April 2014 in the UK.
Stream “Eclipse Them All” on Soundcloud:
“Smoke Fairies” is available to pre-order from the Full Time Hobby store now. Available on mini LP-style CD, 180g heavy-weight vinyl (with download code) and high quality digital download.
Smoke Fairies’ outstanding new album, the eponymously titled Smoke Fairies, shows the band in top form, combining their classic approach whilst exploring new forms of musical expression – but it is an album that they nearly didn’t make.
There was a moment after the release of Smoke Fairies’ last album (Blood Speaks, 2012) when Jessica Davies turned to musical partner Katherine Blamire and told her she was no longer sure whether Smoke Fairies should continue.
For Smoke Fairies the suggestion of not playing music together would potentially impact more than just their band – theirs was a friendship forged by music, by a shared ambition that had carried them from their schooldays and on to songwriting and performing together.
“We started considering what would we do if we didn’t do music,” recalls Davies, “and it was just a massive void.” Deciding that giving up on the band was “not an option,” Davies wrote a musical apology to Blamire that would become the stunning opening track of their new eponymously titled album, Smoke Fairies. “I just wanted to say sorry to her – sorry I scared you like that.”
In the six years since Smoke Fairies first entered a recording studio, they have made two critically acclaimed albums, supported on tours with Bryan Ferry, Richard Hawley and Laura Marling, and had a single released on Jack White’s Third Man Records; but for all the perceived glamour of a musical career, they were still sharing a house in Peckham and waiting for something to happen while they worked temp jobs around London.
But with the question now raised, Smoke Fairies were able to really take stock and reassess what the band truly meant to them. “We realised that this is our life,” says Davies. “And we just have to see it as this wonderful thing, every gig we get to play and every record we get to make – we’re just incredibly grateful for that.”
More than this, it allowed them to think about the type of album they wanted to make. They had earned a reputation for impressive live performances, for harmonies and intricate guitar playing, but what they now craved was something simpler and more direct. Blamire talks of secretly listening to pop music on the bus, trying to figure out “why it was popular, why it was good.” Davies tells how her own personal yardstick had become “anything with a drumbeat that made me dance around the kitchen.”
Smoke Fairies yearned for movement and forward momentum. They wanted to make an album that wasn’t simply recorded live, but rather presented songs that were pored over, puzzled-out, polished and produced. “We wanted to feel that we had dissected everything back to its basic bones,” avers Davies, “and then for every song to kind of shimmer.”
In 2013 Blamire and Davies took themselves to a remote recording studio in Kent with producer Kristofer Harris. “It was on a very old industrial estate,” says Davies. “It was a really eccentric area – it used to be a council office, now there’s a bubble car garage, a tattoo parlour and a granite workshop. It just physically felt so distant from anything to do with the music industry.”
It was there that they set about crafting their latest album, Smoke Fairies, calling on their bandmates and old touring friends such as drummer Andy Newmark (Sly and the Family Stone, Roxy Music, John Lennon) to help out. “It felt very warm,” says Davies. “These people really came together to encourage us, as if we had retreated into a world of only ourselves and the people who mattered.”
The distance and sense of introspection also allowed for a shift in their songwriting techniques. “We used to do a lot of harmonies,” says Blamire. “But this album gave us the opportunity to actually be two voices, rather than two voices as one entity; two people talking to each other as distinct characters. They’re the messages that we send to each other.”
Their lyrical style, too, has changed: “We scrapped lyrics right from the start if they were too flowery,” asserts Davies. “Unless the lyric really got to the point and said something, it got cut.” Blamire agrees: “As songwriters, I feel we’re really starting to sum things up properly, to nail them down. For me, it was a testament to how long we’ve been together that we could just say to each other ‘that’s shit.’ There really was no ego on this record.”
The result is a remarkable set of songs, notable not only for their strength and robustness, but also a sense of experimentation. The sheer liberation Blamire and Davies felt at using synths for the first time is evident in tracks such as the irresistible “Your Own Silent Movie” and the beautifully compelling “Drinks and Dancing”. Davies and Blamire’s sublime voices still stand to the fore, and tracks like “Want It Forever” are lined with a deliciously bluesy skuzzy-ness. This may not be the sort of album you ever expected Smoke Fairies to make, but it is an extraordinary record – bracing, sensual and defiant – and one that promises an exciting musical future.
Blamire and Davies see the track “Hope Is Religion” as the song that best sums up their experiences of the past few years and their continued devotion to making music. “It’s one that we wrote together,” affirms Davies. “It’s about writing songs with someone, putting those ideas out into the open and sharing them with somebody; but it’s also about how with music you’re always hoping for more – that this will happen or that will happen. For us it felt as if music had become our religion, we believed in it without any evidence that we’d actually be able to make any money or be successful. I guess that sums up the situation we were in; but we realised we had no other option but to keep on believing.”
At FTH, we’ve always regarded artwork as an incredibly important part of the whole album experience, and so with that in mind, it’s phenomenally exciting for us to announce that three of our 2013 releases have been included in this year’s Best Art Vinyl nominees. For a small indie like us to make up 6% of this growing award is a very cool achievement and one we’re happy to shout about.
Please vote for either The Leisure Society, BRAIDS, or Tunng here.
We’re delighted to announce that two FTH videos from this year have been nominated in the UK Music Video Awards 2013.
Current touring buddies Pinkunoizu and Tunng will go head to head in the ‘Best Rock/Indie Video – Budget’ category for their respective ‘Moped’ and ‘The Village’ videos. Watch both videos below, and then head here to grab tickets for all the UK dates, which start next Tuesday (8th Oct) in London.