MOLLY NILSSON: Single

MOLLY SINGLE

MOLLY NILSSON: Single
(Dark Skies Association/Night School)
Limited to 800 on Black Vinyl, 7″ with insert and DL Code.
Released May 12

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Peek-a-boo! An artist in her songwriting prime, hyperactive with the possibilities of the world despite the global zeitgeist forever shifting, Molly Nilsson sent us 2 new songs around the same time as the tracks for her new album Imaginations that were incredible pop tunes on their own right, yet just too long to fit on Imaginations. Like much else in Molly’s career, we decided to break the mould, not follow album-release protocol, and surprise you all with this double AA a mere fortnight before Imaginations hits the shelves.

About Somebody seems to be about somebody, or maybe even somebody’s body, about desire too, perhaps. How else to interpret the line “Babe I want to party with you every night, and have a hard-on for the rest of my life?” But this is a Molly Nilsson song, and this is Empowering Content. Over a rousing, even anthemic, verse/chorus one-two, a soaring synth-string hook that rides the handclaps beautifully, we‘re soon left wondering whether our beloved narrator is really focusing on the “other” at all. Love lets you down: treat it mean, keep it keen, and remember if you can’t love yourself how the hell are you gonna love any body else?

On the flip, Quit (In Time), is a classic minor-key Nilsson elegy to obsession and addiction, sounding almost close to an early 80s Springsteen love-story. Here we imagine Nilsson at the piano, her heart a resounding bell for all longing. If About Somebody is the tumultuous onset of an affair, here we’re hopelessly drawn to the flame, unable to leave alone that which causes the sweetest pain. It’s a universal theme, the longing for something we shouldn’t have, and Nilsson seems to elucidate the feeling with a precise, razor-sharp lyrical nous that fans will instantly recognise.

Single” is about the self and the other; about navigating the love of others that tries to trip us up. But it’s also about you. “Single” is because you’re worth it.

Art by Molly Nilsson.

Molly Nilsson, Imaginations

Molly Nilsson - Imaginations Packshot

 

MOLLY NILSSON: Imaginations
(Dark Skies Association/Night School)
Limited to 500 on White Vinyl / 1000 on Black Vinyl / CD limited to 1000
Released May 26

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Molly Nilsson is now our well-established soulmate, sister and fairy godmother. In 2015, Molly Nilsson’s Zenith broke new ground for her, fast becoming her biggest selling album to date, winning her new acolytes. For us, Molly Nilsson is beyond other songwriters and singers. A lyricist so nuanced and honed that each epithet speaks directly to the heart, removed from the humdrum of everyday life and industry.

For an artist who has so successfully created her own environment and gradually let others in, her 8th studio album Imaginations sees Nilsson directly engaging with her surroundings, engendering change and allowing love in. Imaginations dreams big, recasting storming, stadium-sized pop into the internal language of the solo auteur. Imaginations is not escapism, it’s a kaleidoscope and an alternative view, an agent of change.

On Imaginations Molly is recasting her interior monologue as a prism through which to see the world, a means to live differently and to reject the status quo. We can Think Pink, change our destiny together. This is an optimism about the future when we need it the most. “New boys, new girls.. give me your smile and I’ll give you mine” Clearly, we are living through a transformation but with alchemists like Molly Nilsson, we’re never alone in the process.

AMOR: Paradise / In Love An Arc

AMOR ONLINE

AMOR: Paradise / In Love An Arc
Limited to 500 in disco sleeve with Download Card

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Paradise / In Love An Arc is the debut recording by AMOR, 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.

Listen: https://youtu.be/nQpE8Aqb32U

Recorded predominantly at Glasgow’s Green Door and mixed by Golden Teacher/The Modern Institute-member Richard McMaster, both tracks edge the 14 minute mark, slices of ecstasy seemingly hewn from a band deep in the Zone. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy Studios, the balance between hefty, bass-thick kicks and crisp percussion, an elastic double bass that lends a bounce to proceedings and floating piano chords recalls a warped take on Philadelphia International Records, a version of Can decimating the disco charts of late 70s USA. Paradisebegins with a proto-house kick drum and Paul Thomson’s inescapably funky percussion, inviting Duch’s bass into the mix. 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. In Love An Arc, arguably goes deeper. Jane Sayer’s guest violin scrapes us in, with formless shapes polluting the stereo field until a plaintive piano chord pattern brings us into the groove. Sounding like a lost spirit looking through the glass darkly, Youngs’ vocal is melancholic and truthful. Fowler’s synth playing evolves upward, duetting with the stringed instruments’ deep excursions into the night.

While these are only the first recordings by AMOR, the members have separate exceptional histories in modern music. 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. Most importantly, however, is that this is the sound of a band, as one.

Sharon Signs To Cherry Red

We are extremely proud to announce a new venture. SCHOOL DAZE is our new imprint focusing on the past.

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The first release on this imprint is the vinyl edition of RPM’s landmark 2016 compilation Sharon Signs To Cherry Red. Taking it’s name from a song by The Kamikazee Pilots, the compilation is an overview of the UK’s post-punk scene seen through the prism of its female participants. Among some well-known artists like Marine Girls, Dolly Mixture, Strawberry Switchbalade and  Vivien Goldman sits more obscure, life affirming music by the likes of Dorothy, Rexy, The Avocados, The Petticoats and many more. “Sharon Signs To Cherry Red” features rare or previously unreleased material from most of these artists.

The last copies of the red vinyl edition, limited to 300, are at Rough Trade and you can get it from them by following this link, or heading to their stores in London or Nottingam.

We’ll have a second press for you in the future.

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Molly Nilsson – Follow The Light 2017 Reissue

Follow The Light is the second installment of an ongoing Molly Nilsson reissue campaign and is the first time the album has been available on vinyl.

 

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“The closest we’ll ever get to heaven, with a stolen six pack from 7/11, and though the city sleeps I better she never dreams, she never dreams like you and me.”
The beginning moments of Molly Nilsson’s second album Follow The Light now seem like the start of a personal mythology that was to reach further than she could have imagined. Few contemporary artists have so seeped into the underground pop psyche than the Stockholm-born songwriter. After releasing her debut These Things Take Time on hand-made CDrs, Nilsson’s follow up was a leap in scope and ambition. Of course, the personal takes on a tumultuous life in Berlin and the journeys to and from it inform the songs as before, but there’s a growing maturity in the songwriting in evidence. From the diary pages of These Things Take Time to a growing stature as a songwriter in touch with the universal, Follow The Light contains many of Nilsson’s now firm fan-favourites.

The Closest We’ll Ever Get To Heaven is classic Molly Nilsson. Over plaintive piano chords and little else, Nilsson narrates a story of doomed friends lost, the onset of an East German winter reminding the singer of a time lost, nostalgia frosting the windows to the past. Meanwhile In Berlin, perhaps a passing nod to Leonard Cohen in the melodic refrain, opens up the sonic palette, with synth strings fitting Nilsson’s delivery perfectly. Never O’Clock is a pure pop moment, with a lilting funk and percussion adding a carpe diem immediacy to the album’s flow. Last Forever, which remains a staple to live encores now, seven years later, is fist-pumping melancholy that only Molly Nilsson knows how to do. It’s over before it begins and begs eternal repeat. Truth, a synth pop song that sees Nilsson exploring the upper and lower registers of her voice, feels like a lost chart hit from the mid 80s. I Hope You Sleep At Night, a vitriolic lover’s admonishment gives way to one of Nilsson’s most popular songs: I’m Still Wearing His Jacket. It’s a sentiment that needs no real explanation: the mementos of a completed love affair remain in our wardrobes waiting to hurt us all over again. Hello Loneliness could also be an updated Leonard Cohen song, a peon to melancholy which reminds us that Nilsson has a knack for distilling the complex into sharp epithets. We end on one of Nilsson’s greatest songs. A Song They Won’t Be Playing On The Radio is so finely loaded with emotion that it’s the singer’s reserved delivery that makes it so powerful.

FTL VINYL WHITE

Strawberry Switchblade: 1982 4-Piece Demo

It’s been a great honour to work with Strawberry Switchblade on the unearthing of their original 1982 4-piece demo. We first came across these recordings on the impeccable Strawberry Switchblade fan site, and after securing the original cassette recording from Jill Bryson commissioned expert engineer Sean Pennycook to clean up and remaster the recordings for reissue. The only photographic evidence from the time was a scanned contact sheet from a photoshoot conducted by Peter McArthur, from which Manuel Fernandez designed a sleeve for the 7″ E.P.

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“1982 4-Piece Demo” has been produced with the full consent and licensing from the surviving members of Strawberry Switchblade. Our eternal thanks go out to Jill Bryson, Rose McDowall, Janise Vanderflier and Carol McGowan, who sadly never got to see this release.

We have sold out of our allocation but we recommend the following outlets in the U.K.: Monorail Music, Rough Trade, and Norman. This release, like all Night School releases, will be distributed worldwide. Please check your local distributor / retailer.

Helena Celle’s debut, reissued on vinyl

In June 2016, Night School issued a short-run cassette of Helena Celle’s debut album If I Can’t Handle Me At My Best, Then You Don’t Deserve You At Your Worst. A fierce, inquisitive mind active in Glasgow’s underground culture, Helena Celle – aka Kay Logan – recorded her debut using faltering machinery recorded live and loud to consumer dictaphones. The results are rich, emotive and out of this world. We’re proud to announce that the album is now available on vinyl. Photos courtesy of Bleep.

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You can order vinyl direct from Night School here, or here for upfront copies from Bleep.

You can also check out an interview with the artist over at FACT by following this link.

PATIENCE – The Pressure

We’re excited to announce a new single from Patience, a follow up to her debut The Church. Patience – aka Roxanne Clifford – recorded The Pressure in Glasgow with engineer Lewis Cook. It’s available on limited edition 7″, Risographed with download code and digital formats.

Rose Garden

 

Roxanne filmed this sun-blanched video for The Pressure in Los Angeles with Jess Scott.

You can pre-order the 7″ Direct on our Bandcamp HERE.

OR:

Monorail Music / Norman Records