“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.
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.
“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.
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.
One of our favourite artists operating, Olympia duo CC DUST, have a new 7″ out on Night School. Shinkansen No.1, backed with New Ways, is available on 7″ / Digital. New Ways in particular is a life-enhancing pop Moment.
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.
Roxanne filmed this sun-blanched video for The Pressure in Los Angeles with Jess Scott.
We are extremely proud to welcome ELA ORLEANS to Night School. Orleans is a long-term friend of the label and we are very happy to be working with her.
June sees the release of the 7th full-length album by Ela Oreans on Night School, entitled Circles Of Upper And Lower Hell. The result of two years’ of experience, Circles.. is Orleans’ masterpiece: a long-form, avant-pop work that draws on experimental practises and classic pop songwriting. Featuring guest vocalists Stephen McRobbie and Katrina Mitchell of The Pastels and mastering by Jon Brooks and Circles Of Upper And Lower Hell is available on double vinyl, CD and digital formats.
The Flexibles announce their debut full length LP on Night School, entitled Pink Everything. The Flexibles are a trio comprised of Sorley Youngs (guitar/vox), his father Richard (electronics) and Andrew Paine (bass).
Pink Everything is a concept album about an alternative universe, a mirror-image of our own where the imagination paints in utopian brushstrokes. Sorley Youngs’ lyrics are rolling poems, oblique views of planet earth that dare to imagine an alternative.
Australian-born, New York-based musician David West announces his debut album as LIBERATION, released on Night School June 10th. A well-travelled veteran of several circuits in his bands Rat Columns, Rank/Xerox and formally Lace Curtain and Total Control, Liberation sees West reach out from the murk into a crystalline world of synthesizers, drum machines and samplers. The results are both familiar and strange: West’s vocal is unmistakeable, as is his sharp ear for hooks and incisive turn of phrase.
Back in the mists of 2014, we stumbled across a duo who were just starting out making music together – a synergistic, cosmic love module brewing in a corner of Glasgow. After their debut Apéro, the group toured the world, expanded their sound and practice, grew in confidence and now unveil Fruit Juice, a 25 minute Extended Player that goes further out and in than Apéro
FRUIT JUICE comes with an exclusive fanzine prepared by Happy Meals called Tomorrow’s Cookbook. Every sleeve on the 12″ is individually hand-marbled, no sleeve is the same.
We’ve been waiting a long time to announce this. One of our favourite contemporary songwriters and age-old friend Roxanne Clifford steps out from behind her guitar and into the disco to pen one of her best songs, The Church. Clifford’s songs and voice drove her band Veronica Falls through 2 classic bittersweet guitar pop records and we’re overjoyed to be working with her as Patience.
The Church is a heart-meltingly bittersweet slice of genius pop. Clifford is one of the most naturally gifted songwriters we’ve ever worked with and so we’re extremely proud to introduce Patience.
The Church / My Own Invention is released on May 6th, limited to 300 7″s with screen-printed sleeve by Roxanne. The 7″ is sold out from our web-store but you can pick one up by clicking: MONORAIL or ROUGH TRADE or wait for BIG LOVE, NORMAN and PICADDILLY, who will all get some copies.