WILL VARLEY NEW ALBUM 'SPIRIT OF MINNIE' OUT 9 FEBRUARY 2018 // LISTEN TO 'ALL THOSE STARS' // UK HEADLINE TOUR

Will Varley is pleased to announce details of his fifth studio album, Spirit Of Minnie, released 9 February 2018 through Xtra Mile Recordings. Preorder it now.

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Following 2016’s much praised Kingsdown Sundown and a sold out show at London’s Union Chapel, the new album marks a distinct change of direction for the singer songwriter, as it's the first time he has recorded with a full backing band. Produced by Cameron McVey (Massive Attack, Portishead, Neneh Cherry), the new album expands on the pared back musical palette of Varley’s previous sound, all the while retaining his gift for painterly, affirming and immediate lyric writing.

Listen to opening track 'All Those Stars' below.

For the first time, Will assembled a full band to draw out the galaxy-spanning atmosphere within the core of his songs. A nod to his previous brush with Ursa Minor, 'All Those Stars' brings you into the warmth, and invites you to admire the grain of the songs while lost in the ambience. By the time you reach the halfway point, 'Statue', Will's songs have been lifted by pedal steel, violins, piano, bringing them a visual quality, like seeing things in colour for the first time. The title track is a career highlight – a tale that recalls folk-storytelling traditions and folklore (“to us she is vast and ancient, to the universe she is still a child”) with the swell of its drama built from an eerie collage of acoustic sounds, a reminder of how potent a vision an intimate room of unplugged musicians can conjure. The album closes with a story of humanity, our place on the Earth and our curiosity, and our follies, set to an ebbing and flowing ocean of strings guided by the pull of the band at its heart. As ever, Will has taken us on his travels, asked big questions and explored further than before, away from the stark rolling hills of Kingsdown Sundown to the wide, expansive and mysterious landscapes of Spirit of Minnie.

Image: Brett Walker

Image: Brett Walker

After a run of UK shows the album will come out on the same day he plays his biggest headline show to date at the iconic 02 Shepherds Bush Empire. Will is accompanying the announcement by releasing a brand new track from the album on Spotify and other digital platforms along with his entire back catalogue which, until now, could not be found on any streaming sites.

Aided by McVey’s nuanced, widescreen production and the warm cascading sound of his new band, ‘All Those Stars’ offers the perfect first glimpse into ‘Spirit Of Minnie’, straddling Will's sound and style from past to present. Counting the likes of Billy Bragg, Valerie June and Frank Turner as his fans, and with tours scheduled across Europe and America, the young songwriter from Deal seems poised for a huge 2018.

Spirit Of Minnie tracklisting

1. All Those Stars
2. Seven Days
3. Screenplays
4. Breaking the Bread
5. Statue
6. Spirit of Minnie
7. Let It Roll
8. Postman
9. Insect 

UK HEADLINE TOUR (all upcoming Will Varley dates on our Gigs page)

JANUARY
30 Birmingham @ 02 Institute 3
31 January @ Nottingham @ Rescue Rooms

FEBRUARY
01 Leeds @ Brudenell Social Club
02 Edinburgh @ La Belle Angele
03 Manchester @ Club Academy
06 Southampton @ 1865
07 Cardiff @ The Globe
08 Bristol @ Trinity Centre
09 London @ Shepherds Bush Empire

facebook.com/willvarleymusic / Twitter @WillVarleyMusic / www.willvarley.com

MÖNGÖL HÖRDE RETURN // TOUR DATES IN JANUARY 2018

It's been quiet these past three years. Fences have been repaired and stand tall, houses have been rebuilt, thatching reliably dry, and life is peaceful. If a bit dull.

But – listen – a distant rumbling. The far-off hills are billowing dust, kicked up by the wind no doubt. Or...something else. Watch your steppe.

Möngöl Hörde – Frank Turner (vocals), Matt Nasir (baritone guitar, The Sleeping Souls) and Ben Dawson (drums, ex-Million Dead) – return in January 2018 for four live dates across the UK – Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London.

They last played at Reading Festival in 2014 and it was uncertain whether (if ever) the Hörde would come back for more. Prayers, dreams and tweets have now been answered as the threesome take advantage of Frank's brief downtime between tours to return.

Make way for them in January 2018:

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25 Glasgow @ King Tuts
26 Manchester @ Academy 2
27 Birmingham @ O2 Institute
28 London @ Scala

Tickets will be available on Friday, 17 November 2017.

You can buy Möngöl Hörde's self-titled album here.

Conquest, fury and reckoning await you all. It should be a lot of fun.

First emerging and playing two tiny shows in August 2012 plus Reading and Leeds Festival, Möngöl Hörde released one of 2014's most twisted and ferocious albums with their self-titled debut through Xtra Mile Recordings. They then tackled a brief UK summer tour including a second appearance at Reading and Leeds before Frank and Matt went back to their day jobs and started writing and recording Frank Turner's sixth album Positive Songs For Negative People.

http://www.mongolhorde.co.uk/

GET CAPE. WEAR CAPE. FLY. FIRST ALBUM IN FOUR YEARS 'YOUNG ADULT' OUT 19 JANUARY 2018 // PREORDER NOW AND LISTEN TO AA SIDE SINGLE 'ADULTS' & 'ALWAYS'

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. is back!

Image: Kana Waiwaiku

Image: Kana Waiwaiku

Breaking a four-year hiatus with the immediate release of two brand new singles – 'Adults' and 'Always', which you can listen to below – Sam Duckworth’s cape-crusading moniker swings back into the limelight.

This is our first taste of the new Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. album 'Young Adult' released on 19 January 2018. Preorder it here.

Igniting expectations for the release with a bang, this double-helping will both feature on the record and are available digitally right now.
 

Though sonically worlds-apart, both tracks are wrapped-up in the thoughtful lyricism and cerebral arrangements that hallmark the many treasures of Get Cape’s rich and varied trove.

Speaking about the first of two new tracks Duckworth says:

“'Adults' came from a friend of mine who has young children. I think one of the things you discover growing up is that there are far few 'adults' than you think. As a child asks where are all the adults, us young adults often feel the same but are expected to find stability in a world where the rug is being swept from under our feet. It's a song about reading analysis of social change but feeling that there is a disconnect between the analysis and the outcome of the analysis. Are we all backseat drivers? Who will take the wheel? Surely that's a job for the adults...."

Whereas offering an insight into the creative environment that birthed 'Always', a track recorded with original Jungle / Drum’n’Bass supremo Shy FX, he adds:

“'Always' was written at the start of the year, as part of a series of sessions for Shy FX album. It was a magical session, with a revolving door policy. It was very creative and all artists had room to bring their unique styles to a common environment. The song is about the increasing isolation and anxiety felt when a significant moment in your life changes your whole perspective. Be it in childhood or adulthood, we have all had sea change moments where things don't look or feel the same. This manifests in all of us differently, but sometimes the spiral of neglect is difficult to break. It's a song in solidarity with those who have had their world shaken by negative incidents that will forever be used as psychological barometers for instinctual feelings.”.

In feeling a reawakened urge to go back to his basic instincts and make, record and release music upon natural, intuitive feelings of compulsion and spontaneity we find the roots of Young Adult.

Vacating from London to return to Essex, Duckworth looked to trade-in the noise and trappings of the capital for breathing space, expression and time playing with fellow live musicians once again. Building a new studio of his own in his hometown of Southend, he set about creating a hub with enough room and scope to let his imagination run wild, while providing a setup that would cater for productions still sonically taut and punchy. “It feels good to be entering a new chapter in a new studio.” says Duckworth. “It’s nice to be home in Essex but it's very nice to have found a new home creatively. This feels like the first of many here, which is very exciting.”

And if the results of this first are anything to go by, then a refreshing purple patch lies ahead for Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. Young Adult is a collection of ten all-new and original songs - each fresh and unique sounding in their own way, rippling with ideas and a sense of newfound wonder. It has honest, open, finger-picked songs with one foot in the rave and the other in the 70s. There’s forlorn folk wanderings and erudite electronica journeyings. Unusual turns of phrase married to unexpected key changes. Experimental, but ultimately always engaging. Open and observational. Young Adult is Get Cape back to his very best. It’s good to have him back.

Next January, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. will also be returning to the live stage for an intimate one-off gig in the new year; his first since the project’s emotional retirement at the Kentish Town Forum in 2014. Taking place at the Village Underground, London on the 18th January 2018, Duckworth will be joined by the backing of a full live band as they launch the Young Adult album release in style. Buy tickets here.

Revealing plans for the night, Get Cape says:

I love the Village Underground as a venue. There’s going to be 12 of us in the live show and it feels like the perfect venue for a big band, big sounding comeback show. There is a lot of planning going into it, knowing that there is room and scope to try new things. It's nice to have a chance to start the new chapter in one of my favourite venues.”

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. is the alias of Sam Duckworth. In 2006, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. released smash debut album The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager, with its three top 40 singles 'The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager (Part One)', 'War Of The Worlds' and 'I Spy'. It was hailed as an album of the year by Q and NME. He has released nine studio albums to critical acclaim under his Get Cape moniker, as Sam Duckworth, and most recently as Recreations (of which Duckworth counts Baby Boomers 2 as a ‘creative breakthrough’ and career high). Over the years, he has collaborated with Billy Bragg, Nitin Sawhney, Shlomo, Killa Kela, Baba Maal, Flea, Kate Nash and many others. He has also been a notable participant in the Africa Express project launched by Damon Albarn.

Since hanging up the Cape in 2014, Duckworth has turned his attention to his work as Recreations and a collection of solo works, Kingdoms, released at the top of this year, plus a greater involvement in the spheres of politics and activism, whereby he has become a regular face on the steps of Westminster lobbying for truth, justice and change.

Young Adult tracklisting:

1. Adults
2. Man2Man
3. DNA
4. Scrapbook
5. Always
6. Animate
7. Invisible
8. VHS Forever
9. Just A Phase
10. What Haves

facebook.com/getcapewearcapefly/ / Twitter @forgetcape / www.getcapewearcapefly.com

XTRA MILE SIGNS BRAND NEW FRIEND // HEADLINE SHOW AT DUKE OF YORK IN BELFAST ON 19 JANUARY 2018

Xtra Mile Recordings has signed Brand New Friend, an exhilarating indie pop brother-and-sister-fronted foursome from Castlerock, Northern Ireland, as announced exclusively by Stuart Baillie on BBC Radio Ulster's Across the Line. This coincides with the announcement of a headline show at the legendary Duke Of York venue in Belfast – where the likes of Snow Patrol started their careers – on 19 January 2018. Tickets will be on sale from 9 November 2017 here.

Brand New Friend! Image: Ruth Kelly

Brand New Friend! Image: Ruth Kelly

The band – Taylor Johnson, vocals and guitar; Lauren Johnson, vocals and keyboard; Aaron Milligan, bass; and Luke Harris, drums – have been gathering steam since their first Irish tour in January wowing crowds in Dublin, Galway, Belfast and Derry/Londonderry. Since then, they fired up the BBC Introducing Stage at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend in Hull; played at all the key Irish summer festivals including Indiependence and Electric Picnic; stole the show at Whelan's 'Ones To Watch' Festival in Dublin; and have sold out headline shows in Belfast. They've gained radio play from the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Phil Taggart and BBC 6 Music on the Tom Robinson Show as well as consistent, solid support from BBC Radio Ulster's Across the Line.

Their third single 'Hate It When You Have To Go' was catapulted into the world in September, a two minute thrust of fuzz guitars and pogoing keyboard melodies. Watch the video below.

This song perfectly surmised the same frantic melancholy-dipped rush of previous singles 'I Was An Astronaut' and 'Your Friends Hate Me', as well as the accomplished pure pop sting throughout the five-track American Wives EP, highlighted by the thrashing title track and the delightful 'I Love You, Goodbye'. 

With hints of Ash and Los Campesinos! but with an even more infectious blend of joy and sad, Brand New Friend only need a few minutes of your time to have you joining in on handclaps and harmonies. 

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Taylor Johnson says about the signing: 

“We’re incredibly excited to have signed to Xtra Mile, a label who right from the off shared our huge ambition and the passion that we’ve poured into everything up until now. More than anything we can’t wait to start working even harder for them!

We’re well aware of their great reputation and want to repay them for the faith they’ve shown in us by delivering a brilliant album and getting out on the road. The hard work starts now and we can’t wait!”

Charlie Caplowe of Xtra Mile Recordings says:

“The first time we heard Brand New Friend we knew we wanted to be involved. It was immediate. They are a great and exciting new young band with huge potential. Instead of pausing for thought and restricting their momentum, passion and enthusiasm, Xtra Mile wants to jump on board and be with them from the beginning onwards. Really excited to be working with them. Onwards into 2018 and a cracking debut album.” 

More news to come in the next few weeks including plans for 2018.

BEANS ON TOAST NEW VIDEO 'JAMIE & LILLY' // PREORDER 'CUSHTY' OUT 1 DECEMBER 2017

Barefoot troubadour Beans On Toast has released the video for latest single 'Jamie & Lilly' from his forthcoming album Cushty. Preorder Cushty from Xtra Mile, iTunes or Banquet and receive track ‘Taylor Swift’ as a free download. Beans has also teased the tracks ‘Taylor Swift’ and ‘Open Door Policy’ from the record, which are both available to buy and stream now.

A modern-day love song set against a Brighton backdrop, we're offered a glimpse into the lives of two wonderful and special people. The track is an open-hearted celebration of everyday life. The music video features the actual couple that the song was written about and this short story told by Beans himself explains how it all came about.

THE JAMIE & LILLY STORY

"This story starts with an email.

The email was from a girl called Jamie. It was regarding a show that I had coming up in Brighton; she was coming along to the show with her girlfriend, Lilly, and she wondered if it was at all possible for me to give Lilly a shout out at the gig. In particular, she asked if could I dedicate my song ‘I'm Home When You Hold Me’ to her.

Apparently, they both loved the song and often danced around the kitchen to it.

Me being forgetful and an idiot, I hadn't responded at all to the email when a few weeks later I received another mail, this time from a girl called Lilly. In the email, Lilly informed me that she was coming along to my Brighton show with her girlfriend, Jamie, and asked would I be able to dedicate ‘I'm Home When You Hold Me’ to Jamie as they both loved to dance to the song, in the kitchen. I had to re-read both emails to get my head around the fact that they had both requested the song to be dedicated to each other without the other one knowing.

How cute is that?

I still failed to reply to either of them but on the night of the gig, before I played the song, I told the story about the emails and explained how it had been a double request from Jamie to Lilly and from Lilly to Jamie. It turned out that they were both in the front row. As I told the story, they hugged and kissed. Then, when I played the song, they both held each other and danced. It was a magical moment.

I met them both after the gig. They weren't massively surprised about the double dedication, explaining that they quite often buy each other the same Christmas presents! I ended up going on a night out in Brighton with them, drinking rum. Lots of rum. The rum had its usual effect and the next day my memory of our night was blurry. I did remember, however, that Lilly was a teacher and Jamie a nurse (or was it the other way around?). Typically, they both worked extremely hard and were severely underpaid but, at the same time, they loved their jobs and their lives together. It was inspiring.

For the rest of the tour, every time I played that song I told the story of the emails and how it went down, trying to recreate that feeling of magic for each new crowd. Towards the end of the tour, I realised that, in fact, they'd stolen the song! That song is about my wife, Lizzy, and each time I sang it I dedicated it to them. We couldn't be having that. They needed their own song.

I took their names, their professions and for the rest of the song, I joined the dots. Which is essentially a flashy way of saying that I made that shit up.  Later in the year, with the song finished, I was back in Brighton. This time I emailed Jamie and Lilly, inviting them along to the gig so they could hear their song. Again, they were both in the front row of the gig. I played the song while they both held each other tight and danced. Another moment of magic - I nearly bloody cried! After the show, they gave me full permission to use the song and to play it far and wide. Which I did.

In order for me to make a video for the song, Jamie and Lilly let me join them for a day at home and on the beach in Brighton. The song will be on my next album ‘Cushty’ out on 1st December 2017. It's dedicated to Jamie and Lilly, to all the hard working teachers and nurses out there, and to anyone who loves love.

Beans x"

This autumn, complete with the full backing of a full live band, Beans on Toast will also be hitting the road once more for the 15-date ‘Double Trouble’ UK tour, where he will be sharing a stage with fellow Xtra Mile compadres Skinny Lister for a series of shows throughout November and December. Read more about this here. Go straight to tour dates and tickets on our gigs page.

 facebook.com/beansontoastmusic / Twitter: @beanstoast / www.beansontoastmusic.com
www.youtube.com/beansontoasttube/ 

WILL VARLEY TOURS GERMANY IN APRIL 2018 // ON TOUR IN USA WITH SKINNY LISTER FEBRUARY & MARCH 2018

Having spent most of 2017 on the road, including dates with Frank Turner in the US and a European spring tour with Valerie June, Will Varley will return to live venues in 2018, including Germany in April, after spending the autumn in the studio working on his fifth album.

After Will's sell-out tour of Germany in winter 2016 and shows in Cologne and Hamburg in June 2017, as well as the Xtra Mile Reeperbahn Festival showcase in September, Will is eager to return to the warm welcome of Germany’s thriving music venues. He may have some surprises too, among a heap of new songs. He will have extensively limbered up during February and March in North America with hyperactive labelmates Skinny Lister too, so you’re in for some fine-tuned and memorable shows.

Tickets for these shows are available on Wednesday 1 November 2017 12pm UK time / 1pm Germany time from www.willvarley.com.

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Catch Will in Germany on these dates:

APRIL 2018
08 Hamburg, Monkey Music Club
09 Berlin, Bi Nuu
10 Kassel, Goldgrube
11 Münster, Gleis 22
12 Trier, Lucky’s Luke
13 Köln, Artheater
14 Hannover, Lux
15 Wiesbaden, Schlachthof
17 Karlsruhe, Jubez
18 München, Kranhalle

Find all other dates and tickets here.

Will practically lives on the road, and 2017 has been perhaps even more busy than 2016, when he toured with the Proclaimers and supported Billy Bragg as well as performing on the Flogging Molly Salty Dog cruise. After starting this year on the road with Frank Turner in the US, Will embarked on a headline tour of his own in Germany before the European tour with Valerie June, including his first ever France dates. He also performed the Xtra Mile night of Frank Turner's Lost Evenings festival at Camden's legendary Roundhouse in May. He spent the rest of spring and the beginning of summer in the US supporting Lincoln Durham before hitting the festival circuit, wowing crowds at 2000trees, and Greenfield. 

With so many shows under his belt, the wait until 2018 will be worth it.  Often politically charged and always emotionally loaded, Varley’s live shows have been drawing crowds across the world, and his headline tours have seen him selling out venues from Berlin to New York and everywhere in between. It’s been a meteoric rise for the 29-year-old who began self-releasing albums and travelling England on foot only six years ago. In 2015 he signed a deal with independent music champions Xtra Mile Recordings, and momentum has been growing around the young troubadour ever since with the release of two studio albums ‘Postcards From Ursa Minor (October 2015) and ‘Kingsdown Sundown’ (November 2016) and toured extensively across the UK, Europe and North America opening for supporter and label mate Frank Turner, Scottish heroes The Proclaimers and Billy Bragg.

facebook.com/willvarleymusic / Twitter @WillVarleyMusic / www.willvarley.com