Hall of Famer Gretchen Peters Releases ‘Blackbirds’ on Proper Records 9th Feb 2015

Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Famer Collaborates With Jerry Douglas, Jason Isbell, Jimmy Lafave And More


Fresh off her induction into the prestigious Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Gretchen Peters has confirmed the 9th February release of her new album ‘Blackbirds.’ Co-produced with Doug Lancio and Barry Walsh and recorded in Nashville, the album features a who’s who of modern American roots music: Jerry Douglas, Jason Isbell, Jimmy LaFave, Will Kimbrough, Kim Richey, Suzy Bogguss and more. But it’s not the guests that make ‘Blackbirds’ the most poignant and moving album of the GRAMMY-nominee’s storied career; it’s the impeccable craftsmanship, her ability to capture the kind of complex, conflicting, and overwhelming emotional moments we might otherwise try to hide and instead shine a light of truth and understanding onto them.

The eleven tracks on ‘Blackbirds’ face down death with a dark grit and delicate beauty. “During the summer of 2013 when I began writing songs for ‘Blackbirds,’ there was one week when I went to three memorial services and a wedding,” remembers Peters. “It dawned on me that this is the way it goes as you get older – the memorial services start coming with alarming frequency and the weddings are infrequent and thus somehow more moving.”

She found herself drawn to artists courageous enough to face their own aging and mortality in their work (Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Nick Lowe), but noticed all the material was coming from a male perspective. “As brave an artistic risk as it may be for a man, it’s much riskier for a woman to speak about it,” says Peters, whose incredible catalogue of songs—including “Independence Day” and “On A Bus To St. Cloud”—have been recorded by everyone from Martina McBride and Neil Diamond to Etta James and Trisha Yearwood. “Aging seems to be a taboo subject for female singer-songwriters, in part because our value has depended so much on our youth and sexuality. I want to write about that stuff because it’s real, it’s there, and so few women seem to be talking about it.”

In an atypical and unexpectedly rewarding move, Peters teamed with frequent tour-mate Ben Glover to co-write several tunes on the new album, which evokes the kind of 1970’s folk rock of Neil Young, David Crosby, and Joni Mitchell that Peters grew up on, albeit with a more haunted, country-noir vibe simmering just below the surface.

Geographically, the album leaps around the country, with particularly heartrending stops in southern Louisiana at the scene of a crime (“Blackbirds”), Pelham, New York, where Peters probes the hidden darkness of the leafy suburbia in which she grew up (“The House On Auburn Street”), and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where a fisherman lays his wife to rest after losing everything in the BP oil spill (“Black Ribbons”). “When All You Got Is A Hammer” is the story of a veteran struggling to adjust to life at home after fighting overseas, while “The Cure For The Pain” takes place in the waning days of illness in a hospital, and “Nashville” brings us back to Peters’ adopted hometown.

Despite the varied locations, the songs on ‘Blackbirds’ are all inextricably tied together through their characters, whom Peters paints with extraordinary empathy and vivid detail. ‘Blackbirds’ follows Peters’ 2012 album ‘Hello Cruel World,’ which NPR called “the album of her career” and Uncut said “establishes her as the natural successor to Lucinda Williams.” If anything, though, ‘Blackbirds’ truly establishes Peters as a one-of-a-kind singer and songwriter, one in possession of a fearless and endlessly creative voice.

‘Blackbirds’ Tracklisting:

1. Blackbirds
2. Pretty Things
3. When All You Got Is A Hammer
4. Everything Falls Away
5. The House on Auburn Street
6. When You Comin’ Home
7. Jubilee
8. Black Ribbons
9. Nashville
10. The Cure For The Pain
11. Blackbirds (reprise)



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‘Thank God It’s Not Christmas’

Digital single release December 15th 2014

On Universal Music

www.allsparks.com / www.facebook.com/sparksofficial / @sparksofficial


“As Yuletime approaches, we give you our tribute to every day of the year that doesn’t fall on the 25th of December. Thank God, It’s Not Christmas.” Russell Mael of Sparks




To coincide with Sparks’ shows in London – when they will perform their landmark 1974 release, Kimono My House, with the Heritage Orchestra – Universal Music announced the release of a limited double vinyl remastered version of the classic album.


The fifth track on side one of the original album is ‘Thank God It’s Not Christmas’. “One of the many highlights on the phenomenal Kimono My House, ‘Thank God It’s Not Christmas’ is the archetypal song from Sparks’ Island Records era. Adrian Fisher’s lead guitar and Ron Mael’s piano duel insistently with a prominent string section, as Russell Mael sings an alternately wry and depressing lyric about the desire to find activities that distract oneself from a slowly disintegrating relationship. The lyrics are truly magnificent, both in their literal meaning and the way they work with the music, creating a rhythmic counter-melody that echoes Fisher’s guitar line, and Muff Winwood’s crystal-clear production emphasizes the song’s soaring, anthemic elements; although ‘Amateur Hour’ and ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us’ were the hits and ‘Here In Heaven’ is more beloved by fans, ‘Thank God It’s Not Christmas’ is possibly the album’s highest point.” Stewart Mason, AllMusic.com


The 40th anniversary edition 2-LP on heavyweight 180gm vinyl with download card, will include a second disc of seven previously unreleased 1973 demos from Sparks’ personal archives and will be released globally on December 15th and inNorth America on December 23rd 2014.




Kimono My House was released in May 1974, peaking at Number 4 the following month and spawning the keynote hit singles ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us’ and the equally superb ‘Amateur Hour.’ Critics were enraptured by its heady blend of glam oomph, music hall humour, prog texture, rock power, Germanic cabaret, bubblegum pop and showtune infectiousness. NME devoted a whole page to their thoughts on the album, hailing Russell’s “stratospheric blend of Marc Bolan and Tiny Tim”, Ron’s compositional inventiveness, the unusual time signatures and the band’s musical originality, and concluding that, compared to Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs, ‘Kimono’ was “the real breaththrough.”


Kimono My House is widely regarded as one of the finest Sparks LPs of their 23-album career. “It’s a record we definitely have fondness for, musically and lyrically,” Sparks’ vocalist Russell Mael says. “It gave us the opportunity to come to Britain, and it was so well received. It was a real special album, both commercially and critically, so it means a lot to us. We never like to get too nostalgic, it can be so paralysing, and we feel obligated to keep moving forward… But let’s just say that, without recreating it, every time we make an album it has to be the Kimono My House of now.”


What makes this package extra special is its second album: the first release anywhere of seven demo recordings Ron and Russell Mael made in 1973 prior to signing with Island Records. Although a handful of the tracks were later recorded by the band commercially, all seven have never seen the light of day and come from Sparks’ personal archive. This is a true goldmine for a Sparks fan


“On June 19, 1973, after a few weeks of dabbling on borrowed acoustic guitars and piano, Ron and I recorded the demos that became the album you have in your hand” Russell Mael, 2014


Both albums have been mastered for vinyl by Bill Inglot, and are packaged in a thick-spined outer sleeve with original inner bag plus new notes from Russell Mael and an essay by Paul Lester.


Disc: 1

  1. This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us
  2. Amateur Hour
  3. Falling In Love With Myself Again
  4. Here In Heaven
  5. Thank God It’s Not Christmas
  6. Hasta Mañana, Monsieur
  7. Talent Is An Asset
  8. Complaints
  9. In My Family
  10. Equator


Disc: 2   *** DEMOS ***

  1. When I Take The Field On Friday
  2. Barbecutie
  3. Windy Day
  4. Marry Me
  5. A More Constructive Use Of Leisure Time
  6. Alabamy Right
  7. My Brains And Her Looks


Ron and Russell will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of Kimono My House when they perform it with the Heritage Orchestra at London’s Barbican Hall on December 19th and 20th 2014


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“The Suffocating darkness” out now!

The much anticipated sophomore album, “The Suffocating Darkness”, by Dutch blackened Death Doom Metallers SOULBURN is out now via Century Media Records.

The album is already gathering positive feedback in the media, scoring press results like the following:

Metal Hammer (Germany): 6/7 points review
Legacy (Germany): Soundcheck spot # 4
Rock Hard (Germany): 7,5/10 points review
Lords Of Metal (The Netherlands): 83/100 points review
Rock Tribune (Belgium): 8/10 points review

“The Suffocating Darkness” is available as special edition CD (in O-Card packaging and with an enhancement of a full-dynamic vinyl mix in high-resolution MP3 format as bonus), as 180gr. vinyl LP (either on unlimited black vinyl or in the following limited coloured editions: 100x copies golden vinyl from the CM Webshop Europe, 200x copies transparent red vinyl from CM Distro Europe and 200x copies silver vinyl from CM Distro USA) or as Digital Download with the following tracklisting:

SOULBURN – “The Suffocating Darkness” (50:21):
1. Apotheosis Infernali (Intro) (1:29)
2. Under The Rise Of A Red Moon (3:25)
3. The Mirror Void (5:08)
4. In Suffocating Darkness (5:01)
5. Absinthesis (5:25)
6. Hymn Of The Forsaken II (5:00)
7. Black Aura (4:37)
8. I Do Not Bleed From Your Crown Of Thorns (5:39)
9. Wielding Death (5:01)
10. Claws Of Tribulation (5:29)
11. Eden’s Last Sigh (Outro) (3:58)

Order your physical format of choice from CM Distro here: http://smarturl.it/soulburnCMDISTRO

And digitally here: http://smarturl.it/tsdiTUNES / http://smarturl.it/tsdAMAZONMP3

Check out two album songs, which are currently being streamed promotionally:
“Under The Rise Of A Red Moon”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eefHcLgLGo
“In Suffocating Darkness”: https://soundcloud.com/centurymedia/soulburn-in-suffocating-darkness/

Originally, SOULBURN emerged after the demise of Dutch death metal legend Asphyx in the mid 90’s, when founding members Eric Daniels (guitars) and Bob Bagchus (drums) looked for a seperate outlet to unleash their mutual obsession with Bathory, Venom, Celtic Frost and unite it with a dark, doomy and primal death metallic twist. After a demo and the cult “Feeding On Angels” debut album via Century Media Records in 1998, which featured Wannes Gubbels (Pentacle) on vocals/bass, SOULBURN were put to rest and seemed to be a mere transitional act before Asphyx achieved a short-lived return for “On The Wings Of Inferno” (2000) with the same line-up. SOULBURN was dead, buried, but not forgotten…

And now, 16 years after their debut album, the blackened Death Metal merchants return to the surface in their new line-up shape that again features the core of Eric Daniels (guitars) and Bob Bagchus (drums), teaming up with Twan van Geel (Flesh Made Sin, Legion Of The Damned) as vocalist/bassist and Remco Kreft (Grand Supreme Blood Court, Nailgun Massacre, Xenomorph) as second guitarist.

“The Suffocating Darkness” was recorded with Harry Wijering (Harrow Productions) and mix/mastering duties were taken over by Dan Swanö (Unisound Recordings). The frontcover was designed by Timo Ketola (Watain, Deathspell Omega, etc.) and additional art was provided by Roberto Toderico (Sinister, Asphyx, etc.).

Following triumphant debut-shows for their new incarnation as support for Bolt Thrower and Morgoth, SOULBURN have confirmed these following next live-appearances:

28.12.2014 Rotterdam (The Netherlands) – Baroeg + Dead Congregation
10.01.2015 Essen (Germany) – Turock + Thanatos
07.03.2015 Bladel (The Netherlands) – Wapenfest
17.-19.04.2015 Tilburg (The Netherlands) – 013 / Neurotic Deathfest
More shows to be announced soon…

Twan van Geel – vocals/bass
Remco Kreft – guitar
Eric Daniels – guitar
Bob Bagchus – drums


Soulburn (Demo) – 1996
Feeding On Angels– 1998
The Suffocating Darkness – 2014

Century Media online:

Century Media Webshop:


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New video clip for ‘Tree Of Suffocating Souls’
Touring commencing soon!

On the eve of returning to the stage in their native Switzerland after an absence of more than two years, and two weeks before embarking on a tour of Europe with At The Gates, Swiss avant-garde extreme metal act Triptykon are debuting a new visualization of a song off their acclaimed second album, ‘Melana Chasmata’.

See the video for the album’s opening track, ‘Tree Of Suffocating Souls’, here:

The video was directed by Philipp Hirsch (who previously worked with Triptykon for the group’s highly acclaimed ‘Shatter’ and ‘Aurorae”’video clips).

Triptykon singer/guitarist Tom Gabriel Warrior: “In producing this footage, we have elected to once again work in partnership with long-standing Triptykon collaborator and director, Philipp Hirsch, in Leipzig, Germany. As intensely minimalist as Triptykon’s approach and music are, as perfect and passionate was Philipp in creating images which combine such minimalism with the required darkness. The night during which most of these images were created was, for many reasons, a truly extraordinary night none of us shall ever forget.”

Next to the soon commencing European tour with At The Gates and Morbus Chron, Triptykon have recently confirmed a string of festival dates, including appearances at next year’s Maryland Deathfest (US) and Hellfest (FR). Here is a list of all confirmed and announced upcoming live-shows for Triptykon:

Triptykon Live:
SA 22.11.2014 Bern (Switzerland) – Saint Ghetto Festival
TH 04.12.2014 London (UK) – Forum + At The Gates, Morbus Chron
FR 05.12.2014 Manchester (UK) – Academy 2 + At The Gates, Morbus Chron
SA 06.12.2014 Glasgow (UK) – Garage + At The Gates & Morbus Chron
SU 07.12.2014 Birmingham (UK) – The Oobleck + At The Gates, Morbus Chron
MO 08.12.2014 Cardiff (UK) – The Globe + At The Gates, Morbus Chron 

WE 10.12.2014 Essen (Germany) – Turock + At The Gates & Morbus Chron
TH 11.12.2014 Hamburg (Germany) – Markthalle + At The Gates & Morbus Chron

FR 12.12.2014 Eindhoven (The Netherlands) – EMM
SA 13.12.2014 Leipzig (Germany) – Conne Island + At The Gates & Morbus Chron
SU 14.12.2014 Wien (Austria) – Arena + At The Gates & Morbus Chron
TU 16.12.2014 Aarau (Switzerland) – Kiff + At The Gates & Morbus Chron
WE 17.12.2014 Munich (Germany) – Backstage Werk + At The Gates & Morbus Chron
TH 18.12.2014 Antwerpen (Belgium) – Trix + At The Gates & Morbus Chron
FR 19.12.2014 Cologne (Germany) – Essigfabrik + At The Gates & Morbus Chron
SA 20.12.2014 Berlin (Germany) – Postbahnhof + At The Gates & Morbus Chron

SA 23.05.2015 Baltimore (US) – Maryland Deathfest
SA 30.05.2015 Bristol (UK) – Temples Fest
SA 13.06.2015 Bucharest (Romania) – Metalhead Meeting
19.-21.06.2015 Clisson (France) – Hellfest
05.-08.08.2015 Jaromer (Czech Republic) – Brutal Assault Open Air

Triptykon’s ‘Melana Chasmata’ is available in various physical formats (CD Mediabook, CD Jewelcase, Gatefold 2LP, ltd. Deluxe CD Box Set) from the following location: http://smarturl.it/triptykonCMD and also digitally here: http://smarturl.it/melanachasmataITUNES

Triptykon online:

Century Media online:

Century Media Webshop:


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The Away Days

This EP released 19th January 2015 via Believe Digital 

Listen to new track ‘Best Rebellious

EU live dates start 5th December – including two London shows

Turkish dream-pop band The Away Days mark their return to the UK with a new EP entitled This. Released via Believe Digital on 19th January 2015, the EP features new tracks ‘Calm Your Eyes’ and ‘Best Rebellious’ and acoustic versions of both songs.

Further developing their hazy, atmospheric sounds, the band have taken inspiration from India and the Far East to create washed out, hypnotic textures. The lush and epic new tracks signal a band further defining their sound and creating truly affecting music, both vibrant and tranquil.

In their native Turkey, The Away Days have shared stages with luminaries including Wild Beasts, Savages, Portishead, Belle & Sebastian, Owen Pallet and Massive Attack. Acclaimed by the likes of NME, SPIN, Noisey, BBC 6Music and many more, the band have been rising steadily before they release their debut full-length album in 2015.

The Away Days will return to the UK as part of a European tour. Catch the band on the following dates:

5th Dec: London, Old Blue Last, UK
7th Dec: London, Shacklewell Arms, UK
8th Dec: Brighton, Bleach w/ JAWS, UK
9th Dec:  London, Shacklewell Arms, UK
11th Dec: Bournemouth, Sixty Million Postcards, UK
13th Dec: Glimps Festival, Gent, Belgium

Praise for The Away Days:

“The sublime shoegaze riffage yearns for the days of Ride and Slowdive but still sounds like a product of 2014” NME

“Turkish shoegaze might not be a major phenomenon, but given the breadth of their talent,
it soon could be.” Guardian

“The Away Days project a shimmering, head-swaying spell” SPIN

“You were probably on the market for a new favorite indie band and what the fuck have those other guys done for you lately” Noisey

The chilled out with the searingly intense which powers The Away Days, taking them away from that well-worn shoegaze sound and into an area very much their own.” Clash


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