A DIY INDIEPOP VINYL & CASSETTE LABEL

The Ballet - Matchy Matchy [12"]

Artist: The Ballet
Title: Matchy Matchy
Format: 12” LP on black vinyl
Cat#: Fika072LP
Release date: 17th May 2019
Bandcamp | Spotify

Queer New York duo the Ballet marry the DIY ethos of the Hidden Cameras with the wry poeticism of the Magnetic Fields and the romantic pop of Jens Lekman, to create literate, infectious pop gems.

Formed in 2005 by Greg Goldberg and Craig Willse, the Ballet self-released two previous albums: Mattachine! (2006) and Bear Life (2009). These caught the attention of Fortuna Pop!, which released their third album, I Blame Society, in 2013. The Ballet has been joined by a few other musicians along the way including Ginger Brooks Takahashi and Michael O'Neill, who left in 2007 to join JD Sampson in MEN, as well as guest appearances on previous albums from Linton from The Aislers Set, Ramesh from Voxtrot, Scott Matthew, and Kaki King.

In addition to citing Stephin Merritt as an influence, Goldberg, who writes and home records all of the band’s songs, draws from an array of pop artists and periods, from 60’s bubblegum to 80’s synthpop and 90’s indiepop, fusing these in sophisticated and novel ways that reward repeat listening.

The Ballet’s new album, Matchy Matchy, is a return to the upbeat tenor of the band’s first two albums. While inspired by Goldberg’s experience navigating an open relationship with his boyfriend of 14 years, Matchy Matchy is not straightforwardly autobiographical; Goldberg writes from his experience, while also fantasizing about the perspective of his objects of desire, leaving ambiguous which is which. He is generally less melancholic than on I Blame Society, and fans will notice a return to earlier themes (“Looking” tackles Grindr, as “Personal” did Gaydar in 2006). Goldberg is not shy to write songs with explicitly queer subjects (“But I’m a Top,” “Messing Around,” “First Time in a Gay Bar”), while also taking on more universal longings, pleasures, and frustrations (“Jersey,” “Love Letter,” “Cry Baby”).

As the album’s title suggests, Matchy Matchy is also a meditation on sameness, both in its musical material (think limited chords in major keys, repeated phrases and constructions, and citations of Goldberg’s influences) and in its lyrical exploration of queer relationships and encounters. The album reclaims the insult of “matchy matchy,” finding value in repetition and doubling, both within the album and across the Ballet’s discography.

For press enquiries, please contact Jamie Otsa at Wall of Sound PR.


“The new single can only be described as a A-ha’s ‘Take on Me’ with the monochrome tones of The Smiths and it’s unbelievably catchy.” Attitude Magazine

Mammoth Penguins - There's No Fight We Can't Both Win [12"/CD]

Artist: Mammoth Penguins
Title: There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win
Format: 12” LP on yellow vinyl / digipack CD
Cat#: Fika070
Release date: 26th April 2019
Bandcamp | Spotify

Following a sold out London show with Swearin’, Cambridge indie pop trio Mammoth Penguins are delighted to announce that they have signed to Fika Recordings and that their third album, There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, will be released on 26th April 2019.

Mammoth Penguins are a 3-piece indie pop powerhouse, showcasing the songwriting and vocal talents of Emma Kupa (Standard Fare, The Hayman Kupa Band) backed up by the noisiest rhythm section in indie pop.

Their first album, Hide and Seek, was released with the much-loved and sorely missed Fortuna Pop! in 2015. Stand-out tracks ‘Strength In My Legs’ and ‘When I Was Your Age’ were picked up by BBC 6Music and Radio X, and the band played a live session for Marc Riley the following year.

But Mammoth Penguins didn’t want to stop there.  Their follow-up release John Doe in 2017 was an ambitious concept album, exploring the feelings of loss and anger at a man who fakes his own death, only to return years later. It featured contributions from Haiku Salut’s Sophie Barkerwood and Alto 45’s Joe Bear, and expanded well beyond the 3-piece rock‘n’roll template, with washes of strings, synths and samples (field recordings of butter being scraped on toast, photocopiers, and Ramsgate beach helping to fully immerse the listener in the world the band have created) filling out and developing Kupa’s songwriting.

Having had their ‘and now for something completely different’ moment, the band have brought that ambition and expanded palette to the production of this new release. The sound is big, bold and confident—with layers of guitars, backing vocals and keys all adding extra muscle—but maintaining Kupa’s candid, heartfelt, confessional style of songwriting, and the jubilant power pop hooks that made the first record so special.  

As with many songwriters, Kupa’s songs are derived mostly from her own personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings, be they long-lived or fleeting. “The times when people have said my lyrics resonate with them or articulate something specific for them are extremely validating for me and I hope that happens with this album,” she explains of the new record.

“Arranging the songs with Mark and Tom is a massive buzz and playing them live as a band feels so exciting. Having Joe and Faith put their mark on the album was also a massive privilege. Making a record can be an extremely slow and drawn out process that requires patience, perseverance and resilience, and because of that we are super excited and proud to be releasing this album.”

This time around, classic themes of love, loss and conflict are (mostly) given a hopeful and optimistic spin that opposition is neither inevitable nor hopeless. For musical comparisons, think Land of Talk, and Philadelphia bands such as Swearin and Hop Along, but Kupa’s insight into the everyday and her ability to pen such relatable and honest missives means that, often, the best comparison for Mammoth Penguins’ music is with your own past.

We Show Up On Radar - Zanzibar Whip Coral [12"]

Artist: We Show Up On Radar
Title: Zanzibar Whip Coral
Format: Limited edition 12” transparent vinyl
Cat#: Fika071LP
Release date: 22nd March 2019
Bandcamp | Spotify

bandcamp_vinyl_12in_template.jpg

Naughty little folk-pop maestro We Show Up On Radar is indeed a person and Zanzibar Whip Coral is indeed his album. A body of songs expelled through his cloud-like body like a turbulent but fruitful gale. This mass of organised air is to be released on Fika Recordings in March 2019.

Nottingham based multi instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Andy Wright - the man inside We Show up On Radar - has conjured up this 9 song popular melodrama using nothing but his own full sized Wurlitzer, complete with rotating platform and wearing his trademark sequinned suit.

Zanzibar Whip Corals is the 4.15 from Waverly Station. The train seats are woven from spun sugar and the train driver is a pelican with secrets in his bill. The gentle breeze spilling through the windows is Andy's voice with a melancholy love story sung for all the weird and wonderful creatures giggling in the distance. His songwriting is tender, almost fragile but his songs are anthemic, bubbling with gentle power. This journey is one of sheer magic and terror, like a lovely nightmare where you wake up smiling.

We Show Up On Radar’s songs are bewitching tales, scattered with references to vegetarian yeti’s, microscopic sea creatures and Greek Gods. It is music that is full of contradictions - childlike and sweet, but a bit wrong; terribly sad, but hopelessly uplifting.

Wright invented libraries and then toured them…. We Show Up On Radar have also recorded on various occasions for the BBC at the legendary Maida Vale studios and Abbey Road. ("surreal, hushed acoustic folk-pop that's both downbeat and delirious" BBC Introducing).

We Show Up On Radar have previously supported The National, Piney Gir, Thomas Truax and Bright Eyes at Nottingham's Rock City and dazzled with a headline show at Club Fandango at the Bull & Gate, London (“an astonishing treat” Artrocker).

Lets all fly away on each other’s smiles.

June 15th: Mammoth Penguins + Solution Hours + Common or Garden

Mammoth Penguins celebrate the release of their new album "There's No Fight We Can't Both Win" with a free show at The Shacklewell, with support from Solution Hours and Common or Garden.

Free tickets available from Dice and from WeGotTickets.

Mammoth Penguins

mammothpenguins-highres-108.jpg

For the uninitiated, Mammoth Penguins are a 3-piece indie pop powerhouse, showcasing the songwriting and vocal talents of Emma Kupa (Standard Fare, The Hayman Kupa Band) backed up by the noisiest rhythm section in indie pop

Their first album, Hide and Seek, was released with the much-loved and sorely missed Fortuna Pop! in 2015. Stand-out tracks ‘Strength In My Legs’ and ‘When I Was Your Age’ were picked up by BBC 6Music and Radio X, and the band played a live session for Marc Riley the following year.

But Mammoth Penguins didn’t want to stop there.  Their follow-up release John Doe in 2017 was an ambitious concept album, exploring the feelings of loss and anger at a man who fakes his own death, only to return years later. It featured contributions from Haiku Salut’s Sophie Barkerwood and Alto 45’s Joe Bear, and expanded well beyond the 3-piece rock‘n’roll template, with washes of strings, synths and samples (field recordings of butter being scraped on toast, photocopiers, and Ramsgate beach helping to fully immerse the listener in the world the band have created) filling out and developing Kupa’s songwriting.

Having had their ‘and now for something completely different’ moment, the band have brought that ambition and expanded palette to the production of this new release. The sound is big, bold and confident—with layers of guitars, backing vocals and keys all adding extra muscle—but maintaining Emma’s candid, heartfelt, confessional style of songwriting, and the jubilant power pop hooks that made the first record so special.  

Solution Hours

Solution Hours.jpg

Solution Hours are a two-piece band from London, comprised of Charlotte (vocals, drums) and Andrew (guitar, ambience). With spoken word-inspired vocals, dynamic drumming and unique guitar tunings underscored by ambient soundscapes played from a tape machine, the band have devised a sound that defies the usual trappings that a two-piece face, drawing comparisons to Life Without Buildings and bands from the heyday of 90s emo and slowcore in turn. They self-released the double single ‘Into the Sea / Pocket’ in 2017 and the EP ‘Try Again’ in 2018.

Common or Garden

Common-Or-Garden.jpeg

Common or Garden is the project of Hannah Winter (Owl & Mouse), a London-based, Australian-born musician. After years of writing folk music on a ukulele, Hannah started experimenting with synthesisers and an iPad, and created the self produced, scrappy synth-pop sounds of Common or Garden.

Mammoth Penguins unveil video for new single Closure

Mammoth Penguins finally get some Closure with new single and video!

Following the track’s premiere with Marc Riley at BBC 6music, Cambridge indie pop trio Mammoth Penguins are pleased to reveal the video for their new single ‘Closure’. The track is the latest to be taken from their third album, There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, released on 26th April 2019.

Alongside the video, the band are pleased to announce a run of spring/summer UK headline tour dates plus an appearance at Indietracks Festival later this year (see below for full listings).

Front woman Emma Kupa says of the new single: “Closure is a song about an interaction, or day, or moment, or occurrence when something shifts and feelings that you may have been carrying around for a while just dissipate. I think real closure can be quite rare and incredibly profound.”

Directed by Fraser Watson at Foliage Films, the video shoot was a low key affair, as Kupa explains further: “We met up on a Saturday morning recently to film our bits in a little theatre above a pub, then Fraser went off to film the rest of the narrative, so we had no idea what the final thing would look like. I'd love to thank the actors for doing some excellent slo-mo pillow fighting and adding some fun and energy to the release.”

The band have so far seen support from BBC 6music, Radio X, idobi Radio, Louder Than War, London in Stereo, Drowned in Sound, Exclaim!, God Is In The TV, and a whole host of blogs and specialist radio shows for their raw and incisive brand of lo-fi pop.

There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win is released 26th April 2019

Mammoth Penguins live:

Friday 15 March – Telford’s Warehouse, Chester
Saturday 16 March – Soup Kitchen, Manchester
Friday 12 April – The Finsbury, London
Friday 10 May – Karma Kafe, Norwich
Sunday 12 May – Fusion Arts, Oxford
Monday 13 May – The Moon, Cardiff
Friday 24 May – The Tin, Coventry
Thursday 30 May – Bar Brig, Edinburgh
Saturday 15 June – The Shacklewell Arms, London
Thursday 20 June – Rough Trade, Nottingham
Tuesday 23 July – The Blue Moon, Cambridge
26–28 July – Indietracks Festival, Derbyshire

Mammoth Penguins - Closure [Digital]

Artist: Mammoth Penguins
Title: Closure
Format: Digital Single
Cat#: Fika070SG2
Release date: 15th February 2019
Bandcamp | Spotify

Following the track’s premiere with Marc Riley at BBC 6music, Cambridge indie pop trio Mammoth Penguins are pleased to reveal the video for their new single ‘Closure’. The track is the latest to be taken from their third album, There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, released on 26th April 2019 via Fika Recordings.

Alongside the video, the band are pleased to announce a run of spring/summer UK headline tour dates plus an appearance at Indietracks Festival later this year (see below for full listings).

Front woman Emma Kupa says of the new single: “Closure is a song about an interaction, or day, or moment, or occurrence when something shifts and feelings that you may have been carrying around for a while just dissipate. I think real closure can be quite rare and incredibly profound.”

Directed by Fraser Watson at Foliage Films, the video shoot was a low key affair, as Kupa explains further: “We met up on a Saturday morning recently to film our bits in a little theatre above a pub, then Fraser went off to film the rest of the narrative, so we had no idea what the final thing would look like. I'd love to thank the actors for doing some excellent slo-mo pillow fighting and adding some fun and energy to the release.”

The band have so far seen support from BBC 6music, Radio X, idobi Radio, Louder Than War, London in Stereo, Drowned in Sound, Exclaim!, God Is In The TV, and a whole host of blogs and specialist radio shows for their raw and incisive brand of lo-fi pop.

There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win is released 26th April 2019

Mammoth Penguins live:

Friday 15 March – Telford’s Warehouse, Chester
Saturday 16 March – Soup Kitchen, Manchester
Friday 12 April – The Finsbury, London
Friday 10 May – Karma Kafe, Norwich
Sunday 12 May – Fusion Arts, Oxford
Monday 13 May – The Moon, Cardiff
Friday 24 May – The Tin, Coventry
Thursday 30 May – Bar Brig, Edinburgh
Saturday 15 June – The Shacklewell Arms, London
Thursday 20 June – Rough Trade, Nottingham
Tuesday 23 July – The Blue Moon, Cambridge
26–28 July – Indietracks Festival, Derbyshire

Mammoth Penguins - Closure.jpg

The Ballet join Fika Recordings

The Ballet have joined Fika Recordings! They’ll be releasing their new album Matchy Matchy in May.

Attitude Magazine unveiled the first track from the record earlier today - where you can listen to But I’m a Top.

The new single can only be described as a A-ha’s ‘Take on Me’ with the monochrome tones of The Smiths and it’s unbelievably catchy.

When talking about the single, Goldberg said: “’But I’m a Top’ is a playful response to the ways that gay culture can be attached to norms of masculinity and femininity.

“The narrator is frustrated with these norms and expresses a desire for others to see him/her as he sees himself/herself – a fantasy as compelling as it is impossible.”"

Matchy Matchy can be pre-ordered from us now on 12” vinyl and download.

May 4th: Darren Hayman "Farewell Thankful Villages"

A Thankful Village is a village where every soldier returned alive from World War 1. After spending five years making three albums and visiting fifty four villages Darren and his band present one last show of songs and stories from rural England.

Support from Jessica's Brother and Alice Hubble.

Doors 1930
Alice Hubble 2000-2030
Jessica's Brother 2045-2115
Darren Hayman 2130-2230

Advance tickets £10+bf from We Got Tickets or from Dice.

We Show Up On Radar - Crumbs For Erin [Digital]

Artist: We Show Up On Radar
Title: Crumbs For Erin
Format: Digital Single
Cat#: Fika071SG3
Release date: 1st March 2019
Bandcamp | Spotify

Crumbs for Erin, the third single from We Show Up On Radar's new LP "Zanzibar Whip Coral", is released on the 1st of March.

* * *

Naughty little folk-pop maestro We Show Up On Radar is indeed a person and Zanzibar Whip Coral is indeed his album. A body of songs expelled through his cloud-like body like a turbulent but fruitful gale. This mass of organised air is to be released on Fika Recordings in March 2019.

Nottingham based multi instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Andy Wright - the man inside We Show up On Radar - has conjured up this 9 song popular melodrama using nothing but his own full sized Wurlitzer, complete with rotating platform and wearing his trademark sequinned suit.

Zanzibar Whip Corals is the 4.15 from Waverly Station. The train seats are woven from spun sugar and the train driver is a pelican with secrets in his bill. The gentle breeze spilling through the windows is Andy's voice with a melancholy love story sung for all the weird and wonderful creatures giggling in the distance. His songwriting is tender, almost fragile but his songs are anthemic, bubbling with gentle power. This journey is one of sheer magic and terror, like a lovely nightmare where you wake up smiling.

We Show Up On Radar’s songs are bewitching tales, scattered with references to vegetarian yeti’s, microscopic sea creatures and Greek Gods. It is music that is full of contradictions - childlike and sweet, but a bit wrong; terribly sad, but hopelessly uplifting.

Wright invented libraries and then toured them…. We Show Up On Radar have also recorded on various occasions for the BBC at the legendary Maida Vale studios and Abbey Road. ("surreal, hushed acoustic folk-pop that's both downbeat and delirious" BBC Introducing).

We Show Up On Radar have previously supported The National, Piney Gir, Thomas Truax and Bright Eyes at Nottingham's Rock City and dazzled with a headline show at Club Fandango at the Bull & Gate, London (“an astonishing treat” Artrocker).

Lets all fly away on each other’s smiles.

Mar 16: Bill Botting & The Two Drink Minimums + Elizabeth Morris (Allo Darlin') + Jessica's Brother

Come join us on the 16th March at The Shacklewell Arms - Bill’s back from Australia for one week only (again) - and we’re throwing a bit of a party! For the first time since Allo Darlin’s farewell gig 2 and a bit years, Elizabeth, Paul, Bill and Mikey will all be together in a room again. Paul and Mikey are joining Bill’s band for the night, and Elizabeth is flying in especially to play a solo set.

That's Bill (Allo Darlin'), with a band that features members of Allo Darlin' (that'll be both Paul 'Thunder' Rains and Mikey 'Cowbell' Collins), plus heroes from Tigercats, The Wave Pictures, The Surfing Magazines and other legendary acts!

That's Elizabeth (Allo Darlin')! Her first show in London for literally years!

That's Jessica's Brother! Literally Jessica's Brother. That's Tom, along with Charlie and Johnny 'Huddersfield' Helm.

All star filled line-up for a starry Saturday night.

Advance tickets from wegottickets.com/fikarecordings and from Dice.