A DIY INDIEPOP VINYL & CASSETTE LABEL

Winter Sprinter 2019: Withered Hand + Catenary Wires + Mikey Collins

It’s the final of our 4 night stint at The Lexington, and we’re sending you off in to the weekend in style with Withered Hand, CatenaryWires and Mikey Collins!

Advance tickets are on sale now from wegottickets.com/fikarecordings for £11. The Winter Sprinter runs from Jan 8-11th 2019.

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Withered Hand is the songwriting output of Dan Willson. A cult figure in the Scottish music scene since 2009, Dan has released two widely acclaimed albums, New Gods (2014) and Good News (2009) and several lo-fi EPs. Currently working towards his third full length album, Withered Hand continues to tour and play one-off dates in venues from concert halls to living rooms.

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The Catenary Wires are Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey. Amelia and Rob are best known for making fuzzy, sixties girl-group inspired indie-pop in their previous bands Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research and Tender Trap.

 With the Catenary Wires, they have created something different; gentler and more acoustic, emotive and melancholy, although still fuelled by their great love for pop melodies and harmonies.

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Mikey Collins found fame and cult acclaim as the drummer in indiepop behemoths Allo Darlin’. By the time the much loved band parted ways in 2016, Mikey was already hard at work in his Big Jelly Studios in Ramsgate, working on the songs that would go on to become his debut album.

Recently released on Fika Recordings, Mikey’s record, Hoick, is largely inspired by his relocation from London to the Kent coast; ruminations on living by the sea and building a new community in a new town. Musically, it keeps the pop-tinged heart of his old band, and, through the addition of disco rhythms and RnB grooves, moves his sound into intriguing new directions. Live he’s backed by a crack team of musical heroes who bring his intricate musical ideas to life.

Winter Sprinter 2019: Haiku Salut + Gwenifer Raymond + Joss Cope

We’re delighted to be able to unveil the line up for the third night of the Winter Sprinter as Haiku Salut, Gwenifer Raymond and Joss Cope. It’s all happening at The Lexington on Thurs 10th of January.

Advance tickets are on sale now from wegottickets.com/fikarecordings for £11. The Winter Sprinter runs from Jan 8-11th 2019.

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Haiku Salut are an instrumental dream-pop-post-folk-neo-everything trio from the Derbyshire Dales. The group consists of multi-instrumentalists Gemma Barkerwood, Sophie Barkerwood, and Louise Croft. Between them, Haiku Salut play accordion, piano, glockenspiel, trumpet, guitar, ukulele, drums, and melodica. Their music also features electronic elements, which they refer to as “loopery and laptopery”.

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Gwenifer Raymond is a Welsh multi-instrumentalist, originally from Cardiff but now residing in Brighton, England. Gwenifer began playing guitar at the age of eight shortly after having been first exposed to punk and grunge. After years of playing around the Welsh valleys in various punk outfits she began listening more to pre-war blues musicians as well as Appalachian folk players, eventually leading into the guitar players of the American Primitive genre. She has since been playing her own moody and often-times manic original American Primitive styled compositions on guitar and banjo around the UK and the US.

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Joss Cope is a Midlands born musician with a pedigree stretching back to the Liverpool post punk scene and early Creation Records. He's worked with his elder brother Julian, made videos, campaigned for Greenpeace, and played guitar and bass for a number of bands in recent years before teaming up with some top Helsinki musicians to make this debut solo record. 

Winter Sprinter 2019: Flowers + Ex-Vöid + Deerful

We’re chuffed to be able to unveil the line up for the second night of the Winter Sprinter as Flowers, Ex-Vöid and Deerful. It’s all happening at The Lexington on Wed 8th of January.

Advance tickets are on sale now from wegottickets.com/fikarecordings for £11. The Winter Sprinter runs from Jan8-11th 2019.

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There’s something great about a three-piece—think The Cocteau Twins, The Clean, Galaxie 500—and the way that irreducible nucleus takes its strength from its limitations, making a virtue of its purity. Flowers singer Rachel Kenedy's ethereal vocals and Sam Ayres textured guitar is backed by the powerful, metronomic beat of drummer Jordan Hockley. Effortlessly blending pop songs with noise while leaving space for more stripped back elements, the recordings strike a perfect balance between the sweetness of Kenedy’s voice and Ayres’ abrasive guitar stylings. Their musical inspiration from shoegaze, C86 and New Zealand’s Flying Nun label is now evident.

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Ex-Vöid is a new musical group featuring former Joanna Gruesome members Owen Williams and Alanna McArdle. After having written two short albums of 'critically acclaimed' hyper-aggressive pop music, touring the capitalist west, and winning a kind of 'National Music Prize' with Joanna Gruesome, McArdle & Williams went their separate ways.

While sonically a continuation of the “Gruesome Sound” in some ways (particularly in the inclusion of brief and aggressive 'hardcore' punk sections), Ex-Vöid exploit the use of vocal harmonies and twin-lead guitars to push the 'pop' qualities of McArdle and Williams' writing into extreme and dangerous territory. 

Taking influence equally from Black Sabbath's “Into The Void”, D.C.-area hardcore legends “VOID,” and Raincoats number “The Void”, the group 'Ex-Vöid' was formed and began to compose short power-pop songs with titles like "Boyfriend," "Angry (At You Baby)," "Lying (To You Baby)," and "My Baby Is a Communist."

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Deerful is Emma Winston, a musician based in London, UK. She writes lush, sad electropop about feelings on synthesisers small enough to use on the bus and in tiny live-coding environments, and exists in a perpetual state of being far too excited about making things. Her musical influences include the Postal Service, The Magnetic Fields, Kero Kero Bonito, Emmy the Great, CHVRCHES, Owen Pallett, Grimes, and the DuckTales for Game Boy soundtrack.

Winter Sprinter 2019: Suggested Friends, Peaness and Whoa Melodic

We kick off the Winter Sprinter on Tuesday 8th January at The Lexington, in London, with Suggested Friends, Peaness and Whoa Melodic.

Advance tickets are on sale now from wegottickets.com/fikarecordings for £7.50.

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Suggested Friends Bandcamp tells us they make “bittersweet dad rock for you and your mates”, which is hilarious but, obviously, the London quartet are a lot more than that. They make effervescent and melancholic pop rock songs, with catchy-as-anything hooks and frenetic choruses. Faith from the band probably puts it best: “We are a jangle punk-ish pop group based in London, singing songs about regret, aspiration, and microaggressions. We’re all about the catchy choruses and OTT guitar solos.”

They also have a song with perhaps the best title ever, “I Can’t Roll My Eyes That Far Back”, a tongue in cheek critique of elitist music scenes. They’ve been gigging all over the UK in the illustrious company of the likes of UK DIY bands including KEEL HER, Trust Fund and Spook School. Their self-titled debut album is brilliant and their second LP is in the works for 2019.

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Formed in Chester, England in late 2014, three piece indie-pop band Peaness are the kind of instantly likeable, warm and creative people that can get away with having radio DJ’s blush like a peach every time they have to say the band’s name on the airwaves. Lucky really, as it’s a phenomenon that’s becoming increasingly more common with spins racking up at BBC Radio One, BBC6 Music, Radio X and more as this burgeoning bunch of friends grow quickly into the big shoes that the early press-hype has set out for them to fill.

Whoa Melodic

Whoa Melodic is Michael Wood, whom usually shares his multi-instrumentalist talents with various bands including Singing Adams/Steven Adams & The French Drops and The Hayman Kupa Band (with Darren Hayman of Hefner and Emma Kupa of Standard Fare/Mammoth Penguins).

With an unnatural obsession with Paul McCartney, Whoa Melodic also has echoes of Teenage Fanclub, Squeeze, World Party and Elliott Smith. Melody is key yet his lyrics tend reflect what is going on in his life. Nostalgic, tune drenched and reassuring.

Flowers play Winter Sprinter 2019

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We’re delighted to announce our Wednesday headliner for The 2019 Winter Sprinter as Flowers! It’s their first headline show in far too long; they’ll be joining Haiku Salut (Thursday) and Withered Hand (Friday) as our other announced headliners. Details of Tuesday’s show to be unveiled shortly….

This is our one and only headline show in a long time, so we're planning a suitably long (and hopefully quite good) set of our all-time favourite songs right from our very first demos to some brand new ones!” Rachel, Flowers

There’s something great about a three-piece—think The Cocteau Twins, The Clean, Galaxie 500—and the way that irreducible nucleus takes its strength from its limitations, making a virtue of its purity. Singer Rachel Kenedy's ethereal vocals and Sam Ayres textured guitar is backed by the powerful, metronomic beat of drummer Jordan Hockley.

Effortlessly blending pop songs with noise while leaving space for more stripped back elements, the recordings strike a perfect balance between the sweetness of Kenedy’s voice and Ayres’ abrasive guitar stylings. Their musical inspiration from shoegaze, C86 and New Zealand’s Flying Nun label is now evident.

Advance 4 day passes and individual day tickets are now available from wegottickets.com/fikarecordings.

The Winter Sprinter runs from the 8th - 11th January 2019 at The Lexington, London.


Winter Sprinter 2019

Fika Recordings, Wiaiwya and Gare du Nord proudly present the return of annual Winter Sprinter!

Four nights, three labels, twelve bands, DJs… the perfect antidote to the post-Christmas blues in the intimate surroundings of The Lexington, from January 8th-11th.

Our first two headliners are Haiku Salut and Withered Hand, playing Thursday 10th and Friday 11th respectively.

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Haiku Salut are an instrumental dream-pop-post-folk-neo-everything trio from the Derbyshire Dales. The group consists of multi-instrumentalists Gemma Barkerwood, Sophie Barkerwood, and Louise Croft. Between them, Haiku Salut play accordion, piano, glockenspiel, trumpet, guitar, ukulele, drums, and melodica. Their music also features electronic elements, which they refer to as “loopery and laptopery”.

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Withered Hand is the songwriting output of Dan Willson. A cult figure in the Scottish music scene since 2009, Dan has released two widely acclaimed albums, New Gods (2014) and Good News (2009) and several lo-fi EPs. Currently working towards his third full length album, Withered Hand continues to tour and play one-off dates in venues from concert halls to living rooms.

We’ll be announcing the other two headliners and details of the rest of the line up shortly. In the meantime, you can buy super-early bird 4 day passes for the bargain price of £32, or individual tickets for Thursday or Friday for £11 each from wegottickets.com/fikarecordings.

Getting Obscene video from Jessica's Brother

We've got a new video from Jessica's Brother for you, taken from their forthcoming album out tomorrow!

Jessica’s Brother is the eponymous debut album from London trio Jessica’s Brother, comprised of songwriter Tom Charleston, Jonny Helm (drums, also of The Wave Pictures) and Charlie Higgs (bass, previously of Ramshackle Union Band). Channelling the spirit of the Brothers Grimm to create an otherworldly atmosphere, they weave their motley influences together making a rich and eclectic vision, with nods to Silver Jews, Jason Molina, Nick Cave, Richard Thompson and Neil Young. There are themes of joy, anger and silliness in a carefully crafted world with a colourful cast of characters.

You can catch up with their recent session for Marc Riley’s BBC 6 Music show too via the iPlayer too!

“All in all a near perfect debut album that borrows from all the right bands, while making the sound their own given their individual skills coalescing in all the right spots. Long may they run.” Soundblab [9/10]

“The album’s swansong, ‘Cold, White and Blue Day’ marches Jessica’s Brother to it’s solemn conclusion as fast-paced vocals tell us all which remains. A fitting ending through the light and shadows of wandering minds in a debut which grabs it’s listeners and pulls them down a looping rabbit hole.” [7/10] The405

The Smittens - Three States [Digital]

Artist: The Smittens
Title: Three States
Format: Digital single
Cat#: Fika067SG3
Release date: 13th July 2018
Bandcamp | Spotify | iTunes

Three States, the new single from The Smittens is out today!

“Three States is a coming out/transition anthem, I wrote this song amidst a need to capture the complexity of identity, politics, and everything so many of us get caught in between. There’s pressure on all of us to conform to certain standards, and it’s nearly impossible not to internalise the toxicity. The idea of three states came to me while driving back to Vermont after being at NYC Pride. It’s a window into vulnerability, fear, determination, growth, and ultimately, better living through modern day medicine. There’s beauty in complexity. What’s holding you back? What worlds are you caught between? May we all find the spaces in which we belong. Fuck the binary, baby.” The Smittens’ Dana

Pre-order the 12″ LP City Rock Dove now or listen to the new single on Spotify.

The Smittens - Love is a Word [Digital]

Artist: The Smittens
Title: Love is a Word
Format: Digital single
Cat#: Fika067SG2
Release date: 29th June 2018
Bandcamp | Spotify | iTunes

Love is a Word is the second track taken from the forthcoming City Rock Dove from The Smittens.

The Smittens’ Missy Bly says: “This song came after I heard the buzz and learned personally, that love is and requires action. This one could potentially be written forever because the list of love metaphors is never ending. Love is potential, love is forethought, love can be cruel, exalting and regular and love is definitely fun to sing about!”

The Smittens - Cats for Cats [Digital]

Artist: The Smittens
Title: Cats for Cats
Format: Digital single
Cat#: Fika067SG1
Release date: 8th June 2018
Bandcamp | Spotify | iTunes

The Smittens return with Cats for Cats, their first new track since 2016’s Love Record Breaker, ahead of the summer’s UK tour and Indietracks appearance. Their 6th full length album will be released in August.

The Smittens’ Max Andrucki descibed Cats for Cats:

Masc for Masc" is obviously a gay dating app cliche, and for a long time I felt like it was just too obvious a reference so I resisted it, until simply couldn't any more! I was thinking of substitutes for that lyric that I could use instead and a friend, whom i actually met on Scruff, suggested "Cats for Cats". In the end I kept the original lyric but added that one as well. Maybe I just like cats, and especially the idea of cats as little, queer icons. The song is maybe about being 40, and in a long term relationship and horny, and again how the freedom of experimentation always comes with its own costs. Like dipping your toes in water, like sailing the open sea.

The Smittens are a 6-piece indiepop band that make upbeat and introspective tunes, tinged with vulnerability and optimism. While sonically the elements of multi-layered harmonies, countermelodies and ba-ba-ba singalong hooks still play a large part in The Smittens’ approach to songwriting, as each of the 4 main songwriters has grown, the overall perspective of the songs seems a bit moodier, and more serious. They’ve long since left behind the label of being a ‘cute’ or ‘twee’ band since their debut album 15 years ago.

City Rock Dove is instead an album of transition, ennui and nihilism; honing in on personal politics and gender queerness. The album contends with the turbulent changes of modern America serving only to cement the status quo - and it’s not just the outside world that’s changing either: The Smittens are also singing about the changes in themselves and taking a hard look inside. Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor) returned to mix the new album, having been instrumental in helping develop the richer textures first seen on 2016’s Love Record Breaker EP.

Pre-order City Rock Dove on 12" heavyweight vinyl or digitally

Catch them on their short UK tour on the dated below:
July 24 - Cambridge, The Blue Moon
July 25 - London, The Shacklewell Arms
July 26 - Sheffield, Cafe Totem
July 28 - Derbyshire, Indietracks Festival