A DIY INDIEPOP VINYL & CASSETTE LABEL

Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures - Tequila Island [12"/CD]

Artist: Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures
Title: Tequila Island
Format: 12” LP on agave and tequila coloured splatter vinyl / digipack CD with lyrics booklet
Cat#: Fika073LP/CD
Release date: 21st June 2019
Bandcamp | Spotify

Stanley Brinks is joined by The Wave Pictures for their fifth album together; and their first since 2015’s “My Ass”. That’s not to say either have been slacking in that time, both are notoriously prolific: The Wave Pictures have turned out 5 albums and Brinks 7 since they last came together in the studio.

Stan arrived at the studio with several CDs worth of unrecorded songs on a balmy North London night and instructed The Wave Pictures to pick out some favourites to jam during the following three nights of recording sessions.

To anyone familiar with Stanley Brinks' huge discography - more than 100 albums - it might sound more raw in a way, less sophisticated than some of his other recordings. It's still rich in jazzy sounds and original structures however, the songs looser and full of playfulness, with the lyrics carrying the essence of the songs.

Tequila - the drink - was obviously the inspiration for the album. While writing, and while recording.

Stanley Brinks was born in Paris, France, in 1973. He studied a bit of biology and worked as a nurse for a while. Half Swedish, half Moroccan, strongly inclined to travel the world, he soon began spending most of his life on the road and developed a strong relationship with New York. By the late 90s he’d become a full time singer-songwriter – André Herman Düne – as part of three piece indie-rock band, Herman Düne. Several albums and Peel sessions  later and after a decade of touring Europe, mostly with American songwriters such as Jeffrey Lewis, Calvin Johnson and early Arcade Fire he settled in Berlin. The early carnival music of Trinidad became a passion, and in the early 21st century he became the unquestioned master of European calypso, changing his name to Stanley Brinks. Under this moniker he has recorded more than 100 albums, collaborated with the New York Antifolk scene on several occasions, recorded and toured with traditional Norwegian musicians, and played a lot with The Wave Pictures.  

The Wave Pictures are David Tattersall, Franic Rozycki and Jonny ‘Huddersfield’ Helm. Formed in 1998 when Franic and David lived in a village called Wymeswold, the band played with several drummers until Jonny became a permanent member in 2003 replacing Hugh J Noble. In the beginning the band learned to play together by covering Jonathan Richman songs but soon David was writing lots of original material. 

They have since released six  studio albums to critical acclaim and played numerous sessions on BBC 6 Music, Radio 1 and Xfm. Interest generated from these recordings has enabled The Wave Pictures to play shows all over the world with artists including Jeffrey Lewis, Darren Hayman, Stanley Brinks, Freschard and Herman Düne.

“Tequila Island is every bit as joyous as you’d imagine a desert island with a well stocked bar would be. The meandering afro-beat influenced guitar line and prominent flute line provide the melody, as the infectious coming together of percussion and bass add a toe-tapping propulsion. Stanley has suggested Tequila was not just the influence for the songwriting, but also the recording sessions, where Mexico’s finest was used to keep out the balmy North London-night; which might explain why it’s the loosest and quite possibly most fun they’ve ever sounded.” For The Rabbits

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.


“This amiable embrace of ambivalence distinguishes Greg Goldberg and Craig Willse’s output as the Ballet from the work of their funny musical uncles, like the Magnetic Fields’ implacably ironic Stephin Merritt, the Hidden Cameras’ riot auteur Joel Gibb, even fairy godfathers Pet Shop Boys.
The music is so lovely, all dewy guitars and dripping synth bells, that it makes you understand the appeal of intertwining with someone who doesn’t necessarily respect you.” Pitchfork [7.6/10]

“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 [premiere]

“‘Matchy Matchy’ is a beguiling album, one that plays with conceptions of not only sexuality but society as a whole. It’s an album for 2019.” Norman Records [9/10]

“The hooks are still in there, starring these light little keyboard notes maneuvering in and out behind that dancing guitar line. Sure Greg Goldberg has stylistic similarities to Stephin Merritt, but there’s this softness to his voice, a fragility that makes him feel just a touch more open and approachable.” Austin Town Hall

“the album is full of little pop anthems, in which the clean guitars are fused with the drum machines and some xylophone that another. This is the case of ' Looking ' or ' First in a Gay Bar ', which are brilliant. But the best of its more electronic side, appears in ' 20', a whole pop gem, for which many consolidated groups of the genre, would kill.” Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow

“The fact is that it is a beautiful, and irresistible, cut of synth-pop, for which many would kill. Among them his beloved Magnetic Fields .” Indienauta [Spanish]

“a sweet album, with a high playful tenderness” Written In Music [Dutch]

“The Ballet have succeeded in producing a record whose catchy sound never outshines the charm and depth of the lyrics” Lie in the Sound [German]

“The Ballet have become the sort of reliable, approachable yet pertinent little indie-pop act that it’s always good to have around.” The Soundboard

“this duo all the way from New York have fashioned an interesting way of marrying expressive DIY Indie music with some very pleasant and soothing instrumentation” The Independent Voice

“vocals akin with The Neighbourhood, but musically they have instrumentation and dance beats similar to that of Blaqk Audio or Scissor Sisters” Alt Corner

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.

Press for There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win

“Standard Fare were never what I’d call twee, they were firmly in the indiepop scene and, even though Mammoth Penguins is a much more twee name, there is more oomph in the performances and arrangements, which makes for a nice mix of brawn, brains and heart. Speaking of, Emma’s heart remains on her sleeve, and her voice — both strong and vulnerable — conveys all the yearning and regret found in her lyrics. And the songs, like “I Wanna” — with its chorus of “I love you, I love you, I love you / Fuck it all, fuck it all, fuck it all” — are eminently relatable earworms.” Brooklyn Vegan

“[Kupa] has an unerring eye for the foibles of modern romance and details the mechanics of love and loss as well as anyone since the Wedding Present's David Gedge, only with a more sensitive touch. There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win is one of the finest examples of simple and true indie rock around” All Music [8/10]

There Is No Fight We Can't Both Win is another great collection of universally empathetic songs from a great songwriter that really ought to get a hearing beyond the indie world that is its home” Backseat Mafia [8.5/10]

“one of several moments on the album that remind me of their former Fortuna POP! label mate Steven Adams, and where this type of thing is concerned that’s about the highest praise I have to offer anybody. There’s No Fight We Both Can’t Win – smart, melodic, indie pop/punk about the trials of love and friendship, it’s a great record if you like that sort of thing.” Echoes and Dust

“Mammoth Penguins clutch memorable melodies out of seemingly fresh air. They have a very standard guitar, bass, drums set up which lacks somewhat in colour but the simplicity is used to create naggingly familiar hooks” Norman Records [8/10]

“for indie-pop overflowing with heart and replete with an oft-excellent command of melody, There’s No Fight…  delivers in spades” The Soundboard [7/10]

“Mammoth Penguins have come on in leaps and bounds here. This is simply a great album” God Is In The TV [8/10]

“Over the course of this album, Mammoth Penguins again show that they have the ability to create delightful pop music, much in the style as bands like The Pastels - I Wanna and Put It All On You - being prime examples” Even The Stars

“The 11 songs on There’s No Fight We Both Can’t Win revolves around the theme of love and relationships but Mammoth Penguins manage to avoid the album feeling stale. The band accomplish this by writing tunes you can really lose yourself to, lyrics that you can let wash over you and moments that just really engage you” Rush on Rock

“Heartfelt and honest...there's an attitude here that many similar bands are lacking in” Distorted Sound

“While there are some definite pop rocking numbers, my early time with the LP has me falling for “There is So Much More;” it’s a really soft tune, giving the album some diversity so it doesn’t wear on you…not to mention there’s no such thing as a bad Kupa performance” Austin Town Hall

“From the moment I heard Emma Kupa sing ‘I love you, I love you, I love you, fuck it all, fuck it all, fuck it all’ on ‘I Wanna’… I couldn’t help but become a Mammoth Penguins fanboy” Balloon Machine [track by track preview]

“an awesome pop record” One Chord

The Ballet - Love Letter [Digital]

Artist: The Ballet
Title: Love Letter
Format: Digital Single
Cat#: Fika072SG1
Release date: 12th April 2019
Bandcamp | Spotify

Following an appearance at Madrid Pop Fest 2019 in Spain last month, queer New York indie-pop duo The Ballet have released their new single ‘Love Letter’, which is out now on all good digital service providers.

‘Love Letter’ is the latest track to be taken from their fourth studio album,Matchy Matchy, which will be released by Fika Recordings on 17th May 2019.

Commenting on the new track, front man Greg Goldberg said: "I'm interested in the lengths we go through to keep our objects of desire around: trying to be on our best behavior, to be the person we think they want us to be, even at the expense of our integrity. It's a lot of work. I find poignant declarations of affection at the moment this all starts to unravel, maybe because these declarations seem particularly futile."

Previous single ‘But I’m A Top’ was added to Spotify’s Fresh Finds: Index playlist, with the track premiered with the UK’s best-selling gay magazine, Attitude.

Formed in 2005 by Greg Goldberg and Craig Willse, 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.

Matchy Matchy is released 17th May 2019 via Fika Recordings

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


Mammoth Penguins - You Just Carry On [Digital]

Artist: Mammoth Penguins
Title: You Just Carry On
Format: Digital Single
Cat#: Fika070SG3
Release date: 5th April 2019
Bandcamp | Spotify

Cambridge indie pop trio Mammoth Penguins have today released ‘You Just Carry On’, the latest single to be taken from their third album, There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, released on 26th April 2019 via Fika Recordings.

“You just carry on. Me? I’m not that strong,” opines front woman Emma Kupa regretfully, on the new single; an ode to unrequited love that fizzes with the indie-pop magic and falsetto harmonies which made Mammoth Penguins such an irresistible proposition for Marc Riley at BBC 6music, whose ongoing support for the band continues with a live session scheduled for next month.

Kupa says of the new single: “One of the older songs on the album, ‘You Just Carry On’ is fast, noisy, petulant, and fun—and exhausting to play live. We have to give this song 100% every time we play it.”

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.

Mammoth Penguins recently announced a run of spring/summer UK headline tour dates plus an appearance at Indietracks Festival later this year (see below for full listings).

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

Mammoth Penguins live:
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 - You Just Carry On.jpg

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.

“This is alt-pop strangeness that would make Wayne Coyne feel like Dido (well, maybe not that strange). We Show Up On Radar is the alias of Andy Wright, a Nottingham-based artist, who is releasing his second album ‘Zanzibar Whip Coral’ through Fika Records. Before doing any research on WSUOR, I had assumed he was some Californian hippie but it turns out he’s from Nottingham which definitely plays into the English sounding melancholy that percolates into the music. There’s a quality to WSUOR’s voice that I really like, it almost reminds me of Gaz Coombs at his most lilting and whimsical.
To put this odd little album in context, artists that it reminds me of are Mort Garson, Flaming Lips, the Beach Boys in some parts (just listen to the harmonies on ‘Willow Tree’), and Daniel Johnston. ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes (Part 2)’ has a tape-recording effect that makes him sound eerily like Johnston in one of his home-recordings, indeed, this is an element that I think WSUOR could make more of in upcoming releases. I prefer the album’s scratchy, lo-fi moments to its glossy, poppy parts.
There are some genuinely heart-felt moments on this album that bely the often quaint music of ‘Zanzibar Whip Coral’, such as the huge, triumphant-yet-sad chord changes on ‘Giant Dinosaur vs Sea Monster’ or the beautiful sample on ‘Crumbs for Erin’. The piano line on ‘A Theogony’ reminds me of a Disney song or an old showtune which is an impressive thing to have achieved.
‘Zanzibar Whip Coral’ is a strange, kaleidoscopic collage of wistful vocals, nursery-rhyme melodies, Beach Boys harmonies, and bizarre imagery (yetis only eating lettuce, anybody?), all gathered up together to make nine songs of pop peculiarity.” Norman Records

“Fragile, sweet and maybe a bit whimsical indiepop songs with a clear uniqueness. The new album is easy to love, like most of his music is. Lovely.” Eardrums

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

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.

Mammoth Penguins - I Wanna [Digital]

Artist: Mammoth Penguins
Title: I Wanna
Format: Digital Single
Cat#: Fika070SG1
Release date: 15th February 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.

The band are streaming lead single ‘I Wanna’ today, listen and share here:

“‘I Wanna’ is a super simple song about how liking someone can unlock a load of creativity and energy,” comments vocalist Emma Kupa, “and suddenly there are so many possibilities and so much potential, and life becomes way more fun.”

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.

Mammoth Penguins - I Wanna.jpg

Press

“The track is about how falling for someone can send you into a whirlwind of creativity and energy, as Emma explains, “suddenly there are so many possibilities and so much potential, and life becomes way more fun.” The joyful tone of the lyricism, is matched in the musical progression, seemingly inspired by the richer-textures of John Doe, here they sound bolder and denser than before; the guitars crunch, the layers vocal shine the drums hit like the proverbial ton of bricks. As they sing in unison with a sense of abandon and freedom, “I love you, fuck it all”, with tracks as cathartic and joyful as this, expect a lot of people to be screaming that back at them soon.” For The Rabbits

”It all kicks off with fuzzy guitar riffs opening the scene for Emma to jump in with her voice; her lyrical content is one of infatuation/love and a willingness to “fuck it all, fuck it all” in the name of love. But, what’s interesting to me, is the way the song winds down, ever so slightly for a musical interlude to flex musicianship, just before bouncing back into the swing of things emphatically.” Austin Town Hall

Track of the Day @ Get In Her Ears
Freakmagnet [Sweden]

We Show Up On Radar - Willow Tree [Digital]

Artist: We Show Up On Radar
Title: Willow Tree
Format: Digital Single
Cat#: Fika071SG2
Release date: 8th February 2019
Bandcamp | Spotify

Willow Tree, the second single from We Show Up On Radar's new LP "Zanzibar Whip Coral", is released on the 8th of February.

* * *

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.