Broken Social Scene – Hug Of Thunder

Toronto’s Broken Social Scene release their first album in seven years, Hug Of Thunder, on July 7 via their own label, Arts & Crafts. Produced by Joe Chiccarelli and mixed by Shawn Everett, Hug Of Thunder includes contributions from all fifteen original members of Broken Social Scene, as well as new guest vocalist Ariel Engle.

Today, the title track of the album has been revealed via Zane Lowe‘s show on Beats 1. Hug Of Thunder follows the release of the song Halfway HomFeoe, which the band performed to rapturous response on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at the end of March.

Hug Of Thunder is everything BSS fans love from the Canadian collective and then some, an album overflowing with glorious open chords, multi-voice harmonies, spacious psychedelia-tinted breakdowns, and more. It is a panoramic, expansive album that manages to be both epic and intimate; and like all things BSS, in troubled times, it offers a serotonin rush of positivity.

Since their inception in the early Aughts, BSS have always pushed sonic boundaries while remaining reverent of a perfect chorus; almost twenty years down the line, Hug Of Thunder sharpens that balance. The record’s twelve songs refract the band’s varying emotions, methods, and techniques in ways that not only reference their other albums, but surpass them. Hug Of Thunder is righteous but warm, angry but loving, melodic but uncompromising. And if you’ve ever fallen in love with Broken Social Scene – as many of us have – it is a perfect return that was truly worth the wait.

Hug Of Thunder is out July 7 on Arts & Crafts. Pre-order here.

Amber Arcades – Wouldn’t Even Know (feat. Bill Ryder Jones)

Amber Arcades, the moniker of Dutch-born musician Annelotte De Graaf, returns today with a new track, titled Wouldn’t Even Know featuring Bill Ryder-Jones. Wouldn’t Even Know is taken from the upcoming five track Cannonball EP which is set for release on June 2 via Heavenly Recordings.

Annelotte said the following about the track:

“This may be the song I’m most proud of so far… It’s been a long time in the making, starting out with the chorus which I initially thought was gonna be for a funky kind of jam. Then after a long time fermenting in my brain I pieced it together with this slow Yo La Tengo kinda verse that’d been popping up in my thoughts. The result is this tune which makes me feel melancholic but uplifted at the same time. Also super into Bill’s vocals on it. His dark broody voice really ties it all together.”

Bill Ryder-Jones said the following:

“I was already a fan of Amber Arcades when I was asked to put a vocal on this. I’m quite jealous of Annelotte’s ability to find the right words to fit her melodies, it’s a rare thing these days. The song is beautiful”.

Amber Arcades will release her brand new five track EP Cannonball on June 2 via Heavenly Recordings.

The EP was recorded at Strange Weather Studio in New York with producer Ben Greenberg whilst the band were on tour and is the first new release since last year’s critically acclaimed debut album, Fading Lines. Pre-order here.

The National – The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness

The National release their forthcoming 7th studio-album Sleep Well Beast on September 8 via 4AD.

Sleep Well Beast was produced by Aaron Dessner with co-production by Bryce Dessner and Matt Berninger. The album was mixed by Peter Katis and recorded at Aaron Dessner’s Hudson Valley, New York studio, Long Pond, with additional sessions having taken place in Berlin, Paris & Los Angeles.

The band has also announced a World Tour in support of the album, kicking off in Cork, Ireland on 16th September.  The ticket pre-order begins Monday, 15th May with public on-sale beginning Friday, 19th May.  Highlights include multiple night residencies in Dublin, Edinburgh, Manchester and London.  Every ticket in North America includes a digital copy of Sleep Well Beast delivered on 8th September.  UK and European customers pre-ordering Sleep Well Beast (via specific retailers) before 10am BST on Sunday 14th May will receive an exclusive early access code for Monday’s tour pre-sale.  All details available here.  The National will also play Glastonbury and Haven Festival in Copenhagen this summer.  For additional information visit www.americanmary.com

Sleep Well Beast is out September 8 on 4AD. Pre-order here.

Peaking Lights – I’ll Be In The Sky

Peaking Lights release their new double LP The Fifth State of Consciousness on June 16 on limited white vinyl via their own label, Two Flowers Records.

Peaking Lights’ fifth studio album, The Fifth State Of Consciousness, is a 12-track, double LP produced in the band’s Dreamfuzz studio over the course of the last two years.

Following 2014’s Cosmic Logic LP on Weird World, it marks both a departure from the new and a return to the old, with a whole new twist on the psychedelic dub-pop they’ve become revered for, a listening experience of otherworldly sounds. Through all its peaks and valleys, the larger arc of themes within “The Fifth State Of Consciousness” surround dreams, strength, a loss of innocence, and seeking an enlightened state of being after overcoming life’s trials and tribulations.

Musically, the album shifts through many states from beginning to end, resembling a car journey through foreign landscapes. A sense of wonderment flows with each track and with every listen, new sounds and eccentricities begin to surface. Bringing together their love of Psychedelic music, House, Electronic and Reggae, each song lives and breathes it’s own life but as an album, remains knitted together by Peaking Lights’ tight, conceptual writing.

The Fifth State Of Consciousness is out June 16 on Two Flower Records. Pre-order here.