NP200 The Garment District – ‘If You Take Your Magic Slow’ LP
If You Take Your Magic Slow is the debut full-length LP from multi-instrumentalist Jennifer Baronâ€™s The Garment District, with help from a few friends and familyâ€”her cousin Lucy Blehar provides lead vocals throughout. If You Take Your Magic Slow is very much a structured album with its diverse tracklist meticulously strung together. A mix of surreal instrumentals and subtle turns conjures outdoor walks in transitional atmospheres and landscapes, nature hikes in the city, sunny days that are okay with becoming cloudy, warm music full of feeling that remains comfortably easy-going despite the meticulous care given to its sophisticated orchestration and arrangements. This eclecticism creates something complex yet accessible, loose but direct. Baron mixes pastoral psychedelia with artful minimalist post-punk experimentation and a subtle approach to library music, soundtracks as â€œpop,â€ with just enough droney dreamy color to fill it all in. If You Take Your Magic Slow doesnâ€™t follow any templates or gimmicks: its focus is on being true to its musicality, songwriting, and honest approach to compelling contemporary easy listeningâ€”something we are quite fond of. A perfect summertime record.
NP180 The Deep Freeze Mice – ‘Best Of 1979-88’ LP
The Deep Freeze Mice were an English post punk/weirdo, pop/DIY band from Leicester; they released ten albums between 1979 and 1989 on their own labels Mole Embalming and the still running Cordelia Records. The band also gained a bit of post existence notice by their inclusion on the Nurse With Wound list and through the Messthetics compilation series. The original lineup consisted of guitarist/vocalist Alan Jenkins, bassist Mick Bunnage (of the Statics), keyboardist Sherree Lawrence, and drummer Graham Summers (also of the Statics) which remained intact until the release of the band’s third record, The Gates of Lunch. After the departure of Summers and the acquisition of replacement Pete Gregory, the lineup remained until their breakup in 1989. Leader Jenkins (who was also involved with the Chrysanthemums and Ruth’s Refrigerator during the existence of Deep Freeze Mice) continued afterwards in the Creams and the Thurston Lava Tube while maintaining Cordelia Records. In origin, the Deep Freeze Mice started out in the informal, confidently scrappy mindset of the post punk era creating often upbeat goofy songs speaking to political topics, surrealist imagery, and science fiction. The most interesting thing about the bandâ€™s sound was a distinct approach to a kind of British classic rock sensibility with subtle flourishes of psychedelic ambiance which, when combined with their punky way of doing things, created a unique approach falling someplace between the ramshackle pop sound of The Television Personalities and Bowie style weirdoisms. This LP serves as a new release, a collection of the best of the Deep Freeze Mice. It was compiled by guitarist/vocalist Alan Jenkins. Original Deep Freeze vinyl fetches high collector prices and we felt like a collection was necessary to re-introduce a long overlooked band whose material spanned many albums in such a diverse way. We hope you enjoy and appreciate The Deep Freeze Mice as much as we do and that this compilation provides a starting point to then look back into the bandâ€™s deep catalog.