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#224: Mapache, “From Liberty Street”

Mapache define themselves as “cosmic West Coast Pop Americana”, which is enough of a descriptor to deter me from writing anything else to try to explain what they sound like except for “They definitely know their Everly Brothers”. The Californian duo has just released their second album and we’re delighted to share it with you on our second (third?) week of quarantine. We didn’t even know it was Wednesday. New tracks by Bright EyesWaxahatcheeCar Seat HeadrestModern NatureArbouretumHexvesselWax Machine, Empty Country, SquidDoglegTropical Fuck StormLEYA, Kenny Berg ft. Chico da TinaJ BalvinLil YachtyBaxter DuryMargaret GlaspyKelsea BalleriniJennah Barry, Blake Mills, Natalia Lafourcade Oficial & Los Cojolites, Dave Simonett, Carl Anderson, and Lucinda Williams.

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NOS Primavera Sound 2019

  • Hugo Lima / NOS Primavera Sound

It’s starting to be too common: no matter how warm and sunny it is in the week leading up to the festival, NOS Primavera Sound (NPS) is doomed to be ruined by at least one day of rain. The first day did not look promising after the announcement of the passage of depression Miguel (no, not the rnb star who performed there a couple of years ago) through the north of Portugal. Flights were cancelled, Ama Lou and Peggy Gou could not reach Porto in time to perform, strong winds and rain showers threatened to turn Parque da Cidade into a muddy mess, the gates were opened almost an hour later than it was scheduled.

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NOS Primavera Sound 2019: printable timetables, our preview and playlist

It doesn’t matter how conservative or liberal you are: people are naturally resistant to change, especially if the previous form of what’s changing was so dear to them. We get it: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Judging by the tone and content of most comments we can find online about this year’s Primavera lineup, both in Porto and Barcelona, folks ain’t happy about “the new normal”. Yes, some of the biggest pop artists in the planet have claimed most of the spots with the big font in it. Yes, there’s a shortage of loud, extreme music we often found at the long gone ATP stage, and every year there are less and less historical, cult indie rock bands reforming for a Primavera performance. But, other than that – tiny specks on a lineup of over 120 bands in Barcelona and over 60 in Porto – has it really changed that much? Is the Primavera DNA gone? (Was there really a “Primavera DNA” to begin with?)

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#168: Songs: Ohia, “The Lioness Sessions”

Every week we try to focus on brand new music, if possible by newcomers that might or might not be semi-stars tomorrow. But, every now and then, we eventually cave in and cannot resist the urge to celebrate some of our favourite records’ anniversary editions. Songs: Ohia’s ‘The Lioness’ got its deluxe treatment through ‘Love & Work’, an extremely limited 2xLP boxset now sold out; in it, eleven outtakes from the same sessions that brought us one of the most heartbreaking albums of the last twenty years see the light of day for the first time.

Similarly, on its 20th anniversary, Calexico’s masterpiece ‘The Black Light’ got the same treatment and if anyone wants to donate the record our way, we’ll welcome it with open arms. Plus: new tracks from Angelo De Augustine, Shannon Lay, Josephine Foster, Grandaddy, Jens Lekman, Daniel Romano, Parker Gispert, Half Japanese, Piroshka, Nicole Atkins and Mark Lanegan, Gwenifer Raymond, Ryley Walker, Snapped Ankles, J Balvin, Ariana Grande, Little Dragon, and Foxwarren.