Stranger Fridays with Heavenly Recordings

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We had so much fun playing music at Stranger Than Paradise Records in Hackney last month. A great place to celebrate being an independent label for 30 years, in an independent record shop, the likes of which we wouldn’t have been able to survive this long without.

Sounds like they had a fun night too! Read their lovely words here.

The shop is still open for online crate digging, we urge you to support independent businesses in this uncertain time if you are able to.

We can’t wait to get back on the decks as soon as all this blows over!

🎵Heavenly 30 – Guest Picks – The Magic Numbers, Romeo Stodart.🎵

 

Following The Orielles, here is a brand new playlist celebrating 30 years of Heavenly Recordings.

A note from Romeo:

“Here’s a little playlist I put together of 30 of my favourite releases on Heavenly Recordings to celebrate their 30 year anniversary as still being one of the best Independent labels around. Heavenly released the first 3 Magic Numbers albums and we’ll always be thankful for that. Hope you enjoy Romeo x.”

Featuring tracks from HALO MAUDEd HarcourtM. CraftKaty J Pearson and more!

⭐️ LISTEN AND FOLLOW FOR UPDATES⭐️

 It’s been 15 years since we released The Magic Numbers debut album.

Available again for the first time since its original release in 2005, in a beautiful 2LP package, don’t miss your chance to fill this hole in your collection on Record Store Day!

Record Store Day News + Heavenly Releases

Will Burns ‘Country Music’

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Our pal Will Burns is releasing a new collection of his poetry next month titled Country Music.

Will has been poet-in-residence for Caught by the River, and has released music in collaboration with Hannah Peel for their label Rivertones. You may recognise him from various CBTR events or just seeing him leaning at the end of the bar at The Social.

The collection, his debut book, will be published by Off Road Books:

The poems in Country Music are observant, curious, finding everywhere they look detail worthy of notice, determined in that ‘The falsehood is that there is little / left for us to know’. This same faith in the minutiae of the world acknowledges the cost of our decisions, however small – that ‘To feel the evening coming up / and to stream one way or another’ can be the difference between this life and that, ‘at once to feel / all these things change’.

In its evocations of doubt and responsibility, music and memory, Country Music is a debut of immense power from one of British poetry’s most accomplished new voices.

“The poetry of Will Burns is made of smoke and mystery, pale light after the rain, and cutting, razor-sharp memory. It’s the blood that runs through those who walk alone in woods and alleyways at night.” – Mark Lanegan

Unfortunately, the launch event for the book has been cancelled, but we highly recommend you to order a copy here.

Emma Warren with Belinda Zhawi and Marysia Osu

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To follow up from yesterday’s radio recommendations, we wanted to particularly highlight Emma Warren’s Worldwide FM show from last week, where she was joined by poet Belinda Zhawi (Ma Moyo/Born Free) and harpist-beatmaker Marysia Osu.

The broadcast features the regular two hours of music exceptionally curated by Emma, as well as a live session by Belinda Zhawi and Marysia Osu which is truly beautiful.

The trio also have a warm chat about their communities, their creative process and more. We really can’t recommend enough that you fill your homes with these good vibrations to stave off the cabin fever.

🌐 https://worldwidefm.net/show/emma-warren-with-belinda/ 🌐

Broadcasts for the Self-Isolated

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All of us at Heavenly are now working from home and it seems at this point that many people are taking it upon themselves to self-isolate in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19. Obviously it feels very dystopian and weird, but it’s also a great chance to sit and listen to all those records still in their shrink wrap, all those playlists your friends have made, and all those radio shows they won’t let you put on at work.

We thought it would be a good opportunity to share some of the great broadcasts that regularly occupy our office airwaves, and which will no doubt be keeping us company at home over the coming days. So here it is, our COVID-19 FM:

Morning Glory with James Endeacott and Raf Rundell

Every morning in the office starts with two hours of killer recommendations from our pals James and Raf. Ultra eclectic, expect plenty of spiritual jazz, dub and soul alongside killer techno, post punk and a healthy dollop of Dylan. Start your day right!

Listen 10am-12pm Monday-Friday on Soho Radio, or on their Mixcloud archive.

Emma Warren on Worldwide FM

Emma Warren is a woman full of wisdom. For years she’s documented music culture as a journalist for magazines like Jockey Slut and The Face, an interviewer for Red Bull Music Academy and more recently an author, telling the story of the integral London jazz venue Total Refreshment Centre in her book Make Some Space.

Her show on Worldwide FM is your chance to absorb some of that wisdom. You’ll come out feeling emboldened to go out and do something, to make a difference in your community. Oh, and you’ll also here some mindblowing music. Jazz, Hip Hop, Grime and beyond.

Listen here.

Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 6 Music

We love Lauren. She’s a big supporter of Heavenly bands and independent music in general. Always a solid listen!

Listen here.

Roaring 20s Radio on Soho Radio

Presented by Salena Godden, Amah-Rose Abrams and Matt Abbot Roaring 20s Radio amplifies the best art, culture, books, poetry and activism as we roar into a new decade.

Listen here.

Rough Trade Books on Soho Radio

An always enjoyable engagement with the authors of the publisher’s latest pamphlets.

Listen here.

Stranger Than Paradise Records on Netil Radio

Fortnightly show keeping us up to date with all the new releases and reissues that may have slipped us by.

Listen here.

Stay safe!

 

Dynamite Sounds From A Heavenly Jukebox 2020 #2

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Jeff has updated our Spotify with a brand new playlist. Have a listen here and read what he had to say:

“It’s obvious from this playlist that I’m currently enjoying a lot of new soul and R&B records that sound a lot like the old soul and R&B records that I’ve loved forever.

“The new Daptone imprint, Penrose Records, was launched recently and there is a lot to enjoy among their first batch of releases. I’ve gone for the testifying vocal sound of The Sinseers, the joyous uptown swing of Jason Joshua and the Smokeyesque and utterly gorgeous When You Go by The Altons. All these and more are coming soon on 45 and downloadable from the Penrose Bandcamp page.

“Always keep an eye on Khruangbin, those recent remixes by Scientists are ace and this hook up with Leon Bridges has reminded me that the guy can sing. Ace arrangement / production too. The Mia tune is my real big fave right now I’m just gutted that the vinyl release is heart shaped and red. Bummer. What else? Redbone turned up in a music doc recently (Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World) and took me back to my pre punk teens, what a tune, and thanks to our Sonny for turning me on to Jean Grae and Quelle Chris. I need to investigate further.”

Artwork by Mingering Mike.

Let’s Talk About Terry Hall’s ‘Home’

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We are pleased to be releasing Home by Terry Hall this Record Store Day, on vinyl for the first time. Below, read a write-up by Pete Paphides about this magnificent album:

Let’s talk about denial. Let’s talk about self-awareness. Let’s talk about romantic idealism. And let’s talk about pop music. Let’s talk about Terry Hall and his strange relationship with all of these things: about his ability to create life-affirming pop music and about the fact that his exceptional gift was recognised by a long line of his peers before, finally, Terry Hall could no longer ignore it either. Let’s talk about the album where the penny finally dropped. A record which believes in the dream of perfect love despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Let’s talk about ‘Home’, the first solo album by Terry Hall.

Twenty-six years have elapsed since the original release of ‘Home’, but this Record Store Day sees its long overdue debut on vinyl. It might have been the first album which saw Hall step forward from a group identity, but ‘Home’ was Hall’s ninth in various guises since the emergence of The Specials’ self-titled LP in 1979. It had taken Hall a while to find his feet as a songwriter. With Jerry Dammers so prolific in that regard, Hall found himself in a strange position at the end of that group’s collective lifetime. The Specials had made him a pop star, but he didn’t feel like one. By the release of Fun Boy Three’s second album ‘Waiting’ (1983), the competition was Wham!, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Culture Club. Nothing wrong with any of those, but Hall would see himself staring back from the pages of a magazine alongside all the aforementioned names and experience what he called “a total cognitive disconnection”.

‘Home’, then, was the culmination of a long process which saw Terry Hall separate his lack of love for the job of pop star from his adoration for pop itself. In solving that conundrum, it sounds like a weight has been lifted from Hall. Like a code has finally been cracked. Somehow emblematic of that process is the album’s lead single ‘Forever J’, a song that Hall had started writing about his wife Jeannette almost a decade previously, but only finally came together when Hall presented it to the album’s producer Ian Broudie (The Lightning Seeds) as the sessions got under way. Alloyed to a disarmingly beautiful chorus, this ticker-tape flurry of unguarded intimacies might just be the most perfect pop song of an era that wasn’t exactly lacking in competition – and although it didn’t crack the top 40 at the time, it cemented the affection in which an emerging generation of proficient popsmiths held him: Jarvis Cocker did his own remix of the song and Damon Albarn sang Hall’s praises at every opportunity. In commencing the record, ‘Forever J’ sets the tone for what follows on the remainder of ‘Home’. Yes, it’s a solo album, but the engine of these performances is a stellar “house” band comprised of Craig Gannon (The Smiths, Aztec Camera, The Bluebells), Les Pattinson (Echo & The Bunnymen) and Chris Sharrock (The Icicle Works, The La’s).

This illustrious roll call is one that extends to the songwriters with whom Hall collaborated on the record. Co-written by Nick Heyward, ‘What’s Wrong With Me’ is a synergy of seeming incompatible components: its life-affirming power pop livery freighting a cargo of self-doubt (“I’ve got a bag full of promises I can’t keep/And a hundred reasons why I don’t sleep”) and good intentions (“All I wanna do is make your dreams come true”) to the affections of anyone who hears it. Andy Partridge steps forward to share the credit on ‘Moon On Your Dress” and ‘I Drew A Lemon’: the latter a rebuke to the man who will never love her the way our lyrical protagonist pledges to; the former a longtime favourite among fans of both Hall and XTC for the sanguine self-deprecations that manage to captures something of both artists’ relationship to the world around them.

And, of course, if you have Ian Broudie manning the console, it would be obtuse not to write a song or two together. With a friendship dating back to the early days of The Specials (the young Broudie saw Hall’s pre-Specials outfit The Coventry Automatics open for The Clash in 1978) the measure of the pair’s chemistry stretches beyond Broudie’s production role to encompass two of the album’s indisputable highlights. Featuring the unforgettable couplet, “If ifs and ands were pots and pans, you’d be a kitchen”, ‘You’ sees its protagonist trying to persuade his subject to see in him what he sees in her. The other Broudie co-write on ‘Home’ will need no introduction to most pop fans. ‘Sense’ is the song which gave its name to The Lightning Seeds’ second album, giving the group
their third top 40 hit in 1992. The version sung here by Hall though benefits from the Sharrock’s pugnacious Keith Moon-isms and, of course, the buccaneering fretboard work of Craig Gannon.

It’s Gannon, too, whose fingerprints can be found on a clutch of other songs which give a little more back with each repeated play. ‘Home’ may have emerged in the era that saw the term ‘Britpop’ enter the cultural lexicon, but there’s a fragrant melodic classicism at the heart of Gannon and Hall’s collaborations that can also be found in the work of Hall’s “other” 80s songwriting vehicle The Colour Field, with its nods to French chanson. It’s there on ‘Forever J’ and it’s also abundant on Hall/Gannon originals like ‘No No No’ and ‘I Don’t Got You’.

And yet, for all of that, there’s something about Hall’s voice that is, to quote the latter song, “as English as the weather”. You can hear it all over ‘Home’, and it works both to the advantage of this album and the listener. Like the expression of the man staring at you on the sleeve, there’s an outward sense of reserve in these performances which belies the lyrical tensions hinted at in many of its songs. Hall’s marriage was coming to an end when ‘Home’ was recorded, but these songs are manifestly the work of someone who still believes in happy ever after. Just about. They’re also the work of someone who has come to an accommodation with his relationship to pop. To coin a neologism, you might say that this was the record where our hero finally learned to “own it”. And if
your love of great pop mirrors that of Terry Hall, ‘Home’ is a record you might also consider owning.


‘Home’ will be available from independent record shops across the country on Record Store Day, Saturday the 18th of April. We’ve also announced special releases from Cherry Ghost, The Magic Numbers and Hatchie, which you can read more about here.

For more information on Record Store Day and the full list of releases, head to recordstoreday.co.uk


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We also highly recommend that you read Pete Paphides’ new book Broken Greek, ‘A story of chip shops and pop songs.’

“An evocative memoir by the music writer, which tells how a sensitive, silent child of immigrants learned to cope, with the help of Abba and other pop bands” – The Guardian

‘Tender, clever and as funny as it gets … a heart-piercing joy” – Lauren Laverne

Order a copy from the publisher here.

Paphides will be appearing at Rough Trade Bristol next Monday for a conversation and Q&A with Gareth James. Excitingly, Katy J Pearson will be joining them as a special guest, performing songs to accompany key scenes in the memoir.

The event is free entry, find out more here.