I went to Joe Cassidy’s page to check in and the world stopped when I saw he died yesterday. I am devastated and am sorry if you are a mutual friend finding out this way.
I have loved Joe’s music, every beat of it, every note of it, for 30 years and more. I always will. My record label, Onomatopoeia, was named after the first Butterfly Child album. Releasing the My Bus album for Joe and Gary last year is one of my proudest moments.
I am heartbroken for his friends and family.
We never met in real life, although we did once miss each other by an hour on the same meter square of Giants’ Causeway in a massive non-coincidence. When working on My Bus I was in London, Gary in Belfast and Joe in LA then Chicago. Joe and I were close co-conspirators able to share our feelings about music, life, everything openly as well as take the piss out of each other. Joe was one of those people. Totally open, totally heartfelt.
Those long long planned beers and whiskys won’t happen now. Or maybe they will in another time and place. I will be toasting your music, your life and your memory tonight Joe.
For my 40th birthday my brother arramged a surprise for me, a one off single. He got Triumphant from Onomatopoeia and put a recording of Boz, then a baby, gurgling over the top. He got in touch with Joe to ask if he was OK with that. He was but not only that he sent a then unreleased Butterfly Child track for the B-side. THAT is entirely typical of his openess and generosity.
What music. What a man. What a life.
Last couple of years he’d talked about writing his memoir. I was’t sure if it was true, a joke or a half joke. If it was true there is a helluva book on the way one day. There is also finished acoustic album of Butterfly Child songs. I recommend all Joe’s music: Butterfly Child, Assassins, NOISE, My Bus but am sharing Louis As Anna from The Honeymoon Suite. It makes me cry everytime anyway.
SONGS FROM TRULEIGH HILL by The Milk And Honey Band is released today.
It’s available on ultra-clear vinyl, CD and in all digital formats too from independent record shops and from all your favourite online platforms too, including bandcamp where you can also stream it for free if you want a listen https://themilkandhoneyband.bandcamp.com/…/songs-from…
It’s been a long and not altogether straightforward journey for Robert White and I to bring this into the world but hear it is at last.
Both the LP and CD come with a booklet of stunning photos taken by Bob on and around Truleigh Hill. To mark the occasion we are very proud to unveil a beautiful film made for the song ‘stillwater’ by Ned Langman
The Milk And Honey Band – Songs From Truleigh Hill – on ultra-clear vinyl LP (HUM37), CD (HUM38) and streaming/download (but we all know that’s not the best way for various reasons, right?). The release date is 26th February 2021.
You can pre-order now using the details below. Under those details you can find out more about this magical album.
You can order direct from us send a PayPal payment to email@example.com using the pricing below. Pre-orders are open now. CDs will ship in the first week of February and LPs in the third week.
You will also be able to buy from the finest and most discerning record shops, our bandcamp page, iTunes, and all the other places. It’s always best to buy direct from record labels and bands when you are able to.
LP £25.00 including. postage & packaging in the UK. £29.00 inc. p & p in Europe, £38.00 in US and £36.00 everywhere else around the world.
CD £14.50 including postage & packaging in the UK. £16.00 inc. p & p in Europe, £18.00 in US and £16.00 everywhere else in the around the world.
Both LP and CD £37.00 including postage & packaging in the UK. £41.00 inc. p & p in Europe, £50.00 in US and £48.00 in rest of the world.
With apologies to those ordering from outside the UK for the prices above. Prices have rocketed in the COVID era with additional changes being added by Royal Mail. We don’t charge you a penny more for p&p than it costs us., in fact usually a fair bit less.
For requests for signed copies, specialist international shipping prices, and bulk orders etc please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back with a quote. Wholesale distribution to shops is, as always, by our chums at Cargo Records, ask for Darren.
Songs From Truleigh Hill is the latest album to star The Milk And Honey Band. Recorded entirely as a solo effort this time around by Robert White using a deliberately limited palate of piano, acoustic guitar and voice. The album is a meditative, contemplative marvel. It has a great warmth and zen-like acceptance at its centre and will comfort with repeated listening. There is no theme or concept. There is simply life and existence. A snapshot of love and life as it is really lived. The album concerns heart-break, deeply felt loss, survival, healing, acceptance, and redemption. It is not soul music but it is soulful and intimately personal. It is our privilege to bring it into the world.
The LP is on ultra-clear transparent vinyl which reflects the purity of the music on the record. Both the LP and CD come in gatefold sleeves with lyrics and booklets of stunning photos of Truleigh Hill and the surrounding South Downs area taken by Bob. The landscape, and wandering around it, are a major influence.
01 Stillwater 02 Clementine 03 Been That Way 04 Beautiful Sun 05 Breathe 06 Roses 07 Close To Nothing 08 Still Want You 09 Change
The Milk And Honey Band is Robert White. It has been ever since Bob released his first ‘solo’ album in 1994, written and recorded while he was still scorching brains and inspiring humans, this one included, in the phenomenal Levitation. Since Levitation split Bob has written and performed as The Milk And Honey Band, either solo or with an association of trusted friends. Before Songs From Truleigh Hill the latest album had been Dog-Eared Moonlight released on Andy Partridge of XTC’s Ape label.
The Milk And Honey Band exist so that the world doesn’t have to invent another band as contrarily/culturally dissimilar to any other band as contrarily/culturally dissimilar to them. The band’s name was originally thought up as an antidote to the frailty and vapidity of a 1990s scene that White felt alienated from as well as handy way to disguise the fact it was a solo project. Correspondingly, the songs that The Milk And Honey Band conjure up, have more in keeping with the sublime, reflective nature of a novel like Cider With Rosie than they do with the self-congratulatory, back-slapping musical fare often associated with the indie scene. And, oh yes, the Milk and Honey Band are defiantly indie.
Previously from The Milk And Honey Band:
Round The Sun (Rough Trade Records, 1994)
Boy From The Moon (Uglyman Records, 2001)
The Secret Life Of The Milk And Honey Band (Ape Records, 2004)
Dog-Eared Moonlight (Ape Records, March 2009)
In Colour (Ape Records, download only, November 2010)
“Boy From The Moon” (Ape Records, 2004 – re-recorded version with Andy Partridge on backing vocals and guitar)
“Disappear” (Ape Records, February 2009 – download-only single with “Mind”, an additional track not off the new album)
*Crumbs!* Volume One (Ape Records, download only, 2006)
*Crumbs!* Volume Two (Ape Records, download only, 2006)
Stephen EvEns – Employee Of The Month (official release 28 Aug) Ltd red and green cornetto gatefold LP, black gatefold LP, CD, download.
Both these releases were originally meant to be out in February, then April, but were delayed due to the nasty old virus. As you should know by now, bands are phenomenal live and are itching to get out there to play for you once again. We will be announcing live dates as soon as is feasible and safe. In the meantime we can’t hold back these wonderful releases any longer. They have been straining at the leash for too damn long already and you need to hear them. The world needs to hear them.
Friends in the music business, whether full-time or part-time will really be feeling the pinch in the next few months. Gigs and festivals have and will be cancelled, some labels will delay releases until bands can tour, shops have to manage cash flow without the RSD bump etc etc.
Please support the bands you love by bringing forward that Xmas wants list, ordering a tshirt direct from the band that you might have bought at the next show, preordering on bandcamp, buying that back catalogue thing that you’ve meant to for years, make recommendarions and share etc.
My Bus – Our Life In The Desert – on vinyl LP (HUM30), CD (HUM31) and streaming/download (but we all know that’s not the best way for various reasons, right?)
Onomatopoeia Records was named partly in homage to the first album by Butterfly Child. It’s important you understand this from the outset. It will help you understand how deeply important Our Life In The Desert is to us. We could not be prouder. In many ways our involvement with this album completes a circle. More information is below but if you want to get straight to ordering then you need to know this:
You can order direct from us send a PayPal payment to email@example.com using the pricing below. You can also buy from the finest and most discerning record shops, iTunes, and all the other places. It’s always best to buy direct from record labels and bands when you are able to.
LP £19.00 including. postage & packaging in the UK. £23.00 inc. p & p in Europe, £28.00 in US and everywhere else around the world.
CD £12.50 including postage & packaging in the UK. £16.00 inc. p & p in Europe, £19.00 in US and everywhere else around the world.
Both LP and CD £30:00 including postage & packaging in the UK. £37.50 inc. p & p in Europe, £38.00 in rest of the world.
For requests for signed copies, specialist international shipping prices, and bulk orders etc please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back with a quote. Wholesale distribution to shops is, as always, by our chums at Cargo Records.
You can be beguiled, mystified, elevated and discombobulated in advance here:
01 Esperanto 02 Weekend Hearts 03 Ballerina 04 Elvis And Me 05 Moon Tempo 06 Tomorrow Will Be Ours 07 She Was Never There 08 Angeles 09 Breakfast In Bed 10 The Sun Will Come
11 Goose Pimples Forever
12 And Time
My Bus is Joe Cassidy and Gary McKendry. As Butterfly Child and Papa Sprain respectively they were restless parallel adventurers in the early days of UK dream-pop. They released EPs for AR Kane’s label H.ark! and then for Rough Trade. Butterfly Child blossomed, astounded and ripped your heart out over 3 albums (Onomatopoeia, The Honeymoon Suite, Soft Explosives) before going on hiatus until Futures in 2015. Papa Sprain imploded after two EPs (Flying To Vegas and May) and the Tech Yes 7″. Gary suffered a mental breakdown. Their first album remains a legendary lost album.
They blazed radical trails for music, burned bright and then faded away. Now they have combined to form My Bus.
Our Life In The Desert is of the richest and most emotional dream-pop entities of any era. It combines Gary’s love of dissonance and Joe’s love of melody and composition. It is a deeply nostalgic record born out of a love and a friendship that have survived thousands of miles and many decades.
While there is yet a longer, more intricate story yet to be told about My Bus, and the truth is drifting and ever-changing, if it exists at all, there are some things that we think we know today:
“Joe Cassidy’s first album in 18 years under the name of Butterfly Child, released in 2015, was named Futures. “A lot of songs are about past relationships,” he said at the time. “You rebuild and move forward, toward the future.”
Little did Joe know that, one year later, he would re-establish a crucial past relationship after more than 20 years, namely his former musical partner Gary McKendry, which would flower into their first official collaboration, Our Life In The Desert, over 30 years since the duo – calling themselves My Bus – made bedroom cassettes in their home city of Belfast.
The album also heralds McKendry’s return from a self-imposed wilderness that began in 1993, in the days when he called himself Papa Sprain. Anyone who knows Butterfly Child and Papa Sprain, restless parallel adventurers in the early days of UK dream-pop, will also know what a big deal this all is, especially as Our Life In The Desert is of the richest and most emotional dream-pop entities of any era.
The emotion comes from a friendship lost, renewed and remembered, or as Joe puts it, “a love story. One between two friends, the music they share, ex-girlfriends, pals who are no longer with us and the ghosts of old haunts long gone. It is a longing for a Belfast and a time that never really existed.”
The album’s backdrop is grammar school in 1980s Belfast, through to shared experiences in London when Butterfly Child and Papa Sprain were both signed to fledgling indie H.ark! and then the venerated Rough Trade. When the latter collapsed, Cassidy moved to America and made numerous albums but McKendry returned to Belfast and went to ground. Not that Joe’s life has always been on the up, as the title Our Life In The Desert testifies.
Joe: “When we started the album, Gary sent me pieces of music, including a piece called ‘Our Life In The Desert’, which struck me immediately as the album title. The first Papa Sprain record was the Flying To Vegas EP, with a desert landscape for the artwork. In the early nineties, Gary moved into the desert, mentally. And when I moved from Chicago to LA, I just got lost there, it’s one of the most vacuous cities in the world. Our Life In The Desert seemed so appropriate as the album title.”
As Gary recalls, he and Joe became firm friends at 15, bonding over The Velvet Underground and Bowie. They initially made music separately, but eventually started making four-track demos in 1986 fuelled by endless cups of tea and cigarettes, “a splendid way to block out the Troubles that were raging all around us,” says Joe.
The tapes gathered dust when Gary moved to London in 1989, to study English and History – a pursuit set aside after Joe saw an ad in Melody Maker – “looking for bands to produce” – placed by H.ark!, the label run by Alex Ayuli and Rudy Tambala, AKA dream-pop experimentalists A.R. Kane. By 1992, Papa Sprain and Butterfly Child had released two EPs apiece on H.ark! before Rough Trade stepped in. The label released Butterfly Child’s debut album Onomatopoeia in early 1993, but the money had run out by the time Papa Sprain was ready to record an album (there was just one single, ‘Tech Yes’, for the Rough Trade Singles Club). In any case, “I just lost it,” says Gary. “I had a breakdown and I couldn’t function anymore.”
It was only in the mid-noughties, when blogs eulogised the brilliance – and lamented the absence – of Butterfly Child and Papa Sprain, that Gary and Joe reconnected. And when Joe flew to Belfast to visit family in 2016, Gary suggested they meet. “We talked for two hours,” says Joe. “And then Gary said, let’s make some music like we used to. I said, sure…”
The initial result was a collection of improvised sketches, “messy and silly, over crazy little beats, sound design stuff,” Joe recalls. “But each day I was in Belfast, I would be inspired by the textures and would write and record songs around them. And when I returned to America, I thought, I can do something with this mixing wise. Gary and I used to make up songs on the spot, so if we kept the same schedule, writing and recording tracks in 24 hours, it would be a lovely way to close a chapter.”
As it turns out, Gary had started recording again in 1997: “white noise,” he calls it, “my way to get through a creative block.” Going by his YouTube posts since the mid-noughties (search Gary Martin McKendry: there are hundreds to choose from), he progressed to a form of digitised ambient/post-rock impressionism (with matching graphics). “For Gary, songwriting, form and melody are passé!” says Joe. Gary’s response: “I don’t like things staying in time. I’d rather sounds play off each other.”
Combining Gary’s love of dissonance and Joe’s love of melody/composition, Our Life In The Desert became, “the perfect example of an exquisite corpse of two clashing worlds. A lot like Ireland in the bad days,” says Joe. The lyrics range from direct to oblique (We’re both huge James Joyce fans,” says Joe), as the music spans oceanic drift (‘Moon Tempo’), full-on drama (Elvis & Me’), simmering pop tones (‘Tomorrow Will Be Ours’) and the stirring, multi-faceted ‘Goose Pimples Forever’, rescued by the wonders of technology from an ancient disintegrating My Bus cassette, with Joe adding a new vocal to Gary’s original. ‘Breakfast in Bed’ is also an old My Bus track, but newly recorded as the original was, “too horribly hissy”.
There is one new Gary vocal, on the exquisite, haunting “Angeles”, his spoken word matched to one of his more restful ambient pieces. “It’s an idea of confusion and uncertainty,” says Gary (“Our minds contemplating the paltry limits of the conditional to my mind thoughts are only for preparing an entrance and an exit”). “It’s where I still am.”
If the album’s predominant voice and lyricist is Joe, Gary is woven into every fabric, such as the Belfast landmarks in ‘She Was Never There’: “This ship has sailed from the Holy Lands to the Antrim Road and up Cavehill”: “we’d walk along and talk about music and how we’d make better records,” says Joe. Note that Our Life In The Desert and Belfast boy Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks share a track title in ‘Ballerina’. “Lyrically it just came out when I started singing to the music,” says Joe. “About the euphoria of a first kiss or hearing an amazing song for the first time.”
Our Life In The Desert is released on Onomatopoeia Records, run by Nick Bourne, a huge Butterfly Child and Papa Sprain fan who had previously connected with Joe on Facebook, which “completes another circle,” says Joe. Likewise, Gary and Joe’s decision to donate proceeds from the album to a mental health charity. Proof, then, that even in a desert, life can flourish.”
Hurtling – Future From Here – on vinyl LP with download code (HUM28), CD (HUM29) and streaming/download.
Onomatopoeia Records is thrilled, delighted and privileged to announce the release of Future From Here, the debut album by Hurtling.
To order direct from us send a PayPal payment to email@example.com using the pricing below. You can also buy from iTunes, Juno, Norman Records, and the usual discerning physical outlets.
LP £20.00 inc. postage & packaging in the UK. £25.50 inc. p & p in Europe, £28.00 in rest of the world.
CD £12.50 including postage & packaging in the UK. £15.00 inc. p & p in Europe, £17.00 in rest of the world.
Both LP and CD £32.50 including postage & packaging in the UK. £35.50 inc. p & p in Europe, £38.00 in rest of the world.
For requests for signed copies, other international shipping prices, and multiple orders etc please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back with a quote. Wholesale distribution to shops is by Cargo Records.
01 Start 02 Memory Cassette 03 Feel It 04 Summer 05 E Flat One 06 Let Go 07 Alone 08 Don’t Know Us 09 Blank It Out 10 Call To Arms (E Flat Two)
Jen Macro, Jon Clayton and Simon Kobayashi are Hurtling. They navigate soundscapes from the atmospheric to the psychedelic in this skilfully crafted noise pop album of dream-gaze and blazing textures. Future From Here was recorded, mixed and self-produced album at One Cat Studios, Brixton and mastered at Abbey Road Studios.
Future From Here was written by Jen Macro as an ‘exploration of loss and hope’ while in downtime on tour with My Bloody Valentine. The concept started sonically and grew from there, adding song structures and lyrics that fitted phonetically, creating a soundtrack to music she wanted to hear and the things she needs to say.
The album kicks-off at the ‘Start’, a beginning of sweet melodies and a love song from ‘me to you’, crunching straight into ‘Memory Cassette’, a sun-drenched medicine for melancholy. ‘Feel It’, bold and courageous dives deeper into darker spheres.
‘Summer’ paints beautiful melodious colours over the top of your sunscreen, lifting you out of your melancholy gently and purposefully.
The more luscious pop tones of ‘E Flat One’, or ‘Alone’, are tales of love and loss, contrasting with the heavy, crunching agitation of ‘Please Don’t Know Us’. The journey is characterised in ‘Call To Arms,’ Jen’s voice drops to a whisper, in a courageous desire to move stridently into the future.
Influences include The Breeders, Elliott Smith, and Sonic Youth to name a few, as well as reflecting the dreamy, hazy atmospheres of My Bloody Valentine, whose live band Macro has been a member for a number of years. Between them, Jen, Jon and Simon have also worked with the likes of Graham Coxon, Shonen Knife, Jim Bob (Carter USM), The Monochrome Set, Chris T-T, Kath Bloom and Jon Fine (Bitch Magnet). The band are already a formidable live prospect, performing alongside Hull legends Fonda 500, Damnably Record’s Wussy (USA) and Say Sue Me (S Korea) and Brixton scene stalwarts Bad Parents, Gaygirl and more.
Future From Here has already received what we can only deem to be superlative, and very much deserved, critical acclaim. While the album was being composed Jen Macro told us that the song structures had to be right and she, Simon and Jon spent weeks jamming and honing to get the right amount of space and breathe. The early reviews rightly highlight both the song writing and the guitar tone and SOUND:
“Future From Here is an album that sounds familiar and fresh at the same time. As you’d expect from Macro’s time in MBV the songs have a woozy swoony vibe to them, but the real enjoyment of Future From Here is when the band get locked in the groove and the crushing, crunching guitars take over – ‘Summer’ being a prime example of this. There is something wonderfully destructive about them. It’s the same as the pleasure you get from watching videos of buildings being demolished on YouTube. It’s all over in a few seconds, but there is something graceful about the way they fall down”.
Louder Than War
“Future From Here is sonically perfect. Technically faultless. The guitar sound(s) and playing are things of sheer beauty.
Simply, a great album. A stunning debut and a future classic”.
“Future from Herehits the right notes and asks the right questions. You’ll find Intelligence, power and beauty. Already making a name for themselves as a live act Hurtling has a bright future and are cocked and loaded to be one the UK’s hottest new bands”.
“The sounds across the whole album are gorgeous – rich, fuzzy guitar and bass, sometimes drenched in reverb, always warm, riffs and beats and vocals always landing just right with just the right amount of space between. And everything flows, like water through channels full of interesting edges and varied depths, burbling playfully, sometimes smooth and fast sometimes gurgling around a stone or a tree”.
“If you’ve been looking for riffs galore, atmospheric vocals and noisy, big and confident sounds, then I tell you to look no further than Future From Here. The band have worked with some big names in the alternative rock business prior to this album and they have moulded all the right sounds and vibes to introduce themselves to the world with a bang”.
“They make alt-rock music that draws from grunge, shoegaze and the deep wells of their own emotions. Like all great guitar bands they’re not afraid of cranking up the volume, shifting some air and letting guitars do what they do best – filling the room with attitude and spirit, and being a means of expressing sentiments and rage in a manner that the human voice often can’t”.
I’m very proud to be working with Jen Macro, Simon Kobayashi and Jon Jonathan Clayton on this release and their album Future From Here.
They are great people and make great pop-noise.
Here is what some other people think:
“Great song (and voice!),” Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses)
‘led by the goddess-like genius that is Jen Macro, an absolutely stunning guitarist, songwriter, and all-round awesome loud woman,’ Loud Women
“…like Karen Carpenter fronting The Smashing Pumpkins,” Jo Bevan (Desperate Journalist)
“From the first instant that Jen Macro’s pure pop vocals roll out from between the sun-drenched, lazy guitar lines and off-kilter rhythm lines, ‘Summer’ builds up and kicks in with intent (and fuzzed out bass lines).It’s a song with everything.” Raw Meat
“Starting off with gentle, finger-picked lilting melodies and the luscious, delicate vocals of Jen Macro, ‘Summer’ soon builds with sun-drenched whirring hooks and immense beats to a fuzz-filled noisepop anthem, as Macro’s vocals reveal their true raw grit. A scuzzy dream of a track, it’s impossible not to get caught up in its sparkling, psychedelic haze, which will leave you longing for more of Hurtling’s epic sonic delights.” Get In Her Ears
‘Their crunchy alt-rock sound is entirely of their own making and leaves a packed Windmill baying for more,’ Joyzine
Hurtling‘s influences include The Breeders, Sebadoh and Sonic Youth, but make a sound that is all their own. After working with the likes of: My Bloody Valentine, Graham Coxon, The Monochrome Set, Chris T-T, Kath Bloom and Jon Fine (Bitch Magnet)
Sat August 31 – Primadonna Festival, Laffitts Hall, Suffolk
Sat September 14 – Loud Women fest, Boston Music Room
Thu October 17 – The Islington. London, Future From Here album launch
Thu October 24 – The Half Moon, Bishop’s Stortford
Friday November 1 – JT Soar, Nottingham w/HelleboreHurtl
Onomatopoeia Records and Gasman Music are delighted to announce the launch of Repeat. It’s a heartfelt tribute to and celebration of UK rave culture. It’s been lovingly curated by The Gasman and is a corelease with Gasman Music.
It’s called Repeat. That’s Repeat.
It’s a new compilation celebrating the British independent dance music scene of the early 90s, featuring a mix of old and new tracks from old and new artists.
It features 26 exclusive tracks from many pioneers who changed things forever and continue to move forward.
It packs a heavy line up with contributions from members of LFO, Humanoid, Future Sound Of London, μ-Ziq and Altern8 and other acts such as Konx-Om-Pax, Todd Osborn, Wisp. It also futures the first ever music to be released by Steve Davis (the snooker player turned experimental music DJ) under the name Thundermuscle.
The physical version is a double CD in a back-to-back box. This in itself is a homage to the design style of significant compilations such as Deep Heat. CD 1 is a nod to house/acid/techno and CD 2 has a tendency towards breakbeat/rave.