Tomorrow: Riverside Festival @ Charlbury

Tomorrow is the beginning of the end for the Rapture festival season - but we’re going out with a bang!

We’re running the second stage at the (all free!) Riverside Festival in Charlbury tomorrow and Sunday (26/27th July). Now in its 19th year, the festival is still going from strength to strength, and we’ve got some great local acts lined up for you - Empty White CirclesDamn VandalsDes Barkus,After The ThoughtLittle Brother Eli, and many more. (Did we mention that it’s all free? We did, didn’t we…)

 
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24/7: Rapture Diary

On Saturday 12th, Joe headed along to the Irregular Folk Summer Session all-dayer. Based at The Perch - a lovely olde worlde pub, just a short jaunt across Port Meadow from the city - the event was staged in an enormous trinket-festooned Bedouin tent, with some of the county’s finest cider on tap (Joe may or may not have partaken a little too heavily in sampling all of them!)

Featuring some of Oxford’s finest folk musicians and groups, as well as plenty others from all over the country, highlights included the delicately skillful layering of guitar, vocals and cello from Duotone (aka. Barney Morse-Brown); a rousing performance of edgy tunes from Oxford’s own Salvation Bill; and a gorgeous closing set from Londoners The Irrepressibles. Definitely head along to an Irregular Folk show if you ever get the chance - they’re quickly building a reputation as one of Oxford’s top promoters!

As mentioned at the top of the newsletter, we were once again out in a field last weekend when we ran the merch stall at Truck Festival. In a similar style to Cornbury at the start of the month, our tent sold festival merch and artist CD/LPs, as well as hosting acoustic performances and signings throughout the weekend. Highlights of proceedings included appearances from Slow ClubDanny & The Champions Of The World, Stornoway and emerging local boys Balloon Ascents.

Elsewhere, there was the usual selection of fantastic Truck Festival acts - the Saloon stage was a staff favourite with many great Americana acts performing over the weekend, and Joe managed to worm his way to the front for party animal Andrew W.K - emerging  battered, bruised, and somewhat partied out an hour later!

 
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TOMORROW: Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston

The Wychwood Folk Club are putting on another great show tomorrow night (Saturday 21 June)  - Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston - at The Swan, Ascott-Under-Wychwood.

In the space of 2 short years, Sykes (best known for her work with folk stars Show Of Hands) & Rex Preston have emerged to become one of the most sought after duos on the English folk & roots scene. The striking combination of the flame headed double bass player & virtuoso mandolin player create music that Folk Roots say is: “A musical partnership made in heaven. Scintillating, sensitive and brilliant!

Miranda has an exquisite and spine-tingling voice, whilst Rex, with his exuberant and flamboyant playing style, has built a reputation as one of the finest mandolin players in the UK.

The show is 7:30pm - tickets available online HERE.

 
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Out Now: Alexis Taylor - Await Barbarians

As co-front-man with the ever popular Hot Chip, Alexis Taylor has always boasted the ability to smuggle seams of melancholy into the group’s electro-indie delicacies. Therefore it should come as no surprise that this, his second solo album, is a resolutely downbeat and gorgeously understated collection of songs. With Taylor’s trademark fragile falsetto leading the tracks, he sings his intimate confessionals of love and loss over a minimalist electronically formed soundscape; gently experimental and with a loose, improvised feel the album has a direct and emotional power. Anyone enthralled by Damon Albarn’s recent solo debut or with a penchant for soulful melancholia will find much to admire here.
As co-front-man with the ever popular Hot Chip, Alexis Taylor has always boasted the ability to smuggle seams of melancholy into the group’s electro-indie delicacies. Therefore it should come as no surprise that this, his second solo album, is a resolutely downbeat and gorgeously understated collection of songs. With Taylor’s trademark fragile falsetto leading the tracks, he sings his intimate confessionals of love and loss over a minimalist electronically formed soundscape; gently experimental and with a loose, improvised feel the album has a direct and emotional power. Anyone enthralled by Damon Albarn’s recent solo debut or with a penchant for soulful melancholia will find much to admire here.

Available to buy in-store now!

 
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Out Now: Willie Nelson - Band Of Brothers

In a music industry largely dominated by young, up-and-coming talents, it’s safe to say that 81 year old country star Willie Nelson really has stood the test of time. And on new album Band Of Brothers - 18 years since his last drop of original material - he shows that he can still easily take on country’s youthful stars. And win. Spectacularly.

Staying true to the old-school country music ethics, and still armed with his trusty vintage classical guitar (it’s called Trigger…and beaten up to the point of near-disintegration!), Nelson recorded demos of his new songs and sent them to veteran country super-producer Buddy Canon, who fleshed them out with a live band.

The result is mindbogglingly good. Perfect songcraft, delicate-yet-rich production, and a sense that all of the musicians involved had an absolute blast cutting it in the studio. Even if the lyrics often suggest a mood quite different.

This is classic Willie Nelson. And by that, we mean it’s utterly brilliant.

Available to buy in-store now!

 
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Out Now: Linkin Park - The Hunting Party

Evidently not prone to being rushed into making records (this is surprisingly only their 6th studio album despite being active since 1996), Linkin Park became best known for being the ultimate crossover band during Nu Metal’s duel with chart pop music in the early 00’s. Their hugely successful collaboration with Jay Z further cemented their ability to adapt their sound and merge even the most contrasting genres.

Arguably their biggest departure from the Nu Metal sound was 2011’s Living Things, which was very influenced by modern electronica, and significantly more subdued & melodic. What The Hunting Party is then is a tasty blend of the old and new - the electronic elements are still here, but the huge guitars, gritty vocals and aggressive raps from their heyday are also back with a vengeance. 

Available to buy in-store now!

 
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Out Now: Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

Following on from 2012’s mega-selling Born To Die album (it’s still No. 50 in the charts this week, two & a half years on!), the queen of ambient breathy pop returns with her latest offering.

Despite her soaring popularity, this album almost never existed - with Del Rey recently reported to have considered quitting the music industry following her intense dissatisfaction with how the mainstream media has treated her during her rise to stardom.

Whether this is true - or an ironic twisting of words by journalists - is unclear. Whatever the background though, Ultraviolence is a spectacular offering from the songstress. Produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys (are there any big albums from 2014 that either he or Pharrell Williams haven’t sat behind the desk for??), Del Rey projects a massive amount of confidence in her new material, suggesting that she is now well on top of whatever gripes she has had with journos.

Available to buy in-store now!

 
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Rapture Diary: 15/6

It’s been a very busy week for us here - to the point where we’ve had to double the length of this week’s diary to fit it all in! (We know, we know…living life on the edge!)

Firstly, we had an absolutely fantastic night at our birthday quiz last Friday - thank you so much to everybody that came and made it a great event! Special thanks must - as always - go out to local gig promoter Adrian who masterminded a superbly difficult set of questions that tested us all to the limits! We also had My Crooked Teeth and Little Brother Eli come and play for us - two killer local bands that we all think are absolutely incredible.

We then had prog rockers Anathema drop by the shop on Tuesday to sign copies of their new album Distant SatellitesReleased on Monday on KScope records, we’re very happy to see that they’re currently knocking on the door of the Top 20 in the midweek charts! Definitely check it out - it really is epic!

Truck Store were then very pleased to welcome Oxford’s own Glass Animals last night, who played an intimate in-store promoting debut album Zaba. If you haven’t heard it yet, you soon will…produced by Paul Epworth (the genius behind Adele’s 21) and signed to his label, we think the boys are going to be absolutely huge. Plus, they’re utterly lovely chaps to boot!

We got a little worried when a policeman came up to the counter just before they took to the stage - turned out, all he wanted was to buy a Truck Festival ticket! Phew!

 
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