Music legend and XTC co-frontman Colin Mouldingis back with new music, this time as a solo artist, presenting his new single‘The Hardest Battle’, which will be released as a CD single in 4-panel digisleeve via Burning Shed on July 2.
Containing two songs – ‘The Hardest Battle’, ‘Say It (original version)’, and an exploratory demo of the title track, The Hardest Battle represents XTC founding member Colin Moulding‘s first-ever fully solo release.
This release offers a tantalizing glimpse into the creative process of one of the UK’s finest songwriters, showcasing Colin’s English pop vision with XTC’s trademark qualities of melody, rhythm, variety, and idiosyncratic subject matter, mixed in with nostalgia and a degree of pensiveness.
Following two releases withoriginal XTC drummer Terry Chambers under the TC&I moniker – the ‘Great Aspirations’ EP and the album ‘Naked Flames: Live at Swindon Arts Centre’, ‘The Hardest Battle’ is the first new material from Moulding in many years.
“To be nobody but yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight”… I saw these lines in a book I picked up in a secondhand bookshop and thought…maybe there’s a song there …I think it’s by the poet EE Cummins,” says Colin Moulding.
“And there it was. All I had to do was come up with some music to marry to this notion. I do think most people aren’t themselves really, or become themselves eventually. And that struggle isn’t easy. I recorded this pretty much in isolation as most people have been this past year or so. One crazy year for all of us. Perhaps ‘The Hardest Battle’ we humans have faced externally, as well as the one we fight internally everyday,”
Founded in 1972, XTC only had their first UK charting single in 1979. Moulding wrote the first three charting singles (‘Life Begins at the Hop’, ‘Making Plans for Nigel’ and ‘Generals and Majors’). Moulding continued with frontman Andy Partridge through the group’s dissolution in 2006. In 1984, they also, along with XTC bandmate Dave Gregory and Ian Gregory, formed The Dukes of Stratosphear, anticipating and celebrated by retro-minded movements such as the Paisley Underground.
“About ‘Say It’, I just felt this track deserved a better fate than it got really. I wrote it for the XTC album that never was . But it ended up on a promo disk amongst XTC’s ‘Last Days of Rome’ This version feels much more akin to my original song mindset compared to the expedient I agreed to at the time,” says Colin Moulding.
Regarding ‘The Hardest Battle (First Exploratory Demo)’, Moulding adds, “I think demos are much more of a demonstration to ones self than for other people. You have to find out what works and what doesn’t. Therefore, you shoot from the hip and just fire it out, and see what sticks. Larkin always said that he didn’t know what his poems were about initially until he got some way into them ;- that’s what this is;- I’m just ‘Larkin’ around until it presents itself. Then the crossword puzzle can begin.”
TRACK LIST 1. The Hardest Battle 2. Say It (Original Version) 3. The Hardest Battle (First Exploratory Demo)
CREDITS Produced by Colin Moulding and Stuart Rowe Mixed by Stuart Rowe All instrumentation by Colin Moulding except on ‘Say It’, where Jon Buckett plays piano All songs written by Colin Moulding Mastered by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering Manufactured by Noisebox Digital Media Artwork by Andrew Swainson from a concept by Colin Moulding Recorded within the Sound of Christ Church Bells Released by Burning Shed. Cat No: CMCD001
In the band The Sun Or The Moon from the Rhine-Main region, four experimental and creative musicians came together in late summer 2019 to realise their sound ideas inspired by bands such as Can, Kraftwerk, early Pink Floyd and Radiohead.
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The Sun Or The Moon – Cosmic Album Teaser
The quartet has already released two digital singles on the usual streaming platforms and is now releasing Cosmic, their debut album via Tonzonen Records. The four musicians Frank Incense (vocals, bass, baritone guitar, electric sitar, modular synthesiser), George Nowak (guitar, theremin, green flute), Susanne Baum (piano and keyboards) and Niklas Ciriacy (drums and percussion instruments) describe their music as psychedelic space lounge music.
Listen + watch:
The Sun Or The Moon – Cosmic (official video)
Over an electronic foundation of repetitive machine beats and sound carpets created with a modular system, The Sun Or The Moon develop hypnotic yet danceable tracks with influences from Krautrock, Psychedelic and Space Rock.
The Sun Or The Moon – Julia Dream (Pink Floyd cover, official video)
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Artist: The Sun Or The Moon
Title: Cosmic Format: 2xLP, CD, Digital Label: Tonzonen Records Distribution: Soulfood Genre: Psychedelic/ Kraut Rock Release Date: 17/09/2021
Tracklist 1. Cosmic 2. Twisted Kamasutra 3. Eldorado 4. Julia Dream 5. Trippin’ On Mars 6. Space Travel Agent
Melodic Revolution Records is beyond thrilled to announce that Argentinian Art-Rock/Progressive-Pop band Arnoldo’s Lizards has Joined the MRR family.
About Arnoldo’s Lizards This is a newborn band based in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Consisting of Alvare Goco (22) on vocals and Jack Dimensions (23) on keyboards, the band dances between different genres, mainly pop-rock, prog, and funk-rock fusion.
Alvare Goco was a solo artist before joining the band, performing in local pubs singing blues, jazz, and classic rock songs. Jack Dimensions is a member of several projects, including the Argentinian-Russian prog-rock duo “Problematic Dimension” and the ska-rock band “La Whillington”, among others. He has also worked with fellow Argentinian composer Andres Guazzelli on his album ‘Atypical’, and his latest single, ‘Flores de Abril’.
About The Debut Album ‘Satanic Attack or Divine Punishment’ will be released worldwide on July 16yh, 2021 the album was co-written by the band and produced by Jack Dimensions himself. Arnoldo and his Lizards’ world drives us from coast to coast, dragging us by force to leave our comfort zone and ultimately face who we really are. The album makes us leave our conscious minds to enter the here and now. without asking ourselves what is happening but just living it. Dance, cry, laugh, all the emotions come together in a single album to break with the established. We want you to enjoy yourself in any state of mind. This album is made for all of us, to show ourselves as we are. – Arnoldo’s Lizards
Satanic Attack or Divine Punishment was recorded by Alvare Goco: vocals and backing vocals. Jack Dimensions: vocals, backing vocals, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, and programming.
Special Guest ● Elías Ciambotti: bass and electric guitars. ● Ezequiel Volpe: bass. ● Randall Lewer: electric guitars. ● Florabril Leguimus: backing vocals ● Andres Guazzelli: backing vocals
King’s X will be headlining on Sunday April 17th, showing that RoSFest’s new Board of Directors has every intention of bringing its first edition of the festival to a magnificent close.
Video by Shelby Logan Warne
The US rock trio, whose latest album is currently being finalized at the Bernie Grundman Mastering facility in California, is eager to get back on the road after their 2019 touring plans had to be canceled and the covid-19 pandemic plunged the entire live music scene into a forced hiatus throughout 2020 and the best part of 2021. With their thirteenth studio album promising to be a powerful blend of sounds ranging from “’Penny Lane’ to the heaviest MESHUGGAH’”, according to frontman, Doug Pinnick, RoSFest organizers felt they couldn’t let their patrons miss out on what promises to be a spectacular show.
3/4/5 SEPTEMBER 2021 Every evening concerts starting at 18:00 Piazzetta della Musica GATTICO-VERUNO (NO)
It is difficult to explain with what joy we write and distribute this press release. Finally, after a year of forced stop, live music is back, and with it, one of the most important progressive rock festivals at an international level: 2 DAYS PROG + 1 Festival is back!
Although the period we are facing has accustomed us to changes, our Festival returns as you have always known it: three evenings animated by four bands each, twelve names in all. The only difference from previous years is that, contrary to the golden rule of the Verunese review, some artists have already been our guests before. This is not a permanent change, but only an exceptional case dictated by (fortunately) exceptional conditions. That said, our deepest gratitude goes to the groups that will return to the Veruno stage, and – we are sure – the warm affection of the public will also go!
So, are you ready to discover the incredible line-up of the 2021 edition ?!
It starts in style on Friday 3 September with RØSENKREÜTZ, a neo-progressive project band that combines classic British-derived prog with modern influences. Followed by METAMORFOSI, pioneers of Italian prog as well as exceptional performers. Finally, two really unmissable names for prog-amateurs conclude the evening: GOBLIN REBIRTH and LE ORME! The former is strongly discouraged for the faint of heart (get ready to relive the gothic atmosphere that so excited Dario Argento), while the latter – together with PFM and Banco del Mutuo Soccorso – have a rightful place in the Olympus of Italian prog. A simply unmissable evening.
Speaking of BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO … What if we told you that Banco will be the headliner of the second date? That’s right: the evening of Saturday 4 September will be closed by the legendary B.M.S. But, since quality music in Veruno is never enough, they will play before the Banco three other exceptional names: THE TRIP directly from the Anglo-Italian scene of the 70s, followed by the anarcho-psychedelic rock of THE WINSTONS and, in order not to miss anything, the REVERSE OF THE MEDAL! In short, two evenings that fully pay homage to the history of Italian prog.
We conclude our review with the third and last day of the Festival, Sunday 5th September. IL PORTO DI VENERE (which will present the songs of the debut album) and NOSOUND (from the parts of Porcupine Tree, to be clear) open the dances, while to close them there will be a more unique than a rare event: two great names of Italian music of the caliber by ALBERTO FORTIS and OSANNA will play with the VERUNESE SEPTEMBER MUSIC ORCHESTRA! A concert that will see rock and classical sounds intertwine, two souls only apparently distant, as prog has always taught us.
Last but not least: every day, about a couple of hours before the start of the concerts, at the Forum19 Auditorium a few steps from the stage, it will be possible to participate in the Meet & Greet. Not only meeting with the names of the Festival, but also an opportunity to listen to other artists, such as feat. Esserelà (3-4 September), KU.DA (4 September) and The Forty Days (5 September).
It seems to us a comeback in a big way, and to you? We are waiting for you! N.B. All concerts will take place outdoors, will have free admission and you will be able to take advantage of the catering service within the area.
3/4/5 SEPTEMBER 2021 Veruno, 28010 Province of Novara, Italy+39 371 376 9798 firstname.lastname@example.org
2 DAYS PROG +1 FESTIVAL3/4/5 SETTEMBRE 2021 Ogni sera concerti a partire dalle ore 18:00 Piazzetta della Musica GATTICO-VERUNO (NO)
Difficile spiegare con quanta gioia scriviamo e diffondiamo questo comunicato. Finalmente, dopo un anno di stop forzato, torna la musica dal vivo, e con lei uno dei più importanti festival di progressive rock a livello internazionale: 2 DAYS PROG + 1 Festival is back!
Sebbene il periodo che stiamo affrontando ci abbia abituati ai cambiamenti, il nostro Festival ritorna così come lo avete sempre conosciuto: tre serate animate da quattro band l’una, dodici nomi in tutto. L’unica differenza rispetto agli anni scorsi è che, contrariamente alla regola d’oro della rassegna verunese, alcuni artisti sono già stati nostri ospiti in precedenza. Non si tratta di una modifica permanente, ma solo di un caso eccezionale dettato da condizioni (fortunatamente) eccezionali. Ciò detto, ai gruppi che torneranno a calcare il palco di Veruno va la nostra più profonda gratitudine e – ne siamo certi – andrà anche il caloroso affetto del pubblico!
Allora, siete pronti a scoprire l’incredibile line-up dell’edizione 2021?!
Si parte in grande stile Venerdì 3 Settembre con i RØSENKREÜTZ, project band di neoprogressive che unisce il prog classico di derivazione britannica a contaminazioni moderne. Seguono i METAMORFOSI, pionieri del prog italiano nonché performer eccezionali. Infine, concludono la serata due nomi veramente irrinunciabili per i prog-amatori: i GOBLIN REBIRTH e LE ORME! I primi sono fortemente sconsigliati ai deboli di cuore (preparatevi a rivivere le atmosfere gotiche che tanto hanno entusiasmato Dario Argento), mentre i secondi – insieme alla PFM e al Banco del Mutuo Soccorso – hanno un posto di diritto nell’Olimpo del prog italiano. Una serata semplicemente imperdibile.
A proposito di BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO… E se vi dicessimo che il Banco sarà l’headliner della seconda data? Proprio così: la serata di Sabato 4 Settembre sarà chiusa dal mitico B.M.S. Ma, siccome la musica di qualità a Veruno non è mai abbastanza, prima del Banco suoneranno
altri tre nomi eccezionali: direttamente dalla scena anglo-italiana degli anni ’70 THE TRIP, seguiti dal rock anarco-psichedelico di THE WINSTONS e, per non farci mancare niente, il ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA! Insomma, due serate che omaggiano appieno la storia del prog italiano.
Concludiamo la nostra rassegna con la terza e ultima giornata del Festival, Domenica 5 Settembre. Aprono le danze IL PORTO DI VENERE (che presenterà i brani del disco di esordio) e NOSOUND (dalle parti dei Porcupine Tree, per intenderci), mentre a chiuderle ci sarà un evento più unico che raro: due grandi nomi della musica italiana del calibro di ALBERTO FORTIS e OSANNA suoneranno in compagnia dell’ORCHESTRA SETTEMBRE MUSICALE VERUNESE! Un concerto che vedrà intrecciarsi sonorità rock e classicheggianti, due anime solo apparentemente distanti, come il prog ci ha sempre insegnato.
Ultimo ma non ultimo appuntamento: ogni giorno, circa un paio d’ore prima dell’inizio dei concerti, presso l’Auditorium Forum19 a pochi passi dal palco, sarà possibile partecipare al Meet&Greet. Non solo incontro con i nomi del Festival, ma anche occasione di ascoltare altri artisti, come feat. Esserelà (3-4 Settembre), KU.DA (4 Settembre) e The Forty Days (5 Settembre).
A noi sembra un ritorno in grande stile, e a voi? Vi aspettiamo!
N.B. Tutti i concerti si svolgeranno all’aperto, saranno a ingresso gratuito e si potrà usufruire del servizio di ristorazione all’interno dell’area.
3/4/5 SEPTEMBER 2021 Veruno, 28010 Province of Novara, Italy +39 371 376 9798 email@example.com
“We often start naive and green and either blossom into something remarkable, or we fizzle out – resigning to the life that we feared all along; the one we’ve been resisting – an uncertain path, a repetitive/menial existence, and the promise of a life without limitations. How far are you willing to go to either abandon or protect the way of life that you’ve been leading?”
These words paint the scene for the first act of alternative progressive rock quartet Head with Wings’ next chapter.
Amidst sweeping changes felt on a global scale, aspirations were put on hold, radiant futures dimmed, lives ended prematurely, and dreams were left to rot on the vine. For so many, the struggle was a silent one – a daily war waged alone.
On their forthcoming EP, “Comfort In Illusion,” Head with Wings draws the listener into the isolated, agonizing, and momentarily euphoric struggle for self-actualization amidst the stifling frame of an increasingly unfamiliar world.
The collective’s first output since 2018’s critically-acclaimed debut, “From Worry to Shame,” presents a concise summation of the group’s collective growth as artists and individuals. “Comfort in Illusion” dives deeper into the quartet’s textural and emotive sound exploration with a timely personal narrative of self-discovery and the anxiety of change.
Says lead vocalist Josh Corum, “‘The Comfort in Illusion’ EP has a two-fold meaning, but we realize that it’s subject to the listener’s interpretation and we fully embrace that. To the band, it operates in a binary fashion narratively; connecting to the protagonist of our debut album From Worry to Shame (2018), while also paving the way for an alternatively surreal story, that is told in tandem with a specific point in the protagonist’s timeline on the debut (parallel to the songs “From Worry to Shame” and “Beyond the Wall”). Admittedly, this wasn’t my initial intention, but intuitively I wound up here some years down the line after these songs were initially conceived. The music on this EP isn’t motivically or thematically linked to the debut, but rather, connected through narrative/thematic concepts and visual interpretations through our music videos.”
“Of Uncertainty’s” hypnotic sway and surreal acoustic and electric voice-painting opens the three-movement suite in arresting fashion. A fitting bridge from the world of old to that of the new, the single embodies everything in seven crisp minutes that make Head with Wings a singular presence in a rock landscape that has been all too content to echo the hallmarks of yesteryear.
Andrew Testa’s inspired and mature drum performance radiates intention; giving the song an addicting sense of weightless movement, while Brandon Cousino and Mike Short’s soulful and dexterous lead guitars shade and illuminate the scene around the striking vocal character of Joshua Corum. These qualities are further enhanced by the single’s immersive visual accompaniment provided by Black Soil’s talented animation crew.
Cathartic and soothing, “Contemplating the Loop” exercises the group’s fluid command of abstract rhythm, leaving the listener to feel, rather than think their way through its floating, ever-shifting pulse. Anchored by Steve Hill’s silky bass runs, the song sets the constant ebb and flow of self-doubt and willful determination to sound.
Finally, the tumultuous, mathy voyage of “In a House Without Clocks” brings the concise three-track journey to a poignant coda. Bittersweet and overflowing with yearning, Corum leaves the listener with the parting questions: “Would you consider a life without a path … or would you fear it would all just fall apart—the plan that never started, the waters left uncharted?”
The odyssey feels both hopeful and grave—reckoning with an ever-fleeting sense of a gratifying future drifting further away each day, and the uncertainty of correcting course. The dark side of pursuing one’s dreams and the toll time takes on ambitions that were once so vivid are laid bare. Swelling into heart-searing vocal peaks and commanding streaks of expressive lead guitar, “In a House …” sets the tone for a pivotal moment of change, with Corum rising to the occasion as one of the eminent voices in modern alternative music.
The delicate beauty and lushness of “Comfort in Illusion” was carefully captured by Greg Thomas (END, Misery Signals) and Chris Teti (The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die) at Silver Bullet Studios. Thomas’ spacious, engrossing mix is heightened by Kris Crummett of Interlace Audio’s adept mastering – delivering a shimmering, modern sound that listeners will discover in new ways with each pass.
The themes of conviction and change, etched into the fibers of these songs, are also reflected in the band, whose own internal makeup shifted in a similarly bittersweet way. Capturing what amounts to founding drummer Andrew Testa’s most stylistically-definitive performance, the EP also serves as a fitting send off for a member who was integral to crafting the core architecture of the band’s sound. His legacy will be continued and expanded upon through the deft percussion skill of Head with Wings’ resident multi-instrumentalist, Mike Short, who shifts from his co-lead guitar role on the recording of the new songs to drums going forward.
We can never again return exactly to where we have been, and the same can be said of the distinctive lineup of performers in their designated roles on this special output—a moment in time faithfully preserved.
“Comfort in Illusion” features a unique release format, with each song being followed by a cinematic companion piece delivered by the remarkably talented Vikram Shankar. The prolific composer, who was heralded for his expressive piano interpretations of songs on “From Worry to Shame,” expands his contributions to the Head with Wings collective with fully reimagined arrangements of each movement of the forthcoming EP. These remixes transform each track’s mood into a palpable visual scene listeners can explore in their own personal way.
June 25th marks the launch of the Bandcamp pre-order for the “Comfort in Illusion” digipak CD/standard digital edition, along with the pre-order for the digital expanded edition, which contains the Vikram Shankar remixes and instrumental mixes. As of today, all three songs from this EP are represented by animated music videos on the band’s YouTube channel. All formats of “Comfort in Illusion” will be available on July 16th.
Says Josh, “Truthfully, each of our songs has its own message and baggage, but globally, I think the band would be in agreement that we want people to push themselves to lead a life that is self-fulfilling and not one that was either chosen for them, expected or assumed. We want people to find themselves in this world and then double down on who they are. Part of being an artist is giving yourself to the unknown and unabashedly believing in yourself, sometimes to the point of delusion. It doesn’t matter what you do, but that you love doing it. Have no regrets about believing in yourself. This band travels through darkness to find empowerment and we want people to feel that too.”
All of the music/lyrics on this EP were written before the pandemic/quarantine. However, the band was dwelling on concepts of isolation and withdrawal on “From Worry to Shame,” where coincidentally, the protagonist withdraws from society for one year and then begins his reemergence as a “new man.” This EP occurs during his year of isolation.
The band is currently in pre-production for the next album, which will be the finale to the saga that was started on their debut. There’s talk about shooting a music video with Ingwar Dovgoteles (The Black Soil) in Ukraine for the next one and that is certainly exciting. Says Josh, “We’re looking to shoot more live action music videos, as we’ve really gone down the rabbit hole with animated videos. Regarding gigs, we’re taking stock of the venues and festivals that are re-emerging, as society crawls out of the clutches of the pandemic. Though we’ve been rehearsing, we haven’t played a show since our 2019 tour in Germany (where we played Euroblast Festival). We’ll be announcing new shows for late summer/fall on our Facebook page as they get confirmed. There is one festival on the books for us on May 20-22, 2022 which is Festival Terra Incognita in Quebec City.” Head With Wings is scheduled to perform at Space Ballroom in Hamden, CT opening for Moon Tooth on August 5th.
“Comfort in Illusion” was recorded at Silver Bullet Studios (Burlington, CT) between December 2019 and March 2020. The EP was tracked, edited, mixed and produced by Greg Thomas with additional tracking and mixing by Chris Teti. Mastered by Kris Crummett at Interlace Audio (Portland Oregon) in Fall 2020. All songs were written and performed by Head with Wings. Releasing July 16th.
On this EP, Head with Wings is: Andrew Testa – Drums Brandon Cousino – Guitars Steve Hill – Bass Mike Short – Guitars Joshua Corum – Lyrics, Lead & Backing Vocals
“Comfort in Illusion” Track Order:
1) Of Uncertainty (7:00) 2) Contemplating the Loop (4:52) 3) In a House Without Clocks (6:02)
Run time: 17:54
Art Direction & Layout – Darcy Kelly-Laviolette // darcykellyl.myportfolio.com Album Design Concept – Joshua Corum & Darcy Kelly-Laviolette
Here’s what the press has said about Head With Wings:
“From the moment the picked guitars of opener ‘Goodbye Sky’ make their sun-kissed presence felt, it’s clear this is an album boasting an embarrassment of riches on the melody front.” – Planet Rock Magazine
“There are more than enough points of melancholic majesty to make this well worth a listen.” – PROG Magazine
“There’s a passion in the vocal delivery that matches the subject matter.” – Powerplay Magazine
“Although at times melancholic and stark with lyrics to match, Head With Wings have put out a winner with ‘From Worry To Shame.’ I also commend the band for tackling some societal issues that many bands wouldn’t touch. A thought provoking and rewarding listen, both lyrically and musically. Recommended.” – Sea of Tranquility
“The music is delicate and flows organically from the deep lyrics and obvious passion that the band has for both art and humanity.” – The Prog Mind
“With this delicate subject, Head with Wings achieved a masterful debut album of maturity and emotion. This album is proof that the prog does not have to be outrageously technical to succeed in touching.” – Koid’9 Magazine Rock & Progressif
“It is an incredibly intense album, both lyrically and especially musically, so much so that at times it feels there is a weight, a physical pressure, being delivered. It is all part of the presence and forethought which has gone into it. Overall this is a wonderful debut, and I for one am certainly looking forward to the next one with great interest.” – Kev Rowland, Progressor
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