XUP – Manchester Singer-Songwriter And Bassist LANE Released New Bone-Chilling Album ‘SPIT & LIPSTICK’ Today

9 October 2023

Artist: XUP
Who: XUP is the musical act of Lane. It was conceived in the sunny haze of
an All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Minehead, UK. After playing bass for several bands in Manchester and London from 2000-2007, Lane began writing, recording and performing as XUP, stepping up to the mic for the first time, and taking on full artistic duties. In doing so, her own influences began to come through front and centre, and there are hints of Hole, Sonic Youth, Joy Division, The Bad Seeds, The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees in her seven-album-strong back catalogue. Check her Spotify account.

New album: SPIT & LIPSTICK

Lane: Spit & Lipstick is an album about the making of an album! My starting point was
to cover the studio in mood boards and story boards and the Spit & Lipstick album is the
colour of the sunset, seen through an old 70s TV set, spitting static!

The album is a love letter to The Peer Hat bar in Manchester, where I spent much of my downtime in between recording, propping up the bar and watching the songs come to life.
The daily anecdotes and notes about the writing process seeped into the songs. But the songs are also interwoven with a nostalgic retrospective about coming of age by the sea, with a gnarly post-punk, cherry-pop twist! And in capturing that, the album title itself is a nod to the band Hole, one of my big influences growing up.

TUTV: Let the bass roll. The 4-string guitar is the heroine throughout this 8-track record next to Lane‘s expressive voice. All pieces are sonically related, with their darksome punky funky resonance. Songs about a broken relationship, introspection, depression, loneliness, twins, hope and The Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol electrified with indie dynamics and pithy post-rock turbulence with Goth echoes here and there.

My mind and ears tell me that Spit & Lipstick could be the bone-chilling soundtrack for
a sinister film-noir with Lane as the femme fatale operating in an enigmatic world. No,
this is not an ecstatic record, rather one with sharp edges, one about the dark side of Lane‘s moon. A compelling and arresting record.

Singles/clips: Sunday Girl / Siamese




XUP: Facebook – Linktree

SUFJAN STEVENS Proves Once More That He Is One Of The Best Songwriters Of The 21st Century With New LP ‘JAVELIN’

8 October 2023

Much celebrated, Detroit born singer-songwriter SUFJAN STEVENS
has his new LP out, titled JAVELIN. The 10th longplayer in 24 years.

Pitchfork: “Sufjan’s masterful new album recalls his intimate singer-songwriter days. But it also draws on his entire catalog, his dazzling musicality, and his lifelong inquiries about love and devotion… Throughout his career, Stevens has used the language of love songs to express religious devotion, and vice versa. Across Javelin, he seems intent on understanding and being understood, with the purpose of exposing the common thread between his pet subjects: raising the endless questions that lead us to seek meaning in one another, and rejoicing in the euphoria of sometimes finding it. And if it sounds like he is occasionally singing to us from rock bottom, it’s only so we can witness the steady ascent onward.” Full review here. Score: 8.5/10.

TUTV: Sufjan Stevens is unquestionably one of the greatest songwriters of
the 21st Century, proving it once more on this new wistful record. Acoustic
guitars, banjo, piano, choir chants and his near whispering voice combine
for heart-and-soul contemplations, emotive reveries and moody musings.

Now and then orchestral magnificence add a warm bliss bringing Sigur Rós
to mind, but overall the music is intimate, gentle and humane. Beguiling.

Singles/clips: Will Anybody Ever Love Me / A Running Start


SS: Instagram – Linktree

JEFF TWEEDY And WILCO Take It Easy On New Emotive Album ‘COUSIN’

1 October 2023

Crooner, balladeer, countryman, poet, and seasoned songsmith JEFF TWEEDY
and his band WILCO released their 13th LP, named COUSIN, in their 31-year career

PITCHFORK: “With help from producer Cate Le Bon, the Chicago band’s 13th album
flickers to life on several songs that hint at the controlled chaos of their bygone experimental era. It’s the first Wilco album in years to activate, in fits and starts, the band’s long-dormant experimental gene; the first one in years where the songwriting feels as guided by the production as vice versa. It’s a reminder that, as much as Wilco have become known for longevity and sturdy perseverance, the group’s creative restlessness remains their calling card.”
Score: 7/10.

Press photo

TUTV: Except for upbeat rockers Cousin and Meant To Be songsmith Tweedy
and Wilco take it easy on this new record with laid-back country-pop tunes
and introspective and life-inspired musings.

It’s pretty sculpted art pop. It’s alien. The songs are alien shapes,” he says. To be
honest, I have no idea what he’s talking about. Anyway, Tweedy and Wilco know
their craft for years now and used it again for this longplayer.



WILCO: Instagram – Facebook

THE NATIONAL Release New Album ‘LAUGH TRACK’ Only 5 Months After Their Grand Previous One

19 September 2023

Last weekend, THE NATIONAL played at their own Homecoming Fest in
their hometown of Cincinnati. At one point, frontman/crooner Matt Berninger
announced a new LP, only 5 months after their grand LP First Two Pages Of Frankenstein.

It’s titled LAUGH TRACK and was already on sale, on a limited edition,
at the festival, with no front cover. Now the longplayer is available

Order info here.

Pitchfork says: “The National extends its predecessor’s subdued mood and
reclusive purview. This band still has a fierce rock record in them. Maybe
next time they’ll make it.”

TUTV: Laugh Track is The National by numbers. Not great, not bad. No idea
why they didn’t release it with First Two Pages Of Frankenstein as a double LP.
Commercial reasons, I guess.




Standout longplayers

15 September 2023

Today, everlasting cool rock chick CHRISSIE HYNDE and her line-up changing PRETENDERS released LP #12. It’s titled RELENTLESS . You can buy it here.

HYNDE about the album’s title: “I enjoy seeing the various meanings and
origins of a word. And I liked the definition: ‘showing no abatement of intensity.’
So when it came to an album title, it seemed fitting. You know… to keep doing it.
I think anyone in a band is constantly questioning if they should keep going.

It starts as a youthful pursuit and eventually, it makes you wonder, why am
I doing this? It’s the life of the artist. You never retire. You become relentless.”

HYNDE – a year ago – about touring and the new album.

UNCUT Magazine says: “She has crooned before, but the freight of intimate emotion
here, letting low notes waver within the ferally alive arrangement, is masterful. Ending
an album of looking back, this is the new prime of Chrissie Hynde.”
Score: 4/5.

Pretenders in Belgium last May – pic by TUTV

TUTV: When I saw Hynde – the only original Pretender left – rockin’ out for a full 75 minutes, with old and new songs, in Belgium last May (review here) I thought the new album (at that point only the first single, smooth rocker Let The Sun Come In was out) would be pretty hot-blooded too. Now I know it’s the opposite.

Except for Losing My Sense Of Taste, Let The Sun Come In and Vainglorious, Hynde chooses
to sit down, relax and reflect on her past, her present and her future, with tender ballads, co-written with guitarist James Walbourne. And as she proved several times before, she’s a most affecting crooner. Relentless gets more heartwarming with every spin. Pretenders are the talk of the town again.

SINGLES: A Love / Let The Sun Come In


PRETENDERS: Instagram – Facebook
TUTV: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter

CINDY WILSON – Dance This Mess Around With The Former B-52s Star And Her New Solo Album ‘REALMS’

Standout longplayers

9 September 2023

The former B-52s voice/percussionist/wig/star
CINDY WILSON has her second solo album,
baptized REALMS out.

It’s the follow-up to her 2017 debut Change

Press info: “Wilson invites her audience on an immersive, enchanting ten-track journey that peels back the layers of our common humanity. Realms demands our undivided attention as Wilson takes us on a kaleidoscopic journey through our own minds and souls. Through a series of colorful, dramatic outpourings and dynamic, finessed upheavals, it’s a carefully crafted record proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Cindy Wilson continues to have her fingers on the pulse of modern music. Pop in style and indie at heart, Realms is the next new wave of Wilson’s already storied legacy.”

Artwork by Suny Lyons

TUTV: It’s the perfect dance this mess around record for all goodbye-summer-2023
parties, indoors and outdoors. It echoes Madonna, Depeche Mode, Lana Del Rey, and
Alice Glass all-in-one in Wilson‘s mood swings realms.

It combines Saturday night fever disco (Midnight / Overboard), synth-pop glamour (Daydreamer / Blossom and the fantastic single Delirious), and some gripping moonlight reveries as if she wants to remind us, both of the fact we live in a not-so-bright-looking reality (Hold On / Within / Not Goodbye) but also that we need to look hopefully, with
fingers crossed, to the future.

It’s not alone about the great tunes at play here, oh no, Wilson‘s outstanding vocality injects Realms with emotive energy and vivid verve on the let’s pirouette ourselves dizzy ones and with starry-eyed sensitivity for the moody ones. A five-star score.




CINDY WILSON: Instagram – Facebook

ROYAL BLOOD – British Blues-Rock Tandem Use Their Successful Formula Again On New Album ‘BACK TO THE WATER BELOW’

4 September 2023

Press picture by Tom Beard

British blues rock turbo ROYAL BLOOD have released their new,
4th longplayer, following their first three number-one LPs. It’s titled
. Order info here.

Album artwork

Ben Thachter: “I think this record was about letting the ideas take us where
they needed to go. If there was a song that was calling us to do something that
wasn’t typically what we’re known for, that’s where we’re going to go. The songs
are in charge and if that means having a record that’s quite varied that’s what
we’re going to go for, rather than trying to shoehorn everything into the same

Mike Kerr (bassist/vocalist): “We were in the right place at the right time,
and we have to remember to give ourselves the credit that we didn’t get into
this position by winning a quiz show, we put in a serious amount of work. It’s
taken us four albums to realise this isn’t luck, we’re good and we’re committed
to this.”

TUTV: Nothing new under the Royal Blood sun with this new longplayer, except
that the duo show their mellow side a bit more than before (Pull Me Trough / The Firing
Line / There Goes My Cool / Waves
). But don’t worry, all you manic headbangers out there, there are still plenty of uppercuts present to go bonkers to.

Key singles/clips: Mountains At Midnight / Pull Me Trough




ROYAL BLOOD: Website – Instagram

SLOWDIVE Operate In Their Familiar Shoegaze Universe On Their Brand New Album EVERYTHING IS ALIVE

1 September 2023

Album artwork

British shoegaze veterans SLOWDIVE launched their 5th LP,
their first in 6 years, named EVERYTHING IS ALIVE today.

The album is dedicated to vocalist/guitarist Rachel Goswell’s
mother and drummer Simon Scott’s father, who both passed
away in 2020.

Photo by Ingrid Pop

SPIN MAGAZINE says: “Slowdive has outdone itself on its fifth full-length, Everything Is Alive, which elevates its pre-breakup work in ways that feel nearly unimaginable. Indeed, Slowdive in 2023 is capable of writing both the hands-down most affecting song of its career (‘Andalucia Plays’) as well as its most in-your-face (‘The Slab’), while also incorporating modular synths as foundational elements in its creative process for the first time (they’re the first notes you hear on opener ‘Shanty’).” Score: 9/10.

TUTV: Slowdive are operating again in their beloved shoegaze universe where reality and fantasy go hand in hand. Where we, as listeners, can enjoy the sonic dreams they made up, soundtracked by starry-eyed synth/guitar symphonies. Everything Is Alive could easily be the second LP of a double one together with their self-titled 2017 longplayer, making it a 16-track album full of cinematic spirituals that put you on cloud nine for 80 minutes.





SLOWDIVE: Instagram – Spotify

BE YOUR OWN PET – Nashville Power Punks Back After 15 Years With Their Great ‘MOMMY’

26 August 2023

Nashville‘s inflammable garage rockers BE YOUR OWN PET had some
bonkers fun between 2004-2008, vanished into oblivion afterward, but
last year they couldn’t stop themselves from coming back and starting
to play an endless series of gigs.

And now it’s new music time. The revitalized bloodhounds have
a new, their 3rd LP, titled MOMMY out. Order info here.

Pearl (frontwoman): “By telling our stories and sharing our truth,
we can gain power back from a situation where we felt powerless.
Mommy is the bitch in charge, the one in control. It’s a reclamation
of myself.”

NME: “After 15 years away, the Nashville punks are back, bold and
better than before. The band are back with ‘Mommy’, more evidence that
even after a decade the angst and ferocity that put them on the map never

TUTV: After 2 albums and 15 years (!) BYOP still have tons of vitality, pizzaz
and sinewy corkers to offer. Battle-axe frontwoman Pearl still has demons to
fight with, and I assure you, you don’t want to be one of them. 11 spunky cry-outs.
Combative, bad-tempered, sharp, raw and LOUD. They truly have a great Mommy.

Singles/clips: Goodtime! / Hand Grenade / Worship The Whip





BYOP: Instagram – Facebook

THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH – 11th Album ‘NOSTALGIA’S GLASS’ Returns To The Mixed Emotions Labyrinth Of The Past

24 August 2023

Manchester‘s psych post-punk misfits THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH,
orchestrated by voice/face/songwriter Craig Dyer released their new
album, named NOSTALGIA’S GLASS via Fuzz Club.

Dyer about the LP: “The aim became to create a collection of songs that paid homage
to our back catalogue and attempted to dissect not only the positive but the negative
elements of nostalgia, primarily the romanticisation of the past – be it the politics of
a country, the controversial legacies of film and musical icons or the sentimental
idealisation of long dead toxic relationships.”

Photo by Lily Creightmore

TUTV: To be honest, I needed several spins to get into the new TUY album and in
Craig Dyer‘s world. Of course, he’s the only one who knows exactly what happens in
his mind, in his soul and his heart. But as he said he looked back to times gone by.

Great/gratifying moments, bad/sad moments. I guess for so many of us, nostalgia
can be both depressing and heart-warming. Dyer opened the door to his past, that
evokes those mixed emotions.

His somber vocals, the overall gloomy tone and slow, shadowy pace (except for
Another Country that sounds like a splendid tribute to The Velvet Underground of the
music feels like he got lost in a labyrinth of uncomfortable memories most of the time leading to a spellbinding and bone-chilling opus. Melancholic poetry in motion. You can
file Nostalgia’s Glass next to Nick Cave‘s 2016 mourning masterpiece Skeleton Tree.

Singles/clips: I Thought I Understood / In Another Country / Frame Obsesion





TUY: Facebook – Instagram