Low Island are a band a lifetime in the making. Carlos Posada (vocals, guitar, keys), Jacob Lively (bass) and Felix Higginbottom (drums, percussion) met at primary school, meeting Jamie Jay (vocals, guitar, keys) in their early teens. They have been bouncing from rehearsal room to rehearsal room with each other for as long as they can remember. Low Island, the most potent incarnation of their musical brotherhood, formed just over a year ago. Practice makes perfect, and the Oxford quartet have concocted a magical sound that is all their own.
The band's songs gracefully morph from exhilarating electronica to glacial, minimalist soundscapes; experimental, claustrophobic rock to expansive grooves.
In less than a year, they have already released 12 tracks over two EPs and standalone single releases and this month's Society of Sound album gives you a chance to experience a selection of these songs in one place.
Exploring the voice has always been an exciting part of the Real World Records catalogue and some outstanding vocal performances come courtesy of musicians from Africa who have recorded for the label.
Over the next few weeks, we'll be digging deeper into key albums by African vocalists, from Geoffrey Oryema's beautiful 1990 Exile, to Les Amazones d'Afrique's République Amazone, released in 2017 and which celebrates modern African women.
We'll be bringing you some rare and as-yet-unseen photos and video footage from the archives as we rediscover these great albums.
To begin, we've got a rare performance of 'Obiero' by Ayub Ogada live in The Wood Room at Real World Studios in 1995:
Throughout April and May, we are offering an exclusive Voices of Africa vinyl bundle via the Real World Records store. Purchase all four of these albums together and get a 30% discount. Visit the store here.
You can also choose to buy the above LPs individually, plus a number of other African artists also included in our Voices of Africa campaign. These individual LPs and CDs can be purchased with a 25% discount by using the code >> realworld25 << at checkout.
Les Amazones d'Afrique Republique Amazones CD / LP
Ayub Ogada En Mana Kuoyo CD / LP
Papa Wemba Emotion CD / LP
Thomas Mapfumo Rise Up CD
The Drummers of Burundi Live at Real World CD
Les Amazones d'Afrique have just released a new video for 'Mansa Soyari', featuring Rokia Kone on lead vocals.
'Mansa Soyari' is a song about women. About African women seizing opportunity. Women's strength. Women's freedom. Women fighting for education. Loosely translated as kingdom in movement, the song refers an African queen from the past, when women held great power in Africa.
Rokia urges women to take more responsibility and not to stay in the shadows. Look to the powerful women in history who headed kingdoms, who led the way as activists and advocates for women's rights - these women are an inspiration for today.
Directed by Amandine Le Roy the video was filmed in Mali's capital, Bamako, and juxtaposes Rokia performing in a city nightclub, with her at home, surrounded by family members. In the club, she performs with wild abandon - giving her heart and soul to the song. At home, she is seated, dressed in traditional clothing, but still radiates the positivity of a young, modern African woman sending the message of equality and opportunity.
The vinyl LP for the The Gloaming's new album Live at the NCH is released today.
The double LP comes on 150g vinyl and contains a code to also download the hi-resolution audio.
The Booley House (Live)
The Sailor's Bonnet (Live)
The Pilgrim's Song (Live)
The Rolling Wave (Live)
Live at the NCH has already garnered much critical acclaim:
★★★★★ "one of the great live recordings, in any genre" - The Arts Desk
★★★★ "mesmerizing" - The Irish Times
"carries the music into pensive, even mystical realms" - New York Times
"spellbound. a post modern mangle" - Irish Independent
★★★★★ "quite simply devine" - Sunday Business Post
"Forget the definitions… virtuosity on display" - Folk Radio UK
"reminds of our own cultural inheritance" - Goldenplec
The album is also available on CD and all digital platforms
WOMAD Festival have announced their second wave of artists for this summer's event, including Leftfield playing Leftism live, Thievery Corporation, The Original Gypsies of Camargue, Mr Jukes and many more.
There will be more announcements over the next few weeks.
Watch Peter Gabriel and Real World Records' artist Emil Svanängen of Loney dear in conversation, filmed earlier this year.
It's a wide ranging discussion, that sees Peter taking the less familiar role of interviewer, as he seeks to find out a little bit more about Emil and his work as Loney dear.
There's a natural intimacy to the conversation as they cover topics including family and early life, aspirations as musicians and approaches to writing and recording. They also discuss touring, future plans and 'our' place in the wider universe…
We are pleased to announce a special Easter Sunday broadcast of a new concert film by Philip King which captures The Gloaming performing Live at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland on the final night of their 2018 Residency.
The film will be broadcast on RTE 1 on Sunday 1 April at 23:05 - and then available to view globally on the RTE player.
The film is the perfect compliment to group's recent album, the highly acclaimed, 'Live at the NCH' which features highlight moments culled from some of the band's record breaking 24 sold out shows at The National Concert Hall.
Quote from filmmaker Philip King:
"Given the power of The Gloaming's live performances and the unique relationship between the band and their audience, I've long wanted to find a way to capture the energy and beauty on film. I'm delighted to say that we've done just that. We were able to take a photograph of this incredible band at a unique moment in time. The Gloaming: Live at the National Concert Hall is something very special."
Quote from The Gloaming's Martin Hayes:
"Philip King understands our band and our music in a way that makes him uniquely qualified to visually represent what we do. He and his crew have done a masterful job of capturing the feeling and atmosphere of our NCH concerts."
The Gloaming brings together five musical masters. Steeped in traditional Irish music since birth, fiddlers Martin Hayes and Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh and sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird are joined by New York pianist Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), and Chicago-born guitarist Dennis Cahill.
Out now on Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound is the new album from London-based, Swedish singer songwriter KLARA, entitled Blossom.
The album was recorded at Real World Studios in winter 2017 and mixed at Coronet Studios, London. The album was co-produced by last month's Society of Sound artist Erland Cooper.
Musically KLARA takes her pointers from the likes of Joni Mitchell and Tracy Chapman, writing songs that mix hope and melancholy underpinned by a sumptuous voice and subtle studio magic.
"This record feels like a true representation of me right now," says KLARA. "Recorded in the countryside, surrounded by nature, close to water and celebrating hope both musically and lyrically in many songs on 'Blossom'. Real World was the perfect place to record this album."
Today marks the release of The Gloaming's Live at the NCH, a collection of performances culled from two years of shows at their residency in Dublin's National Concert Hall.
Siobhán Long of The Irish Times said of the performances: "They unquestionably capture the essence of this band whose live performances are akin to mesmerising, whirling dervishes ."
"Each musician (under the persuasive baton of producer Bartlett) brings subtleties and intricacies to the music that almost defy description."
★★★★★ Sunday Business Post
The Bowers and Wilkins Society of Sound release for February is Solan Goose, the debut solo album by Erland Cooper.
Having grown up on the Scottish archipelago of Orkney, the project began as a gentle response to ease an anxiety and claustrophobia of working in a large city. Exploring a balance between alternative, ambient, electronic and classical music, he set out to create a sense of balance and calm for both him and the listener, while connecting identity, memory and place through music and cinematography.
"For the most part, each of the songs on the album generally started as an improvised piece," says Erland, "recording piano alone in peace or perhaps writing over an ambient layer, created out of experimenting."
Watch a live performance version of Maalie a track from the album: