Fortuna Pop Records News

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It’s that time of year when our work over the summer comes to fruition and results in a glut of delectable new releases. Hot straight off the presses are new records by old faithfuls The Lucksmiths and Milky Wimpshake and new kids on the block The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart (note: they’re not actually New Kids On The Block).

The new Lucksmiths album “First Frost” comes in a beautifully designed digipak with booklet and contains fourteen songs of town vs country contemplation, amongst other things… like, for instance, where lost mittens go… or finding enlightenment with a snorkel and mask. And fifteen years in, the band’s characteristic breezy pop has broadened in scope; “First Frost” heralds the band’s brave first steps into new sonic realms, from gently caressed fingerpicked folk to fuzzy dreampop, while remaining undeniably The Lucksmiths. The record won’t be in the shops until November, but it’s available direct from us right now. You can read more about it below, where you’ll also find a link to guitarist Marty Donald’s recording diary.

The new 7″ vinyl EP from Newcastle’s fun-loving bedroom anarcho-syndicalists Milky Wimpshake is a credit crunch busting value for money five songs long with covers of songs by The Yummy Fur and The Isley Brothers as well as three fizzing punk-pop originals. The band also play a free gig in Liverpool this Saturday at The Caledonia on Catherine Street with support from Town Bike, so get along to that if you’re in the area.

Last but not least we have the new 7″ single “Everything With You” from a band a lot of people are getting very excited about, Brooklyn New York’s The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. The single comes in a limited pressing on lovely blue vinyl. Taken from their forthcoming debut album (due in January 2009), “Everything With You” is a tidy distillation of all the great noise-pop precedents – early MBV, House of Love, Pale Saints, Rocketship – but with that incredible exuberance and energy that the Pains bring to every song. You can read more below and there’s also a link to a video of the band playing new song “Gothenburg Handshake” live in Sweden last week.

The Lucksmiths’ album is £10 and both 7″s are £3 – if you want to order all three we’ll knock a pound off and call it £15. If you’re ordering from abroad (i.e. outside the UK) there’s a little bit extra postage. Details on how to order are here

The next Fortuna POP! gig is two weeks today on Friday 24th October and is quite a considered affair by our standards, featuring as it does the intricate harmonies of Left With Pictures, the glorious chamberpop of The Vatican Cellars, the brilliant Bonne Idee all the way from Sweden, and this year’s IndieTracks surprise discovery The Middle Ones. Ticket are on sale here:

Finally, talking of IndieTracks please please take a minute to cast your vote in the 2008 UK Festivals Awards. It really does only take 30 seconds and would be very much appreciated. C’mon kids, help us stick it to V festival!

Hasta luego,

El Presidente


A trip across Bass Strait this past winter to Tasmania has yielded First Frost – The Lucksmiths’ finest and most eclectic album to date. Camped out in the wilderness, the band was free to explore and expand the musical palette, and with all four members contributing songs, the end result is an expansive 14-song offering bound to surprise anyone who thought they had The Lucksmiths pegged as sounding too much like The Lucksmiths…

Opening cut, the Kinks-y “The Town and the Hills”, sets out some of the album’s central themes, examining the distance (geographical and metaphorical) between city and country, while “California in Popular Song” is a sweet slice of sun-kissed pastoral pop complete with sweeping strings and a throaty low-down guitar; combine this with some gentle fingerpicking and Tali White’s pensive vocal, and it’s already become your new favourite Lucksmiths song! Meanwhile, recent live hits, the jangly “Good Light” and the surprisingly glam-rockin’ “A Sobering Thought (Just When One Was Needed)” — the latter concerning a late-night drunken escapade at a public swimming pool — both receive a fine rendering on First Frost . Elsewhere on the album, The Lucksmiths’ familiar strum is traded in for brief dalliances with a disorderly fuzz pedal, a choir of misplaced mittens, and a bird that just wants to know why you got drunk. Intrigued…?

First Frost is available in the shops from November 1, distributed by the kindly folk at Cargo. It’s also available RIGHT NOW to order from us, the kindly folk at Fortuna POP! for £10, ordering details here

(You can read more about the recording process for First Frost and how the mice in the studio got involved in guitarist Marty Donald’s recording diary here



The new EP from Newcastle’s fun-loving bedroom anarcho-syndicalists – a credit crunch busting value for money five songs long with covers of songs by The Yummy Fur and The Isley Brothers as well as three fizzing punk-pop originals.

A potent mixture of fizzing pop tunes, punk attitude and protest folk Milky Wimpshake have released numerous singles and compilation tracks on assorted indie labels since forming in 1993, along with three albums, 1998’s “Bus Route To Your Heart” released on singer Pete Dale’s own legendary Slampt label, 2001’s “Lovers, Not Fighters”, issued on the ultra-hip Troubleman Unlimited label (Erase Erata, Rogers Sisters) in the States, and 2005’s “Popshaped”, the latter two both on Fortuna POP! in the UK and Europe. For many Milky Wimpshake are the spiritual godfathers of the now-thriving North-East music scene, and as überlord of the Slampt label Pete was responsible for launching a hundred fanzines and as many bands, Kenickie included. Futureheads guitarist Ross Millard has paid respect to the band in the pages of NME and on Sky Sports Soccer AM!

This EP features 3 fizzing new original tunes: punk love song “One Good Use For My Heart”; the self-explanatory “(Show Me The Way To) Anarchy”; and the nonsense poetry of “Milky Cliché”; plus a medley of the old music hall number “If You Want To Know The Time Ask A Policeman” and The Yummy Fur’s “Policeman”; and a recording of a live favourite, their cover of The Isley Brothers’ “This Old Heart Of Mine”. All adhere to the classic Milky Wimpshake sound – buzzsaw guitar (think Ramones, Buzzcocks), simple bass, garage-y drums, throwaway but intelligent and humorous lyrics – and will be warmly received by their many fans and new listeners alike.


Again, in the shops soon but available from us NOW for £3, ordering details here



Every now and then there’s a band that pops up whose sheer enthusiasm in making music, that joy in finding the RIGHT songs and playing them the RIGHT way is so obvious that it’s just contagious. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart is one of those bands.

Since forming in early 2007 the Pains have released a string of EPs and singles to increasingly rapturous reception. Now we have their brand new 7″ single in hand (blue vinyl, yay!), and we think you’ll agree that it’s the most infectious blast of pop perfection you will hear all year. Taken from their forthcoming debut album (due in January 2009), “Everything With You” is a tidy distillation of all the great noise-pop precedents – early MBV, House of Love, Pale Saints, Rocketship – but with that incredible exuberance and energy that the Pains bring to every song.

This single won’t be in the shops until late November but is available direct from us now for £3, ordering details here Don’t delay, these singles will go fast. Please note, we are co-releasing this single with Slumberland Record (US) and Lost & Lonesome (Australia) – nicer partners in crime you could not hope to have. Please support your local independent record label.

The Pains will be over in the UK in December for a full UK tour supporting The Wedding Present, but until then here’s a little clip of them playing a new song “Gothenburg Handshake” on tour in Sweden last week



Fortuna POP! presents The Beat Hotel with
Left With Pictures + The Vatican Cellars + Bonne Idee + The Middle Ones
plus DJs playing indiepop, soul, punk and 60s till late
Friday 24th October 8pm
Buffalo Bar, 259 Upper Street, London N1 1RU
Nearest tube : Highbury & Islington
Tel : 020 7359 6191
E-mail :
Advance: £5 from We Got Tickets/Door: £6


Left With Pictures is made up of three men who can really sing together. It is a wonderful sound to hear. When this happens whilst these same three men draw splendid music from drums, a violin, a melodica, a piano and a guitar then it is really a sight to behold… When they go on to add great stories and then wrap those in intricate yet memorable melodies the whole thing can get rather dizzying… in a good way. They’ll have you nodding your head, tapping your toes and humming along contentedly until they suddenly get you – your heart breaks and your tongue rolls out to the floor… at least that’s what happened to me when I saw them at the End of the Road Festival last year. Their new E.P ‘Secretly’ is out now.

“Like early Belle & Sebastian, fronted by Euros Childs, and gently exposed to jazz” (Time Out)

When Mr S. Hughes Esq., (guitarist with Piney Gir), and The Birthday Girl (The Schla La Las) decided to combine the former’s love of folk and the latter’s love of high heels and harmonium, something truly unique was born. Picking from the cream of the crop of Oxford’s thriving music scene they soon had a drummer called Russell who could understand 9/18 time AND shuffle and a double bassist called Tom who channels pure chaos into walking lines of dastardly brilliance. Et voila, The Vatican Cellars. Some call it heartbreak in a glass. Some call it “night-folk”. But why don’t we all just agree on “excellent” for now.

“…this is gorgeous. Its acoustic, part-folky backing (all filigree guitar lines and chunky double bass, with lonely melodica on ‘Lost At The End Of The Line’) supports the sweetest melodies. There’s a wistful 60s Albion-ness about it; you could easily hear Doherty or Albarn or even Ray Davies singing ‘My Black Pearl’ in that evocative-of-olde-England way.” (SoundsXP)

Brilliant new (mostly) female five-piece from Gothenburg, Sweden, whose gorgeous accordion, organ
and post-punk guitar songs sound like a twentysomething Those Dancing Days or an art house-loving Dolly Mixtures. This is only their second UK show and we’re very excited to be putting them on.


This girl duo have been spending their days in Norwich gathering up enthusiastic friends, strange instruments, dance trios and themed costumes, all in the name of super-harmonised folky-pop. Anna writes the songs, sings and plays guitar, while Grace harmonises, re-arranges and plays melodica, glock’n’roll and musical eggs. This summer they appeared at the Holmfirth Folk Festival, and were one of the surprise highlights at the Indietracks festival.

“We’re blown away by the way their vocal harmonies suit the now par-for-the-course instrumentation (melodica, accordion etc) to such an extent we rush to the merchandise stall straight after and purchase a CD.” (Drowned In Sound)



Fortuna POP! last batch of releases are still available for you to order…


“The best bluegrass band ever” (The Lipster)

From the first jangle of banjo, its sentimental heart beats strongly and beautifully. A soft melancholy prevails, cut from the same sentimental cloth as the songs of the Proclaimers. Mesmerising observations emerge, too, with the wryly-titled Fine Young Cannibals boasting the best: “The filter fell loose from the skin/ And stuck to the prettiest lip anyone has ever kissed/ I’ve been waiting all day for this. (Guardian – **** stars)

Hefner’s Darren Hayman contributes four originals, including Dirty Tube Train, on which barnyard instrumentation details a daily dose of sexual temptation somewhere on the Northern line. Dave Tattersall’s Bethnal Green sounds like a cardigan-clad 1980s Scottish indie band covering Lucinda Williams’s Am I Too Blue?. Two surprisingly affecting Townes Van Zandt covers complete this rather special little record. (The Sunday Times – **** stars)

This super group project (of sorts) has put together a very appealing album… this is no mere pastiche; there is a distinct Bethnal accent to this music that enables it to be funny and touching without straying into dodgy or gauche territory. (Kruger)

This is intimate music, ballads of mundane domesticity to make you smile, songs about love, shandy, calling in sick, Calor gas stoves, and unrequited, commuter-lust on the tube train. In little ways, I’m reminded of the Violent Femmes, the first Incredible String Band album, Country Joe and the Fish, Leadbelly and Lonnie Donegan, but the band does have a unique sound all of its own. (Tasty)

Hayman, Watkins, Trout & Lee dishes up invigorating slices of country and bluegrass, fresh from the depths of East London with wickedly funny, witty lyrics. HWT&L is an acquired taste, but if you fancy something a bit different, it’s really not a bad place to start. (Subba-Cultcha)

A lovely record filled with sweet tunes and pretty melodies. Hayman, Warkins, Trout & Lee’s debut is a cheerful and lovely collection of traditional, cover and original tunes that flow cohesively to create an upbeat and lively album that’s great listening if you’re feeling a bit down. (Room Thirteen)

Miraculously, the whole thing works rather well. Hayman’s ever-tremulous voice is backed up by gentle ukelele and plenty of off-kilter sentiment, and this, we guess, makes it anti-anti folk, or something. (New Noise)



“Exquisite, perfect creamy dreamy pop, classic sunny Swedish minimal pop. Karolina Komstedt’s voice is perfect, perfectly beautiful, she has the ability to gently melt just about everything with her perfect perfect beautiful voice. Classic sensual creamy sunny breezy indie pop that just really is perfect. Classic beguiling St. Etienne, Cardigans, Whipped Cream style indie pop and a just right in every way mix of melancholia and sunshine – gloriously good. This is just perfect simple clever dreamy indie pop. Beautiful, you really need to go find it.” (Organ)

“Focused on the melancholy pop that is their forte, Karolina Komstedt’s breathy vocals are very much to the fore on these ravishingly pretty melodies. These songs about love and the fleeting nature of existence pack an emotional punch. (**** Q)

“it throbs to the pulse of deliciously bittersweet guitar melodies, a lifelong passion for The Smiths and even a shaking of Latin percussion” (**** Metro)

“Hushed vocals soar dreamlike through the glacial-pop of Club 8’s oeuvre; shoe gazing, 60’s girl bands and a penchant for Belle & Sebastian worshipping Rule the waves, a perfect partner to the sheer wonder of Asobi Seksu!” (SubbaCultcha)

“And no wonder he couldn’t stop dreaming, if he was listening to this album. After a four-year absence, Sweden’s Club 8 provide the dreamiest dreampop imaginable, with Karolina Komstedt’s feather-light voice placed delicately over Johan Angergard’s gently evolving backing tracks.” (4 Stars, The Sunday Times)

“The kind of sweet Swedish pop that makes references to the Concretes, Camara Obscura and Belle and Sebastian kinda unavoidable, and their sixth album is assured,classy and, in Whatever You Want and When I Come Around, home to at least two choruses that hit you like a sunbeam. Delicious.” (Buzz)

“A gorgeous offering from Swedish duo Club 8… cool and melodic ditties, ranging from classy 60s pop ballads to the more upbeat slices of pop. File under: Yummy.” (AllGigs)

“Club 8 are on sparkling form here, seemingly having absorbed a little bit of extra pop-nous, a la Peter, Bjorn And John while the sugary finish of Karolina’s vocals, brings to mind Saint Etienne chanteuse Sarah Cracknell or Dubstar at their most angelic. This is comedown music imbued strangely with the ghostly groove of the swinging Sixties. Themes of loss and death are beautifully rendered, as melancholic as the pale winter sunlight.” (NARC)

“An absolute bundle of Scandinavian indie-pop brilliance from start to finish… the vocals are beautiful from Karolina Komstedt, weaving a dreamy pop way around the instrumentation with nods to bands like The Concretes, St Etienne, Joy Zipper and Husky Rescue as reference points. I’m so glad that i’ve been blessed with this album, it’s really wet my appetite to hear more. (The Beat Surrender)

“Six albums in and the Swedes of Club 8 are showing no signs of dipping in quality. The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Dreaming is another album of delightful female fronted indie pop… listen carefully and you’ll see it’s a gem.” (Russell’s Reviews)

“They do this well, the Swedes. Clean guitars, vocals like water over ice, frictionless.” (Plan B) “An album that sounds like warm breath steaming up frosty windows, fairy lights reflected in faraway eyes, and smiles going distant and dreamy whilst ice cubes melt into vanilla vodka.“ (Kitten Painting)

“The duo of Karolina Komstedt and Johan Angergård have seemingly given us the Summer album of the year. Err…six months too early. Fey, filigree pop music of the highest caliber… the finest 60s-influenced, acoustic-led pop south of the arctic circle… exquisitely delicate and melodically seductive.“ (BBC Music)

“Club 8 hark back to the glory days of C86 indie-pop: ‘The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Dreaming’ recalls the summery guitars of Sarah Records and Simon and Garfunkle harmonies. Jaunty beats, cheerful strumming and a dose of Neil Young’s more pastoral side: a derivative mixture, yet one that will fill the gap until the next Belle and Sebastian release.” (Is This Music?)


“The finest baritone warble in indie rock, unfailingly catchy pop tunes and perfectly pitched melancholy ballads… the Ladybug Transistor’s best work equals the best pop music made at any time in the past 50 years.” (All Music Guide)

“Six albums in, Can’t Wait Another Day develops the Ladybug’s earlier indiepop and psychedelic sounds towards a sound which is more classic baroque pop, with a glorious melancholic lilt and the sort of impressive crooning you thought was lost decades ago… it strengthens their reputation as purveyors of intricately arranged and stately pop songs. (SoundsXP)

“Forty minutes of Pop in its most beguilingly classical, sparklingly emotional form.” (Miwsig)

“A surprisingly mature collection, all playful guitar lines and smooth saxophones. Gary Olson’s baritone is worthy of the late Lee Hazlewood while other tracks find the middle ground between Burt Bacharach and Belle and Sebastian” (Uncut)

“Brooklyn’s The Ladybug Transistor have been playing their elegant, lovelorn pop since 1995. Their latest sees strings and brass adding lushness to songs of heartache. File next to Belle & Sebastian, The Magnetic Fields and The Go-Betweens”(Q)

“Newcomers will enjoy Gary Olson rounding his vowels like an indie pop Scott Walker, and hearing organs and warm guitars roll by like 1960s beauties. Long-term fans will envelop themselves happily in the album’s soft loveliness” (The Guardian)


BY POST: Send a cheque, postal order or IMO made payable to ‘Fortuna POP!’ to 4 Mayfield House, Rushcroft Road, Brixton, London. SW2 1LD. UK.

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