Releases in April:

April 4th - Currituck Co 'Sleepwalking in the Garden of the Dead Room' (Track & Field/HEAT 31)

Currituck Co is Kevin Barker's own little universe. He started the band Aden in Chicago in 1995, but his debut as a solo artist came with 2002's 'Unpacking My Library'. His post-modern folk music has been described as:

'The freewheeling style has much in common with Devendra Banhart.... fresh, original and pushes at the boundaries of established style.' (The Wire)

'Currituck Co recall San Fransisco pop's 67-68 flirtation with the sepia-toned imagery of pioneer-age America, expressed through the sound of banjo, ukulele, nostalgic harmonies and the odd railroad sample.' (Uncut)

Kevin Barker's expertly fluid guitar work is a direct descendant of the Bert Jansch and John Fahey lineage that has served the likes of David Grubbs so well. A hybrid psychedelic variety (of folk) that really is deserving of wider attention.' (Comes With A Smile)

Kevin Barker (Currituck Co) doesn't hide his reverence for folk, vintage Americana and traditional bluegrass. More importantly, he doesn't hide behind it. Currituck Co harnesses John Fahey's method and Gram Parsons' melodies as well as Ron Sexsmith's blunt confessionalism and the subtle acoustic-pop musings of Elliott Smith. Barker's fingerpicking guitar style is remarkably flawless, like a thousand strings ambling on as deft and scrupulous as spider legs. His gaunt and boyish vocals engage in platonic pillow talk, hovering somewhere between James Taylor and Nick Drake. By employing quirky arrangements, Barker tempers the silky staccato of steel guitars and banjo plucking, updating the sounds and souls of his forebears to make sense to the kids today. You're not supposed to mess with tradition, but sometimes good stuff happens when you do. Kevin is a regular collaborator with Devendra Banhart and touring associate of Drag City’s folk darling, Joanna Newsom. He appears on Banhart’s ‘Arthur’ magazine compilation, "Golden Apples of the Sun" and even filmed Devendra during his US tour in the summer 2004 for a future DVD release. ‘Sleepwalks in The Garden of The Deadroom’ was recorded at Kevin’s home - Marlborough Farms - where The Ladybug Transistor run a studio out of the basement. However, most of the LP was recorded in his bedroom between August and October 2002. Only the vocals were added in the studio, in July 2004. It is his third LP.

A few words between Track & Field and Kevin Barker:

How would you describe Currituck Co?

Usually when people ask me what it sounds like I say psychedelic folk but no one seems to know what to make of me, maybe because each record sounds really different. Lately I've been doing long improvised pieces for banjo, acoustic & electric guitars with a jazz-trained drummer named Otto Hauser (he also plays in Espers). He's pretty much full-time in Currituck now too. The first CD, ‘Unpacking My Library’, was kind of a pop album. I think ‘Sleepwalks…’ falls somewhere in he middle, with some extended improvised passages, weird guitar solos, generally darker than ‘Unpacking My Library’(all the songs of which I've pretty much abandoned at this point).

What's the difference between 'Sleepwalks.' and the other Currituck long players?

‘Unpacking My Library’ is much poppier in feel and arrangement. ‘Ghost Man on First" I didn't expect to actually get released, and then I didn't expect anyone to like it because of its longer, weirder compositions, but people seemed to enjoy it. I'm still proud of it. It's much more psychedelic, and is entirely my own playing and giving nods to influences... everything from Nina Simone and Robbie Basho to John Fahey, Fred Neil, New Lost City Ramblers... I mostly recorded GMOF after I wrote all the tunes for ‘Sleepwalks… ‘. ‘Sleepwalks…’ is more song-oriented, all my own compositions, and has strings & piano, though it still manages to sounds quite a bit darker than "Unpacking My Library"... I also have Ghost Man on Second coming out on the US label Troubleman Unlimited, which picks up on the long & weird where GMOF left off-- GMO2nd is 2 CDs with a total of 9 tracks (5 on disc 1, 4 on disc 2)...there are 2 songs under 5 minutes and the rest are around 7, 12, 16, 20 and 30 minutes. Extended improvisations with Otto Hauser, mostly.

David Grubbs and John Fahey seem to be influences on your style. Is that fair? Who else?

Well, Grubbs is less of an overt influence and more of my way of finding Fahey. Fahey is a big influence on me, as are Bert Jansch, Clarence White, Nick Drake, Robbie Basho, Sandy Bull... my improvisations with Otto are based largely in concept on the stuff Sandy Bull and Billy Higgins did together... folk-raga guitar with jazz drumming...other big influences on my are Patty Waters, Karen Dalton, Fred Neil, Roy Harper, Jackson C Frank, Magic Carpet, Six Organs, Devendra, Joanna, Richard and Linda Thompson... the list goes on forever.

There seems to be a lot of interest in the experimental folk music coming out of the USA at the moment. Do you feel a connection with that at all?

Yes! I'm so happy that this is happening right now. For six years I've been playing, feeling like I'm in a vacuum with no one else playing or listening to this stuff... I'm so happy to be playing shows with all these guys, PG Six, Devendra and Joanna, Vetiver, Animal Collective, Six Organs, Tower Recordings, Matt Valentine, Espers, Jack Rose, Josephine Foster/ Born Heller, James Hindle, everybody... it feels like there is a community of musicians out there now, and even if everybody forgets about us and stops buying our records we will still be out there supporting each other, taking risks, playing music nobody likes but us, paying tribute to our folk forefathers, playing in living rooms to our friends, singing in the park with our friends....

What is the connection with Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom?

They are my friends... I love them and they inspire me. I've played some shows together with Devendra, accompanying him on songs, and this past summer I shot a documentary about their US tour with Vetiver. I played as a member of Vetiver on a bunch of shows, as well as on Joanna Newsom's songs a few times... I am in the process of editing the movie and hope to release it on DVD. We're really all part of the same family of musicians and friends, most succinctly stated by Devendra's ‘Arthur’ magazine compilation, "Golden Apples of the Sun", which had tunes by Dev, Joanna, Vetiver, Currituck, Espers, Jack Rose, Little Wings, Josephine Foster, Iron & Wine, Scout Niblett, White Magic, Antony, Six Organs, Matt Valentine, etc. All one big family...

April 11th - Herman Düne 'Not on Top' (Track & Field)

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Herman Düne are a bunch of hep cats who’ve read the beats but are still bowled over by NYC and the way American slang rolls round a European mouth like a gobstopper. The Paris based Swedish / Swiss trio of André, David and Neman, Herman Düne, return with their 6th LP of lo-fi folk beauty.

The band formed after David and Andre went to America, bought two 1957 guitars and transformed surreal diary entries into atmospheric folk songs. The addition of Neman, and now Julie Doiron (see below), broadened the palette, but listen to any of their LPs and the twanging guitars, David-Ivar’s endearing semi-yodel and Andre’s smoker’s drawl which will leave a lasting memory.

Their new essential offering was made in Leeds, England with former Sonic Boom collaborator, Richard Formby, and recorded in mono. Why mono? Well, mono just sounds best, of course. As David-Ivar puts it, ‘If you're cooking in you're kitchen and you're stereo is in the next room, what are the chances that you're gonna be right in the middle of the two speakers? Stereo is such a Renaissance approach to music. The artists, the producer, the sound guy, want you to be sitting somewhere in particular, between the two speakers. Listening to stereo CDs, while driving on tour, I noticed it’s not fair that the driver only gets the left speaker mix. It’s kinda dumb, right?’ We couldn’t agree more, and on this occasion they’re augmented by Canadian Julie Doiron (formerly of Eric’s Trip) on bass and backing vocals. ‘Yeah, it’s the first time we’ve done bass,’ says David. ‘Julie’s a cool player and we worked out how the GROOVE of a song comes from mixing the kick drum and the bass right. I just wanted to try that thinking about The Meters, for instance. It was great to have the girl vocals on there too. I’m obsessed by the Dixie Cups and all the Red Bird stuff so to add something different to the usual mix was cool.’

Following almost two years of non-stop touring since the release of their last album Mas Cambios, mix tapes and touring companions have provided the biggest influences to the new record. Whether that’s Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Pavement, Lee Dorsey, Otis Redding or Jonathan Richman on the van CD player or other artist and musicians sharing the stage like Calvin Johnson, Kimya Dawson or Jeff and Jack Lewis, it’s all absorbed and filtered into the Düne sound.

April 25th May 9th - Of Montreal 'Sunlandic Twins' (Track & Field)

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The brainchild of singer/guitarist Kevin Barnes, Of Montreal was among the second wave of bands to emerge from the sprawling Elephant 6 collective. A native of Athens, Georgia, Barnes formed the group following a failed romance with a woman from Montreal. After se1veral moves to various cities and states, Barnes again found himself living in Athens. Once back home, he began collaborating with bassist/vocalist Bryan Poole (Elf Power) and drummer/vocalist Derek Almstead (Circulatory System).

Together they recorded the band's debut album, Cherry Peel, released by Bar/None in 1997 (and later reissued in late 1999, remixed and with additions by the later five-piece version of the band). Whereas the majority of the Elephant 6 collective drew their influences from 60's pop icons, Barnes was taking Of Montreal in an altogether different direction. While paying homage to these groups, he also began incorporating vaudevillian elements not only into the band's music but also into their live performances. With Poole having to leave the band because of his involvement with Elf Power, Almstead switched to bass and new members Jamey Huggins and Dottie Alexander were brought on board for drum and keyboard duties, respectively. Andy Gonzales(Marshmallow Coast) guitar/piano/vocals joined shortly thereafter.

The band's second album, The Bedside Drama: A Petite Tragedy found Barnes experimenting with his lyrical content. Chord changes impressed upon nearly every word as a host of characters were orchestrated throughout album's sixteen songs. Although Kevin is credited as playing most of the instruments himself, Bryan Poole and Julian Koster (Neutral Milk Hotel, The Music Tapes) made unaccredited appearances. All members were represented on the band's third full-length, The Gay Parade. Hailed by critics and fans alike (including All Music Guide, who went so far as to refer to the album as indie-pop's equivalent to Sgt. Pepper), The Gay Parade was a musical extravaganza bringing over 40 musicians (many of them vocalists in the album's choir) to the table. A concept album in every sense of the word, The Gay Parade created a carnival of absurdist characters living in a Kafkaesque world. Coquelicot Asleep In The Poppies: A Variety Of Whimsical Verse, the band's fourth album was released April 2001. The 22-track CD included a 16-page full-color booklet of artwork by David Barnes as well as a foldout poster with lyrics. The album signified an even more ambitious undertaking than The Gay Parade right on down to the concept, arrangements, lyrics, and artwork that went into making the album. The band's fifth album (and first in the UK) Aldhils Arboretum was released the following year.

2003 proved to be an eventful year for the band and could be seen as a signifier of change. Andy left to spend more time on Marshmallow Coast and to go back to school. Kevin got married. In the fall of 2003, they recorded their next album. Kevin's wife, Nina, joined the group and Derek left the band to spend more time with Circulatory System. Their sixth album Satanic Panic In The Attic continued the band's evolution of indie-pop boundaries, this time through the inclusion of electronic and Afro beat influences. With Satanic…the band suddenly found itself embraced by critics and fans alike, and making it their most successful record to date.

That could very well change, as 2005 is shaping up to be a busy year for Of Montreal. A new baby for Kevin and Nina. Rehearsals with the band, then an eight month tour in support of the upcoming release The Sunlandic Twins, the seventh as Of Montreal. It’s the outfit’s finest record and the most adventurous to date.

January 10th - The High Water Marks 'Songs About The Ocean' (Eenie Meenie 015)

Hilarie Sidney said she always wanted her own band, but didn’t have the time. Known for her brilliant work as the drummer for The Apples in stereo, Hilarie met Per Ole Bratset in Norway during an Apples tour in 2002. After listening to Per’s band Palermo, Hilarie was impressed and inspired by his songwriting.

“I asked Per to trade 4-track tapes of songs through the mail with me,” said Hilarie. “The tapes would come from Norway to Kentucky and I’d dump them into my laptop and then send the tapes back to Per in Oslo. We sent three songs back and forth through the mail until we realized it would be more effective for me to come to Oslo and record.”

Traveling to Norway with her laptop and a few microphones in her backpack, Hilarie recorded the rest of the album’s songs with Per in a hotel room in Oslo. “It was really cool recording in the hotel in Oslo though the maids would wonder what we were doing with all the mics and stands around the room,” explained Hilarie.

Even with the Atlantic Ocean between Hilarie and Per, their collaborative songwriting flourished. And thus, The High Water Marks was born. Their debut, Songs About The Ocean on Eeenie Meenie Records, is the product of their sparkling combined efforts with Hilarie and Per playing all the instruments on the album.

From the jangling drive of album opener “Good I Feel Bad” to the fuzzy swell and open-aired elation of “Queen of Verlaine,” the High Water Marks play with the intensity of a shimmering and distortion-saturated supernova . On songs like “Five Thousand” and “Suicide” the band demonstrates their grace and precision on sweeter melodies but without losing their distinctive energetic blossoms. At times raw and buzzing, other times pastoral and swaying with Hilarie’s mellifluous vocals, Songs About The Ocean is instantly compelling, heartfelt and just downright irresistible.

The High Water Marks include Jim Lindsay (Oranger, Preston School of Industry) on drums and Mike Snowden (Von Hemmling) on bass. Per has moved to Lexington so all members of the band reside in Kentucky, which shortens the distance between Hilarie and Per’s songwriting and recording.

“Per and I both have this fascination with water and the ocean,” said Hilarie on the band’s name and title of the album. “I love being in front of the band and playing guitar. I love playing drums, too. I love living in Kentucky. It’s perfect except we’re far away from any shoreline.”

So what if Kentucky is a long way from the ocean? The High Water Marks’ Songs About The Ocean is drenched with swirling tides of luminous melodies and will lovingly transport listeners to blissful and welcoming pop seas.

Racing Junior Distribution presents the best music from around the world to our network and the Norwegian record buyers.

Our releases include:
Daniel Johnston "Fear Yourself" (Sketchbook Records)
Jens Lekman "When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog" (Service)
Your Enemies Friends "You Are Being Videotaped" (Buddyhead)
Micah P. Hinson "Micah P. Hinson and the Gospel of Progress" (Sketchbook)
Jens Lekman "Maple Leaves EP" (Service)

+ The entire Track and Field Organisation's catalogue. Their artists include Ladybug Transistor, Of Montreal, Saloon, Herman Dune, Great Lakes, The Essex Green, Tompaulin, Homescience, and many others.



Back catalog release - the TRACK&FIELD organisation


Of Montreal - Satanic panic in the attic (Track and Field)
Of Montreal share influences as well as members with the Elephant 6 collective (Apples in Stereo, Olivia Tremor Control, Neutral Milk Hotel)

"Indisputably strange but secretly brilliant." - NME

The Essex Green - Everything is green (Track and Field)
Sunny and charming psychedelic pop. T&F have compiled a very fine special edition album featuring their debut album as well as their Elephant 6-EP

11:54 12.09.2004"Absolutely fantastic. The Essex Green deliver sweet psyche-pop in spades." - MOJO


The Projects - Let's get static (Track and Field)
Amazing pop band with an our of control organ... Think Broadcast and Stereolab.

"This album is the sound of a band whose music is pop in the purest sense. Instantly catchy, unfussy – yet at the same time, bastard clever – and stylish, most of ‘Let’s Get Static’ hits the spot every time" ... "For those bored with the endless noodlings of Stereolab, but who yearn for some POP in their synth-inspired indie, The Projects are the band for you, and 'Let's Get Static' is easily one of the albums of the year. " Sam Metcalf / TASTY


Micah P. Hinson - Micah P. Hinson and the Gospel of Progress (Sketchbook Records)
Cosmic country noir.

"an astonishing debut" 9/10 NME
"truly, a gospel of redemption to believe in" 4/5 UNCUT
"up there with Bob Dylan's idiot Wind" 5/5 TIME
"classic in the making" 4/5 DJ
"wonderful stuff" TIME OUT
"heartfelt alt. folk" 4/5 INDEPENDENT
"exquisite minimalism to orchestral grandeur" 4/5 METRO
"simply beautiful" OBSERVER
"heart-wrenching" 5/5 TOUCH

Debut album from Texan singer-songwriter, produced by The Earlies released September 2004

Born in the southern US town of Memphis, Tennessee, on the day that President Ronald Reagan was shot in an assassination attempt, Micah (pronounced my-kah) Paul Hinson was raised in a Christian fundamentalist household. As a teenager, Hinson and his family moved to Abilene, Texas, where he became a member of the local music scene. It is here, where Micah first met his then muse – a Vogue cover model and widow of a notable local rock star. Introduced to her, and in turn Valium and other narcotics, it was not long before Micah’s muse turned into the ‘Black Widow’ as he now refers to her, and he hit a horrible twist of events. In the Spring of 2000, he was caught forging prescriptions and was sent to county jail – “I ended up losing my car, my home, all my money, my instruments and recording equipment, and basically my entire family”.

At the age of 19, Micah found himself homeless and penniless, wandering from pillar to post, sleeping on friends’ floors. He was eventually forced to declare himself bankrupt and moved into a motel and acquired a mundane telemarketing job. During this period, Micah still managed to write around 30 songs on borrowed instruments and equipment.

In the winter of 2003, with help from his old friends from Texas, The Earlies, Micah revisited these songs from his ‘lost’ period to record his debut album, ‘Micah P. Hinson and the Gospel of Progress’. As producers and arrangers of the record (under their ‘Names On Records’ guise), The Earlies’ trademark of lush strings, beautiful keyboards and eerie backdrops harmonise perfectly with Micah’s honest and exposed style (be sure to check out the lap steel, accordion and piano interplay on ‘Beneath the Rose’ and the Jack Nietzsche-esque jangling psychedelic soul of ‘At Last, Our Promises’).

Some collaborations are simply destined for greatness. However, the record never loses sight of Micah’s own unique voice – his twisted, dark tales of love and loss are matched only by a cracked vocal and songwriting that belies his mere 22 years. Drawing inspiration from his young, yet eventful life, Micah has managed to create a truly timeless sounding record. With the simplest of bittersweet lyrics, he evokes the strongest of emotions.

With an album brimful of classics in the making, it is difficult to know just what to draw attention towards first! The complex nature of the arrangements means that we are spoilt from the outset. Light and shade is available amongst the heart-rending offerings. Genuine emotion is still available in the hands of some writers that don’t turn it into obvious mush. ‘I Still Remember’ epitomises the feel of the album, the sense that we can be better as people, if only we can get over our limiting inner demons. “I still remember thinking / how lovely it could be. To hold for eternity / or at least until we fell asleep” (the superbly interwoven vocal duties are shared with The Earlies’ Sarah Lowes). The centrepiece of the album is saved for last with the eight-and-a-half minute epic, ‘The Day Texas Sank To The Bottom of The Sea’, rounding off a debut to hold dear and explore on return visits, over and over.

As we have stated, this young man has led a turbulent life thus far, but it does seem as though the down side and breakable heart seems to have enlivened the future possibilities, as Micah says “the possibilities are endless now”. Micah P. Hinson will be making a much anticipated live return to support the release of his debut album in September.


Jens Lekman - Maple Leaves EP
Girls In Hawaii - From Here To There