Rollercoaster records, Kilkenny's only remaining record store, are moving beyond the realm of just selling records and have started their own record label to release records. The first release on the new label will be the new album from the Northern Irish band, Malojian "This is nowhere".
The new album will be officially launched on Saturday with a gig in Kilkenny's Set Theatre with launch parties at Waterford's Imagine Festival and Whelans, Dublin to follow.
"I'll be alright", the first single from the album is getting widespread praise and was released to a wider public when Cerys Matthews played it on her Sunday morning show on BBC radio last week.
There's another Kilkenny connection too. The artwork for the album cover is by local artist, Conor Langton.
Malojian fans need to start creating room. For too long they've had this very special three-piece (singer-songwriter Stevie Scullion, drummer Mike Mormecha, bassist, Joe McGurgan) all to themselves: enjoying a cosy eighteen month cycle that involves being introduced to a collection of songs that initially charm, then slowly disarm, before ultimately revealing themselves to be friends for life.
Which is great for established fans (like Gary Lighbody, Lauren Laverne and Cerys Matthews), but not so great for all those other music-lovers who, if they were only granted an introduction, could very easily fall for this band. Luckily, for the rest of the world, this is now one of those periodic opportunities to join the club.
New album, This Is Nowhere sounds like the perfect introduction to Malojian: the record that brings this most people-friendly cult band, finally, to the people. Scullion, it’s clear by now, treats each album not as a career-minded reboot, but as a chance to provide an update on how his life is panning out. And so it is here. The subjects - parenthood, career disappointment, mid- marriage yearnings, grief – are weighty. But, as we’ve come to expect of this modest, generous songwriter, they’re threaded through the type of come-follow- me melodies, choruses, and riffs that mean you never feel their weight.
It’s masterful. Steve Albini was encouraged onboard to record the album. Anyone who’s knowledge of the man is limited to his work with the like of Pixies, Page and Plant, Nirvana and The Breeders, might be surprised to hear the results of the collaboration: because Malojian haven’t made an Albini record, Albini has made a Malojian record. Maybe even the Malojian record: rich, textured, emotionally nuanced and hummable as hell. So shift up Malojian fans, looks like you’ll soon have a lot more company.