Sharron Kraus is a singer of folk songs, a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose solo work and collaborations offer a dark and subversive take on traditional music. As well as drawing on the folk traditions of England and Appalachia, her music is influenced by gothic literature, surrealism, myth and magick. Her songs tell intricate tales of rootless souls, dark secrets and earthly joys, the lyrics plucked as sonorously as her acoustic guitar.
Sunstone are glad to welcome her to the family and are preparing to release her latest recordings, Joy's Reflection is Sorrow. It's a record that traverses the spiritual and emotional rhizomes of the human condition, soaring angelically on Sharron's tapestry woven from traditional and experimental folk music.
Dan Haywood is a Black Country wordsmith and itinerant ornithologist whose most recent albums 'Dapple' (2013) and 'Dan Haywood's New Hawks' (2010) and 'New Hawks: Field Notes' (2012) ventured way out into the unexplored outdoors.
Sunstone is proud to present his garage rock project PILL FANGS which meets us in the white-hot interior of a jangling nerve, deep inside your central nervous system.
Derivative of 60s and 70s NY groups, Pill Fangs' LP is full of the species of wild VU / Voivoidal electric guitar breaks that only a high dose of amphetamine agitation can bring out.
The foursome-- Dan, Richard Turner (of Three Dimensional Tanx), Rob Daniels & Simon Fletcher form a gleefully hi-gain and confrontational live act-- and their album, single-mindedly recorded in mono, builds on this playful no-compromise premise.
75 copies only via the shop, the rest, no one knows
Sir Plastic Crimewave
Sir Plastic Crimewave
Sir Plastic Crimewave aka Steve Krakow, creator of the long-running underground psychedelic magazine Galactic Zoo Dossier (Drag City) has also played for over 2 decades in heavy/avant psych bands like Plastic Crimewave Sound (Eclipse records, Jagjaguwar, etc) , Moonrises (Captcha Records) and Plastic Crimewave Syndicate (Swordfish Recs), but at last is ready to release his first solo LP!
Though Sir PCW wrote all the songs, "solo LP" might be a misnomer, as special guests abound on the Sunstone Record's album "Feathered Serpents."
Recorded over the span of over 15 years (!), a folkier, more atmospheric, cosmic vibe prevails, as aforementioned guests like Judy Dyble (Fairport Convention, Giles Giles and Fripp, Trader Horne) lends her ethereal vocals; Kaleidoscope's Peter Daltrey contributes an incantation; Bobbie and Jon Seagroatt of legendary pagan-folkers Comus contribute background vox, hand drums, horns and beyond; members of Acid Mother's Temple throw in strange voices and flute, and wunderkind Ryley Walker adds finger-picked guitar bliss.
Heady folk influences like Simon Finn, Mark Fry, Witthauser and Westrupp, St. Syd, and banjo-raga gods like Sandy Bull and George Stavis also invade the experimental song cycle. The album features lush and colourful art by PCW himself (fully painted by Sara Gossett, who also is one of 4 flute players on the LP!) and gently tows the line between acid excess and stripped down chamber folk: sunny yet damaged, but all with a sublime stony sheen. A welcome addition to the label!
Laurie Shaw hails from Greasby on the Wirral, but currently resides in Cork. We've been chatting on and off for over a year, and he's already made quite a buzz on the underground with some of his CDRs.
Sunstone are pleased to announce that Laurie has signed to the label to work with us on 'Felted Fruit'. The record was inspired by the concept of 30, 7" records being 'left in the sun to melt and consequently meld into one another'.
More updates to follow, in the meantime here's a taster
Sunstone welcomes back technician Meskers attempting to execute his most challenging arrangements to date. Supported by members of Brown Recluse and White Candles, Garden Gate owes its distinctive sound to Meskers’ experience with both projects, blending the pop sensibilities of Brown Recluse with the giddy electronic maelstrom of White Candles to craft something distinctly engaging and refreshingly original.
Utilizing a custom tarot spread modelled after the phases of the moon, the lyrical content of Dark Harvest blends the results of these analyses with dream imagery, trance meditation, identity deconstruction, and gothic romance towards unusual results.
Klaus Johann Grobe
Swiss rockers, in a Neu-like vein, already wooing UK collectors. Their Traumhaft single for the label is now sold out and quickly becoming increasingly more difficult to find.
Klaus Johann Grobe
Klaus Johann Grobe - Koordinaten
Video for Koordinaten off their first, self-released 10 inch ep
The Greek Theatre
The Greek Theatre are Sven and Fred, along with other collaborators, and hail from Sweden.
Their LP on Sugarbush Records in 2014 Lost Out at Sea was described in some corners of the press as a lost classic. When we listened to it in early Spring it was exactly the sense it brought to us. Just like those classic LPs that are now everyday staples, but left a tide-mark too high for people to reach at the time.
When a band gets to the point that its music is theirs and theirs alone. When you're no longer able to cite or name check against them, but just simply enjoy it.
When they contacted us and talked about working together on their new ep we were of course left with no option here at Sunstone HQ but to agree. And when the demos came over we were simply left in awe (again).
Their first ep with Sunstone kicks off our 150 Series and is now available for order here and you can listen to Paper Moon hear
Sven and Fred
Lords of Thyme
No one can tell you what traditional English music is without tying themselves in handkerchief knots, but you know it when you hear it. The Lords Of Thyme are traditionally English in the same way that Pentangle or Fotheringay were traditionally English, but also in the same way that Julian Cope undoubtedly is. A hazy, blissed out, ancient and modern country of the strangest imaginations.
Joe Woolley, Tali Trow and Pat Kenneally first played together as part of Michael Tyack’s compellingly odd ensemble Circulus before forming The Lords Of Thyme with Michelle Griffiths of the progressive Morris dance side The Belles Of London City. The band’s debut 7” single, which paired the Scottish ballad Proud Maisre with an original song of Joe’s called If I Was A Bird was mixed by the legendary John Wood, best known for recording the likes of Nick Drake, John Martyn and The Incredible String Band. That first release impressed fRoots magazine enough to include them in a cover feature on outsider folk artists that also launched the careers of Stick In The Wheel and Lynched.
Furthering their connection to old wyrd England, The Lords Of Thyme were invited to contribute to the Shirley Collins Inspired tribute album - recording a version of Hares On The Mountain with 60s folk legend Bonnie Dobson (writer of the classic Morning Dew) on a record that also featured Graham Coxon, Bonnie Prince Billy and Stewart Lee. Yes that Stewart Lee.
The group’s leader Joe was introduced to folk music by the iconic guitar innovator Davey Graham’s sister Jill Doyle, with whom he once shared a flat. Jill added to his obsession with blues and jazz by playing him classic recordings by Jeannie Robertson and Bert Lloyd. While Michelle developed her love of unaccompanied singing by sneaking into sessions at Cecil Sharp House after Morris practice.
The Lords Of Thyme’s latest release “a fried odyssey” called Pellets combines Michelle’s dreamlike takes on trad with the soft psyche of Joe’s own compositions, transported to a far-out realm by Tali and Pat’s intoxicatingly woozy rhythm section.
“The songs I write that I like the best are the ones that sound like they already existed somewhere,” explains Joe. “I feel comfortable presenting them with the traditional material because I think those songs come from the same kind of place, but the method of transmission is different.”
When you hear The Lords Of Thyme you know exactly where they’re coming from. Even if you couldn’t point to it on a map.
Listen here to their latest material!
“With such a promising debut single the Lords of Thyme are a band really worth following.” - Alex Gallacher, Folk Radio UK
“A dreamlike sound that can only be described as traditionally English.” - Daithi Sabhaois, Shindig! Issue 39
“It’s the Woolley originals that offer the most promise, from The Trembling Bells play Sam Cooke Hammond textures of Moment To Moment, the decidedly Hot Vultures English blues-with-a-fiddle of World In A Tangle, to the John Martynesque If I Was A Bird.” - Steve Hunt, fRoots
“Extemely Lovely Stuff” - Nathan Ford, The Active Listener
Trappist Afterland make folk music using vocals, various acoustic stringed instruments; tabla, percussion, harmonium and tanpura drones. They explore psychedelia and chanting amidst folk songs.
Although the influence of folk music from various sectors around the world can be heard in Trappist Afterland's music (The British folk revival, 70's acid folk, Gamelan music, Middle Eastern music, Indian raga) they still maintain a unique and almost otherworldly quality, that sounds unlike anyone else.
With lyrical explorations delving into Gnosticism, Christian mysticism and other esoteric themes, Trappist still manage to keep their music firmly grounded in the present while maintaining a timeless quality.
Listen to Eleven Willows here
Swiss alchemist of sound Balduin has quietly released a string of albums and EPs since 2001, the contents of which run the gamut from dreamy electronica and lo-fi experimental pop to self-composed harpsichord recitals.
Since moving to Sunstone Records he mines the deep well of whispy, paisley slice of 60s psychedelia baroque-pop tinged with Beatlesque melodies and Barrettesque whimsy. Dainty keyboards, soothing sitar, nostalgic harmonies and tinkling music boxes. It’s swinging London all around you.
Moth Effect is on a one-man mission to give a drone a home. And here at Sunstone we think this is a noble cause.
Based in Sussex, he makes propulsive, spaced-out, tuneful and sometimes slow and spooky tracks, filtered through fuzz, phase and oscillations.
Influences include the spaced moments of 60's psych, Krautrock, spacerock, electronic music and anything that stays on one note for slightly longer than it should. Think Pilz, Ohr, Brain and tune in.
Sunstone are pleased to announce that Bronco Bullfrog have signed to the label for a 7" single, due out in 2015.
...The second chapter of Bronco Bullfrog’s story began around three years ago, when Michael Poulson (guitar and vocals), Louis Comfort-Wiggett (bass and vocals) and Andy Morten (drums and vocals) reunited to attempt some recording after a seven year break.
“We split in 2005,” explains Andy. “We’d hit a brick wall after six or seven years together and clearly needed to get our individual and collective mojos back together. In the interim we were still being asked to tour and do festivals in Europe, particularly Spain which we’d adopted as our second home, but we had no interest in doing so. But that interest in the band never seemed to vanish completely so, once we’d all grown up a bit and kissed and made up, we decided to start recording some new songs with the idea of putting out a series of low-key singles on whichever label would have us. ‘Marmalade’ / ‘(She’s Having An) Existential Crisis’ is the third, following 45s on State and Fruits de Mer.”
“We played one solitary gig in Hastings in 2012 and it was terrifying, so we agreed to put the live band on indefinite hiatus and focus on writing and recording. The records we made between 1996 and 2004 were almost always done under duress and almost always no fun. We had no producer/svengali figure to guide us and made a lot of mistakes and bad judgements as a result. I can’t really listen to any of them now. However, cutting pairs of tracks with Mole at Sandgate Sound, and now The Ponswood Hit Factory in St Leonards, is a whole different kettle of pop – every step is a joy. Best of all, we’re best mates again and united in our pursuit of making pure pop records for our own amusement."
Sunstone release Marmalade b/w (She's Having An) Existential Crisis in 2015. Listen to 'Marmalade' here in the meantime
White Candles are a cryptic group who find joy in the composition of music for your dreams and your strangest journeys. Based in Philadelphia, White Candles are comprised of members of the now-defunct pop ensemble Brown Recluse and the baroque psych project Garden Gate.
Think Lamb lies down on Broadway seguing into Ruth White, White Noise, Kinks, USA, Lamb Lies Down and you're somewhere there.
3 Dimensional Tanx are an enigma; Northern, handclapping, fuzzed out, percussive, sexual.
3 Dimensional Tanx
Three Dimensional Tanx play high-energy psychedelic rock with hints of Krautrock and a garage-punk attitude. They have been ‘sound carriers’ for Can man Damo Suzuki, performed at Tate Britain with artist Linder Sterling, played at a Spacemen 3 art exhibition at the request of Will Carruthers (Spacemen 3, Spiritualised, Dead Skeletons) and smashed it at 2013’s Liverpool Psych Fest.
Their live reputation is so fierce, that they managed to get a full crowd at Liverpool Psych Fest even though their set clashed with Fuzz and Hookworms. They’ve also played with bands like the Lucid Dream, White Hills, Gnod, Trembling Bells, the Cosmic Dead, and many more from the UK’s psych-scene.
Here's what other folk think -
"They whip up a frenetic froth and transfusion of punk energy, fractured space rock and manic psych (with a little Krautrock no less) that grabs you by the short hairs and doesn’t let go. They aren’t adverse to giving them a good hard tug either to yank a few out. In short, it’s fantastic. Of all the ingredients that go into their sound, the prime mover has to be their relentless energy, their inherent vitality."
Sunrise Ocean Bender
"Three Dimensional Tanx have a sound that is the essence of garage psychedelia, a heady mixture of freak out and manic energy delivered via a kick ass rhythm section, lysergic wah wah guitars, krautrock synths/ 60s organ and a lead singer who may very well have lost his mind."
"Rooted in classic indie guitar music, with a big dollop of psych and the raw energy of snarling Garage Punk. In an era of nice radio friendly pop, this record stands out as a defiant act of brilliance."
"Sort of DIY punk-psychedelia...infused with Stooges / MC5 attitude and adrenelin"
"a kind of neon psychedelic power pop with really bright, clear tones…when they’re blasting them out hard, fast and dumb they sure do know their way around a pop tune"
Three Dimensional Tanx 'I Am Go'
Video to SSES1003 single 'I am Go'
Here at Sunstone it gives us a great thrill to present Haleiwa.
Haleiwa is a band from Stockholm, Sweden led by Mikko Singh. The music is experimental pop with influences from different musical traditions – if the Clientele evoke deserted, suburban streets at 5 a.m then Mikko can bring forth the misty morning echoes of the enchanted woodlands of his homeland.
Haleiwa has been making music since 2005, and the style has evolved on every record, from the first record with a lot of electronic sounds to mostly instrumental world music with exotic instruments like the sitar and the kora, to more tropical vibes on the album named "Pura Vida dude’’
The release of the 100 only press Sunstone 7” of Wall of Blue Sky has practically already gone.
If you are curious, you can discover the A-Side here.
Haleiwa - Wall Of Blue Sky (Official video)
Gentle fuzz from the Northern forests, rhizomes of Motorik, C86 and Galaxie 500 can be heard in the beautifully crafted pop sound of Haleiwa
Nine Shields exist outside time, a shifting group of shadows around a central nucleus that has been active for more than 30 years.
Drawing from the rich bygone heritage of these isles.
Taking from ancient, medieval and present musics, some voices raised in thanks, some instruments played for welcome, some played to warn...
Borrowing roots from the earth and metal from the forge.
Memory, folklore, myth and legend...
The olde roads, long ago travelled now lie unused, forgotten over vast expanses of time.
Stories handed down from age to age, distorted and altered.
We have so much yet to learn.
Nine Shields are story tellers, minstrels, mood makers, mummers and alchemists.
They weave a tangled web out of the sinews of the dead and distant past, to present to the living soul complexities and conundrums beyond reckoning.
And the jigsaw with a million missing pieces has one more added to light the black night of history.......
Sunstone are proud to announce the release of their first ep later in the year. Listen to the A-side here
The Cold Spells are a three piece band from the bottle strewn, kebab littered lanes of the east London, Essex borders and for the last 3 years they’ve been making a gentle racket all of their own.
Their home made recordings are a choppy mix of folk, electronica, and experimental pop music with flashes of kitchen sink psychedelia.
Wheezy harmonium, finger-picked guitars backed with vintage beats and electronics make them the creaking rope-bridge that connects Tyrannosaurus Rex, Kevin Ayers, Shirley Collins, the Kinks, Harmonia and Broadcast.
Dub-Folk, Folk-Pop, Pop-Psych, Psych-Tronica. A collage of broken mirrors and tattered finery.
Welcome to Sunstone!
The Cold Spells in action