Snowflakes Singles Club editions 2013-2016, single copies
€6.00 On sale
* SNOWFLAKE 14: HANNAH EPPERSON 'Raise The White Flag' b/w 'Dreaming Of A White Christmas'
'Raise The White Flag / Dreaming Of A White Christmas' by Canadian/American violinist/singer Hannah Epperson is one of the four singles released as part of the fourth edition of the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club. 'Raise The White Flag', a composition Hannah wrote herself, is an atmospheric song in which silence is as much used as an instrument as Hannah's voice and violin and as the subtile pulse that lingers somewhere far in the background of the song. Hannah calls it 'a post-apocalyptic, deeply somber christmas song'. The poetic lyrics reflect on Christmases past – 'when we'd sled as kids' – and present – 'but now the snow is gone'. A song for the darkest of the dark days of Christmas. A few years ago, Hannah recorded a live version of the Irving Berlin classic 'White Christmas', during a session for the 'Fresh Independence' webzine. She reprises the song, retitled to 'Dreaming Of A White Christmas', on the B-side of the single. Hannah creates a neo-classical piece of music, over which she sings 'White Christmas' in a very fragile and delicate way. The two songs taken together create what will probably be the most avantgarde Christmas single of 2016: a single to be played in the middle of the night, when silence and darkness surround you.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, moved to Vancouver, BC, Canada as a teenager and now living in Brooklyn, New York City, violinist and singer/songwriter Hannah Epperson has gathered a range of influences, that found a place in her music. Besides the violin and her voice, Hannah's main instrument is a loop pedal, which she uses to built up an almost orchestral sound during her live performances. Hannah started playing violin at five, mastered classical repertoire, which culmilated in joining the Utah Youth Symphony for the Cultural Olympiad in 2002. After moving to Vancouver she further broadened her perspective on music by collaborating with all kind of musicians and performers. In 2011, Hannah debuted with a self-released 5-song digital EP, 'Home Batch', recorded and written at home, representing a wide array of influences, ranging from classical and folk to southern European music and Latin. In 2015, Hannah released her first 7”, 'Burn', that featured the tracks 'Shadowless' and 'Brother'. Now living in New York, Hannah recently released her debut album '/Upsweep', that features ten songs, five songs in pop versions (Amelia) and five different songs in neo-classic versions (Iris). The album is part of a diptych 'Slowdown / Upsweep', with both albums having the same songs, but in different (Amelia or Iris, pop or neo-classic) versions. Limited to 300 copies on snow white vinyl
*SNOWFLAKE 13: THE MANHATTAN LOVE SUICIDES: 'Look Who's Coming To Town (Please Let It Snow)' / 'Grandma Got Runover By A Reindeer'
'Look Who's Coming To Town (Please Let It Snow)' / 'Grandma Got Runover By A Reindeer' by The Manhattan Love Suicides from Leeds is one of the four singles released as part of the fourth edition of the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club. 'Look Who's Coming To Town (Please Let It Snow)', an original, sounds like the script of a 1960s horror movie, but of the kind that you only find in that dusty cult video store somewhere in a dark alley of a mediumsized city. The song is an angry sounding snarling creature which picks up where the recent single 'Bikini Party / Birthday Kill' left off, and brings both The Primitives and Sonic Youth to mind. Listen to the song, and find out who is coming to town and why it is so important that it will snow. For the B-side, the band turn Elmo and Patsy's classic 1979 Christmas novelty 'Grandma Got Runover By A Reindeer' in an echo-drenched murder ballad, with instead of the loud uptempo guitars of the A-side of the single, subtile melodic guitar playing, which gives the song more of a pop sensibility, but pop with a distinct raw edge.
The Manhattan Love Suicides was formed in 2006 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England by Darren Lockwood and Caroline McChrystal, who also played together in the local band Pop Threat and ran the indie label Squirrel Records. Joined by bass player Adam John Miller and drummer Eddy Limes (after a year replaced by Rachel Barker), and taking their name from a short 1985 film by Richard Kern, the Manhattan Love Suicides released their self-titled debut album later that year, the CD version on Magic Marker Records, and the vinyl version on Squirrel Records Musically, the band cited The Velvet Underground and The Jesus & Mary Chain as import influences – just as these bands, the band members mainly dressed in black and wore dark sunglasses –, but also bands like The Primitives and The Shop Assistants come to mind when listening to the band's music, not in the least because of Caroline's vocals. For their lyrics and artwork, the Manhattan Love Suicides take their inspiration from obscure B-movies from days long gone. Up until 2009, the band released a string of 7” singles, that were compiled in 2008 on 'Burnt Out Landscapes'. After the split-up of the band in 2009, Darren and Caroline continued in the Blanche Hudson Weekend. In 2013, the Manhattan Love Suicides reformed and the band started gigging again. In 2015, Odd Box Records released the second album of the band, 'More Heat! More Panic!', and early 2016 a new single, 'Bikini Party, Birthday Kill'. Limited to 300 copies on snow white vinyl
*SNOWFLAKE 12: THE HAYWAINS: 'Who Needs Summer? / Santa Claus Is Coming To Town'
'Who Needs Summer? / Santa Claus Is Coming To Town' by Midsomer Norton's The Haywains is one of the four singles released as part of the fourth edition of the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club. The A-side of the single, 'Who Needs Summer?', penned by gitarist Paul Towler, is a catchy indie pop song, sung by vocalist Jeremy Hunt in his distinctive vocal style, that celebrates the joys of being together with your newfound love around Christmas time – because, who needs Summer, if you can be warm and cosy with the one you love! The song has all the classic Christmas ingredients: festive keys, sleigh bells and even some children doing background vocals. The Haywains' version of John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie's classic Christmas song 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town' starts rather unusual – with some merry whistling. From there, the song contiues in the jangling pop punk style The Haywains became known (and loved) for.
The Haywains formed as a six piece in 1988, in Bristol, England, and were part of the thriving twee pop / 'C86' scene of those days. Singer Jeremy Hunt and guitar player and main songwriter Paul Towler had already played together six years earlier when they were just 16, in a band that did mostly Undertones-covers. The Haywains debuted with the 'Surfin' Trowbridge EP', a flexi-disc issued with Newcastle based fanzine 'Woosh!'. In 1989, the band's first 7" single 'Fisherman's Friend' was released on their own 'Emily's Shop' label and was played by legendary DJ John Peel on his radio show. More singles followed on labels like Four Letter Words (USA) and Blam-A-Bit (Germany) before the band signed to Vinyl Japan in 1991, on which label they released two albums: 'Never Mind Manchester, Here's The Haywains' and 'Desperately Seeking Something'. In 1992, the label also reissued the band's hard to find early singles as the compilation CD 'Get Happy With The Haywains'. After a final single for Spanish label Elefant Records, The Haywains called it a day Summer 1996. In 2013 The Haywains reformed with four original members, for a range of shows to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band's formation. As things worked out so well, the band decided to stay together and also work on new songs, which lead to three 7”'s: 2014's 'Get On Board With The Haywains' on American label Cloudberry Records, 2015's 'Bobbie Gentry's Tears' on UK label Dufflecoat Records and the forthcoming 'Girl In The Holly Court Diner' on new UK label Whoops! Records. The band is now based in Midsomer Norton, England. Limited to 300 copies on snow white vinyl.
* SNOWFLAKE 11: ROPE STORE 'Never Had Christmas' b/w 'A Winter's Tale'
'Never Had Christmas / A Winter's Tale' by Norwich's Rope Store is one of the four singles released as part of the fourth edition of the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club. A-side 'Never Had Christmas' brings bands like Wizzard, Slade and The Wombles to mind, bands that also knew how to write a catchy Christmas song, taking their inspiration from Phil Spector's legendary 1963 Christmas album. 'Never Had Christmas' has everything a Christmas rock song needs: catchy vocals, (glam) rock guitars, Christmas bells, a rhythm that invites you to clap-a-long, an instrumental break with a wall-of-sound production that blows you right out of your Christmas socks, and of course an important message: Christmas is all about the friends you love and the family you really get along with! For the B-side, Rope Store chose a song originally recorded by another star of the 1970s (althought the song was actually from the early 1980s) and written by Mike 'Wombling Merry Christmas' Batt and Tim 'Evita / Jesus Christ Superstar' Rice: David Essex' hit single 'A Winter's Tale'. Rope Stope manage to turn the original, a ballad that sounds like it was lifted straight from a musical, into a sing-a-long glam rock song, without compromising the dramatic meaning of the song.
Rope Store from Norwich, England, is the result of a spontanous recording session of Jason Baldock and Gemma Dietrich, who met in a local pub, where Dietrich worked as a bartender and Baldlock was a regular customer. Baldock owned a recording studio, located in a disused Cold War bunker, where the duo record all their songs. They don't waste any time in the process: they write a song, work out the arrangement, and record it directly to a reel-to-reel 8-track recorder, using only one microphone for every instrument and mix and mastered it the same evening. Rope Store's music is a playful blend of ‘60s inspired pop, old school soul and laid back rock and roll, with a definite groove that makes you dance along to the music, and the spontanous way the songs are recorded adds to the energy and liveliness of the songs. For the live shows, Rope Store is expanded to a 8 piece band, including keyboards, drums, percussion, electric and acoustic guitars and a saxophone section. Debut single 'All Of Me' / Stop' was released in December 2015 by Seal Of Approval, and only three months later, in March 2016, the second single of the band, 'That's Not Good Enough' b/w 'Get Me Out', was released on Heavy Soul Records. Late 2016, the band self-released a cassette album containing all their recordings. Limited to 300 copies on snow white vinyl.
* SNOWFLAKE 10: TELE NOVELLA 'Christmas Spirit' b/w 'Purple Snowflakes'
Snowflake 10 features two songs by Tele Novella, from Austin, Texas. Self-described as "psych-pop, indie-pop, macabre-pop, pop-pop. The pop kind", Tele Novella is Natalie Ribbons, Jason Chronis, Matt Simon and Sarah La Puerta and was formed in 2012, some time after Natalie's previous band Agent Ribbons and Jason and Matt previous band Voxtrot broke up. Influenced by bands like Os Mutantes, Aislers Set, Velvet Underground, The Bachs and Belle and Sebastian, Tele Novella self-released their debut 7" 'Don't Be A Stranger' late 2013 - the record was met with raving reviews and sold out very quickly. Early 2014 saw their second 7", 'Trouble In Paradise', released on American Laundromat Records . That year, the band also contributed to the Wes Anderson tribute compilation on the same label, and they released a 5-song cassette EP on Lollipop Records. Early 2016, Tele Novella will release their debut album. The A-side of their Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club single, 'Christmas Spirit', is a song that is a much a Halloween as a Christmas song – it's catchy, it's a bit silly, it's a perfect song to singalong too and it's over before you know it. On the B-side, Tele Novella cover Marvin Gaye's 'Purple Snowflakes', and make it sound as an authentic 1960s recording. The single comes on snow white vinyl and is limited to 350 copies.
* SNOWFLAKE 9: JUNIORE 'De Saison' b/w 'Pour Noel, Cette Année'
Snowflake 9 features two songs by Juniore, from Paris, France. Juniore is the brainchild of Anna Jean, a singer who lent her voice to songs of Parisian electro acts like Jackson, Jérôme ''Tacteel” Echenoz and Bot'Ox. Juniore, in which Anna Jean is joined by four other female musicians, is something competely different: surf, psychedelica, french female sixties pop and space age music are all blended together by producer Samy Osta (Rover, La Femme, Louis Chedid), while Anna Jean sings stories about being sleep deprived, restless or falling out of love. Anna's mysterious voice is reminiscent of 60s muses, think Nico meets Françoise Hardy. Juniore released three singles so far, and their Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club single is the fourth. For their Christmas single, they have composed a reverb drenched dreamy original about the Christmas season. On the B-side, the band gave one of the biggest Christmas hits ever, Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' a total makeover– it now sounds like a psychedelic pop song from the sixties, sung Françoise Hardy in the small wee hours of the night. The single comes on snow white vinyl and is limited to 350 copies.
* SNOWFLAKE 8: IKON 'Gruss Vom Krampus' b/w 'Little Drummer Boy' (white)
Snowflake 8 features two songs by Melbourne postpunk band IKON. IKON was started at the end of the 1980s as Death In The Dark by school friends Chris McCarter and Dino Molinaro, influenced by bands like Joy Division and New Order. The band changed its name to IKON in 1991. Since then, IKON released seven albums, the last 'Everyone Everything Everywhere Ends' in 2014. The band, that still features the two original members alongside David Burns and Clifford Ennis, has done several tours through the years, and has become one of the mainstays of the worldwide darkwave/gothic/postpunk scene. IKON's sound has developed through the years, incorporating acoustic and electronic elements in their dark, postpunk-inspired rock sound. Despite Christmas in Australia usually being sunny and hot, IKON is going to make Christmas 2015 a very dark, cold and even scary one. The A-side tells the story of Krampus, the Christmas devil, the helper of Saint Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) according to the folklore of the Alp countries, who punishes children that have misbehaved. The B-side turns the Christmas classic 'Little Drummer Boy' in a scary sounding darkwave song. On special request of the band, the single comes in two versions: 200 copies on snow white vinyl and 200 copies on blood red vinyl.
Blood red vinyl is sold out. You can still get red vinyl copies through the band.
* SNOWFLAKE 7: TERMINAL GODS 'Boundless' b/w 'Driving Home For Christmas'
Snowflake 7 features two songs by Terminal Gods, a gothic rock band from London. Formed in 2011, the band has released three singles and a EP on their own label Heavy Leather Sex Productions, and will release their debut album in Spring 2016. The sound of Terminal Gods is heavy influenced by the early 1980s gothic rock scene, otibly The Sisters Of Mercy (due to the baritone vocals of Cowlin, the atmospheric guitar work of Maisey and the cold sounds of the drum machine), although the most recent single 'Road Of The Law' demonstrate that the band is more and more developing a sound of their own. 'Boundless', the A-side of their Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club, shows a total new side of the band, and sounds almost like a ballad, but one with a punch. The B-side is a cover of one of the most popular Christmas pop songs from the 1980s, Chris Rea's 'Driving Home For Christmas'. Terminal Gods turn it into an almost industrial sounding postpunk song. The single comes on snow white vinyl and is limited to 350 copies.
* SNOWFLAKE 6: NANCY WALLACE 'January' b/w '2000 Miles'
Nancy Wallace's “January / 2000 Miles” is one of two 7"'s released as part of the 2014 (and second) edition of the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club. Each single, limited to 500 copies and pressed on snowwhite vinyl, features an original and an interpretation of a existing Christmas song.
It may seem a strangle title for a Christmas song, but still, British folk singer Nancy Wallace's 'January' is just that. 'January' is a fragile and beautiful song, sounding like a longlost gem from the 1960s UK folk scene, about missing your friends and family and longing to be re-united with them at Christmas time. And this year, Christmas will be celebrated in January, as that is when you will see them again. On the flipside, we find another song about a loved that is being missed a Christmas, '2000 Miles'. Originally written by Chris Hynde for Pretenders-guitar player James Honeyman-Scott, '2000 Miles' was a big hit for her band The Pretenders at Christmas 1983. Nancy has stripped down the song to its bare essentials, and with just her voice, sweet but with a touch of sadness, and an acoustic guitar, turns it into a touching folk song. The 7” comes in artwork done by Canadian painter – and Nancy's husband – Trevor Kiernander.
* SNOWFLAKE 5: HANNAH PEEL 'Find Peace' b/w 'Rebox - I Believe In Father Christmas'
Hannah Peel's “Find Peace / REBOX - I Believe In Father Christmas” is one of two 7"'s released as part of the 2014 (and second) edition of the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club. Each single, limited to 500 copies and pressed on snowwhite vinyl, features an original and an interpretation of an a classic or obscure Christmas song.
On the A-side of this fifth single in the series, London-based, award winning artist and multi-instrumentalist Hannah Peel is joined by renowned, electronic musician and producer Benge for the original song 'Find Peace’. Embracing Hannah’s influences and the musical tradition of 60s electronic pioneers like Delia Derbyshire, 80s electronic artists like John Foxx, OMD (with whom Hannah both worked in recent years) and modern artists like Vessel and Alt-J, Hannah harness a wide range of vintage analogue electronic synthesizers to deliver a Christmas song that is as modern and 2014 as any Christmas song can get! Longing for the cold but merry winters of yesteryear and in these current times of ever present global warming, heat raging conflicts and political tensions; the song mirrors the universal message of winter and Christmas. It’s a tasteful sentiment to the ever-pressing needs of humanity, to ‘Find Peace’ in troubled times.
Hannah first came to recognition with her mesmerizing and unique, hand punched music box covers, aptly name the REBOX. On the B-side is Hannah's remix version of Greg Lake's 1975 Christmas hit, 'I Believe In Father Christmas'. Hannah truly makes this song her own with her beautiful voice soaring above a music box and subtle vintage yet playful electronics. Imploring a return to the traditional values of Christmas (as a time of family warmth and love and a feeling of forgiveness and acceptance) this makes it the perfect companion piece to the original A-side and a masterful reinterpretation of a classic.
* SNOWFLAKE 4: THE SILHOUETTES 'Under The Mistletoe' b/w 'Merry Little Christmas'
The Silhouettes's“Under The Mistletoe / Merry Little Christmas” is one of four 7"'s released as part of the 2013 (and first) edition of the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club. Each single, limited to 500 copies and pressed on snowwhite vinyl, features an original and an interpretation of an a classic or obscure Christmas song.
The fourth single in the series has surf pop band The Silhouettes from Amsterdam with a Ben Rider-penned original 'Under The Mistletoe'. The song was recorded in the Cinetol Studio and Jacco Gardners studios, injecting the surf sound of the band with some psychedelica. The angelic voice of Mira Bell make you melt like a snowman on a sunny day, while she sings of longing to sit under the mistletoe with her loved one on Christmas day. The Silhouettes back it with a surf version of the Christmas standard 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas', written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, first sung by the legendary Judy Garland in the classic 1944 musical 'Meet Me In St. Louis' and made legendary by Frank Sinatra.
* SNOWFLAKE 3: THE MISERABLE RICH 'Everything You Wanted' b/w 'Stop The Cavalry'
The Miserable Rich's “Everything You Wanted / Stop The Cavalry” is one of four 7" singles released as part of the 2013 (and first) edition of the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club. Each single, limited to 500 copies and pressed on snow white vinyl, features an original and an interpretation of a classic or obscure Christmas song.
The third single in the series sees Brighton chamber pop band The Miserable Rich bring us an uplifting original, 'Everything You Wanted', a happy song in which the string-based sound of the band is joined by a cheerful trumpet and swinging percussion. Singer James is out to buy a Christmas present for this lover - that perennial search for the perfect gift - he succeeds, and the song's climax finds him, present safely wrapped, relaxing with friends in the pub at the end of the day. A good way to spend Christmas Eve! On the flipside, The Miserable Rich turn the antiwar protest song 'Stop The Cavalry', written and made into one of the most loved Christmas songs from the early 1980s by Jona Lewie, into a melancholic chamber pop song.
* SNOWFLAKE 2: THE GARLANDS 'Christmas Song' b/w 'I Don't Intend To Spend Christmas Without You'
The Garlands' 'Christmas Song' / 'I Don't Intend To Spend Christmas Without You' is one of four 7"'s released as part of the 2013 (and first) edition of the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club. Each single, limited to 500 copies and pressed on snow white vinyl, features an original and an interpretation of a classic or obscure Christmas song.
For the second single of the series, Stockholm, Sweden's indie poppers The Garlands have rearranged and rerecorded their 'Christmas Song', prevously released as a download only in 2008. This Chrismas love song has the sound of the swinging 60s with bells, piano, sweet harmonies and all. Their cover of 'I Don't Intend To Spend Christmas Without You', written in 1967 by Margo Guryan for French actrice, singer and dancer Claudine Longet, is a perfect match to their original song. It has the same hip 60s vibe but still with a indiepop bite.