Friday, July 5, 2019

Jonathan Bree announces new tour dates across Europe and North America


Jonathan Bree and the family have been touring for most of this year in support of his breakthrough album, Sleepwalking. Now Bree has announced two new legs of his international tour, which will take the family across Europe (in September) and then on to North America (in October and November)!

These shows will also include a couple of new songs that Bree has been working on, which should be released later in the year. Don't miss his live show which Time Out Australia called "mesmerizing" and which also got a rave review from Joy Zine (UK) who said it was "easily one of the best gigs I’ve seen in a very, very long time."







Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Scott Mannion gaining positive press - at opposite ends of the world!

Musical recording artist Scott Mannion in Chelva


Scott Mannion's new album, Loving Echoes, came out at the beginning of June and has already garnered a great response in the press, both in his current home of Spain and in his birthplace of New Zealand.

The biggest newspaper/news-website in New Zealand ran a long interview with Mannion that explained why his new album took so long and how he ended up recording it in Spain. Legendary NZ music writer, Graham Reid also published both a glowing review and interview on his website. Mannion also went track-by-track through the album for the 13th Floor website and he also talked to Under The Radar about Lil Chief Records pivoting towards Europe as a main focus (though Jonathan Bree also has a huge following in North America).

Radio stations across New Zealand also did pieces on the album, including Hauraki, Radio One, and RDU. Meanwhile, the state radio broadcaster ran an extended interview and gave it a glowing review on two of its shows - in the Song Crush segment Mannion's song 'Your Kinda Love' was highlighted with the host saying it "shows off Scott’s ear for a great pop melody", while reviewer Grant Smithies said the album was filled with "fascinating songs that look at relationships from unexpected angles."

Meanwhile in Spain, Beat Valencia interviewed Mannion and said they could hear in his music "echoes ranging from Brian Wilson and the Brill Building tradition to the most delicate indie of recent times" (translated). Early on, he also received great coverage in both the print and online versions of popular magazine, Ruta66. He was also interviewed by Valenga (a music blog from Valencia) and told them how living in Chelva influenced his music (for example, his decision to include a recording from a procession in San Antón on the album).

He was also covered in a broader piece about overseas musicians working in Valencia for El Pais.  Mindies, Culturplaza, El Giradiscos, Good2b, and Alacarta all covered the release too, while both Indie Nauta and Rock the Best Music gave it an 8/10 review.

Overall it's been a great response from two very different countries on opposite sides of the world, so hopefully the word of Mannion's music continues to spread across the world, especially with his single 'Your Kinda Love' now at half-a-million streams on Spotify alone!





Saturday, April 13, 2019

Scott Mannion will (finally) release his new album "Loving Echoes" on June 7


Over a decade ago, Scott Mannion's last group The Tokey Tones came to an end, despite adoring write-ups in the New Zealand music press and a feature in local critic Grant Smithies book of best local albums. Now, after a series of false-starts in different cities across the world, Mannion has returned with his sophomore work, Loving Echoes.


Cover painting by Ben Lustenhouwer

Scott Mannion is a co-founder of Lil' Chief Records (Jonathan Bree, Princess Chelsea, the Ruby Suns) but is now living and recording in a small medieval town called Chelva, in the mountains outside of Valencia, Spain. A cult figure in the New Zealand alternative music canon, Loving Echoes is his first release in 15 years.

Scott Mannion won the hearts of critics in New Zealand with his first release in 2003 - two albums released simultaneously Caterpillar and Butterfly as part of the duo, the Tokey Tones, with Li-Ming Hu. Local critic, Graham Reid wrote  that the albums were "endlessly rewarding over time. The music itself has a sense of wonder and discovery, reinforced by seductive, often elementally simple, lyrics."

Mannion's live band featured other musicians like Jonathan Bree and Ryan McPhun (The Ruby Suns), both of whom went on to sign to Sub Pop Records. Meanwhile, Mannion's own career was stalled by ill health, moves between countries, the break-up of a long-term relationship, and a sudden decision five years into the process to scrap all his former work and start over (something that would happen more than once), driven by a self-described  'perfectionism to the point of mental illness.'

But now his follow-up is finally here! The album’s 10 tracks chronicle the timeline of an ill-fated relationship.  An older more weary brother to the Tokey Tones music, Loving Echoes is delicate, fragmented and painstakingly arranged. It is bold and ambitious like anything from obvious hero Brian Wilson but at the same time understated (think Young Marble Giants) with the tenderness and fragility of Sparklehorse.

Recorded between Chelva, Auckland, Oslo and Wales, many of Scott's old friends contributed. Ryan McPhun co-produced, Jonathan Bree provided bass lines, former Tokey Tones collaborator Li-Ming Hu contributed some keyboards, while Lawrence Arabia and Princess Chelsea contributed backing vocals and more. He also brought in some new Spanish collaborators including a string section, French Horn player and Catalan musician Clara Viñals, who duets with Scott on Somebody Else’s Dream and Your Kinda Love.

Loving Echoes will be released worldwide on June 7th - digitally, on limited edition 180g cream coloured vinyl and as a CD with 16 page booklet.

Preorders can be made now via Bandcamp:

https://scottmannion.lilchiefrecords.com/album/loving-echoes

or our webstore:

http://lilchiefrecords.storenvy.com/collections/1780914-scott-mannion

Last year Mannion also returned to the live stage - playing New Zealand's answer to Austin City Limits (Auckland City Limits). Recently he played to a sold out venue in Barcelona and he will soon be announcing a new run of shows, starting in early June playing with Lawrence Arabia in Barcelona and Valencia.

In the meantime, check out the music video for the first single off the album, Your Kinda Love, which has already racked up half-a-million streams between the various streaming platforms:





Loving Echoes track listing:

01 Smoke
02 Be Your Mine
03 Do It For You
04 Not Exactly Deep
05 Juniper Tree
06 Somebody Else's Dream (feat. Clara Viñals)
07 You Are the Substance That I Can't Live Without
08 We Should Never Forget How This Started
09 Your Kinda Love (feat. Clara Viñals)
10 9 Years

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Jonathan Bree announces US and European tour

Jonathan Bree's live show has been receiving rave reviews across the world - including a recent piece in Time Out (Australia), whose reviewer was "mesmerized" by Jonathan Bree's "surreal and filmic" show at the Sydney Festival.


Bree and his five-piece band have now announced a worldwide tour, starting with dates in the US (including SXSW) and Mexico:


 Before heading across Europe:



In the meantime, do check out his latest music video if you haven't seen it:




Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Eversons

We signed The Eversons years ago. Their music was quirky and satirical, which roughly suited our sensibilities as a label.
When their song “Harlot” came along though, we unfortunately didn’t give it any thought at all, it was “just a B-side”, and when we started to receive complaints we initially tried to stay out of the fray. We soon realised however that the song was not one that we wanted to be associated with and, after talking with the band, we pulled the song. A statement was issued, which we now recognise as being somewhat evasive.
Between 2012 and 2013 some allegations about Mark surfaced, generally regarding the same incident - invariably from third parties and always denied by him. As a small label run by friends and musicians we had neither the tools nor the experience to get involved. We referred those making the allegations to the appropriate authorities because we never saw ourselves as being an arbiter of justice.
In the light of things that we as a scene and society have learnt in the #MeToo era, we now see our hands off approach was inadequate, and on reflection is something we are not proud of.
We are against sexism and sexual misconduct in any form and from now on we will be vigilant in holding our artists to these same principles. We are no longer prepared to give anyone the benefit of the doubt or abdicate our responsibilities. Where allegations arise we will listen carefully and respond appropriately.
Applying that approach, we find that we are no longer able to comfortably continue to distribute The Eversons while these issues are unresolved. We have made the arrangements for their catalogue to be taken down. In hindsight we wish we had done that years ago but we didn’t and we accept the responsibility for that inaction. We apologise unreservedly to anyone we have hurt.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Jonathan Bree - Fuck It


It’s 2019 and to celebrate Jonathan Bree has released a music video for his baroque wave banger ‘Fuck It’. 


The video features masked dancers dressed in the latest threads of 1919... 

Taken from his third album ‘Sleepwalking’. Happy New Year!