Monday, 28 December 2009

PRESENTS FOR SALLY - CATCH YOUR FALL


Presents For Sally's first single, Catch Your Fall, travels in time to 1990 from the title to the sound. Before listening to Catch Your Fall and its B side Smooch, for the way the title sounds, you think this could be a Slowdive, Ride or Telescopes song that was never published and then, after listening to it, you actually can continue thinking the same. It's Creation / 4AD sound circa 1990/1991. And then you can even go further and investigate the band's influences, if they were not obvious enough, on their Myspace website and it's like a shoegaze memorandum. And even more, Presents for Sally's first contact with the public was in the compilation The Secret Garden vol.1: Nu-gaze, The new wave of shoegaze. Having said that and taking into account revisionism of genres is massively abused these days, we could either reject them for not handing in anything new or embrace their songs for what they are without taking into account the year they've been out, because Catch Your Fall would be there together with Catch The Breeze or Unfamiliar if it had been out 20 years ago. On Laser Ghost Recordings.


Presents For Sally - Catch Your Fall.mp3

Sunday, 27 December 2009

MALCOLM MIDDLETON - GIRL SONGS E.P.


Not long ago I made a post about Aidan Moffat's last single and traveled in time to remember the virtues of the first days of Arab Strap. Now it's the time to talk about Malcolm Middleton's last single. I particularly still consider his first solo album as his best effort and have not enjoyed so much all the other releases that followed that record. Anyway, this last EP is worth to review and listen as it's a strange creature on its own as Malcolm performs some covers we could have never imagined he would dare to play even less record and publish. Or could we after he included a Madonna cover on the album he released a couple of years ago?

Anyway, Arab Strap always showed a strange taste on the covers they used to perform live (AC/DC's You Shook me All Night Long or Bonnie Tyler's Heartache) but Malcolm tightens the strings and puts out a 4 song EP of girl bands / performers covers choosing The Saturdays' Issues, Girls Aloud's Call the Shots, Ladyhawk's My Delirium and Joan Osborne's One of Us, all sung with his characteristic Glaswegian accent and perform with his acoustic guitar to end up sounding as a Malcolm Middleton classic song.

I know that the fact of a serious artist covering a mainstream hit is not something new as many people has done it before, but it's always something interesting and fun to listen to.


Malcolm Middleton - Call the Shots.mp3

PEGGY SUE - YO MAMA


I've been following this Brighton duo (now a trio) since the release of their first single Television a couple of years ago. Their vocal combination is one of the most perfect and beautiful we've heard during the last years and the simplicity of their arrangement mixing folk, punk and soul, although is not something new, it sounds fresh and imaginative on their hands. After a bunch of singles, double singles and CDRs they put out last month what's going to be the official first single of their debut album to be out on Wichita on spring 2010, but released through Ches Club Records under the name of Yo Mama. Nothing new on their sound, the same acoustic simplicity and the same type of arrangements, but not everything is about evolution when they final product and the composition is as good as their first songs. Maybe the quality of the recordings of Yo Mama and Hatstand Blues is what stands out these songs from their previous catalogue, but luckily they have not made any concession in order to achieve radio success.


Peggy Sue - Yo Mama.mp3

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

BECOMING REAL - WHITE LABEL 12"


Let's start this post with Toby Ridley'sBold, the only member of this British project, thoughts about his own project: he doesn't consider this a band or even a project or his own alter ego, existing separated from himself and transcending reality. Alright, whatever, but the music here is the important thing. The record's four tracks (Ghost Step, Get Hype, Orient and Congratulations Planet Earth) are not of easy listening, transpiring dubstep, hip hop, breaks and soul. The type of music you may like if you enjoyed this year's Joy Orbison and Gold Panda, but also if you like the dissonant sounds of Xiu Xiu, Salem and the label Merok. Yes, it sounds pretty weird on paper, but very good when you actually listen to it. And be ready because after this limited to 100 12" on Tough Love Records just released, lost of new things for next year including two 7" singles. And check for his cover of Teardrops here:

http://www.pinglewood.com/

On the evil side of what The XX did earlier this year.


Becoming Real - Get Hype.mp3

THE SANDWITCHES - BACK TO THE SEA


The Sandwitches, a band whose two out of three members were formerly part of The Fresh & OnlBoldys, appeared like a blow of fresh air a couple of months ago with their eclectic and fun debut album How To Make Ambient Sadcake and rapidly got the attention of people and blogs all around. Their mix of 60s pop bands, folk, and shining melodies made this album a timeless record that could have been published any time since the 60s, although their naive DIY sound makes it quite contemporary as well. And this week just arrived their first 7 single release out of this album, the perfect and most upbeat track Back to the Sea, a tune stolen from Spector girl bands and surf boy bands as if it was played by a high school band on their first take. This should be Calvin Johnson's favourite new tune if it's not yet. And on the B side, the new track Beatle Scream with its simple arrangement is another reason to get this single

This single, out of all the publicity they're getting, it's been sold out from pre-release, but available from some suppliers such as Rough Trade and Juno so hurry up to get your copy.


The Sandwiches - Back to the Sea.mp3

Monday, 21 December 2009

TANLINES / SALEM - FADER / SOUTHERN COMFORT 7 INCH SERIES VOL.11



Fader Magazine in collaboration with Southern Comfort have been given out a series of installments of singles, digitally for everybody and on vinyl for some lucky ones. Some previous singles include Wavves, Telepathe or Wild Yaks and in this occasion they approached Salem, the band of eternal 7 singles releases, and Tanlines, known for the New Flowers EP and several remixes they made this year. There's nothing better than receiving a present like this from a total stranger. In fact, my father used to work for Southern Comfort and I already have a set of towels, bottle openers, cocktail trays, and random merchandising so the single, still waiting to know if I'm one of the chosen ones, would match perfectly with all these things.
Salem, who recently uploaded a free mix that is scary as hell (still available for download at the Wemakeitgood website), hand out a track, Babydaddy, that is kind of sweeter in the key of their Japanese single Ohk, thanks in part to the vocals of Heather that is less terrifying than John's highly processed chants.
Tanlines, who are currently working in new material to be out soon, give us their first song with lyrics (they used vocals before, but only kind of humming). Saw, which is close to the calipso-reggeton of Bejan, the track they put out on the Kitsune Maison 7 compilation, opens new doors to their sound thanks to the use of vocals and the final result is closer to the idea of a band playing rather than two guys pressing keys in a computer.
Taking into consideration that the limited free single has a release of 500 copies and they just have down to 300 people requesting the item online I feel pretty confident to get one, although I've never been so lucky with chance.

Tanlines - Saw.mp3

MEMORYHOUSE


Memoryhouse are a Canadian duo that, although they just started writing their own compositions last summer, they got the attention of Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear after they sent him a copy of their cover of Foreground and he played it to all the band and they loved it. You can still listen to this stripped cover on their myspace page. Not sure if this fact helped them a bit to be spread over the internet though as the most visited blogs still have to mention them although I hope this is going to change after they will give a free download only version of their first EP The Years on January 5th, containing four melancholic-shoegaze-bedroom-dream-pop songs, including my personal favourite To The Lighthouse, that should be one of the recommended tracks all around in a couple of weeks if there's still justice. Evan Abeele, one half of the project, explains in a detailed interview on Neu Magazine how the sound of his solo work has influenced the simplicity and atmospheric aesthetic of his project with Denise Nouvion and how the state of the music industry nowadays has made them take the decision of giving for free their first release in order to connect with as many people as possible in a current era where is really easy to get lost into shuffle. They also released To the Lighthouse as a download single in the uber-cool free weekly download singles label Beko of compulsory checking.
A truly deserved "one-to-watch" for next year.


Memoryhouse - To the Lighthouse.mp3

THE FRESH & ONLYS - SECOND ONE TO KNOW / HATED OR LOVED


The Fresh & Onlys are definitely one of the protagonist bands of this year, having released three singles, one split single a tape album and two LPs in less than 12 months: this is hard work taking into consideration that some members of the band have other "pay the bills" jobs. And to say goodbye to this year they do it releasing a new single on Woodsist with two previously released songs both on the long deleted Bomb Wombs Cs and now on vinyl for the first time. The band that gave us one of the best tracks of the year, the garage-pop gem Black Coffin, rescue these two tracks that have the same garage-pop feeling of all their releases, although with a more Lo-Fi sound than their latest LP, where they approached a more "professional" sound (although not sure if these are going to be the same versions of the tape as I haven't got the single yet). Having already recorded what will be their third LP it doesn't look like they will slow down next year so I hope they will get more media attention as they deserve it. Check the rest of their records if you haven't done it yet as they all deserve it.


The Fresh & Onlys - Second One to Know.mp3

WEEKEND - ALL AMERICAN / YOUTH HAUNTS


Weekend is an amazing young Californian band that is just about to physically release their debut (already available for download) at Mexican Summer. The two tracks 10" single All American / Youth Haunts sounds like a ferocious shoegaze incarnation of that late 80s British sound some American bands like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart or Crystal Stilts have gracefully updated lately, if we want to give a current point of reference. Travelling way back to the past we should mention bands like My Bloody Valentine, JAMC, Ride or Sciencepheric as influences. While All American is a bit more candid and conventional the distortion explosions and epic of Youth Haunts makes this track the reason to follow them, to get this item and to look forward to seeing them live. As far as I know, both tracks are live takes and have recently gone to the studio for the first time to record some new tracks for future releases, mentioning on their website a still unnamed / unknown split 7" to be out at some point next year. Here you have Youth Haunts that I highly recommend to listen to at high volume.


Weekend - Youth Haunts.mp3

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

SPACEMEN 3 - BIG CITY (DEMO) / WOODEN SHJIPS - I BELIEVE IT


I've had this record for more than 2 months but constantly kept on forgetting to post about it so not sure if there are still copies available of this limited to 500 copies 7 inch record to buy. The Great Pop Supplement, a small record label specialized in beautifully packaged vinyl and paying a lot of attention to folk music, has reached its 50th release and to celebrate it they offer us an amazing gift: a split single with one of the best bands of all time, Spacemen 3, and a devoted cover of one of their songs by Wooden Shjips on the B side. Spacemen 3 is one of the most influential bands of the 80s, although sometimes forgotten about, but should always be put up they are there together with the classics as it's impossible to conceive the story of modern music without taking them into consideration. Here, we can hear another version of their last single, the one that divided the two running forces of the band and defined their future careers apart, being Pierce's a logical progression of the classic space-rock sound of the band and Kember moving into electronic psychedelia. On the demo version of Big City the surprising move into electronics is not as obvious as in the final mix and is interesting to finally hear how it evolved into what we've heard thousands of times.
Wooden Shjips' rendition of Playing with Fire's I Believe It moves its sound slightly into space-blues and although it's very respectful with the original song, it's a good cover that gets closer to Wooden Shjips latest work.


Wooden Shjips - I Believe it.mp3

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

THE SMITH WESTERNS - BE MY GIRL


The Smith Westerns have been one of the most talked about bands in bloggerland this year. Their first album is already sold out in the USA, thanks in part to the coverage of the extremely influencial blog Gorilla vs Bear, who has already placed their record between the 20 best ones released this year.
Some months ago they released through Transparent in the UK a limited edition single of one of the best tracks of the record, Be My Girl, although it's not been available in Pure Groove, the shop where you can get all the Transparent releases exclusively, since some weeks ago; and now, as a sesonal offer, you can get all their 7 inch singles (Fergus & Geronimo, Small Black...), apart from the long sold out Washed Out's Feel It All Around, for a really good deal as a whole package.
They must be another garage-pop band in a year garage-pop bands have been all around but they are definetely one that stands out thanks to the freshness and passion they put in their songs, probably a result of the fact none of their members is more than 21 years old. And if you were lucky enough to get yourself a copy of the first edition of the album you probably realised they used Nirvana's Nevermind cover mixed with a picture of a virgin to ilustrate their record, fact that changed in the second edition for fear of being sued by Courtney Love, but I think she will be busy now trying to get her daughter back and misspelling stuff in her own blog to lose her time being interested in searching for music online. Kurt would be proud though.


The Smith Westerns - Be My Girl.mp3

DEEP SHT - WEIRD YOU


Some months ago I talked about Deep Sht, naming him a British answer to American bands like Little Girls and praying that somebody would bother to re-release his first group of songs originally out on tape, Weird You, as a 7 inch vinyl record. A comment some weeks ago on my post about him, announced us that this was about to happen through No Pain In Pop and this moment arrived last week. I'm happy that my prayers were listened, although I don't think my comments had anything to do with that decision. Anyway, all the songs that were in the tape have appeared here, 5 songs in a single!, product of a recording session on a hungover Sunday back in January this year by 21 year old Londoner Tom Watson and have been performing them live since then with a little help from his friends Jack Gillis on drums and Richard Phillips on guitar. Limited to not so sure how many copies, but limited anyway so hurry up as it was Norman Records' recommended single of last week's.

Released 07/12/09

Deep Sht - Hector.mp3

Friday, 11 December 2009

SMALL BLACK - DESPICABLE DOGS



The end of the year is getting closer and together with the Best of 2009 and Best of the Noughties lists are the Ones to watch lists. And Small Black have and will appear in many of them for a lot of reasons: they are from Brooklyn and everybody is looking at Brooklyn at the moment; they are friends of Washed Out and are planning a release together for January, a 7 inch split single remixing each other's project; they appeared three months ago with the title track of this single in the Best new music section of Pitchfork and we all know what it means; they are a duo who use synths, samples and have a bedroom dreamy (lack of)production so constant in many acts these days. Apart from all these things that could land them an overrated hype they have really good melodies and songs so any hype that comes with it is totally deserved. They released last month their first EP and this week, through Transparent in the UK, as it couldn't be another way, they published their first single, the song that created all the buzz: dreamy melody, beautiful vocals that remind the first Stone Roses and a cover and video performing Josh's uncle with his majestic mullet. Only 300 copies available only through Pure Groove so hurry up to get a copy.

Small Black - Despicable Dogs.mp3

Sunday, 6 December 2009

CRESTING


It was at the end of nineties that mainly thanks to Constellation Records and bands like Godspeed You Black Emperor, Do Make Say Think or Silver Mt Zion that Canada was put on the map of contemporary music. The attention boom faded out relatively at the same time the language and resources of these bands wereover exploded and overexposed and people returned to more basic forms of pop music. But then Arcade Fire and other pop and rock bands arrived and little by little Canada has regained attention again. And this year we've seen some new bands coming from there and some of them through Fixture Records, a small Canadian label that mainly issues CDRs.
Cresting is one of them, having released last summer their first EP and promising to release more stuff anytime soon. He plays instrumental music that could be gathered as a reflection of that golden Canadian period but he skips improvisation, long landscape music or cathartic noise to condensate the songs in a more classic pop format although never too obvious and with a lack of classic song structure and with a high DIY spirit. It's more an experiment with sounds and the emotions you can get with them than a collection of songs. Anyway, it's maybe too soon to know how his sound is going to develop so we'll just keep an eye to see what's coming next.

Cresting - Sashes.mp3

Thursday, 3 December 2009

DIRTY BEACHES


Dirty Beaches is Alex Zhang Hungtai, originally from Taiwan, but spending most of his life in Canada, moving from Montreal to Vancouver recently. He's released some records, most of them on Fixture Records and most of them still available for download, combining melodica, guitars, drones, percussion and voice and the recurrent system of using the Lo-Fi DIY as if it was another instrument on his recordings separates this project from other obscure dark ambient bands. The songs are pretty cinematic, if you can imagine a movie using this music as background. Although sometimes it's really dark it's never too dark to be intimidating or uncomfortable. He plays with dub sounds, drones, repetition and textures mixing them to get an hypnotic, floating and original result difficult to tag. On his last release, the unnamed cassette for the prolific and interesting label Night People, Dirty Beaches has moved a huge step forward. Now percussion and rhythm are at the center of the compositions making them slightly more hypnotic and a bit less dark although the essence of his sound is still there and it's even his most Lo-Fi recording yet, and I would say he uses samples and voice in a more present way. It's definitely his best released yet and he's putting out a 7" split single with US Girls anytime soon on Sibling Sex Records, a label that according to their still not launched website it's not on the works yet.

Dirty beaches - White Sand.mp3

Thursday, 26 November 2009

CROCODILES / GRAFFITI ISLAND / DUM DUM GIRLS / PENS - ART FAG SPLIT


After months and months waiting for this release since having payed for it I finally received it yesterday through my door. I found out on the Art Fag website that they were having problems with the manufacturing but I have to say that they are not so attentive with the costumer service because I sent them a couple of emails to ask for what was wrong and I never heard anything from them. Anyway, the record's finally here and it's one of these records I'll be really proud of having got it in a couple of years. I have already commented stuff from the four bands here so a split release with new songs from them is good news for me. Everything according to this release have to do with dualities. Two American bands, Crocodiles and Dum Dum Girls, who have toured together before and are friends, and two British bands, Graffiti Island and Pens, who have also played live together and this is even the third time they appear in the same release. It's also two male bands on the A side and two female bands on the B side.
They stopped the orders a while ago due to the pressing problems and it's not mentioned if they will carry out some more anytime soon so keep on checking regularly if you want to get yourself a copy before it's too late.


Dum Dum Girls - Brite Futures.mp3

Monday, 23 November 2009

DUTCHESS AND THE DUKE - SIDE BY SIDE


The delay on the delivery of the latest Sub Pop singles club has made me feel it has last double. The last instalment, planned for July 09, just arrived last week at home. This time, Dutchess and the Duke are the protagonists which means that, taking into account their second album was released last month, this single should have appeared in between records. Dutchess and the Duke's first album was full of dark songs about hate and resentment while their last record is a bit more positive. So that makes me think these songs were recorded during the process of their new album as Side by Side is an optimistic love song, although the B side Daggers is on the edge of darkness. Musically, both songs are what you can expect from them, two acoustic folk songs that look back to the 60s but also to the 90s and the 00s folk revival, beautifully performed without any kind of extra arrangements; just their voices and guitars. Just another proof that Sub Pop is always aware and get varied and interesting acts for their singles club.
Let's hope that Sub Pop reconsider not to stop the Singles Club forever as they mentioned at the beginning of this last subscription and carry with it forever and ever or with some periodicity, at least. You know you can trust them and you don't mind paying in advance for 12 singles from 12 bands you don't know which are going to be, and this is not something you can say from many labels.

dutches and the Duke - Side By Side.mp3

Thursday, 19 November 2009

BEST COAST - SUN WAS HIGH (SO WAS I) / MAKE YOU MINE / WHEN I'M WITH YOU




It took me too long to review these singles and now, their last one, is featured as best new music on Pitchfork today, which means that this post is kind of useless now, as you'll probably would have heard about this band by the point you read this post. Anyway, they are so damn good that extra praise is never enough. These three singles have been put out in the last months, actually the last two have just been released, and the myth is already created. Bethany story as Best Coast (with the help of Bob Bruno) is even shorter than the one from Fergus & Geronimo (check the previous post), and we can already see a bit of evolution in their sound. A former member of Pocahaunted she moved back to California to get influenced by the sea and the California boys. As you can imagine, the result is pretty close from the Beach Boys summery sound. Little by little they have been polishing the lo-fi and punkier sound of their first cassette Where the Boys Are, just slightly enough to sound a bit more 60s and 50s, something between a Spector girl band and a surf band but keeping the DIY spirit although a bit less rough. The first single Sun Was High (So Was I) in Art Fag is already sold out, so hurry up if you want to get Make You Mine, on Group Tightener and their about to be published, and the one who would definitely put them on the map, When I'm with You for Black Iris. None of them have a single song that doesn't make me want to pack my swimsuit, buy a surfboard and go to California to get a tan. Buy these records and put them on the shelf between the Dum Dum Girls and your scratchy copy of Pet Sounds. Surely, my new favourite band of the month.


Best Coast - When I'm With You.mp3

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

FERGUS & GERONIMO - TELL IT, IN MY EARS


And yet another beautiful story to explain about a band that has gone from not existing to having a cue of labels that want them to release singles with them. Everything started just days after they posted their first songs on myspace at the beginning of this current year, just days after forming. Both Fergus (Andrew Savage) and Geronimo (JBoldason Kelly) have been members of many bands like Teenage Cool Kids, Wiccans, The Wax Museums and The Potential Johns, and this was supposed to be another of their projects although in just some months, after all the attention they got, it has become the one they spend more time with. As a matter of fact, they didn't Just some weeks ago we saw the release of their first single, Harder Than It's Ever Been on Woodsist and not much later their second on Tic Tac Totally, Blind Muslim Girl. And now, without having had enough time to enjoy the first two releases, we already have a third one, Tell it, in My Ears, this time for Transparent and only available through Pure Groove in Europe and Leftist Nautical Antiques in the USA. They count between their influences Southern soul, '60s pop, psychedelic, Motown and pop-punk music, everything noticeable in their recordings, although all the singles tend to go more to one side or another, making them pretty varied.
On their last effort, both songs are very soulful, like if they were recording from another time, but filtering a contemporary feeling that makes them sound fresh and new.

Released 16/11/09


Fergus & Geronimo - Tell it, in My ear.mp3

COLD CAVE - DEATH COMES CLOSE


Back in June I reviewed Edsel & Ruby, the EP that included Cold Cave's most pop and radio friendly song: Love Comes Close. And thanks to that song and what has come afterwards, his first proper LP named after this song and the signed up to Matador, the status of this band has changed from hardly known to one of the most talked about discoveries of the year. And as they know this is so far their "Smells Like Teen Spirit" they released a limited 12" record called Death Comes Close that, for what the name implies, should work as a dark side reverse of the album. Nevertheless, this couldn't be more wrong. To start with, they include (again, and counting 3 times so far) their capital song in the very same version to squeeze a bit more its achievements now that they can be introduced to the larger amount of people that the Matador imprint can reach. Anyway, the interesting part of this EP comes with the other three songs here not included anywhere else and that should be the reason to get this new release. As a companion to the main track, the A side also includes Double Lives in Single Beds, another reason to think this is not the evil dark little brother of the album as it is one of the most accessible and less obscure sounding tracks. On the B side they deliver another hit track with Theme From Tomorrowland that, although the voice is kind of filtered and creepy, the melody and beats are sing-along friendly. With the last track Now That I'm in the Future they finally get a bit darker although far from the noisy tracks from the Cold Cave beginnings.
Imagine this EP as a complement to the record, a collection of extra tracks that could have make it to the album or formed part of one of those deluxe editions with bonus disc so common before Christmas. Anyway, you have them download free with the coupon they give you when you buy the vinyl version of the album.

Released 20/10/09

Cold Cave - Double Lives in Single Beds.mp3

WETDOG - LOWER LEG


In a year that everything is about girls and dogs, here we have the first single out of the second album from Wetdog, a band formed in London by three girls. Yes, they are three girls, the magic number for a girl band, and they play guitar, bass and drums, so imagine that you will soon hear stupid references as "the British answer to Vivian Girls" as it may be the easy thing to say, as they are also three girls. But apart from this fact I don't see much more in common. Their melodies are more based in post-punk riffs and attitude than in 60s girl bands and the changes of rhythm are frequent in most of their compositions, something you hardly see in the Vivian's songs. I would say they are closer to The Slits, who their recently toured the UK with, than to this new wave of American girl bands. Anyway, Lower Leg is a great way to introduce you to their music as it captures the spirit of their sound with the slow-fast-slow change of sequence and the vocal harmonies. And if you turn around the record you can enjoy two other good tracks you cannot listen anywhere else. Out in Angular Records.

Released 02/11/09

Wetdog - Lower Leg.mp3

Saturday, 14 November 2009

TOTAL BABE - HEATWAVE


If we can use the term POP WITH GIRL VOCALS as a genre tag (like this, in capital letters)this is what suits best to Total Babe, a band which name has no cynicism at all. It's total pop and total girly, although they have two male members if we count the recent admission of their new drummer who joined the band after the recording of Heatwave, their first ever release. And it's total pop in a indie-pop sort of way: luminous, simple and unpretentious. Although they are just old enough to vote their composition and performance is bright and experienced, just on the border of being twee-pop but not sounding naive at all. They look back at the nineties, bands like Belle and Sebastian or even the less experimental Stereolab although more acoustic. Bearbones, the first track on this EP that sadly has not planned a vinyl release, is probably the most effective song in the record, thanks in part to the silky voice of Clara Salyer, but also to the beautiful arrangements and contagious melody. Anyway, any of the other 4 songs is also a proof that this band could get very far with their dreamy bedroom pop songs.

Total Babe - Bearbones.mp3

REAL ESTATE - FAKE BLUES


I'm reviewing this 7" because, although it's already 4 months old, if you don't know about Real Estate yet, you will probably hear about them in the next months as they are releasing an EP next Monday and their first LP in a couple of weeks, and they'll probably going to get a lot of attention from the press. So then, as this 7" is still available in the UK version, the one published by Half Machine records, it's time for you to but it before it sells out in some weeks.
They play classic American indie-pop-rock, the way Yo La Tengo do. Nothing new or special in their sound or songwriting but really good songs that are accessible and a bit nostalgic performed with prudence and immediacy, contended from any exaggeration or big arrangements but not particularly lo-fi. Both songs here, Fake Blues and Green River (The American version of the single has Poolswimmers as the B side) are quite summery and beach themed.
Although they hadn't published anything until this year's Suburban Beverage 7 inch, they've hung out together for a while and they even used to perform as a Wezeer and a Strokes tribute band. As an anecdote, they performed Is This It entirely at Cassie Ramone's from the Vivian Girls Sweet 16 birthday party.

Real Estate - Fake Blues.mp3

Friday, 13 November 2009

WILD NOTHING


Lately I've been trying to avoid to write about anything Captured Tracks have or are going to release as this blog could soon become a tribute site to the label. So well, all my efforts keep on being frustrated as every time I find out about a new exciting band or record, then I realise that Mr. Blank Dogs' label is guilty of being involved. They've destroyed the myth of the equation "quantity differs quality", putting non-stop a great record after another out on the market and getting the notoriety and the attention other labels will to reach in years. So well, after saying all this I ask you to forget that Wild Nothing's first release, Summer Holiday, is going to be out soon through them. If you thought that more or less every single record on this label could be categorised by a similar tag you are going to be quite surprised when you hear the Wild Nothing's tunes. His songs are mostly quiet, melancholic, nostalgic and peaceful: shoegaze-inspired harmonies closer to the first Creation records or the 4AD bands back to the frontier of the change of decade from the 80s to the 90s. He even makes a fantastic cover of Kate Bush's Cloudbusting that sounds even more ethereal and dreamy than the original. Check this tune here and some other originals on their Myspace site:

http://www.myspace.com/wildnothing

Wild Nothing - Cloudbusting.mp3

Thursday, 12 November 2009

TIMES NEW VIKING - MOVE TO CALIFORNIA


Most of the products we can buy on a daily basis are subjected to the possibility of a refund if we are not satisfied with the quality of the item and we are used to it and find it normal and a right. No doubt we would complain if after buying a lousy T-shirt at H&M we get home, realise we don't particularly like it anymore and when taking it back to the store they don't refund us. But there are some items that are not refundable and we would never expect them to be or complain about it. That's the case of a gig: if we go to a gig and we don't particularly enjoy it there's no way we would expect the people at the venue pay any kind of attention to a formal complain from a customer, even less the label of the band. Fair or not, anyway, until we don't invent a machine that measures enjoyment when applying it to someones brain or fingertip, there's not way to prove if we are saying the truth or we just want our money back for the sake of it. I actually remember a Cat Power gig, back at the days she was good on record but a disaster on stage, that I wouldn't have mind to have my money back and walk away.
But there's one guy in Brooklyn that doesn't think the same and wrote a letter not to the band but to the label explaining his disappointment and criticising the lack of professionalism Times New Viking showed at one of their gigs in the area where Lo-Fi has been reinvented. And the band, I suppose that astonished after reading the attack he does to the band and also to Matador, were happy enough to include the letter in their latest single, the noisy and fun Move To California, that comes with three more tracks, two of them not included in their latest record Born Again Revisited.
So, is this guy right to complain if the event was not up to his expectations? Whatever it is your opinion about it you can't do anything but laugh at the naivety of that guy who also complains to Matador about their recent choice when signing bands (really??, I thought Matador was really cool again?).
Anyway, to expect a band like Times New Viking sound "profesional" live after listening to one of their records is like expecting Kenny G not to be dull. And actually, I think that if there's one thing TNV don't want to sound is professional.

Released 08/09/09

Times New Viking - Move to California.mp3

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

CANT - GHOSTS / ARTHUR RUSSELL - COME TO LIFE


And this is the second post of a split single in a row but this time no covers. This time Arthur Russell comes back to life for yet another time to serve as the perfect companion for Grizzly Bear's howler new project, Cant. Chris Taylor, apart from having a new band / project, is premiering his new label with this first single, the audaciously called Terrible Records. And taking into account he's partly guilty for this year's previously unreleased collection of Arthur's most conventional songs to date, Love Is Overtaking Me, it's not strange that he chose another of his songs in the same key, that could have done it to the collection, to complete his first single as Cant. And for the song, another beautiful Americana melody from the late 70s, this time chorused with a mysterious girl. On his side, Chris Taylor delivers a slow and atmospheric song not far from the stuff he does in his main project but maybe fails to project the same beauty and emotion they are used by their standards. Anyway, as a first attempt is not a bad try though he has to live at the shadow of comparisons to Grizzly Bear, and that is not an easy thing to put up with.

Released 02/11/09

Cant - Ghosts.mp3

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

XIU XIU - I AM HATED FOR LOVING / PARENTHETICAL GIRLS - HANDSOME DEVIL



If there's something more exciting than a split single is a split single of two bands you like and if there's something even more exciting is when they are both covering an artist you also like. And this project released in the always interesting Upset The Rhythm label are friends and before collaborators Xiu Xiu and Parenthetical Girls both covering a song sung before by Mr Morrissey. While Xiu Xiu go for a track from Morrissey's Vauxhall & I, I Am Hated For Loving, Parenthetical Girls chose the Smiths classic Handsome Devil. And they even cover the cover of the record parading Smiths' classic cover of the What Difference Does It Make single and Morrissey's Years Of Refusal. Only for this is worth to buy it.
Xiu Xiu's cover is what you can expect from them to do with somebody else's song: transform it to the point it sounds like a Xiu Xiu song, with overly dramatic vocals and weird unsynchronized synths and percussion only recognisable because of the lyrics.
On the other side, the Parenthetical Girls version is closer to the original as they escape a bit from the orchestral production of their last record and pick up guitars again, although the pianos are still very present. The vocal harmony follows from close the one of the original and mades you think about The Smiths being a close influence from them, something I haven't thought since now but looks quite obvious thinking back.

Released 02/11/09


Parenthetical Girls - Handsome Devil.mp3

Sunday, 1 November 2009

SIC ALPS - L. MANSION


For those who don't already know Sic Alps, they are a garage-pop-folk duo, with Ty Segall's occasional collaboration, who released two albums last year, both of them mixing long atmospheric songs with others that are shorter and more psychedelic and both recorded with few resources. And then, two months ago, they announced a single for Slumberland, released it and it is kind of produced, poppy and catchy. But good catchy.
Sometimes catchy can be good but sometimes really bad. We have catchy songs that are sticky to death, that you don't like at all but you cannot get them out of your head and you don't know why. They normally use terrifying techniques like repetition (womanizer oh, womanizer, you're a womanizer baby), onomatopoeias (boom, boom, pow!) and generally, the only reason for them to exist is to sell loads in months and be a disposable product as valuable as a napkin but less recyclable.
And then we have the good catchy, the one that looks for the perfect harmony in the simplest of ways and does it for the sake of it, the way The Beatles did it long ago or later Beat Happening. And L. Mansion is close to this second type; it's Sic Alps as you never heard them before and it sounds good.

Sic Alps - L Mansion.mp3

Thursday, 29 October 2009

METH TEETH


Meth Teeth came along after the frustration of Mattey, a guy from Portland, that was fed up of the bad endings of his previous bands, so he started a project of his own. At the beginning Meth Teeth was an acoustic project, mostly focused on folk and americana music with guitar, violin and piano. Listening to their current sound this is hard to imagine although the roots sound is still there. Then his friend Kyle, now an official member, approached him and they started to change the sound of those songs adding a lot of distortion and punk attitude. And that's how they started to develope into what they are today and what we could hear in their first 7" on Sweet Rod Records, which has sadly been long deleted. Two months ago they published their first proper LP, after a cassette on Ick Ick Records, this time for Woodsist which have made them incresingly popular thanks to the notoriety of this label. And look out for a future release in Sacred Bones, a double 7" with Christmas Island anytime soon. here you have a song included in both their first single and album for you to enjoy.


Meth Teeth - Unemployment Forever.mp3

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

100TH POST


Yes! This already is my 100Th post so I felt like having a bit of review and talking about what's been the blog so far.
First of all I want to reinforce the main idea and purpose of Seven Noises; this is to promote new released 7 inch singles, to make you find out they are there for you to buy them as there's nothing more beautiful than owning these songs in physical format, in the oldest of them all, with the covers and artworks and the static noise when you play them. You can see I have links on the right side of the blog where you can get most of these releases but if you can't find them there you can also try to get them through the record label (which I always mention) or through the bands' Myspace sites.
I sometimes review 12" singles as well or have a generic post about a new band or a not particularly known one for you to discover some bands I have that have spoken to me in one way or another.

Having said all that, I would like to thank all the people who have been following the blog and leaving comments. I would feel very stupid writing here if nobody was interested to spend a bit of time checking it. And I also wanted to apologize for the irregular frequency of posting as it depends on my free time and the amount of new records I find interesting enough to comment here.

Anyway, I hope you all continue checking here and finding interesting music to make you buy the records and go to the gigs. See you around
Saturday, 24 October 2009

BABY BIRDS DON'T DRINK MILK / BOO AND BOO TOO Split


There are many different facts that can make you approach a band you don't know: A favorable review in a magazine or website you trust, a new release in a label you have other items from, a recommendation from a friend, the cover of the record or even the name of the band. A really good name can make you take interest and the same works the other way around, a really bad name can completely put you off. And then, sometimes, a bad name that results funny because it's so bad can also make you approach the band and this is what happen to me with this single. I would say both bands have not the best choices of names but can get you feel interested to know what's behind these name choices.
Baby Birds have already plenty of cassettes and CDRs but this has been the first time they put out something on vinyl. They perform highly instrumental quiet/loud/quiet music sometimes with loops and drones and sometimes more melody friendly. 3 is not an exception, starting with a loop to later transform into a more conventional song and back to the drone again.
This is not the first Boo and Boo Too record either. They are friends of the same ambient and atmospheric landscapes sometimes but, as it's the case of this song, closer to noise pop than their partners on the A side. Whats more, in I Am the Lorax they sound as if they were possessed by the spirit of Calvin Johnson.

Boo and Boo Too - I Am the Lorax.mp3




For the ones they don't know Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk, as I don't like to upload both songs of the same 7", here you have the song from the Chomp Womp Compilation, Eating with Horses

Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk - Eating with Horses.mp3

Thursday, 22 October 2009

THE BITTERS - EAST


This is the second release from The Bitters. If you read the review I posted here about their first EP or even more if you have a copy of Wooden Glove, there's not many new things to say about this 7 inch. Two more cave pop songs from this Toronto duo in the same label they released their presentation, this time even a bit darker, more Lo-Fi and slightly more experimental and schizophonic, but still infectiously enjoyable, specially East which could have been somewhere in between Siouxsie and the Banshees' Scream, sharing the same type of obscure guitar riff and monotone drums beats.
And if you enjoy this you better prepare your wallets as they have plenty of releases coming up: An album for Woodsist, a 7" in True Panther Sounds, a Split cassette with Little Girls, a 12" EP on Sacred Bones, another cassette on Hi Shadow, another 7" on Wild World and a 10" record. Either they have spent the last months inside their cave in a strict workaholic diet or they've been touched by the inspiring muses of creation. And although they were supposed to be just a release project with no intention to perform live, they are actually doing some gigs here and there.

Released 28/09/09

The Bitters - East.mp3

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

FRANKIE ROSE - THEE ONLY ONE


Frankie Rose, of Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts fame, has left us already the coolest of the CVs you can have in just a couple of years. Apart from being a member of these two bands and quitting both of them, she's played live with Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles, Blank Dogs and many other people. But if this wasn't enough, and quitting the drums for this project to take the lead role, she has her own new band, taking only her name for her first single Thee Only One, but already preparing her live debut with her new backing band, The Outs. And this single is everything you can expect before listening to it: the perfect mix of her two previous projects, a love for 60s melodies, noise-pop and a contagious dreamy chorus. Everything in 2.23 minutes. The b side, Hollow Life, it's more calm and dark but as infective as the title track.
Wait to see how she will soon reach or even overcome the fame of her previous contributions. And of course, is out on Slumberland records on a beautiful green vinyl.

Released 19/10/09


Frankie Rose - Thee Only One.mp3

Saturday, 17 October 2009

AIDAN MOFFAT + THE BEST OFS - KNOCK ON THE WALL OF YOUR WOMB


I've never been able to get over the magic lyricism of Philophobia, one of the most beautiful albums of the 90s. Everything Arab Strap did afterwards, although it was always good, could never reach that album, perfect to play at any time of the day. While they were together, both Aidan and Malcolm, had parallel projects being Aidan more focused in the relaxed melodies of Lucky Pierre and Malcolm in classic acoustic pop songs. Since they split some years ago both have been pretty productive. Aidan has parked his instrumental project to work more in an opposite direction, placing the lyrics and the stories in a main position like he did in his album I Can Hear Your Heart, a compendium of bedtime stories occasionally accompanied by music and lately with his new band the Best Ofs, with a more classical approach to the concept of song and a beautiful package including a board game. From this last album, but in a different version, is where this single comes from, a song dedicated to his new born son who was still about to get born when he wrote it. The back photo and the video for the song are stills from the moment his son was about to be born. Once again, Aidan feels no fear to share his most intimate life with us but this time is not about sex, but the result of having it. The b side, an unreleased track, it's a children's story. It looks like paternity has really got into him, so can't wait to hear new songs about nappies, baby food or the joys of joining nursery school.
Released 28/09/09

Aidan Moffat + the Best Offs - Knock On The Wall Of Your Womb.mp3

Thursday, 8 October 2009

ATLAS SOUND - I'LL BE YOUR MIRROR / REQUIEM FOR ALL THE LONELY TEENAGERS WITH PASSED OUT MUMS



I'm always excited every time I go to a gig and find out that, at the little stall they put by the entrance of the venue with merchandising from the band you came to see play, they have special items only for the people who bother to go to their gigs, even more when these items are 7 inch singles. I missed the Atlas Sound gig the last time he was here in London. I went to see Deerhunter the previous day but couldn't make it for his solo gig the day after. Not sure though if these two singles that have only been available to buy at his gigs before and now you can get in some exclusive online stores (I got mine at Juno), were available to buy at that gig.
Bradford has always been very generous with his followers. Through his blog he delivers regularly a bunch of free songs and free "virtual singles" for us to download and enjoy. And now that he has just released his second official album Logos and finally has fulfilled his dream of being Mary Hansen in Quick Canal, we can enjoy these four tracks which are in fact a bit closer to the sound of his first album. In the first single, the pink one, we find a respectful rendition to VU's I'll Be Your Mirror and another one to Mark Sultan's Unicorn Rainbow Odyssey and in the orange one, two originals you should never miss. Both singles are presented inside a fabric sleeve and there's no reason why you shouldn't get them.

Atlas Sound - I'll Be Your Mirror.mp3

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

GANGLIANS - BLOOD IN THE SAND


I am happy to announce that another pile of Captured Records stuff has come out this week. Between the stuff, this time, we can find the first Ganglians release they put out in the market after the admired 12" on Woodsist and their first LP Monster Head Room on Weird Forest Records, both earlier this year. They advanced on their website that these two tracks were the finest Ganglians songs so far, fact that Ganglians themselves agreed with, and that they were so happy to be the ones to publish them, and I have to agree. Both tracks are addictive, specially the A side, Blood in the Sand, with a start that reminds Black Lips's Katrina, the song is an infective garage-folk-rock anthem. This release marks the umpteenth connection between the two best labels of the year, Captured Tracks and Woodsist, who normally share artists, tours and other events, and make me want to move to Brooklyn.

Released 05/10/09

Ganglians - Blood on the Sand.mp3

Friday, 2 October 2009

THE DRUMS - LET'S GO SURFING


Hype. If you look at the dictionary for the meaning of this word it says "Promotion or advertisement; especially, exaggerated claims". In the music business it's a common thing to exaggerate about the value of a song, and album or a band, even more on the British press and especially in publications like the NME that has become little by little in a music version of a gossip and sensationalist magazine. How many "the best new band, the best record of the century or the best debut of all times" can we possibly have? So well, The Drums are full of hype all around with reviews containing some of the sentences I've mentioned before. And the question is: are all these reviews objective and true? I personally have my objections with this. Let's Go Surfing is an effective pop song that you'll probably get stuck in your mind for the rest of the day after listening to it, but this is not always a good thing. The lyrics are beyond terrible but yes, the melody is good. And I can understand that they can also be quite annoying sometimes.
But you always have to think that a band is not to be blamed for the hype they can get around. So let's just say that this is a good single, not a great one but a good one, but don't expect them to change anything or be the best new something.

Released 28/09/09

The Drums - Let's Go Surfing.mp3

Thursday, 1 October 2009

LOU BARLOW - THE RIGHT


It was the beginning of the 90s. I was a teenager and as a teenager you have to have a musical idol, somebody who you admire more than the rest and makes you sometimes overview the fact that they are just musicians. Most of the people at that time had Thurston More, Kurt Cobain, Black Francis, Stephen Malkmus or Morrissey as their idols, to name a few. The closest I have been to have one it would probably be with Lou Barlow, although I also had admiration for many more. I applauded his versatility with different projects or even inside the same one, his productivity releasing numerous records under different names every year, most of them with more than 20 songs and close to fill in all the blank space of the format, and the democracy he applied to the projects he shared with more people. All these things left a mark on me when judging all the stuff I've heard since then. I understood that lo-fi is a way of expression apart from a lack of resources. I also understood that an acoustic ballad can be pretty punk. And that sometimes the magic of an unfinished first take of a song that lasts less than a minute can be left as the final take if you feel that's enough.
From all his projects, which I obviously got into them through Sebadoh, I ended up feeling more comfortable and close with the releases under the Sentridoh name, which is to say, the stuff he used to write and record on his own. And when he released the album Emoh under his own name I was happy to find out that he still was in pretty good shape and, although the album was quite produced, it still contained the magic of his previous albums.
The Right is the first single of his second effort releasing an album under his own name and, after hearing it, I have to say it continues the style of that first album. And in that particular song, you have summarized, not only the spirit of the whole record, but also of all his career. It has the intimacy of Sentridoh, the rhythm of Folk Implossion and the band sound of Sebadoh. And it gives you a pleasant and nice sensation of deja-vu as if you had heard him sing this song before. And I don't mean it in a way as if it sounded too much like any other song he's made but in the way it sounds so naturally his it's hard to believe he didn't come up with this 20 years ago.

Released 28/09/09


Lou Barlow - The Right.mp3

Friday, 25 September 2009

OMO / THE CHAP - OVERSIZED / WELL DONE YOU


I've had this Omo track for so long I absolutely forgot about it, and about them. I actually found out about them thanks to the connections they have with The Chap, so the fact their first release is a split single with them is no surprise at all. This duo has actually opened for them before and some The Chap members have collaborated in their soon to be released first album, so it's kind of normal their simple but weird melodies and surrealistic lyrics can remind of them in many occasions. Their minimum is maximum philosophy applies as well to the size of their instruments trying to use only small ones that can fit in their small apartment, for space reasons basically. Oversized is a minimal Casio tune about eating and getting fat while The Chap's song, that could have fit perfectly in their last album, is about congratulating somebody who did something right, which is refreshing to listen to between so many songs about loving, losing and getting back someone, parting, celebrating, dancing or moving parts of your body. In a world where cheap fake poetry is understood as a passionate overflow of feeling, stupidity can sound so intelligent sometimes.

Released 07/09/09

Omo - Oversized.mp3

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

KINDNESS - SWINGING PARTY


There's not much information about Kindness in the web. I've read it's basically one guy from Germany with a little help from friends who has only played two gigs so far with different band members and has two more programmed in the following days. He's a fan of Arthur Russell which is palpable, if not so much in this forthcoming first single, at least it is in some compositions you can play on his Myspace, which I really recommend you to listen. Most of them are unfinished demos or sketches or finished songs that sound like sketches. Between them you can find two great covers, Neil Young's Tell Me Why and a beautiful rendition to the version Anita Dobson made of the Eastenders tune in 1986, Anyone Can Fall in Love. This single, to be released by Moshi Moshi in two weeks, it's a Replacements cover that sounds like a collaboration between Junior Boys and Talking Heads. It looks like if DFA had something to do with the tune which they hadn't and could open a door to the future sound of the band but something makes me think he will surprise us again in the future, taking into account the variety in styles and approaches he takes in all his songs. The hypnotic result of this song has had me playing this song on repeat for a day and I'm still far from getting tired. I hope it has the same effect on you.

Released 05/10/09

Kindness - Swinging Party.mp3

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

VERONICA FALLS


The first thing to admire about this band is that they will soon be the second British band to release something on label of the year Brooklyn based Captured Tracks, after next week's release of the Spectrals 7". Only for this reason they have my true devotion and applause. If, appart from this, they make infectious melodies as the two tracks they have posted on their myspace page, then the adoration is double. They share members with Your Twenties and Sexy Kids, or have shared them before, and they have a love for all the C86 bands or Comet Gain. Taking into account their sound they could easily publish on Slumberland after the Captured Tracks release, sharing the dark side and the pop side of both labels and standing in the middle without tending to any of them dramatically.
This London four piece will soon perform as part of this year's Nail the Cross Festival at Amersham Arms this October together with Deep Sht, Arch M, Joy Orbison and Trailer Trash Tracy's between others so not a line up to miss. There's not a release date yet so keep track of them since then.


Veronica Falls - Found Love in a Graveyard.mp3

TEEPEE - AWARE


This 7 inch has been out already for a while so it won't be news for many people I suppose but i discovered it not long ago and finally managed to get a copy last week after browsing online as it's sold out on the record label page, the Chicago based Weird Hug Records. TeePee, is Eric Lopez from Miami who's been releasing Tapes, CDRs and a couple of 7's so far, practices the kind of music you never think somebody from Miami would do, from the point of view of somebody who's never been there and has a stereotyped idea of sun, Cuban sounds, breast implants and Hawaiian shirts movies has sold us. His songs are full of fuzz and feedback, particularly slowed down and with crawling melodies in this single. The T side is So Sure That I, a song about marrying and killing someone that is dark and spacey, while Mbiso, the P side, is a bit more upbeat. Both songs though, share exactly the same guitar drone on the background being like a trademark for the EP. Check for some other available stuff he has, all of them sharing this drone punk with drum machines Lo-Fi spirit and wait for the release of his debut album anytime soon in his new formed label Senzei Records where he's also going to publish other bands around the Miami area.

TeePee - So Sure That I.mp3

Monday, 21 September 2009

DEEP SHT - WEIRD YOU


And this is yet another release from Family Time Records, which is weird as Deep Shit, also known as Deep Sht thanks to auto and outof censorship, is from London. How they contact him or the other way around is a mystery to me but maybe he thought he would probably be more understood in the USA than here in the UK. The release is on Tape as most of the stuff Family Time puts out in the market. I have to say that this new revival of coolness that the cassette tape is having this year is annoying me a bit. I enjoyed CDs for a while when I first got to have a CD player. It was a new format, everything sounded clean, no scratches, and you didn't need to stand up for 70 minutes to change the side of the record. Then, I started to feel nostalgic for the record sound and format and stopped buying CDs, even more when the cold mp3 isolated us from having the concept of a cover, credits, pictures and lyrics for a long time. But we have to remember that tapes were never cool. It was a format you just used for your car, to create mixtapes for your walkmans and friends or to get demo tapes of new bands who still hadn't published anything yet. I think that this revival is fantasising with this last idea, with the concept of hearing something raw and unpublished only you and some more friends or lucky and obstinate searchers could have. But we have to remember how annoying was to rewind the tapes to change the side or look for a song or how we hated when our dodgy player ate and brake the tape we played 10 times in a row.
Anyway, going back to Deep Shit, Weird You, and in particular the track Hector, made me think of a London Little Girls, with all the feedback, drum machine and unintelligible lyrics and maybe the cassette format is not bad at all for this project as it sounds like an old demo tape somebody recorded in his room, which actually this is what it is. Let's wait for a vinyl release though, which is actually going to happen quite soon when Italian Beach Babes publishes the 4 way split single between Deep Sht, Graffiti Island, Ganglians and Cough Cool. Can't Wait

Deep Sht - Hector.mp3