Tuesday, 31 March 2009


I couldn't have been less bothered about the new Jack Penate's single if it was not for the headline I read in a newspaper some days ago: "Jack Penate goes balearic". The songs he's published before are close to a pointless generic rockabilly-goes-mainstream I couldn't enjoy less. Mostly moved by curiosity I went and checked his myspace site to listen to the track and found out it was pretty cool. I wouldn't say it's balearic but more of a summer inspired song close to the soft tropical sounds of The Avalanches, Air France or even El Guincho with a samba inspired catchy chorus. If this track doesn't become one of the the Spring/Summer songs, then something's wrong. The B-side of the single is an ambient version of the track perfect for a quiet night out watching the sunset in a terrace by an Ibizan beach. Yes, I know, it's Jack Penate, but I have to say that the first to be surprised it's me. If you don't believe it check it out yourself.

Jack Penate - Tonight's Today.mp3


Animal Collective have become bigger and bigger through the years, publishing better and more relevant albums, becoming more popular, having great side-projects and all these things without transforming their personality but spreading their sounds and experimenting with different styles. It looks like there's not another band these days that are more personal and relevant as everybody else is in any kind of revival, better or worse, but less innovative for sure. I have seen them many times playing live and most of the times they really don't care what record are presenting at the moment as they usually play the next one, the one they are going to publish two years later. But this time, either they don't have many new songs or they wanted to concentrate in Merrywater Post Pavilion because most of the set was from their last record playing just two older songs, an incredibly long and perfect Fireworks and an up-to-date Leaf House, and what looked like a couple of new songs with some strange hip-hop rhythms that are really promising of new strange directions. And the songs from the last record sounded great, even though I hate the sound quality of the Forum that sometimes makes everything sound like a huge fuzz. They mixed the songs together with long ambient pieces, strange sounds and cacophonies confusing the endings with the beginnings of the songs. And at the center of the stage, one big white ball that held some psychedelic projections viewed by a particularly young and new audience who celebrated mostly the recent songs they discovered through the media exposition of their last release.
The guests bands were the strangely signed by Paw Tracks Dent May, which I sadly was too late to see, and Pantha Du Prince whose perfectionist sound was completely lost because of the shitty sound of the venue.
Sunday, 29 March 2009


This is a split record released in the London based label Lost Music which has the slogan "We like music, we like the DIY ethic, we like 7" records, we like c86" and that's why we like this label.

The Morning Paper is a one-man-band from Sweden who is yet another guy in love with shoegaze, Darla and Rocket Girl records, drum machines, static and clean sounds and ambient and doesn't like losing control of his own stuff so that's why he doesn't play live. Always Real reminds of Arktica and The Cure's Disintegration. His first album What We Wish it's just been reissued by Universal in the Philippines (?). And talking about the Philippines, Moscow Olympics are from there which is maybe the most surprising thing about this band as the song is a generic dream pop theme good as morning background music.

Released 26/01/09

The Morning Paper - Always Real.mp3

Saturday, 28 March 2009


Today it's been one year since the release of Factory Floor's first single, Bipolar and some things have change within the band since then: change in band members and a more personal polished sound in their recordings. While with Bipolar was easy to describe their influences (Joy Division, The Fall) with the new EP they've developed a more personal sound even though you can still point at their references. In Planning Application they've got even darker but everything looks more polished and sterilized. The guitars have gone background giving more prominence to the drums on the way Liars did in Drums Not Dead, the ambient indescribable sounds, glimpses, keyboards and samples. Everything kind of scary, but good scary. And many plans for this year with the release of another 7 inch, a Japanese only mini-album and more stuff.

Released 20/10/2008

Factory Floor - Taxidermist.mp3


The Manhattan Love Suicides is like a band of the late eighties in many ways; first of all because of their sound: they seem as they should have been contemporaries of bands such as JAMC, The Primitives or any C86 band. Then, because of their release philosophy: they released an album months after they started as a band and a bunch of singles some of them put together in a compilation released late last year. But they also have this contemporary feeling with many American bands that sound extremely British like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart or Crystal Stilts with the exception that they're actually from Leeds. 5 Seven inches and a Cd single in no much more than a year, delivered in different labels like Magic Marker, Lost Music and Squirrel Music and some other different songs spread in many compilations as well. And they are currently recording a full album to be out in the following months. This is hard work!!!

The Manhattan Love Suicides - Jonny Boy.mp3

Friday, 27 March 2009


From time to time there's one voice that sends shivers down your spine and lefts you gooseflesh and Laura Groves' aka Blue Roses has one of these. I can already read the comparisons we'll see in the following months: Joanna Newsom, Bjork, Nancy Elizabeth, Alela Diane or any female voice that can reach high notes and who plays string instruments. This one-sided 7 inch is out in XL/Salvia and it's a beautiful song that sounds out from this world, from another time or place and is the first single from an album to come out anytime this year. She's playing some gigs around the UK during April and I can't wait to check how she takes live the sensibility of her songs which won't be easy as she plays all the instruments and records all background voices.
Released 02/03/09

Blue Roses - Doubtful Comforts.mp3

Sunday, 22 March 2009


Dog Bite is a one-man-band from Atlanta that according to his MySpace site has probably been signed to Young Turks which is becoming quickly one of the coolest labels in the UK. His only released to date is a virtual free EP you can download for free here:
and it's called The Owls and Eyes. After listening to the EP it's easy to accuse him of having the Panda Bear syndrome as he uses samples, atmospheres, melodies and intonations suspiciously similar to him like in Goodbye Mrs. Fierce that steals everything from Comfy in Nautica. But there's more to Dog Bite as he embraces more folk and acoustic roots in some other tracks but still using loops and repetition in the background. Let's wait and see how he evolutions in future releases.

Dog Bite - On the Air.mp3


Girls is another of these bands everybody is talking about that has become huge in months thanks to the power of Internet. They released two singles last year, Hellhole Ratrace and this one and are currently working on their first album. They are a Californian duo (sometimes helped by another two members) that a lot of people have discovered after The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have talked about them in every single interview they've done in the last months. They are not girls and Lust for Life is not an Iggy Pop cover: it's the ultimate pop song you automatically dance and sing around your house non-stop. Only two and a half minutes of sunshine pop that combines British end-of-the -eighties indie pop with a 60s atmosphere while the B side Morning Light sounds like a Guide by Voices outtake.

Girls - Lust for Life.mp3

Friday, 13 March 2009


Pure Groove, the coolest record shop in London with permission of Rough Trade, has recently started working as a label as well and this was their first release. The Hundreds in the Hands are a duo from Brooklyn that used to play with The Boggs apart from other collaborations with people like TV on the Radio or Hot Chip. Both sides of the two A sided single are the same song in completely different versions; while Dressed in Dresden is a post-punk dance song with a riff and rhythm that reminds Bloc Party's Banquet the more interesting Undressed in Dresden is a slowdown dreamy post-disco hit for lazy dancing nights. Limited to 300 copies exclusively in Pure Groove. http://www.puregroove.co.uk/

Published 26/01/09

The Hundred in Hands - Undressed in Dresden.mp3


The girl who inspired the stupid sentence "If Morrissey had a child with Neneh Cherry this is what she would sound like" is back with her second single I'm Not Sorry. Both this song and the B side There's a Mother in Our Bed have been around on-line for a couple of years so they won't be new for the people who have followed her for a long time, but it's always nice to listen to them on record. She's been "one to look at" for the last two years just before this "girls with synths" attention by the media and she's currently recording her debut album with a little help from Metronomy between others.

Released 09/03/09

Thecocknbullkid - I'm not Sorry.mp3

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


We are in front of one of these bands that you know are special from the first second you hear their music. Last year we heard many bands with the Animal Collective syndrome; every review talking about the new records from bands such as Dodos, AU, El Guincho or even Vampire Weekend, used to mention the influence of this band and we knew more were about to come. Probably because we can say that Panda Bear and co have been the most original, changing, compelling and personal band of the noughties, so that's why they're also becoming one of the most influential these days. And Twi the Humble Feather will not scape the comparisons. I would say they actually are mainly influenced by Sung Tongs and their most acoustic period but you can also notice some aspects of bands from Thrill Jokey, nature elements, classical and choral music, children's songs and minimalist composers. They released some CDRs since Friendly Ghost Recordings published Music for Spaceships and Forests, a CD only mini-album with a composition in 5 movements that is surely going to be one of those records people start talking about little by little on-line until they reach a more global success.

Twi the Humble Feather.mp3

Sunday, 8 March 2009


The XX are a band of four 19 year old people who has just been signed by Young Turks, imprint of Beggars Banquet. They kind of sound of 1989, like many bands do nowadays, but without the fuzz and distortion. They are slow and particularly minimalistic, using just the instruments and arrangements that are necessary to go with the voices of Romy (seductive and low as the most quiet PJ Harvey) and Oliver. I'm talking about the demos that have been circulating freely on line as they have not pubblished anything yet, but are currently recording their first record to be published in September but there are some rumours a single is about to come in the following weeks. The record is meant to be produced by them so I supose it's going to keep the spirit of these demos. While we wait you can listen to the rendition they make of Womack and Womack's Teardrops and their own Crystalized.

The XX - Teardrops.mp3

The XX - Crystalised.mp3

Saturday, 7 March 2009


I really don't know how to describe this song. From the moment I heard it I loved it. Iamundernodisguise is by far the best song in the record and the last single that's been released from the album. The band, that took the name from a pickpockets' academy, is formed by two sisters ex-members of On!Air!Library! and an ex-Secret Machines. Influenced by Cocteau Twins' atmospheric sounds, shoegazer bands, dream pop, electronica, Indian and tribal vibes and a lot of mystery. As mysterious as their covers which are the best possible graphic representation for their sound and their lyrics, mixing eclectic elements such as mythology, landscapes, nature, roots and space.

Released 17/02/09

School of Seven Bells - Iamundernodisguise.mp3

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


Wavves is the new one-man-band everybody's talking about. An Internet cult hero that sounds like he's coming through the tunnel of time from the 90s, recording demos and selling them on cassette. Little by little, he's gained popularity up to the point that all his releases, until his first album was released this week, are selling for shameful amounts of money on EBay, including the limited single I'm just going to talk about, that was just released two weeks ago and it's already sold out. So yes, we can say that Wavves is like a fuzzy punk lo-fi Beach Boys recorded by Beat Happening with a Walkman after listening to No Age and Deerhunter. So bored is an aspiring summer hit song in winter for a parallel world without X-Factor, and the B-side is also good but you will never know it as you will play the A-side non-stop for days. Strangely addictive.

Released 23/02/09

Wavves - So Bored.mp3

Tuesday, 3 March 2009


The fourth single from Peggy Sue (and the Pirates, Pictures or Triplets in previous editions but now just Peggy Sue), the once duo now trio from Brighton, is released in the legendary Too Pure Singles Club, the only part of Too Pure that still exits as the label was first absorbed by 4AD and disappeared last year for good. And it's proof again that the voices of Katy and Rosa are the best combination of female vocals since Laetitia Sadier and Marie Hansen from Stereolab. Musically they have not changed so much since last year's two double 7 releases (acoustic guitars and ukeleles, accordion, drums...) but these two songs sound more like a band than anything they've made before. They are currently touring the USA but no news of a first album yet even though they have plenty of unpublished songs, but don't think it's anytime soon as the plan for this year is to publish a limited edition of 100 CD every end of the month consisting of demos and covers recorded in one day. Sorry but, at the moment of writing this there are only copies left for November and December.

Sunday, 1 March 2009


When I first came across this record it was hung at the back of the counter of Rough Trade West. I checked the record and realised it was published by Merok which complicated even more my decision to buy it or not. It could be really good and interesting like Salem or boring and annoying like Pre. So I listened to it and realised that it's the most playful and happy thing they've ever released. Analog synths, samples, 80's computer game sounds and bright melodies. Portofino is close to the first Mouse on Mars or Dan Deacon with a tropical vibe and A New Image Every Day is an instrumental atmospheric loop with a heartbeat rhythm. A fansite describes this duo from Ohio as rainbow ice-cream and chocolate mint chips like baby animals with nice cars, but better. Right.

Released 22/02/09

Teengirl Fantasy - Portofino.mp3


Kwes, a musician and producer from Lewisham, is maybe the only young new interesting London artist who is not settled east. And maybe that's why it's so difficult to settle him anywhere stylistically. An electronic Arthur Russell, playing with the echo sounds like nobody since him, deconstructing the songs, changing the beats, distorting noises but always with a mellow pop base. Hearts in home is his first single but he's already remixed tracks for Hot Chip and collaborated with/produced Micachu or Dog Bite. The B side, Tissues, is a space-soul ballad.
The single cover is beautiful coloured with embossed graphs and strangelly half-gatefold, the vinyl is transparent and comes with a Cd with both songs.

Released 09/02/09

Kwes - Hearts in Home.mp3


Arty new duo from New York with a love for the eighties disco sound and photography decided to try it again creating this new project called The Golden Filter and they were then nearly automatically signed by the then online magazine Dummy who crossed the frontier into record label to publish this single as their first reference.

Synthetic simple sounds, slowed down 4x4 beat and gloomy whispered vocals. The A Side, Solid Gold, it's pretty pop and catchy and the B Side, Favourite Things, it's a classic stupid lyrics song that you want to hate but makes you move little by little.
Released 11/02/09

The Golden Filter - Solid Gold.mp3