Thursday, 28 May 2009

CHROMATIC FLIGHTS


I had to talk about Chromatic Flights after posting about Blind Man's Colour because this is the side project of Kyle Wyss, one of its members. He says that in his solo project he's urged to create more experimental sounds and I would say it's more electronic based.
He's released three different EPs so far, all free downloads through: http://www.mono211.com/content/releases/mtkmp211.html
The first two EPs are mainly instrumental bedroom electronica, a bit like early noughties Morr Records but more psychedelic influenced. His last EP Favourite Cat though, and also his most interesting one, has moved forward closer to his other band's sound, incorporating lyrics and more acoustic sounds and dropping beats. I would say that both of Kyle's projects are getting better with time so we can possibly be in front of two bands that will grow little by little in the following years if we keep an eye close.


Chromatic Flights - The Story of the Sun.mp3

BLIND MAN'S COLOUR


Everytime I hear from a project some 19 year olds have that not only doesn't suck but actually is good I kind of feel I threw away all my youth years being lazy, drinking, going out and being unproductive and untalented. So well, here we have another one to make me feel this way as Blind Man's Colour is a project from two guys that still are in their teens and have been making music for a while, some better, some worse, but always trying to find a sound and experiment with different instruments, techniques and sounds. They have been giving out some stuff for free in their blog
http://blindmanscolour.blogspot.com/
that you can still download in form of EPs or single tracks, and they will release their first proper LP in August this year, consisting of new songs not posted in their blog and published by Kanine Records. At first listening you will probably think of Animal Collective, even more if you listen to the three covers they do, but they are also influenced by 60s psychedelic stuff, electronic music or shoegaze, playing keyboards, acoustic guitars, and sampled sounds and distorted voices. Still have to listen to the whole album but the tracks I've heard so far are their best by far. Here you have an advance.

Blind Man's Colour - Heavy Cloud Hustle.mp3

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

WOODS - SUNLIT / THE DARK


And yet another record from Capture Tracks, this time from the band everybody's talking about at the moment thanks to great reviews of their last album, Songs of Shame, so probably you'll heard of them before. Even one song on this 7',The Dark, was reviewed in Pitchfork receiving an 8 and the category of Best New Music, the same as the album. So probably there's not much more new things I can say about it they haven't said before apart from recommending to buy this record, mainly for the B Side, The Dark, a perfect catchy summer song about hope that is one of their best songs. And I enclose you to check the label that they run themselves called Woodist that has brought us so far releases from Jana Hunter, Kurt Vile, Blank Dogs, Vivian Girls, Wavves or some of their own records.

Released 16/03/09


Woods - The Dark.mp3

THE BITTERS - WOODEN GLOVE


If you have been following this blog, and I hope you have, you may probably realised that I've been a bit obsessed with most of the releases Capture Tracks, my new favourite label, has been publishing lately. And looking at what is coming, probably this post is not going to be the last about one of their records. The Bitters are from Ontario, Canada, and a side project of Fucked Up's Ben Cook together with Aerin Fogel. They declare their name comes from a straight forward love to Amaro, an Italian drink that means bitter, and they say they are cave pop stars of the future.
The four songs on this record are great but I'm specially in love with Warrior, the first track on this EP. The songs are pretty accessible even the sound is demo quality, and the combination of both voices blend perfectly with Aerin's reminding me of Siouxsie's circa The Scream. And they have a bunch of new things coming up: a new 7' in Capture Tracks in some weeks and many cassettes in different labels.


Released 13/04/09

The Bitters - Warrior.mp3

Thursday, 21 May 2009

GRAFFITI ISLAND / RAPID YOUTH / OLD BLOOD / MALE BOUNDING



Paradise Vendors Inc. is the label of Male Bounding, one of the bands featured in this very limited split 7", who have released two sold out split tapes by Temperatures /Paper Leg and Talbot Tagora/Hand Jobs and another sold out split 7" by Pens / Male Bounding, so I imagine this is going to follow the same destiny soon, even more with the current rising of Graffiti Island, probably the most interesting band in this split. They are half from Los Angeles and half from London, but placed here in the UK. They love to talk about monsters, freaks and cannibalism and musically they make a kind of Lo-Fi garage pop that would be well received in K Records. Long Neck Tribe, the tune they offer here, is their best song yet.
The Rapid Youth (formerly known as Hey Buddy & the Pals), Old Blood and Male Bounding songs are much less personal than the first band here, basically straight forward punk songs, not bad songs anyway; but the purchase of this record is worth only for the inclusion of Long Neck Tribe.

Released 27/04/09

Graffiti Island - Lone Neck Tribe.mp3



And Graffiti Island have another record out this month, their first proper single published in House Anxiety Records featuring the two songs highly anticipated and well-known by the people who have been following them: Head Hunters and Bad Potion. But my favourite track here is the less known Secret Cave, an intriguing minimal and hypnotic song.

Released 04/05/09

Graffiti Island - Secret Cave.mp3

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

VIVIAN GIRLS - MOPED GIRLS


The Vivian Girls have been lucky. They got a lot of media attention with a couple of singles and one LP and they probably were the first ones who didn't expected. Their music is simple, they don't offer anything new or different from many other bands but they make songs that stay with you forever after a couple of listenings. And they have been touring since they started playing. I was lucky to see them in their first ever non USA gig here in London and the gig was fun even they were incredibly nervous and couldn't believe they were here.
Between gig and gig they have already managed to record their second album to be released later this year. And this single, not sure if it's going to be included in their new record, has been put out this week. And as with many of the new songs I heard at that gig, they have put the tempo a bit down and I have to say it works so well with them. These two songs are the closest they've been to a ballad and are also two of the best tunes they have done.

Released 11/05/09


Vivian Girls - Moped Girls.mp3

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

GOD HELP THE GIRL - COME MONDAY NIGHT


I never was a Belle and Sebastian fan. Actually I never payed much attention to them as I used to hate their fans. Sometimes it takes something as stupid as this not to like a band but this was the case until long after they stopped making any good albums, by the time of their fourth I think, that a friend of mine insisted I should listen carefully to the red album (Belle and Sebastian fans don't call their albums by their names, they do it by the colour of the covers and they also used to wear shirts and ties in Spanish summer festivals at more than 40 degrees) and I really enjoyed it but never aroused my curiosity to check the rest of the records. But now, Stuart Murdoch has a new project, God help the Girl, and I felt I could give it a try. And it feels so Belle and Sebastian from the beginning; the cover is 100% his style, two melancholic girls thinking, but this time is not monochrome, the same as the song on the A side, Come Monday Night, full of string arrangements, pretty 60s sunshine pop with female vocals, pretty catchy and beautiful and pretty "red album though" which I think it's good. The B side though, Howard Jones Is My Mozart, is the most experimental you can imagine this guy to be, being a kind of recited diary page of one of the melancholic girls of the cover, I imagine, with different musical parts of different styles, sometimes more folky, sometimes more jazzy but interesting anyway. And yes, all the songs in this project are going to be sung by girls, none by him, and are supposed to be the soundtrack of a musical film.
Who knows, maybe one of these days I'll try to listen to another colour...

Released 11/05/09
God Help the Girl - Come Monday Night.mp3

Sunday, 10 May 2009

ALIAS PAIL


I got to this project when I saw that Hektor Fontanez, the only official member of the band, is also a member of Twi the Humble Feather, previously commented in a post here, and was surprised by the delicacy of his compositions, getting most of his influences from underground Japanese music and even singing in Japanese in some songs and being helped by other people in some occasions. These influences are filtered through a contemporary point of view and different recording techniques or instrumentation, from more traditional pop songs to electro-acoustic landscapes with complex arrangements.
I've been a long day trying to find as much information as possible of this project and it's been hard to find out if he has ever published anything as some records are mentioned in some websites but couldn't discover if they were already published and how you could get them. The thing is that finally I could see he's published two CDRs, As Toys We Made and Bee Sider, and a collaboration EP, 3 Little Stones ( Toy Piano Fanfare with Steve Dacosta ) and the My Pal Foot Foot + Alias Pail split album, that was the result of a pen pal relationship between both bands that end up in a collaboration. After listening to some songs of both bands you can understand why. Everything's only been released on CD unluckily, in the last couple of years. You can check in his LastFM profile to see how to get some of them. I haven't been able to listen to all these records but the songs I've managed to listen to on line are worth the effort of trying to get these releases and wait for more to come, hopefully on vinyl.


Alias Pail - Sun and Rain.mp3



I also recommend to check My Pal Foot Foot, with many releases to date and infinite side projects

My Pal Foot Foot - City of Lights.mp3

Saturday, 9 May 2009

THEE OH SEES


Thee Oh Sees is not a new band, actually they have many albums and EPs released but it's not been since last year's The Masters Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In that they've had a bit of international success. Over the years and the records they have had some transformations: while at the beginning it was a scape for John Dwyer to create instrumental and experimental tunes, they have developed into a more traditional band influenced by 60s garage bands like The Sonics, surf, punk and twee indie noise bands to create catchy songs to sing and dance. And this is definitely their year with the recent publication of Help, their best album to date, and many EPs and singles on the way. It's already a cult band with many crazy fans paying huge amounts of money on Ebay for old, deleted and limited hard to find stuff which only means they are a step further to reach a wider public.

Thee Oh Sees - Carol Ann.mp3



Thee Oh Sees - Ruby go Home.mp3

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

KNIGHT SCHOOL


Yes, it looks like we can never have enough of bands coming from Brooklyn this year, even more if they are pure DIY, Lo-Fi and inspired by Guided By Voices or Beat Happening. And yes, there's a Brooklyn scene or at least this is what it seems from the distance in a year that London is particularly quiet after a couple of years of really interesting new stuff. And this time, once again released by Lost Music, Kevin Alvir (formerly of Lil Hospital) is fronting Knight School, his new project with two more members whose debut The Poor and Needy Need to Party is already a secret sensation. Simple songs and simple arrangements, no production and 14 songs in less than 30 minutes about unpredicted pregnancy, Oprah Winfrey or vampires that are going to transport you on time to the first time you listened to Jamboree or Bee Thousand.


Knight School - Pregnant Again.mp3

POCKETKNIFE


I'm sure that I'm not the only one who has dreamt the impossible mission of dancing in a club to the songs of Beirut, Iron and Wine, Joanna Newsom or Nick Drake which is not only difficult but impracticable unless you want to look like one of these girls who dance with a ball or a long ribbon lace at the gymnastic Olympics. Now this has changed and you can actually do it if somebody dares to play one of Pocketknife's edits (yes, you should know that to call it remixes is so 90s) who manages to dance-orient these bedroom tracks without making a mess and in fact leaving us with the strange sensation they were born to sound like this. And he recently has put them together in a compilation called Tambourine Dream (sorry, CD only) together with some of Cousin Cole's which was first published last year in a very limited edition in the USA but now reissued and available in Pure Grove London and Collette in Paris. The Double CD consists in a first mixed CD perfect to surprise your friends at dinner parties and an extra CD with some of the songs of the first CD in full versions and unmixed. Here you have a taste:


Joanna Newsom - The Book of Right On (Pocketknife Edit).mp3



Nico - I'll Keep it with Mine (Pocketknife Edit).mp3

Saturday, 2 May 2009

THE XX - CRYSTALISED


This is the first time I repeat and artist in a post but it's justified by the publication of their first single. A couple of months ago I talked about The XX as one of the most interesting bands appearing in the London scene; four 19 year old kids with a love for RnB and the capacity of swallowing their influences to assimilate them and then eject them transformed into something completely new and different. The final version of Crystalised is better and more dynamic than the demo version I uploaded here and the B side is a cover of Aaliyah's Hot Like Fire you wouldn't recognise if you didn't read the credits saying the lyrics are by M. Elliot.


The XX - Crystalised.mp3

Friday, 1 May 2009

SALEM - OHK


Salem's been the band everybody's talking about for a while and they have many qualities for this to happen: A unique and original sound you recognise in seconds, only three really limited and mostly sold out 7" singles just released, a dark past and bad reputation and they hardly play live. If you put all these ingredients together you already have a myth and if you are actually any good the myth is worth. So then it's the moment to publish a very limited really hard to get only Japanese single and this is the one I'm covering here. Only 300 copies you could only get in a Japanese website impossible to understand or Rough Trade and Pure Groove in London and as far as I know I got the last copy in Pure Groove and it's been sold out in Rough Trade for weeks. So I'm sorry if you didn't get a copy but they promised in their Myspace they will put some up to sell themselves at some point. And these two songs in this singles are worth the £10 I spent on them. While the B Side, Sweat (I), is classic Salem, the A Side, OhK, is the most upbeat radio friendly happy song they've ever published (which in fact doesn't make it any of these things in comparison with something that doesn't make you wanna kill yourself) and opens new horizons of possibilities for future releases.


SALEM - OhK.mp3