Tuesday, 23 November 2010

MEMORYHOUSE - CAREGIVER / HEIRLOOM


Memoryhouse have proofed to create some of the most beautiful songs we've heard this year, from first single To the Lighthouse and second Lately (both songs also included in the free to download The Years EP) to the other songs they've been putting out in compilations or that tour only CDR full of instrumentals. When i saw them live though it was slightly disappointing as the addition of a guitar that sometimes rocked too hard for their songs destroyed the atmosphere of these songs mostly based in quiet and delicate ballads that didn't need those guitar riffs at all. Anyway, the new single out on Suicide Squeeze Records doesn't take an approach to their live sound, but more to their previous recordings, although the presence of the guitar is more prominent than on those first tracks, but always as a companion to the songs without overtaking all the power of the songs.
Get the record before is sold out here. It's limited to 750 copies but it's nearly sold out.


Memoryhouse - "Caregiver" from The Tearist on Vimeo.

MOGWAI - RANO PANO


I was a huge Mogwai fan, back on the days of the first singles, Young Team, Come On Die Young and Rock Action, and those perfect EPs they put out on between. I saw them like 10 times live during those years and it was always a mind blowing experience.
Everything began to change with the release of Happy Songs for Happy People: From the title to the cover everything looked bad from the beginning. Maybe I'm not a happy person but I found the record quite bland and nothing to do with Mogwai at all. The records that came afterwards were not any better in general: Mr Beast was a try to go back to basics, the quiet-noise-quiet pattern they followed in their first releases but although the ingredients were there the final result was far from the anthemic songs the got famous for. Zidane, the OST was better, some beautiful passages that put a bit of hope for further releases but then, The Hawk is Howling proofed us wrong, developing some songs closer to hard rock mannerisms than anything else.
Some months ago, the news that the were going to release their next album for Sub Pop in America put them again on the map. Not sure if the signing for a label can actually affect the final result for an album, even less a label like Sub Pop that doesn't put any pressure in the artistic part of the making of a record but, anyway, it could only be regarded us encouraging news. And now, the first single is available as a free download before the actual physical release that will be in January and will include a non-album B side and a classic Sub Pop singles club style cover. I approached to it with mixed expectations but, after listening to it, I have to say that it's probably the best song they've done in years. Rano Pano, an advance from Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will it's as far from their first songs as it is close: The melody is there, the noise is there but processed in a different way but, what's more important is that the song is good and escapes from the self-plagiarism of the last records, looking for new sounds and ways of expression but being loyal to their name.
I cannot help it but to have hope again and look forward the new album, to be out next February, but I'm also afraid of another deception, even more taking into account the name of the record. Cross your fingers.


Mogwai - Rano Pano.mp3

DEAD WESTERN PLAINS - ALTA


This is the forth single from Fort Lowell Records, and last for this year, a label from Tucson AZ that specializes in releasing singles from local bands. If you still don't know it, they've put out records by Young Mothers, ...Music Video?, Wet & Reckless / Tracy Shedd and now Dead Western Plains, all of them still available on their website.
This is the Dead Western Plains debut and it sounds really elaborated for a first record. The production is rich on details and you can get the sensation that many hours have been invested in getting the final result. With complex melody lines and, although they don't have an obvious chorus, both songs have the common element that, with quite an abstract structure they manage to have a catchy organ arrangement that works as glue for all the different parts of the songs.
The songs sound big, hymn-like and kaleidoscopic, mixing psychedelia, electronic sounds and pop. They mention Arcade Fire, Animal Collective or Caribou as references, and I can definitely see those in these songs, although not individually, but very well mixed and assumed.


Dead Western Plains - Alta.mp3

Friday, 19 November 2010

SEAPONY - DREAMING


Seapony's first ever physical release is just been put out by Double Denim Records, a UK label that also released Blackbird Blackbird's Pure. Seapony are from Seattle but far from getting inspiration to that city's music background they get closer to the British sound of 80s bands like The Pastels, Heavenly or TBoldhe Vaselines, although I've also read comparisons with Best Coast around the blogs. Actually, the first time you hear Dreaming, one of the three songs on the single, it sounds so familiar you may think you've heard it before. The guitar riff and the melody are so simple it looks impossible nobody has already done it.
You can also visit their bandcamp and download their first virtual EP for free here.




Seapony - Dreaming.mp3

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

GR†LL GR†LL


Lately there's been a huge amount of low profile bands whose names consist on symbols or a combination of symbols and letters. Most of them they share a love for dark sounds, scary synths and heavily processed vocals and they are influenced by dark dubstep and hip hop as much as they are by gothic and post punk sounds. After the rise of Salem, Burial or even Fever Ray in the last years the door's been open for this type of effects and many projects are flirting with a kind of music would perfectly suit the goriest and darker of the films and scare the bravest of the mums.
GR†LL GR†LL is yet another band who's just released a CDR on Disaro, a record label whose bands include another hieroglyphical bands such as , ✝ NO VIRGIN ✝ or †‡† and which logo may you think it's more a cult than a record label. Pretty scary everything. GR†LL GR†LL's music is not for everybody's ears but you'll probably find it interesting at least if you've been loving Salem's LP. The artifact even contains a Nirvana cover more suitable for Doom lovers than grunge fans.


Grll Grll - sl0wdancing.mp3

Sunday, 14 November 2010

GAMES - THAT WE CAN PLAY EP


I talked about Games a while ago when they released their 7' Everything is Working. I also mentioned that they were preparing a new EP to come out soon and that EP was already out this last week and it's slightly surprising if the only material you ever heard from them is that single. The 6 track EP from this Oneohtrix Point Never affiliate still shares the sample copy / paste methodology of those two songs but escapes from the bedroom ambient electronica into Italo influenced songs, most of them with vocals and closer to conventional (although not foreseeable) electronic pop songs. The general sound is quite retro, taking you back to those 80s Summer nights in beach town discos but the final result and production (those cuts and fast changes and the omnipresent treatment of samples) makes this EP more current and a product of its time (let's not forget that most of the electronica is hardly Italodisco influenced lately) that just a nostalgic revivalism. And at the end what really counts are the songs, and they are good.
Get the record from Hippos in Tanks, the same people who put out the single.


Games - Strawberry Skies.mp3

TWIN SHADOW / VIOLENS split


Many things have been said about Twin Shadow in the last couple of months, most of them good, since the release of his first album Forget. Bringing 80s glamour back to music via Morrissey or New Order, his music is full of great timeless that stands out beyond revival or even genres. As the production of the album is carried out by Grizzly's Chris Taylor and the record co-released between Terrible and 4AD, he probably had thought it would be fair to give a song for the second instalment of the single split series of the label with one of the songs that didn't make it to the album. Savannah Howl, that could had easily make the cut and be on the album, is 100% what you can expect after hearing all his other songs.
On their side, Violens offer a new remix of one of the songs from their record Amoral. Acid Reign (in the trees remix) is more a reworking that a remix as the new mix is made by themselves. The song slightly remind me another side of the 80s, the one of the first Spandau Ballet, ABC and new pop.
The record art follows the same pattern as its first release and the website: simple and straight forward, two coloured and saying more from the label that from the bands themselves.


Twin Shadow - Savannah Howl.mp3

Friday, 12 November 2010

THE SANDWITCHES - SUMMER OF LOVE


The Sandwitches have been massively supported by some blogs (GvsB) or mainly ignored by some others (Pitchfork). After releasing an LP, two singles and an EP in the last 12 months of so, they come back with another 7'. Both songs would sit down well with the stuff on their LP, more upbeat and 60s influenced than the songs on Duck Duck Goose! but anyway, as beautiful as anything they put out before. The single, out on 1-2-3-4 Go! Records on November 30th, is already available for pre-order in a limited edition of 100 green vinyl or 400 black vinyl.




Thursday, 4 November 2010

NICO - FROZEN WARNINGS / NO ONE IS THERE


As part of the Elektra 60th anniversary celebrations, the label that started as an independent folk vehicle and move to massive success at the end of the 60s and early 70s (no doubt it was its commercial and artistic peak) is re-releasing a series of classic albums and singles, some of them deleted for over 40 years. The singles they're re-releasing are Love's 7 and 7 is / No Fourteen, Tim Buckley's Aren't You The Girl / Strange Street Affair Under Blue and Nico's Frozen Warnings / No One Is There.
After the Velvet Underground, Nico's career was slightly eclipsed by Lou Reed's and John Cale's but albums like Chelsea Girl, The Marble Index (from where the two songs on the single are) or Desertshore should be considered as important as Transformer, Berlin or Paris 1919. The mixture of pop and experimentation on her albums, specially on the ones I mentioned, was a perfect starting point for some other artists that came afterwards and took inspiration to do the same.

These singles are limited to 750 copies and they will probably never be released again so it's a great opportunity to get them and enjoy them as if they were new again.


Nico - No One is There.mp3

Monday, 1 November 2010

LA SERA - NEVER COME AROUND


It is a normal thing for band members to start having parallel projects once a band has released some records and has got some audience recognition. That's always something good meaning the band members want to try other ways and genres to fulfill their musical aspirations but it can also mean the beginning of a disintegration process of the main band if that exploration of new possibilities results in a more successful project either meaning they get more public interest or artistic enjoyment.
Vivian Girls have not been around for a long time but we have already seen many projects coming from the main band, either from active members of the band or members who've left the mother band forever to join other projects: Crystal Stills, Best Coast, The Babies, Dum Dum Girls, All Saints Day and Frankie Rose & the Outs are just some of those projects that have share a member with the Vivian Girls at some point of their short career and now we can announced a new project, this time from Katy Goodman whose also been part of some of the other projects mentioned before, and although the project mentions two other members on Myspace, it's meant to be her solo project.
La Sera's first single, Never Come Around, will be out in November 16 on Hardly Art, home of releases from Fergus & Geronimo, Golden Triangle or Arthur & Yu and it's going to be followed by a whole LP next year. Check the song and the spooky and funny video.


La Sera - Never Come Around.mp3

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

DEAD GAZE - TAKE ME HOME OR DIE ALONE


Firetalk, a quite small new label that's got attention thanks to be the one who released one of the most admired singles of the year, Tennis' South Carolina (long sold out but available again for a very limited time), has been since then releasing lots of records as if it tried to catch up with other non-stop labels like Captured Tracks or Transparent. One of their coming singles is Dead Gaze's Take me Home or Die Alone / Emanuel Can't Come Close Enough. If you are familiar with Dead Gaze through his tape on Mirror Universe Tapes or his split single with Gray Things you'd already be familiar with his sound. His voice sounds like if it was recorded on the telephone, always using an effect to make it sound distorted and distant, and the music sometimes sound as if you were listening to something after having taking too many drugs (try listening to Back and Forth, for instance). On this single though, although the same voice effect is used on both tracks, and the drums on the A side sound pretty distorted, he sounds slightly less kaleidoscopic, even more on the B side, an acoustic ballad that even sounds tender.
The single will be out on November 23.


Dead Gaze - Emanuel Cant Come Close Enough.mp3

Saturday, 23 October 2010

EXPENSIVE LOOKS - DRESS TO IMPRESS


It looks like after some years were everything was a bout the words Crystal and Girls in name bands, now everything is about fashion. From How to Dress Well to Expensive Looks who even named their first physical release according to dressing up standards. This man from NYC has offered us some free to download tracks before, like the single on Beko some time ago, but now he has scheduled his first tape to come out at some point on Mirror Tapes, probably the most cool and famous tape label at the moment with previous releases by Washed Out, Toro y Moi, Active Child or His Clancyness. There's no tracklist announced yet but this song, that has been online for a while, would probably be on it. His previous material has been expansive and ambient tunes, mostly electronic psychedelia both for the bedroom and the dancefloor. This track is his less expansive and more disco-house influenced track to date with a slow start until a beat and a Screamadelica era feeling takes over the song halfway through, although the treatment of the vocals makes it a bit more mysterious that funky. We'll have to hear the rest of the tape to know what direction he is taking and hope for more tracks as good as this.


Expensive Looks - Vanishers.mp3

CHAD VALLEY - CHAD VALLEY EP


I talked about Chad Valley back in Summer in a post here before he had any planned release but now he finally has his first EP scheduled for November 16. The untitled EP has not been announced on his website or on Cascine, the label is going to come out on. So no information on number or name of the tracks yet. Anyway, one of the songs that is going to form part of the selection is already up on some blogs online. Ensoniq Funk is Balearic Pop on the key of Junior Boys, Studio, Toro y Moi or Washed Out. Warm sounds for the still to be long and cold winter.



Chad Valley - Ensoniq Funk.mp3

Monday, 11 October 2010

A CLASSIC EDUCATION - HEY THERE STRANGER


Johnathan from His Clancyness fame band project, A Classic Education, has a new EP out on Lefse Records, home of the critically acclaimed How To Dress Well album. It looks like he's now concentrating his time for a while on this project, that anyway, it's been on for a while as their first EP was out 3 years ago, both on vinyl and download versions, and a 7 out on April last year. This time, the EP contains 6 new songs including Gone To Sea which video has been posted around. The sound is not far from His Clancyness but has a more full classic band approach. You can get the EP here which has a beautifully designed artwork on vinyl and catch them live around in one of the many dates they are playing in New York.


A Classic Education - Gone to Sea.mp3

BRAIDS


Braids is a band from Montreal that have been together for a while. They self released a couple of download only EPs and their Myspace informs they've been signed up to Kanine Records (home of Surfer Blood, Eternal Summers and Young Prisms), although not mentioned yet on their website, so wait for a proper release anytime soon. Meanwhile you can hear an old song here called Lemonade that sounds like a mix of anything out for the last 5 years, from Animal Collective to High Places but with a personal twist, and it's been probably the most known track they have so far, being post in many blogs around for the last year.


Braids - Lemonade.mp3

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

MIKA VAINIO - IT'S A MUTHANG


Mika Vainio, also known for being one half of Pan Sonic, has been making music on his own for ages, always quite minimal electronics, sometimes closer to a combination of abstract noises, but always interesting.
His last single on 7' vinyl contains a killer upbeat song, dark as the night but more song based that what you can expect from him. It's a Muthang is a 3.13 song you can actually dance to but don't expect to hear it in any hip club unless you are on Finland (I can actually imagine Finnish people dancing to this on the snow).
Midnight Mutant, on the B side, works in perfect harmony with its reverse; a quieter but not less intriguing tune that sounds like intergalactic jazz.
The record was out two weeks ago on a limited one time pressing 500 edition on Comfortzone that is mostly sold out everywhere but you can still get a copy from here.

Mika Vainio - It's a muthang by comfortzone
Tuesday, 5 October 2010

oOoOO - oOoOO EP


It's approaching the end of 2010 and popular music is been on for ages which mean that most of the good names have been taken. Not only this but the last couple of years have seen an increase of cryptic and hieroglyphic names for bands and projects. From Gooble Gooble and RxRy to Sleep ∞ Over or CFCF, strange names formed by acronyms or signs help to define a sound, usually quite dark and reverberated. Another thing is the increase of impossible names for hard to define new genres. Lately we've heard of Hypnagogic pop, Witch house, Neo Wave or shitgaze as new genres to define the music made by bands like Pocahaunted, Salem or How to Dress Well, music that tries to open new paths of experimentation and it's probably too different to any stuff made before to try to classify it under an old tag.
Anyway, oOoOO's music is interesting enough to turn a blind eye to all this questionable paraphernalia and just focus on the product. And to name two bands I mentioned on this post before, this music sounds like an impossible collaboration between Salem and How to Dress Well, containing the dark beats and synths of the first and the RnB sensibility of the second. Tracks like Burnout Eyess are a perfect example of his sound, dark and accessible at the same time.
The EP is out on vinyl on Tri Angle, home of Balam Acab's first EP.



oOoOO - Burnout Eyess.mp3

Monday, 4 October 2010

DUCKTAILS - MIRROR IMAGE /HAMILTON ROAD


Ducktails (or as his mum knows him, Matthew Mondanile) has recently released many stuff and it's planning a new record any time soon. These last months we've seen coming out to the market a 12" split with Dracula Lewis and these two singles. Mirror Image, on SHDWPLY Records, consists on two instrumental tracks, Apple Walk and Mirror Image Index, that carry out expansive tropical psyche-symphonies that gave him a name on their first album.

On the other hand, Hamilton Road (out on Olde English Spelling Bee) has two more standard songs, this time with vocals, and closer to the stuff he's put out before with his other band Real Estate (in fact these songs were played by his main band on their last tour). Those song will form part of his forthcoming record Ducktails III in re-recorded versions if what I've read on line is true, but meanwhile you can enjoy them on 45 rpm.


Ducktails - Hamilton Road.mp3

AMEN DUNES - MUDER DULL MIND


This EP was released in Summer but never had time to review it so i though I should recommend it to you before it sells out. Amen Dunes is Damon McMahon and the EP, out on Sacred Bones, was recorded on its entirely on China while he lived there on a period of two years before moving back to Brooklyn. All the songs here except the title track and Diane are one take improvisations, that's why some lyrics are nothing else than sounds after sounds without having any meaning in any language. Although improvisations, some of these songs have a structure and a close folk element as his previous songs have but its the main track, Murder Dull Mind, the one that catches the attention faster as it has valuable melodic structure you'll love if you enjoyed Kurt Vile's last EP. Anyway, the whole EP is very recommendable.

Amen Dunes - Murder Dull Mind.mp3

Thursday, 30 September 2010

MARRIED IN BERDICHEV - READYING


There are EPs that call for a proper release apart from the download thing and the CDR. Married in Berdichev's Readying is one of those. Brittany Gould is a visual artist and a member of Denver's Caldera Lakes and Married in Berdichev is her solo project. On her last EP that you can download here she creates ambient layers of different noises, cold and atmospheric sounds close to nature (wind, water,...)as a rhythmless High Places and Visions of Trees or a looped based Cranes, and sets the time of preparation for the Winter to come. Wait is the opening track, not the best not the worst, but I truly recommend to hear the EP as a whole as there's nothing you can miss, from Wait to Light in a Dark Place. She also has planned a whole LP on Fire Talk sometime soon.


Married in Berdichev - Wait.mp3

BEACH FOSSILS - FACE IT


Beach Fossils' first album came out on Captured Tracks at the same time as Wild Nothing's fact that made eclipse a bit its impact as all the media and people attention focused on the beauty of Gemini (anyway, much deserved) but massively ignored the great melodies that also existed along that record. Some months later, Beach Fossils are back with a new single that, definitely, are not extra tracks from the album's sessions, but two new songs recorded later as the sound differs, being more crystalline and clean. The two songs, Face It and Distance are among their best tracks yet and, ironically, the closest they've been to Wild Nothing's sound (for a moment I thought I was hearing one of his songs) but still with their own personality.
The single will come out next month on Captured Tracks.
and they'll soon on tour around Europe.


Beach Fossils - Face It.mp3

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

WARPAINT - ASHES TO ASHES / SISTER CRAYON - THE BEWLAY BROTHERS split


Warpaint have been in raising fame since the release of their first EP Exquisite Corpse, even more since it was re-released by Manimal Vinyl. Then it was announced their first record, The Fool, will be released by Rough Trade and even more buzz was created. This is going to happen in a month an meanwhile you can already download its first single Undertow in many websites like here. But now we are focusing in this split 7' that is an advance of what looks like it's going to be an amazing David Bowie tribute album called Repetition out as a download compilation and soon available physically on Manimal as well (the same people who brought us the The Cure tribute last year). The record will include renditions from the likes of Vivian Girls, MGMT, Lewis & Clarke or even Duran Duran and Carla Bruni apart from the two songs on this single. All the money is going to be for War Child so yet another excuse to get it. Meanwhile you can enjoy these two covers already out as a 7".


Warpaint - Ashes To Ashes.mp3

MUSEUM OF BELLAS ARTES - WATCH THE GLOW / WHO DO YOU LOVE


The B side of this single, or the AA side, it's already been online for a year without ever been released in any physical format. It had to be Transparent then who decided releasing this song that got much attention for this band when Force Majeure put up this song available for download although, as it took a year to do it so, the song ended up letting have Watch the Glow, their new song, a main role. For those who didn't hear the song at the time, it's a tropical balearic Sweddish dance pop cover of The Sapphires, and it's been the only song available for listening at their Myspace for ages until this new single was announced. Now, we can also enjoy Watch the Glow, their first original song that proves that they cannot only perform but also compose as it's as catchy or even more as their previous attempt.
We can see them live in a couple of months in London at White Heat.


Museum of Bellas Artes - Watch the Glow.mp3

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

GAMES - EVERYTHING IS WORKING


Games are a parallel project of Joel Ford and Dan Lopatin out of Oneohtrix Point Never, quite famous since releasing the Returnal single with the Antony and Fennesz collaborations. Games, as a main difference between OPN, are less ethereal and more upbeat, building their songs out of pieces of samples matched together and voice loops deconstructed and constructed again until they get a new structure. Both tracks of this single, that got physical release this month although the two songs have been online since before Summer (I actually had it back in March), don't offer anything new or a break through, but are simple and short at the same time they are elaborated and fresh. The collage could have been extended with repetition of some the parts but they chose to express their ideas in less than 3 minutes per track, exposing everything they wanted to say in these chill and soulful miniatures as if less was more.
Get the single here, where you can also pre-order their new 12" That We Can Play that they have planned to release in November.


Everything Is Working by Games
Saturday, 18 September 2010

SUMMER CAMP - ROUND THE MOON


Between my busy schedule and the fact that my upload management website stopped working until further notice and I've tried to find a new one to use meanwhile without succeeding I'm not been posting as frequently as I normally do. Let's hope things go back to how the use to and I can continue annoying you with my recommendations.
Anyway, this is a post to celebrate the second single from London's duo Summer Camp, Round the Moon, this time mainly sung by the masculine half. This is also the second single to come out from the recently published Young EP, a collection of 6 songs that also includes their best known track Ghost Train, although the B side, It's Summer, as the first single B side Montgomery Avenue 1984, would remain exclusive to this single, so no excuse for not getting it.
Round the Moon, as much of the songs of the EP, has an 80s feeling of bands such as The Cars, fact that may surprise whoever has only heard Ghost Train. Both the single and the EP are out on Moshi Moshi

In other news, the band are playing some UK gigs next month which is probably their first ever tour.


Summer Camp - Round The Moon.mp3
Tuesday, 14 September 2010

ACTION BIKER - HESPERIAN PUISTO


Action Biker is the one-woman band project of Swedish Sarah Nyberg who released her last record called as this single and of course also including this song back in 2008. Last month she released the main track of the album as a single including the new song Tears With You Tears Without as its B side. The songs apply a minimalistic use of electronics and are as close as the Swedish Pop way of perpetuating music as it is to acts like Stereolab or Broadcast, always taking into account it's the music made and performed by only one person. All together a delicate and elegant production with a sweet voice it's hard not to enjoy. The single is out on Destination Pop, a new German label that will be totally dedicated to vinyl and which second release, a single by Billy MacKenzie is also out at the time you are reading this.


Action Biker - Hesperian Puisto.mp3

Action Biker - Hesperian Puisto.mp3

CRYSTAL STILTS - SHAKE THE SHACKLES


Crystal Stilts are back with a new single and album after some months of silence. The new single will be out on October 26 via Slumberland and the A side, Shake The Shackles, will form part of the new album out early next year and still untitled. The B side, Magnetic Moon, will only be available on this single.
The two songs on the record are classic Crystal Stilts tunes although the A side is quite long for what they had us used to trespassing the 4 minutes. Check it out here while you wait for the physical copy.

Shake the Shackles by Crystal Stilts
Monday, 13 September 2010

WET & RECKLESS / TRACY SHEDD split


The new and third release at Fort Lowell Records it's another 7 inch limited to 500 copies, this time being a split single between Los Angeles pop quartet Wet & Reckless and Tucson's Tracy Shedd. It's also the first time they put out a band that's not from Tucson and it's their most feminine single to date.
On the A side, Wet & Reckless sing about a New Guy while the music has a retro Beach Boys feeling on the edge of many girls bands nowadays but with their own personality.
Tracy Shedd's Tear it Up is a more melancholic and slow number, sweet with the mandolin arrangements.
This single is presented as if it was an imaginary study of the myriad approaches to singing about boys, as it is mentioned on the press sheet, and is a good introduction to the sound of both bands. The two tracks on the record have been mastered by legendary producer Kramer (Low, Galaxy 500).
It's also my favourite Fort Lowell Records release to date and it will be out in October 5. Pre-order it here.


Wet & Reckless - New Guy.mp3

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

PAINTED FACE


Painted Face is the alter ego of Allie Alvarado, a D.C. based singer and songwriter who has roots in the Brooklyn art rock scene. Formerly a member of the bands Telepathe and Blood Lines, Allie’s solo project is a collaboration with dance music producer Alvin Risk. Although not too far from the style of Telepathe she's now slightly closer to an upbeat dance version of Bat For Lashes, sharing the same kind of mysterious voice and atmosphere but much more dance floor oriented. Not date announced for any release yet (although she mentions the possibility of an EP in the next couple of months on her Facebook page), but her song Undreamt is shouting for a single release as it has all the ingredients of one of this underground songs that surpasses the frontiers to become a minor hit.

You can also check another song on her Myspace and Bandcamp pages.




Undreamt - Painted Face.mp3

THE ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP


The English Premiership is the project of Mike Contast-Isaac from London/Peterborough, Ontario Canada. He's released his second album called Affects back in June full of guitar ambient experimental tunes inspired by the likes of Belong, Fennesz, Tim Hecker or Ben Frost and is a beautiful and highly recommendable collection of dreamy tracks to listen on your headphones on a cold night on the way home.
You can listen to the whole album on his bandcamp here or if you'd like a physical copy you can ask for one here.
Listen to the first track of the album, A Special Kind, down here.


The English Premiership - A Special Kind.mp3

Sunday, 29 August 2010

ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER + ANTONY + FENNESZ: RETURNAL / ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS - THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE


This post comes too late to be news but my busy schedule lately has impeded me from working on the blog as much as I would like. Anyway, Antony is back and we couldn't be more happy as it looks is going to be a busy time for him now that we are approaching the last quarter of the year. Apart from a new album coming next month he has a new EP out tomorrow and a beautiful collaboration that was out on a 7" single last Monday. The song with Oneohtrix Point Never was granted as a best new track on Pitchfork a couple of weeks ago which means that everybody must have heard it by now. This song, together with a Fennesz remix on the other side, is one of the most beautiful songs I've heard lately, with Antony reaching the performing status and expressionism that only people like Nina Simone or Billie Holiday had reached before, and has put again the eyes on Mego, a label everybody seemed to have forgot about after getting a lot of attention at the beginning of the noughties.

The other release we mentioned is the pre-album EP with the Johnsons Thank You For Your Love where Antony seems he's finally seen the light and is oozing optimism through every pore. From the opening track to the John Lennon cover Antony seems he's found love and happiness; Thank You For Your Love sounds like a Broadway opening number or one of those songs they prepare specially for a rendition tribute in Las Vegas to greet the public. You Are The Treasure seems like another gratitude song, like the answer to his Hope There's SomeoBoldne once he's found this someone. And the closing track, John Lennon's Imagine, it's probably the worst choice for a cover version ever, as it's a song that has got old horribly bad, it's been over-played over the years and I don't think there's anyone there that wants to hear it again but, of course, Antony, makes us change our mind re-interpreting the song until making it his own song, making you forget the original for a moment.
Antony did it again and I can't wait for the new album.


Antony and the Johnsons - Thank you for your Love.mp3

TRUMAN PEYOTE (FEAT EMILY REO) / ATTACHED HANDS split


My friend Emily Reo sent me last week her collaboration with Truman Peyote to be released as a split single together with Attached Hands soon on Post Records. After her holiday / tour in Europe with Philip Seymour Hoffman (the music project of Noah, not the actor) she's back 100% into music as this is not the only release / collaboration she has planned. There's another surprising upbeat retro-techno pop collaboration with Craft Spells (who has two 7" singles and a LP planned on Captured Tracks later this year) on a Salad Fork compilation you can download for free here. Both songs are quite far stylistically of what she's done by herself but this is what a collaboration is about, exploding new territories and finding new ways of expression and when they are as contagiously good as these two, they are more than welcome. More news to come soon.


Truman Peyote - Turn Into Feathers (feat. Emily Reo).mp3



Craft Spells & Emily Reo - Love Well Spent.mp3

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

HOLY OTHER - WE OVER / YR LOVE


I read some comparisons with Burial when trying to find out more information about Holy Other. Not quite sure about that although some of the samples used can remind the type of dark and manipulated voices he uses. Holy Other's music is a bit more spacey and less beat base, quite more atmospheric and closer to ambient, and it can also be more shinny and slightly positive for some moments. It always seems is about to explode in an orgy of multiple beats but it mainly stays self-restrained, something like the Mogwai of Come On Die Young but after listening to dubstep and Salem for some fortnights.

From Berlin, this is their first proper single and it will be out on Transparent in some weeks.

Holy Other - We Over.mp3

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

WE ARE TREES - BOYFRIEND


We Are Trees is the music project of James Nee from Virginia Beach. He just put out a free to download EP on his bandcamp that, at first listen, it will remind you quite a lot of Depatment of Eagles and Grizzly Bear, mainly because of his voice is quite close to Daniel Rossen's register. Once you get over this fact you'll see that, apart from the obvious comparisons, the songs on this EP are powerful and bright on their own, exceeding any links beyond compare. There's a lot of work on these songs, beautiful and thoughtful arrangements and a good sound quality far from most of the stuff you can normally find on Bandcamp.
You can also hear a beautiful cover of Best Coast anthem When I'm With You on his Myspace which is sadly not available for download.
We Are Trees will find it hard to overcome those Grizzly Bear / Department of Eagles comparisons but one he does it I'm sure people will realise there's an artist on his own with lots of things to say.

We Are Tress - Sunrise Sunset.mp3

JON LEMMON - KINDLING


Jon Lemmon is a guy from Los Angeles who moved to New Zealand for good some time ago and it's recording music since then on his free time. There's soon going to be a free EP called Kindling on his Bandcamp page for free download. It was first scheduled for July but now it's moved to some point in August. Meanwhile, we can enjoy two of the tracks of the final 5 the EP is going to contain and also some songs not included there.
His music is mainly electronic based but with a warmth that make the final result sound quite organic and sometimes adding guitars to the final mix. Here you can enjoy one of the songs that will not be part of this EP, the ethereal Home and check in some days for the whole new EP here.

Jon Lemmon - Home.mp3

Monday, 16 August 2010

FOREST SWORDS - RATTLING CAGE


After a very interesting 12" debut EP on Olde English Spelling Bee, Forest Swords come back with two new songs in the same key. Some of the adjectives I've read about trying to define the sound of this band from Liverpool are goth-dub, real instruments dubstep or stuff like this. The fact is that they've even been compared to Salem, another band quite difficult to define for their originality and mixture of clashing sounds. Rattling Cage is a mysterious ballad that mixes sounds and vocals from beyond the grave with dub and electronic sounds and it works even better than on their first EP being their best song yet. On the B side, Hjurt, they even experiment with something similar to an auto-tune and southern guitars that gives the song a strange western feeling without betraying their sound.
It's out this week on No Pain In Pop.


Forest Swords - Rattling Cage.mp3

Friday, 13 August 2010

HOW TO DRESS WELL - ECSTASY WITH JOJO / TAKE IT ON


I suppose that by now you are familiar with mega-interesting and highly commented Tom Krell's project How To Dress Well. Not long ago I commented on his first official release, the amazing single Ready For The World, after many free-to-download EPs that he's been posting online on his website. So here we have another one, this time on Transparent, coming in the form of a double A side single with two great new songs. On one hand we have the groovy and funky disco of Ecstasy with Jojo with a Michael Jackson sample from beyound the grave. It's HTDW on his most danceable and less spooky side, although his trademark filtered voices from the underground are still there.
The other track, Take it On, is like a slow rnb ballad possessed by evil forces trying to destroy it but failing and making it better, taking the falsetto to new dimensions.
He already has the release for his first LP, Love Remains, scheduled for September 21, which will not include these two tracks but will have re-recorded versions of some of the songs that appeared on those EPs.

How To Dress Well - Ecstasy With Jojo.mp3

Thursday, 12 August 2010

MERIDIAN SIGNALS - MERCATOR SONGS / JAMES FRILEY - SOLO PIANO IMPROVISATIONS


Itslips is the Tape label of James Friley, mostly known for being the man behind the Idiot Glee name who released a 7 inch earlier this year and was reviewed on this blog at the time. Now he's putting out two different tapes on his label, one from a friend band from Lexington called Meridian Signals and another one by himself but, this time, taking his own name and doing something nobody who's heard his Idiot Glee stuff would have never expected: Long instrumental pieces in the key of contemporary classical stuff like Phillip Glass.
As for Meridian Signals they perform classic indie noise pop that could have been released on 1991 or 2011, not being this a bad thing.
Both tapes come out on the 17th this month but you can already pre-order them here.


James Friley is coming to London next month to make some dates supporting Women as Idiot Glee and also doing some dates on his own.


Meridian Signals - Nearly Nautical.mp3

Monday, 9 August 2010

ETERNAL SUMMERS - POGO


Eternal Summers surprised us with a magnificent 10" EP and a 7 inch single earlier this year with a bunch of fresh pop songs and now they already have a LP ready that will come out ironically at the end of Summer on Kanine. But to make the wait a bit less harsh they will put out a new 7" with one of the songs of the album on the A side called Pogo that will be on the shops from August 31, just ready for the last summer parties and to say goodbye to these warmish days we'll soon miss when we listen to the whole shinny LP in cool October.
Anyway, as Eternal Summers try to infect us with their sunny melodies it will always seem it's warm outside when we play the record at home with the heater on.


Eternal Summers - Pogo.mp3

SEEFEEL - FAULTS



Seefeel is one of the most emblematic British bands of the beginning of the 90s. They formed the chore of the first round of what was later called (British) post rock together with bands like Bark Psychosis or Disco Inferno, performing a sound that came straight from shoegaze influences with layers of evocative distortioned guitar sounds with elegant electronics that moved into different territories through their initial EPs to achieve a completely new sound many tried to imitate once they published their first LP Quique, probably their most emblematic work. After moving from Too Pure to Warp, their sound also moved slightly even more to minimal electronics abandoning the guitar layers and vocals nearly completely and achieving its extreme with their last work called (CH-VOX).
14 years later Seefeel have planned a come back, both on record and live, making their second coming with Warp, as if nothing happened during all this time. This come back 10" EP is called Faults and it will contain 4 new tracks including the title track that you can already enjoy on their Myspace. This new track includes once again vocals and doesn't live from nostalgia as they continue to explore new territories without moving completely from their chore sound. You can also see them play live for the first time in more that a decade on their come back show in London at the ICA on September 16 together with Still Corners. I'll be there.


Faults by Seefeel
Saturday, 7 August 2010

TEEJ - I GOT ELECTROCUTED


The title of this EP and title track from Teej, a guy named Tom from Brighton, has a real story behind. Once assembling his equipment he got so badly electrocuted he even had to go to hospital for a check and when he went back home that night he composed this 1:55 minute song expressing how he felt when he got stuck to the electricity. This is just an example of how the 5 songs on this debut EP out next month on the always exciting label Make Mine (they've released singles you should have from The Books, FrYars, Spirit Spine, Dent May or Gold Panda) have different stories behind, although they are instrumental. Teej's music goes from electric passages to psychedelia and you will enjoy his music if you like Holy Fuck, Fuck Buttons and other non-Fuck related artists like Battles. And everything is so new and exciting for Teej he still has to play live. You can also check other download free stuff on his Myspace and check in here for a soon to appear pre-order of the record.


Teej - I Got Electrocuted.mp3

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

DISCLOSURE - OFFLINE DEXTERITY


Whenever you hear about a band / artist who is stupidly talented and find out they are, for example, two brothers aged 19 and 16 that have been creating and recording music for quite a long time in a studio in Croydon, South London, you just feel tiny and as if you just lost your teen years wondering around losing your time. Disclosure are Guy and Howard Lawrence who come from a musical family and have been growing up surrounded by the sounds of the local electronic music of Skream and Benga, for example, and in general, dubstep, two-step or garage but their music goes further as they introduce any gender possible such as Jazz or IDM with a definite pop and melodic structure.
Their first release, a 7" single to come on the 6th September, is out on Moshi Moshi singles club and includes the songs Offline Dexterity and Streetlight Chronicle, two killer tracks that will definitely have them getting lots of attention surpassing the dance scene into the global media as only artist like Burial, Aphex Twin or Autechre have done before. If not, wait and see.

The single is not yet announced on the label website so keep on checking to order it

Disclosure - StreetLight Chronicle.mp3

Monday, 2 August 2010

THE BITTERS - HAVE A NAP HOTEL


The Bitters whose excellent first album released earlier this year has been a bit over viewed, have plenty of new releases coming up according to their Myspace, the first one being a new 12" out on Sacred Bones, with 5 new cave-pop songs style of the house. No surprises, the same energetic fury punk-rock from Fucked Up's Ben Cook side project that every time more and more is less a side project but more a main one, and Aerin Fogel, whose voice is recognisable from the very first note. They even manage to get the most tender they've sound to date on Master of Sleep, the closest they've been to making a ballad.
Get it from the Sacred Bones website here still on pre-order, or at your regular independent record shop in a few days.


The Bitters - His Room.mp3

Saturday, 31 July 2010

SANDWITCHES - DUCK DUCK GOOSE


Sandwitches' Back To the Sea was one of my favourite tunes of last year. Their first album was also a great compendium of great tracks with some of the most beautiful vocals you were able to hear at the time.
Now they came back with a new EP, a one side 12" with six new tracks including a Tim Cohen's cover of Rock of Gibraltar (it's actually Wymond Miles, another Fresh & Onlys member, who produced these songs) and a pretty rendition of one of the finest and most heartbreaking moments of Disney's films, Baby Mine from Dumbo.
The 12 out on Secret Seven Records is limited to 500 copies and you can get it from here .


The Sandwitches - Babymine.mp3

COSMETICS - SLEEPWALKING


Cosmetics duo from Vancouver surprised us some months ago with a techno-goth ballad called Soft Skin, the A side of their first 7". Now they came back with another killer tune, more upbeat and less dark than their first single, but sharing the same sexy whispering vocals from Aja. The single comes with a new B side called You can get the single from this week straight from the web of Captured Tracks, just by itself or as part of one of these deals they frequently do when putting out some releases at the same time, this time together with the new singles from Minks, The Soft Moon and Hanoi Janes.
They already recorded their first LP that will come out after Summer as well on Captured Tracks and they also uploaded a video for Soft Skin, as glamorous as it is kitsch and slightly creepy, that you can watch over here.


Cosmetics - Sleepwalking.mp3