Friday, 28 May 2010


Girls Names have all the ingredients for being one of the best bands to come out this year. You Should Now by Now, their second 12 EP after the great 4 songs EP on Captured Tracks earlier this year, was sold out on the Tough Love Records website before it was even release, not only the first edition but also the second. I got my copy today thanks to the fact Pure Groove has some copies at their shop (and also on-line) so if you are reading this and still didn't get your copy, do it now before you regret it. The EP is as good as their first one but this time, instead of 4 songs, there are 8, which means you have 4 more reasons to get it. I would say these songs were recorded before the ones on that EP as the sound is slightly more simple and less produced, or they just recorded these songs live. Anyway, they say at the credits they were recorded on August last year, so it's been nearly a whole year for these songs to come out to the light.
If you haven't heard from them yet, Girls Names are from Belfast and they are a trio who play simple and direct songs with a hint of Beat Happening (those drums and guitars make me sing Hot Chocolate Boy over the top more than once), Crystal Stilts, and C86 all over again. They will be performing at the Tough Love Records 5th anniversary party in July in Dalston so hope to see you all there. Here you can hear one of the two songs that it's on both EPs, although I would say it's in a primitive and more skeletal version here, and that should be in every single thing they put out anyway.

Girls Names - Dont Let Me In.mp3


Some days ago I received an email by Sunvisor, a new duo from NY that sent me a song to check out and post on here if I liked it, and I sure did. Sky Dive couldn't be more perfect for Summer and actually, the day i received the song was the hottest day of the year so far in London, so it played perfectly with the sun on the background. It's warm as hell Chillwave, or what before Washed Out we used to call synth pop, with floating vocals and dreamy arrangements and samples. It's their first and only song available to listen to but they promised they'll have a whole EP on Summer. I hope it's as warm as this song and it doesn't get delayed until Autumn. It will be really sad and melancholic to hear it once the hot weather is gone, the days get shorter and we rescue our cardigans from the bottom of our wardrobes.

Sunvisor - Sky Dive.mp3


Vondelpark are a mysterious band with no Myspace, website, or information at all on-line. So, apart from the only song available and reviewed on some blogs, we don't have any information about members, future releases or anything. They take the name of a park in Holland, they talk about San Diego in their first song called California Analog Dream and they are from London, to add a bit more of mystery to it all.
The song that's guilty of my attention to make this post sounds like it could be remixed by The XBoldX, with those dubstep-like beats and voice samples and the minimal guitar chords, but the voice in here is quite filtered and sounds like if he was busy dancing while recording the song, singing whatever was on his mind, improvising everything. The whole thing is quite contagious and is going to keep me checking their name on-line while waiting for more news.

California Analog Dream.mp3

Monday, 24 May 2010


Husband is a band from Italy who just have a song on their Myspace and some blogs talking about them.
The song in question, Slow Motion, is pure hypnotic garage pop, like a more quiet but equally energetic BoldThee Oh Sees but with a superb keyboard and some changing instrumentation throught the song that makes them really personal and highly well and originally produced for a first song that, for sure, has been on the work and played many times until it got it's final form, adding layers of instrumets, changing the drum line.
They put the expectations very high for future material to be heard and we'll keep an eye and an ear from close when it happens.

Husband - Slow Motion.mp3

Thursday, 20 May 2010


Dirty Beaches has us used to his incredibly lo-fi sounds that his two upcoming 7 inch releases sound extremely hi-fi in comparison. I discovered him not long ago, with the release of the Night People C22 Tape and had it on repeat, completely hypnotised with his blend of styles, from blues to rockabilly, cave rock and crooner music, performed and filtered through repetitive loops that sound like a background soundtrack he uses to sing over them.
Golden Desert Sun is as hypnotic and cinematographic as the stuff on that tape, bluesy, dark and repetitive. It's out on Italian Beach Babes on Monday.

Dirty Beaches - Golden Desert Sun.mp3

True Blue is not a cover of the Madonna song although it travels through time to those 50s and 60s tracks she wanted to recreate with that song, to those Ronettes and Roy Orbison ballads that sounded familiar from the first listening. He's more crooner than ever before and the song escapes from the darkness he usually chooses but keeping the mystery he surrounds with everything he does.It's out next month on Zoo Music.


He said it long ago, before the release of his first proper single, Blessa, and album, Causers of This: this year would see the publication of two completely different albums by Toro y Moi, his two different faces. We already saw his dreamy electronic one, the one that uses layers of samples and ethereal arrangements. Now we are ready for the conventional pop one, meaning for conventional the use of traditional instruments, and meaning for traditional guitar, bass, piano and drums.
His first single for his yet untitled new album is called Leave Everywhere and will be out on Carpark Records on July 19 in the UK, just on time for his re-scheduled European tour. His new song is as far from his previous material that you would hardly recognise it's him if you didn't check the cover.
It seems as if Chaz organised his releases according to the seasons, leaving his chillwave stuff for winter and giving us shinny pop for Summer. And we will want Toro y Moi every season for now on.

Toro y Moi - Leave Everywhere.mp3

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


BrotherTiger is John Jagos from Athens, Ohio, playing synths in connected to his laptop and filtering voices and layers on top of those synths. Vision Tunnels is his first EP available here, only on CD for now. We'll hope it would get a vinyl release anytime, let's see. The four songs on the EP, that you can listen to on his Myspace, go from the Chillwave sounds of the title track Vision Tunnels (close to the sounds of Washed Out or Toro y Moi) or the slightly danceable Feel to the dreamy Summer House and the Stone-Roses-meet-Casiotone-for-the-Painfully-Alone You're Afraid.
After playing in a band he realised, as many these days, that technology gives you the opportunity of doing whatever you want by yourself, so he decided go solo with his own project, formerly known as Mono-Tech. Hear one of the tracks here.

BrotherTiger - Youre Afraid.mp3


Summer is coming and with summer some new singles from Captured Tracks. Soft Healer's Gentle One / Movie Light is not been given a date or even an official announcement on their website but it's been said all around on-line. This Austin band mix soft electronic beats with soulful melodies and female vocals, even including a saxophone in Movie Light, my favourite track out of the two, that gives the song a certain post-punk-pop vibe.
They are also going to put out a 10" one sided EP for Monophonus and are also preparing a whole LP anounced for Captured Tracks as well. Keep on tracking their website for oficial release dates.

Soft Healer - Movie Light.mp3

Tuesday, 18 May 2010


Los Amparito is a little place well known in the centre of Guadalajara, Mexico, where you are supposed to get the best sandwitches in town. Appart from this, is the project of Carlos Pensina, also a member of Pepepe, who plays a kind of music that has strong influences of Animal Collective and Panda Bear (yes, I know, another one). He even remixes two of their most famous tracks that you can listen on his Myspace. Up to here his proposal might not seem fresh or new as many are influenced by them these days but he takes these influences a step further when he mixes them with traditional Mexican music making this project original on his own.
He's even going to play the Sonar Festival this year and has a UK appearance planned for July in a still unknown venue.

Los Amparito - Por Medio de la Lectura.mp3


Reading the influences on a band's Myspace is always a point to decide if you can like a band and what to expect before listening to their music. When reading the influences of Shimmering Stars you find Everly Brothers, Del Shannon, anti-socialness, Bo Diddley and anxiety issues. There's a bit of this bands to the Shimmering Stars' music, a bit of 50s and 60s pop, its vocal arrangement and the classic and universal melodies of that period, but there's also a lot of contemporary links to their music as well, as it looks like many musicians are looking all the way back in order to adapt those old ways into new territories (let's say Grizzly Bear, Idiot Glee, The Beets, Best Coast...). No news at all if they have any release planned anytime soon but, meanwhile, we can enjoy their songs online, like Sabians, a beautiful ballad that sounds as if it was meant to be performed inside a big room full of echo.

Simmering Stars - Sabians.mp3

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


Mountain Man's download-only first EP was a great hidden record many discovered last year thanks to the support of some blogs. It's been news lately that they've signed to Partisan Records and are soon to release their first proper LP (that will be released through Bella Union in the UK) that will contain the whole EP except Bathtub and seven new songs.
Mountain Man's music is to be catalogued together with new American folk tradition performers such as Alela Diane or Joanna Newsom. The combination of their voices with really minimal musical arrangements, sometimes guitar and sometimes even only accapella, make the compositions simple but overflowing and pure. Molly Erin Sarle, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig and Amelia Randall Meath, the three members behind Mountain Man, met are college (some of them are evn still studying) and starting singing without instruments on their rooms, planting the seeds of what has become this project and keeping this nudity of those first performances on their recordings.

Mountain Man - Soft Skin.mp3


Memoryhouse have been one of the big surprises of the year. From releasing a free download EP, The Years, to being in the mouth / ear of everybody, remixing (Cloud Nothing, Mathemagic) and being mixed (MillionYoung), free download single on Beko, songs in compilations and putting out two singles from that four song EP. This is the second one after the incredibly beautiful To the Lighthouse, the song that put all the attentions to them. Lately (Deuxieme) is probably their second best song and is going to be out as a 7" on the 1st of June as the first reference of Inflated Records with a remix of the same song on the B side by Teengirl Fantasy I'm quite anxious to listen to. They also made a beautiful oneiric video for this ballad you can watch everywhere since yesterday or even find online a less lo-fi version of the song called Lately (Troisieme).
They have planned their first LP for an Autumn release.
For the people in London, it's being confirmed they'll be playing Whiteheat on the 29th of June (not yet on the website but saw it in posters) and the 2nd of July at The Social together with Visions of Trees and Treasure.

Memoryhouse - Lately (Deuxieme).mp3

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Transparent did it again. Always aware of what is going on out there, their next release is the second single from one-man-band Psychobuildings from who I reviewed his first single Birds of Prey not long ago. Some friends of mine had the opportunity of seeing him live in Brooklyn last month and were as amazed by his moves and performance as they were by his songs.
The new single follows the same patterns and style as the first one (strong Robert Smith influence although more kaleidoscopic and with lots of own personality) although it's kind of a bit more funky, both songs closer to Birds of Prey's B side Paradise.
As habitual, as well, it's a limited edition of 300 that you can get through Pure Grove in the UK and Leftist Nautical Antiques in the US, although I've recently seen that Rough Trade is getting some copies of the Transparent releases as well.

Psychobuildings - Portrait.mp3


Let's start saying that Chicago duo Misiiko & Kuhmoo don't have the easiest name to remember. It took me three or four times to check the name in order to get it right in hear. Taking into account that the two songs they have on their Myspace are called DTUJJJ and LULL will not help them to make it into the general public minds easily. As for their music, after seeing their name, I thought it would be quite dark, abstract and difficult to digest but, to my surprise, although it's technically experimental, is also really sweet, colourful and quite optimistic and easy to listen. Kind of a not chilly at all chillwave, they even manage not to annoy when using auto-tuned effects for the voices that actually work really good on the songs, and all the combination of strange sounds, at the end, make the songs unusually accessible.
They soon will have an EP on Orchid Tapes, home of Foxes in Fiction.

Misiiko & Kuhmoo - DTUJJJJ.mp3

Monday, 10 May 2010


Just as other labels like K Records or Sub Pop did before, last year Hozac Records had their first installment of their Singles Club called The Hookup Klub. On their first edition they put out 10 singles by interesting acts such as Dum Dum Girls first single, Woven Bones, Idle Times or TeePee. It was sold out very quickly as every single is limited to 500 which means they only accepted 500 subscriptions. These records were only available through the club and you couldn't buy them separatetly.
So now it's time for the second edition which will soon be available for booking and they already confirmed 10 of the 11 bands that will form part of the new installment:

....+1 MORE TBA

Not a fan of all the bands here but definitely some interesting acts. One of them is going to be the new single of Reading Rainbow, a band I found out about thanks to their friendship and collaboration with Eternal Summers, who they put out a split single with not long ago. They also released a three songs 7" on Zoo Music some months ago with a beautiful and interesting cover of VU's Stephanie Says.
So one of the songs that will be on this Hozac single, who will also release their new album soon, is called Tough Love and is on the key of what they've done before: playfull melodies and catchy chorus that makes me want to join the singles club.
Join the Hozac mail list for more information.

Reading Rainbow - Tough Love.mp3


It's always exciting to talk about the first release of a band and even more if it's the first release of a new label as well. Hind Ear is a four member band from Brighton with a promising future. They mix organic and electronic sounds, guitars, voices, drums and beats twisting the structure of the songs that can sound quite experimental at the beginning but have a background pop feeling. They play with tropical sounds but putting them into a complete different context like in the main tack of this single, Coconut, or other songs like the instrumental Pop Hat. Although their songs are not meant to be heard in a club they have a minimal dance feeling, specially Origami, the B side of this single. I can predict they could have some interesting remixes in the future.
The two songs on this single were mixed by David Edwards of Minotaur Shock in January 2010. The single is going to be out on limited 7" vinyl on the 24th of May on new label Nouns that we are going to follow closely expecting other interesting releases.

Hind Ear - Coconut.mp3

Saturday, 8 May 2010


You may or may not know Alex Bleeker from Real Estate but you know Real Estate for sure by now. He's also from Alex Bleeker and the Freaks who had a record out earlier this year on Underwater Peoples. So now he has a solo single without any other Freak, just by himself. Three songs out on Group Tightener, a small and quite new label who got into fame for releasing Best Coast's Make You Mine as their first reference. And the three songs are quite sweet and simple, with a hint of classic folk and a hint of modern folk. Three simple songs you can play on repeat or after listening to the album, as a perfect companion. I actually kind of prefer his solo work than Real Estate who I didn't particularly enjoy when I saw them live for the first time but who I'll give a new opportunity when I see them playing together with Ganglians in a couple of weeks.

Alex Bleeker - These Days.mp3

Friday, 7 May 2010


Yesterday I was meant to see The Fresh & Onlys, who were playing with Deerhunter, for the first time. Thanks to the fact that some gig promoters think that putting the first band at 7.30 is normal, I missed it completely, and missed half of Deerhunter's set as well. So sad about it, I was really looking forward to it.
At least I managed to get to the merchandising table by the end and I got this one-sided 7" from Hell Yes! called Witchy Woman. The fact that's a one-sided and only one song record can put you out of the fact of getting it. It's not particularly cheap and still don't know why but Hell Yes! specializes doing this, which I quite don't understand. Specially with The Fresh & Onlys that have a new single out every couple of weeks and probably plenty of songs to put on them. Anyway, the song starts a bit like The Doors' When the Music's Over minus the annoying keyboard and it's probably the longest song they've ever done, reaching 5.11 minutes and also more psychedelic than the songs on their last EP for Captured Tracks, still my favourite stuff from them.

The Fresh & Onlys - Witchy Woman.mp3

Thursday, 6 May 2010


Ty Segall's discography is impossible to follow. In two years performing as a solo artist and collaborating in many other bands as well, he's put out many records, tapes and singles in remote labels such as Wizard Mountain, True Panther Sounds or Goner Records, maybe this last being the more constant and the one where this single is released. He probably puts out everything he records, performs / creates constantly or has more hours a day than I do.
His garage / glam rock is nothing new but really exciting, in the key of Thee Oh Sees or The Stooges (the old ones, before Iggy had a clone puppet made and started advertising insurance; myths keep on falling apart...).
His last single, or maybe he's put out another one while I'm writing this, is Caesar / Bullet Proof Nothing, two of his best tracks yet. Caesar even has a kind of jazzy / bluesy ending and both tracks are up the 3 minutes, which is not normal for him and are quite professionally recorded for what is worth.

Ty Segall - Caesar.mp3

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


Yesterday I finally had the opportunity of seeing Best Coast live. It lived up to the expectations (even a good surprise when I saw their support drums was Vivian Girls' Ali). The songs and her voice didn't suffer at all and it was what you could expect after listening to her numerous singles. She's just started the UK tour, most of it sold out, fact that confirms the uprising fame she's got with just some not easy to get singles and not even an album yet on sale.
And the gig itself was not the only good surprise last night as, after the show, I wondered around the merchandising table and saw that her new single, Far Away/ Everyone's Gone, reportedly only available when you buy a set of expensive Escuche headphones, was there on the table for sale for £5.00. I don't even have to say that I jumped into the table and got me a copy as I previously thought I would never get this soon to be her hardest to find item. Anyway, I have to say that the headphones look amazing and are probably worth to get .
The two tracks on the single will not form part of their soon to be first album recorded on the Black Iris studios. It's slightly more Hi-Fi than the stuff she's put out before for other labels and closer to their single for Black Iris. Can't wait to hear the rest.

Best Coast - Far Away.mp3


Pure Ecstasy have been increasingly getting more coverage through their releases. After a self-released 7 inch called Future Nostalgia and another 7 inch called Easy, which was commented everywhere thanks to its Guided By Voices-like tune, they've been getting a lot of attention, interviews and followers. They record their songs live, probably in just one take and with not many recourses. They sound pretty lo-fi but I can't imagine their sound being more professional; it would probably damage the final results. The guitar lines on the songs are spacey and full of fuzz, sometimes it even seems they are going to overtake the song completely and destroy it, having more energy and power than what the amps can take, making them suffer if they aren't completely damaged by now. And the songs tend to be melancholic and slow and dragging.
So well, they have not one but two new releases. The first one, a new single out last month on the always interesting Acephale Records, home of Salem, Memory Tapes and CFCF. Voices / Alexandria doesn't offer anything new but takes their catalogue even further, being two of their best tunes yet.

And they will soon have a split single with Sleep Over, another band from Austin that can scare you with as Salem did the first time you heard them. And it's out on Light Lodge.

Pure Ecstasy - Dream Over.mp3

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


Graveyards is a pretty new band. They actually only have one track on their Myspace and don't think they have many more prepared yet. They just formed four months ago in Canberra, Australia and they are just recording some tracks with one mic and Garageband that would probably make it for an EP sometime after Summer. Sleepwalk, the song you can hear here, is a shoegazey and melancholic track that prepares you for what can come next. We'll keep an eye.

Graveyards - Sleepwalk.mp3

Sunday, 2 May 2010


I'll start this post saying that Hear Hums are a trio. I just think it's important to know this in advance because these days are many one-person-projects that sound like a band thanks to laptops, garageband and sample technology. And at first listen, Hear Hums could be one of these. And actually, the first album called Notions Shift at Tryptamine Bay was conceived like this, when the band was Mitchell Myers' solo project but not long after was joined by Marcos Gasc & Kenzie Cooke to help him perform live, changing the songs to a more organic sound than what they have on record and incorporating visuals to help creating a multimedia experience. Their music sounds like experimental (pop) music with a love for percussion, loops and atmospheres. They will soon start a tour playing with Emily Reo and Awareness and they are currently preparing a new album to come out anytime this fall called Psyche Cycles and you can already hear a song here.

Hear Hums - Change.mp3