Saturday, 31 July 2010


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 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

Monday, 26 July 2010


Minks , the 80s pop goth inspired band from Brooklyn, are back with their second single, as well on Captured Tracks as it was Funeral Song. Ophelia is slightly more acoustic and less Joy Division / New Order / The Cure influenced than their previous single and yes, as inspired as that song was.

They are currently recording their first album to be out at some point this year on Captured Tracks too but meanwhile we can enjoy this new song, that will make it to the album or not, and the B side Our Ritual, both out on the 7" out this week. Keep checking this space for more Captured Tracks releases to be out soon.

Minks - Ophelia.mp3


As I mentioned not long ago this current month, duo Tennis, were about to release something on Underwater Peoples Records, and here we have it, a limited 7 inch single with 3 more tracks from this band with a love for 60s melodies, slightly filtered vocals, mono sound and POP in capital letters.
Taking into account their growing popularity this could be sold out at the time you are reading this review so, if I were you, I would run to the website to get my copy on pre-sale until the 31st of July or, if it's already sold out from the label, I would try to get a copy at that record shop you know you can get it from.

Tennis - Baltimore.mp3


Still Corners is a London band I sadly missed when they were playing the Shoreditch 1,2,3,4 Festival last Saturday as they were the first band who opened the New Bands stage. Anyway, I'll definitely go to check them out for the single launch party next August 20th to celebrate the release of their first single, the incredibly beautiful Don't Fall in Love, that will be out on The Great Pop Supplement, the 7 inch specialist label that puts a lot of effort releasing great singles on beautifully designed artwork.
The songs of Still Corners drink from shoegaze, dream pop and silky vocals. Don't Fall in Love and its B side Wish are already between my favourite songs of the season and they can work as a British less synth based answer to Memoryhouse. Go to hear them on their Myspace. While we wait for this release, next week Fierce Panda puts out a compilation called Gruff Trade that includes one of their songs, Endless Summer, that has that beautiful drum intro we've heard thousands of times in songs like The Ronettes' Be My Baby, JAMC's Just Like Honey, Bat For Lashes' What's a Girl to Do and so on and, although it's been used on many occasions, I could never be tired of hearing it.

Still Corners - Endless Summer.mp3


Deerhunter are back with a new single and also a new album in a couple of months. After the well commented leak online of their previous album Microcastle this time they opted to make it themselves and give for free the first single out from Halcyon Digest, Revival (not sure if it also will have a physical release although it even has cover artwork) including a non-album B side, Primitive 3D. The way they've done it is through their website but, initially, you could only access to the free download if you were one of the fans who contributed on printing and hanging out posters publicising their new album. Those fans received a code (that was spread online quickly) and were able to download the two tracks from the single and a couple of demos as well.
The two songs on the single are quite close to what we heard on Microcastle or even more pop and accessible. Can't wait for the new album.

Deerhunter - Revival.mp3

Friday, 23 July 2010


Glass Vaults are a band from Wellington, New Zealand, that have just put out their first free download only EP. Glass is a five songs EP of ambient pop songs that starts with the chilly and floaty intro They Will Go, mutates into the epic (but not grandiloquent) ballad Set Sail, changes the tempo for the dance oriented New Space, goes back to chilly synths for Worrier and ends with the perfect pop track Forget Me Not.
The whole EP sounds like if it's been conceived to be played in the order they placed the songs, as a kind of an evocative trip through their sound, fact that is admirable on the era of the shuffle and the playlists. Anyway, the songs also work well on isolation and, although the synths sometimes sound as chilly as ice cubes, the warmth of the vocals and their ability to get melodies soften down the whole thing.

Download it for free here

Glass Vaults - Forget Me Not.mp3

Thursday, 22 July 2010


Tags. Bands normally hate to be tagged but consumers always like them in order to know if those seconds they can be checking a band on-line are worth to be spent or they would rather check for porn meanwhile. It's a good way of presentation of a band, the same with comparisons, and the key for us to decide before listening to the band if we can actually like them or not. I would never lose my time if I see a band review saying they play Heavy Metal, AOR, Ska or Ethiopian Reaggeton, let's say.
The problem starts when a tag actually says little about how a band can sound. This happens with Indie or Electronica, for example, that are too general to preconceive an idea of how a band will sound. As well, when a tag becomes as popular as, let's say, Chillwave, and many artist with nothing in common are put in the same sack, that tag loses its meaning and its no longer a reference.
Something like this happen with Twee-Pop many years ago when bands like Beat Happening and all the Sarah Records catalogue were categorized under that quite annoying name and it was difficult to separate the gold from the tin. Betty and the Werewolves' reviews are commonly put under this tag and, all right, they can sound a bit twee but they also have some moments of fury. What they have for sure is good pop songs that are timeless and universal like their last single, Paper Thin, a song you'll love if you were into Heavenly, that's been put out quite at the same time as their first album Teatime Favourite that juxtaposes candid pop moments with more punkish songs. The single, out on Damaged Goods, comes with two live tracks.

Betty and the Werewolves - Paper Thin.mp3

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


You'd have probably heard of this release so far as I'm a bit late to talk about it and it's been all over the place (It's been mentioned in most of the A-list blogs and featured on the Rising artist section of Pitchfork). Anyway, Yesterday saw the release of this beautiful and mysterious single by one-man-band How To Dress Well that, if my information is right, is the first one to appear on vinyl format after 7 virtual EPs online available here and as interesting and transcendental as this single itself. The single was out on Lefse Records and you can get it here. As many articles describe his music so far, HTDW is a (im)possible mixture of Bon Iver, Burial, Justin TimberlaBoldke and Washed Out, as strange and this can sound,and if you pay attention you can actually find elements of these bands and many more styles and influences blend together until he reaches a personal and imaginative discourse. Ready For the World has already been mixed by many people (Twins, Bandjo) and on the B side of this single We can find one of these, the Twin Sister floaty and playful interpretation of the A side.
In other news, he's soon releasing another single for, of course, Transparent that I'll review as soon as We have more information.

How To Dress Well - Ready for the World.mp3

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


It's incredible how we can get influenced by the seasons in our daily lifes, from our outdoor activities, the clothes and colours we use or even the music we listen to. When Summer arrives we always tend to listen to warmer sounds while in winter we go back to darker stuff, or at least, and this year even more, this is what happens to me and to proof it you just have to check my last posts. So well, here we have another example.
Family Trees is a Brooklyn trio formed by Ryan, Joe and Amanda who perform warm Summery 60s pop songs with emphasis in the vocal harmonies. They are the first of Father/Daughter Records, label that I mentioned in a previous post when talking about their 2nd release to come out in August, by Toothache.
The three songs on the single are timeless songs with a love for the Beach Boys or other current bands like Eternal Summers or Reading Rainbow, who they are actually going to tour with in August.
They also have a video for one of the B sides, No One Will Ever Know, that you can watch here.

Family Trees - Dream Talkin.mp3


The people from Planting Seeds Records have kindly sent me a copy of the new Young Sinclairs EP, released just Today. I found out about them through Eternal Summers (they share a member) and realised just after, that actually, they have already existed for 5 years, having released some CDRs, EPs and cassettes. But this Summer looks like it's already the time for The Young Sinclairs to make it bigger as, apart from this 7", they are putting out a new album called Chimeys, re-releasing O Bummer on tape and a compilation of old songs for Kindercore Records called simply Songs Of The Young Sinclairs.
This limited single contains two songs per side (We Spoke Our Minds, You Can Have Her, Girl I'm For Real and Have A Home), but you can also get the digital version with two extra tracks. As they describe on the release page, the Young Sinclairs are "heavily influenced by the sonic landscape of the 60s with shimmering guitars, sweepingly melodic vocals, and slices of timeless pop-nuggets". You'll love them if you like The Birds, The Zombies or just happen to be enjoying the Summer in a warm area.
You can get it here

The Young Sinclairs - Girl Im For Real.mp3

Friday, 16 July 2010


No matter what Panda Bear was meant to release as the following of Person Pitch it was driven to be a deception for most people who admired that record that, for sure, was one of the best records of the past decade. If he had tried to make a Person Pitch 2, it would have been criticised for that and anyway, it would have been unnecessary and would have probably failed trying it. If he had moved in a complete different direction, let's say, closer to the sound of Young Prayer, many people who found out about him with Person Pitch would have been extremely disappointed and, anyway, Noah and co. hardly look back.
So we finally are able to listen an advance recording of what the follow-up to that album will sound like in the form of the first of a series of limited 7' singles he will release before the album itself. The sound of these two songs (not sure if the B side will make it to the album, though) is not at all opposite to what we heard on his previous record, but more simple, less sample based and a bit darker. Anyway, it's fully recognisable and it couldn't be confused for anything else released nowadays, not even with the multiple bands inspired or copycats that have appeared lately.
My advise is not to compare it with that album. Follow ups to perfect records are always difficult to process without the immediate comparison but, so far, I don't think that Tomboy is going to be a disapointment as both songs are great enough by itself and much more original that many of the stuff released these days. As always, Noah shows that he is a part of this small group that anything that releases is 100% original, personal and new.

Slow Motion
Thursday, 8 July 2010


Tennis is a Denver husband and wife duo with a love for 60s pop Summertime melodies. To prove it, they will release their first single, South Carolina, on Fire BoldTalk. The bad news is that is already sold out from the label, so if you want it, that I'm sure you do, you should check on your favourite record shop for one of the 300 copies they will release. They will also release something, not sure yet what is going to be, on Underwater Peoples, so keep on checking to know what is going to be.
They have plenty of good tunes already that you can find on some blogs so sure it's going to be interesting enough to get it.

Tennis - South Carolina.mp3


Dent May has a new single coming up on Forest Family Records, the every time more essential label from the Gorilla vs Bear / Weekly Tape Deck blogs association.
And for this single, Dent has dropped the "...and his Magnificent Ukelele" tag. Maybe it's just because it was too long or maybe there's a stronger reason behind as the A side, the only track I've heard so far, although is quite recognisable of his own style, has no more an ukelele as the centre of the song. The arrangements of the A side, That Feeling, embrace his vocals, slightly orchestral but discreat and on the background. The song is a pop summer anthem the way he knows how to do it and the B side is said to be a 70s discofunk jam which sounds quite promising. Both songs are also meant to appear on his second LP for Paw Tracks and the single will be out soon.

Dent May - That Feeling.mp3


Romantic States is Jim from Baltimore. You probably heard from him before if you check the Beko singles website regularly as he had a single there some months ago. Now, next Monday, he's putting out a limited to 50 copies tape on his label Tater Junction, home of other stuff from Videohippos or Ilena Madelaire. This tape is a compendium of Lo-FI dissonant sounds, occasional vocals, distortion and special effects.
One Way is Right, the track that also appeared on the Beko single, is probably the most accessible and one of his best, close to the ways of an early Atlas Sound.

Romantic States - One Way Is Right.mp3

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


Happy Corners is a band from Venezuela / Argentina that started this year when Maria met Victor, while she was visiting Venezuela.
As they live in different countries, their work process is "postal service like", they send each other pieces of songs for the other person to complete them. That's why the process is a bit slow by now but anyway, they have big plans for the future. While we wait for their first EP, we can meanwhile enjoy one of their songs (and another one on their Myspace).
Between their influences they mention bands like Zola Jesus, Former Ghost, Tearist, Tamaryn, Dan Friel or Misiiko & Kuhmoo. I will add that their compositions are mysterious and quite minimal and have quite a personal sound although you can see the influence of some of those bands on their music.

Happy Corners - Salt & Pepper.mp3


The Band In Heaven are a 5-piece from Florida, but their music is far from being sunny and tropical. They are more into fuzz shoegaze guitars and spacey and dark sounds. They still don't have a physical release, although if we check their bandcamp page, they say they have a cassettesingle from last year, although not sure if it ever was released like that. Now, they uploaded a bunch of demos compiled in a free-to-download EP that you can get here. They say they are demos, but the sound is much better that many releases out these days. The 6 songs here, including a dirty cover of Cranberries's Dreams, are made to be put beside your records of Spacemen 3, Loop, JAMC and so on, and the quality of the songs tells me it won't be long until we see a record of them somewhere.

The Band in Heaven - Tunnel into Your Dreams (demo).mp3

Saturday, 3 July 2010


Blackbird Blackbird is another one-person project of electronic bedroom dream pop. Within the amount of projects like this is starting to be difficult to keep up-to-date or make a difference between them, separating what is transcendent and personal from generic and insubstancial. The amount of stuff that people with personal projects put out for free up on the web (call it bandcamp, blogs or filesharing websites), makes even more difficult to put attention or discover genuine talent, although it sometimes is a great way of self-promotion as well. Blackbird Blackbird's music is interesting enough to put it on the side of "give it a try" with beautiful dream songs such as Hawaii or Summer Heart.
Mikey S. has been putting up some free songs and EPs on his Bandcamp for the last months and they've been highly commented on many blogs. Now he's compiled most of the tracks of those EPs on his first proper LP, called Summer Heart and available from yesterday as a download album but officially released on vinyl in September on Arcade Sound Limited.

Blackbird Blackbird - Hawaii.mp3

Thursday, 1 July 2010


Zola Jesus doesn't sleep. We all imagine her as a vampire creature and taking into consideration the amount of work she puts out (apart from the very talked about Stridilum EP she's doing a degree, collaborates in projects such as Former Ghosts or Nika and Rory and is about to put out Stridilum II and the Night single in some weeks) she probably is.
And her release of the week is a collaborative EP with L.A. Vampires, another project from Pocahaunted's Amanda. The 7 tracks EP came out this week on a limited edition of 600 on Not Not Fun. The stuff here is spooky and weird, closer to Zola's first stuff or Pocahaunted's experimental approach to music. I would recommend to check it out before getting it if you just discovered Zola thanks to Night as you could have a surprise. But I don't want to scare you; although it's ethereal and more Lo-FI than her latest stuff, it's another interesting bunch of sounds and songs you should give a try too and discover how they get close to dub and blues in some amazing tracks such as Searching or Vous.

LA Vampires and Zola Jesus - Eulogy.mp3


Wild Nothing is currently all over the place thanks to delivering one of the best LPs of this year and my personal favourite so far. Gemini has most of the songs we previously heard from him nearly one year in advance plus some others that are up to the expectations of those first little classics; there's a great feeling of deja vu taking you back to the late 80s and first 90s records. If that record had come out back then it would be up with classics such as the first Stone Roses album or The Cure's Disintegration. No exageration here. It is as good as this.
Anyway, I'm here to talk about his new EP, out in a new label run by people from Rough Trade and Make Mine and called Warmest Chord. For this first release you can get the EP as a digital only EP or, at the moment of writing this review, on an already sold out Screenprint + download code + mixtape edition of 75. the EP includes three previously unavailable tracks that would have matched perfectly inside Gemini and that work great as a bonus. You can get them for just £1,00 here.

<a href="">Your Rabbit Feet by Warmest Chord</a>