Tuesday, 29 June 2010

U.S. GIRLS - LUNAR LIFE


Atelier Ciseaux brings us another 7 inch of American fuzz, after the already sold out releases by Lucky Dragons or Best Coast. This time, U.S. Girls, a band who loves filtering and strangering their sound up to hard to listen levels, offer us two tunes that are 100% trademark of their sound; slow jams with over-saturated keyboards and extremely filtered vocals not suitable for hangover days (Lunar Life) or fuzzy psycho-spacy guitars (Take Over Dynamix). The artwork, as beautiful as always, is a silkscreened on recycled paper design by Meghan Remy.
This is a limited to 300 copies single that, if we consider how fast the AC records have sold out, you should hurry up to get your own copy before it's too late. You can get it here.


US Girls - Lunar Life.mp3

...MUSIC VIDEO? - I'M AFRAID OF EVERYTHING


Tucson's Fort Lowell Records second release is a ...Music Video? single, a band that has self-released a couple of albums and now have the honor of being part of this new and enthusiastic label managed by James, a guy who puts a lot of passion in what he's doing and that I hope the best of lucks with every release he puts out.
This single consists of two smooth slow jams with the voice of Paul Jenkins backed by both classic instruments (piano, guitars...)and some electronic arrangements.
The artwork, as it also was for FLR first release, is preciously manufactured and designed, and the record is available now here on a limited to 500 edition. The single also comes with a download code, which is always something to thank for.
This label has also planned a split release for October by Wet & Reckless and Tracy Shedd and a still unknown single for December.





...Music Video? - Im Afraid Of Everything.mp3

GIGI - THE HUNDREDTH TIME


Gigi is a Canadian superband with lots of members, mainly different vocalists, that play POP music, like this, in capital letters. This project started by Colin Steward as producer / engineer and Nick Krgovich as songwriter wanted to capture the essence of the early 60s productions when big arrangements (Phil Spector, Burt Bacharach...). There's no guitar fuzz or any sign punk ever existed, so don't expect another Best Coast / Vivian Girls act. This is classic sound with details and preciousism but never too opulent, letting the songs talk for themselves. Clean and clear production.
The guest vocalists on the album, previously released by Tomlab, contained the voices of Mirah, Karl Blau or Owen Pallet between others and Calvin Johnson, probably captivated by the beauty of those songs, decided to release The Hundredth Time / Some Second Best as a single for his International Underground never ending and always interesting series (this is already the CXXVIII release!!!). And the cover is amazing.

Gigi - The Hundredth Time.mp3

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

LAZER ZEPPELIN


Lazer Zeppelin is a crazy band from, well, everywhere, settled in Olympia that performs a lo-fi punk-garage-noise country and western with really peculiar vocals and a lot of personality. They released their first LP, American Derivative, on PIAPTK records, a record label that is as crazy as they are. And apart from this, they also put out at the same time a 10 minute song on Lazer Disc, yes, that format from the late 80s that was supposed to be the future and instead was a massive failure releasing only really expensive blockbusters that nobody bought. Well, if you happen to have one, don't throw it yet as you finally will have the option to play something there.
The first time I heard this band some months ago I thought it was maybe a bit too weird for my taste sometimes in some songs but, anyway, I put some songs on a playlist on my I-pod and, after some listenings, they grew up on me being my favourite ones of the playlist. So I'd recommend to give them more than one try as I think this could also happen to you.
In other news, PIAPTK records are releasing a very limited 15 heart shaped one sided singles of bands including them and others such as Wooden Wand, Castanets or Jad Fair. the money they will get from the releases is to pay for the fly of the Golden Boots to go and play at the wedding of the owner of the label. I truly recommend to read the whole thing here and, if you have $100 left order them or download the pack for just $10.


lazer Zeppelin - A Sinking Sand.mp3

NIVA - FEVERISH DREAMS


Niva is a guy from Sweden who's previously recorded under the names of The QuietBoy and Audio Mjao and this will be his first release under this name, that happens to be his surname. The EP, called Feverish Dreams, will be out at the end of August. Not sure which format he'll choose for this (let's hope it has a vinyl release) but he's anticipated some tracks on his bandcamp page. Ghost in My Head, one of the tracks that will be included, is a dreamy tecno-pop anthem like Swedish people can do. And when I say tecno-pop I mean Chillwaave, Shoegaze and everything you want to add in here. I personally can't see any chill in here, though. You can check the other two tracks here. Meanwhile you can see them live around the Summer if you happen to live in Stockholm.


Niva - Ghost In My Head.mp3

MAGIC KIDS / SMITH WESTERNS split


This is a proper summery split single. Magic Kids and Smith Westerns unite forces to make a beautiful and fresh single, half parodying each others previous artwork for the cover of this single. Magic Kids' Superball is a pop number that sounds like a Hanna-Barbera theme tune with a 60s vibe. They will have their first album out on the 24th of August under the name Memphis.
Smith Westerns' Imagine, Pt. 3 finds them more pop than ever before, incorporating orchestral arrangements to the song and choruses and escaping a bit from the more rnr sound of their first album and getting closer to a Phil Spector production. We'll have to wait for further releases in order to know if this is one-off or if it's the new sound they are looking forward. You can get the single now on Fat Possum or selected retailers.


Smith Westerns - Imagine pt.3.mp3

PURO INSTINCT - PURO INSTINCT EP


The Pearl Harbor sisters just changed their name to Puro Instinct. the reasons are not clear although they mention a 70s band with the same name on their blog, so probably they were asked to change it. And to celebrate the new name, although i think that this new EP will still be out under their previous name, they'll release next month a 12" inch on Gloriette that is already available for download on their Bandcamp. This release also called Puro Instinct contains the two tracks previously available on their 7 inch for Big Love (California Shakedown and Slivers of You) also available on their CDR Wish We Were Here, that also contain a third track here (I've Got Some Happiness (Leland)). The totally new track here, Can't Take You Anywhere, is "Puro" Pearl Harbor as well and you'll have the option to own them all and enjoy them while you wait for their first LP, to be out soon.


Puro Instinct - Ive Got Some Happiness.mp3

Thursday, 17 June 2010

TOOTH ACHE - SKIN


This Tooth Ache doesn't hurt. It's nice and you'll feel happy to have it. a/lex/an/dri/a's project, this is how she spells her name, is getting its first single release sometime in August on Father / Daughter Records but you can already enjoy Skin, a contagious track with lots of interesting beats and claps and an overheated organ and most important, her voice, somewhere close to Katie Stelmanies'. Meanwhile, you can also enjoy Mountain Man's cover of her song Holly Father if you happen to see them live, as they regularly perform it. According to her Bandcamp she also has another release ready for September, so keep on checking for other news.
This release is not ready for pre-order or even announced on the label's website yet but we'll have a look to reserve our copy as soon as it appears. It will come with Lazarus as the B side, a track is not ready for listening anywhere yet.

Tooth Ache - Skin.mp3


Monday, 14 June 2010

KORALLREVEN - THE TRUEST FAITH


It might be the warm weather or the perspective of my imminent Holidays but I'm listening to lots of Summer warm music at the moment. One of the tracks I can imagine myself listening at night by an imaginary terrace by the sea is Korallreven's first single The Truest Faith which title may or may not be inspired by New Order's 80s anthem. Korallreven is a duo from Stockholm / NY formed by Marcus Joons and Daniel Tj√§der (who you might know from playing keyboards with The Radio Dept.) According to the information on their Myspace It all started on the South Pacific island Samoa three years ago. Marcus had been travelling around the islands there for some time and one day while chillin’ under a coconut tree, he serendipitously got a feeling of how he wanted his dream pop music to be like, and from last Summer, with the help from his friend Daniel, they've been trying to transform that dream into reality and the first proof is than single out now on Acephale Records, although they already have an album prepared for Autumn which will have the same name of the single. Tropical and Balearic beats for fans of Air France, CFCF or Studio.


Korallreven - The Truest Faith.mp3

CHAD VALLEY


Chad Valley is Hugo Manuel's (weird name for somebody who is ginger and from Oxford, I have to say) from Jonquil solo project. He says "CHAD VALLEY is a sampler, a delay pedal, lots of reverb and a stack of records". In this description he even excludes himself as part of the project giving pure protagonism to the music that comes out from experimenting with different sounds in his bedroom. In comparison to Jonquil, a rhythmic band with African / tropical influences, Chad Valley is more dreamy and introspective although those influences are still there on tracks like A Complete Diagram, but this time more sampled base rather than performing all the music live. The result is Summer music for evocative sunkissed evenings you will enjoy if you spent the last year listening to Washed Out and Toro y Moi.


Chad Valley - Acker Bilk.mp3

Saturday, 12 June 2010

MAZES / SPECTRALS split


Spectrals' third release is another split single (after the one with Fair Ohs) this time with Manchester band Mazes and out on Sex Is Disgusting. They offer a couple of songs each which makes it as if it was two singles for the price of one, which is not a bad deal.
Mazes have been in some compilations / splits so far and they also have a 7 inch single from last year, Bowie Knives, which would be probably sold out by now. They perform a kind of noisy surf/garage/punk in harmony with other current British bands like Male Bonding or Pens.
Now for Spectrals, well, you'll probably know about them by now and, if not, you should. Don't know if the back up band he uses, called Bad Penny as the first album (that is going to be out at some point this year) are now oficial members of Spectrals. Anyway, this young guy from Leeds, has put out some simple but really good songs, with 60s influences but always with an specific sound, kind of vintage and simple Spector that make his songs be quite recognisable from the start.
It's OK (Not To Be OK) and Can't We Please Just Stop This Now, the tracks here, are two short proofs of this, and there's also a new single coming up next month on Slumberland records, so keep on checking for new releases.

Spectrals -Cant We Please Just Stop This Now.mp3


Thursday, 10 June 2010

BRUSQUE TWINS - BLACK & WITHOUT EYES


Brusque Twins are a Montreal classic man / woman duo, a format that has prooved succesful in many ways before, even more in electronic music. They formed at the end of last year and they've been sending songs to some blogs and putting on a live show since they got the attention of new label Physical Release, who will release their first EP, a limited to 50 handmade CDR, soon to be available for order through their website and containing Our Love between other songs. They perform a kind of introspective minimal disco that sometimes is so minimal it doesn't even have a beat as on the cover of Brian Eno's By This River, one of my favourite songs of all times.

Brusque Twins - Our Love.mp3





By This River (Brian Eno cover) by Brusque Twins

BAKE SALE


Bake Sale are a really young band from Memphis (their Myspace was created in February this year) that they may or may not have take their name from one of the best albums from the 90s, Sebadoh's Bakesale. I didn't actually thought about it until I started listening to Meanwhile, a track which guitar chords reminded me of Temptation Tide or other half tempo songs from that record, at least the beginning of the song because, once the voices start, the general feeling changes completely into a more melancholic and mellow song, thanks to the vocals of Natalie and Charlotte. Prom Song, the other song you can hear on their site is a more 60s based ballad that sounds, well, very prom song.
Friends with Magic Kids, they have planned a gig with them soon, but no other plans announced so far.


Bake Sale - Meanwhile.mp3

CAGED ANIMALS


Caged Animals is the alter ego of Yellow Malrone that is as well the alter-ego of Vincent Cioffe Cacchione, before known for his work with Soft Black. Lost already? Well, his music is so varied and taking completely different directions and styles that I wouldn't be surprised if all those different names actually hide a split personality disorder. As it's mentioned on the biography part of his Myspace "One part freudian slip and two parts acid casualty; the first offering from Caged Animals oscillates wildly between musical personae and motif. Creating a technicolor palette where all of this prolific Brooklyn songwriter's split personalities exist in equal proportion."
He's just released his first album last month on Tape which I think is already sold out but you can still get the digital files on here. Between the 12 songs of the album we can listen from perfect pop songs like Hazy Girls or Floating Underground with the Stars to experiments like The Way it Feels to be Hunted that sounds like how would Joanna Newsome sing after inhaling helium or how would your cat sing if it could.


Caged Animals - Floating Underground With The Stars.mp3




Caged Animals - The Way It Feels To Be Hunted.mp3

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

FIVENG


Fiveng is San Francisco's Nicholas Ng solo bedroom project. He's been sending some tunes to some blogs for a while and posting them for free on his website being his last one Give Me a Taste, a wall of sound laptop high pitch noisy synth based tune that is pop, pop, pop as his Myspace site says. You can't get more summer than this song, specially design to play on the way to the beach on your about to melt car. So burn it on a CD and get ready for the Summer. Check his website as he has a total of 5 free songs for download, all of them recommendable and uplifting.


Fiveng - Give Me A Taste.mp3

SLEEP OVER - OUTER LIMITS


Austin's Sleep Over Your World is Night, a dark and mysterious track that was on the split single with Pure Ecstasy and recently got a video, got my attention for this band and took me to find out more about them. Now, they recorded a single for Forest Family Records to be out next month called Outer Limits. The song is a bit more mellow and less dark but beautiful and putting them close to the sound of Cocteau Twins and even Beach House, as they describe in GvsB, the blog responsible under this label. The design of the cover is simple but very effective as the song itself and you better pre-order it as soon as it's available (it's not yet at this moment) as their previous two releases sold out before they actually got on sale.

Sleep Over - Outer Limits.mp3

THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART - SAY NO TO LOVE


You'll probably know by now that The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are back with a new single that came out yesterday on their label Slumberland Records. The two song 7 inch Say No to Love / Lost Saint comes after another great non-album tracks single Higher than the Stars that was out last Autumn. No news if any of these two songs will form part of a new album or, as it was tradition at the beginning of the 90s in the UK when some great artists put out numerous non-album EPs, period that the Pains take inspiration from, these songs will remain only available under this format.
The two new songs are not far from what they've been offering until now and although not up there with my personal favourites, they still have some great tunes to offer.


Sunday, 6 June 2010

NIKA & RORY


The first time I heard about Nika & Rory was the song I'm Not Going Anywhere on a blog and I associated it immediately with Zola Jesus. I thought,.."yes I love the song but doesn't it sound too much like Zola Jesus?". Stupid me, I forgot that Zola's actual name is Nika Roza Danilova and, for that reason, this is another project she has with a friend and tour musician called Rory.
Once I cleared that initial confusion, I listened to the song again and appreciate it by itself enjoying more the differences between her main project and this duo collaboration than actually looking for similarities in style and vocal performance. And yes, although the darkness and thick synths are there it sounds like if Nika has been influenced by contemporary R&B and interpolating it into her own territory, the same way The XX did it last year. There's even heavily autotuned vocals by the end of the song which I think are courtesy of Rory but it could even be by Nika herself.
Now that Zola Jesus is getting bigger getting lots of attention by the press it could even happen that this project, still not information about any release whatsoever, eclipses her other alter ego thanks to a closer and cleaner approach to mainstream sounds.
If you thought that The Night was one of the tracks of the year you have here another big competitor for on-repeat track of the year. You can also listen (and download) two more tracks on their Myspace.


Nika and Rory - Im Not Going Anywhere.mp3

Friday, 4 June 2010

SEAHAWKS - HIGH TIDES / ASTRAL WINDS


Seahawks are obsessed with nature, with the space and the ocean. You can imagine then that they perform a kind of electronic sci-fi shoegaze psychedelia that, as we all know, is the language of the planets, the sun and the seas. On each side of this picture 7 inch, their second release after the 3" CDR Tender Abyss, not to go further, they've dedicated a track to the sea, High Tides, and one to the space, Astral Winds, trying to capture the sounds of each on these songs, elevating us to float into space to later submerge us into the depth of the waters. And this limited 7 inch comes with a free 7 track CDR with the first 200 copies called Secrets of the Deep where they explore even more into the natural resources.
They also have a 12 inch coming out next week called Keep on Growing / Omega Beach limited to 250 copies that, according to Rough Trade, have two classic Summer tunes.
Here you have a track from the free CDR:


Seahawks - Deep Secrets.mp3

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

COMPUTER MAGIC - ON VHS


Computer Magic is a girl from NY call Danzie's musical project that describes her own music as a mix of Tropical, sci-fi and dreamy sounds. Using old keyboards and drum machines she performs her songs with urgency and punk attitude but with a pop structure in mind.
She approached me with this song, On VHS, that's been released on the 28th as a download only single and it's available here, and I immediately enjoyed the playful melody, variety of sounds and melancholic atmosphere. You can listen to more songs on her Myspace and Soundcloud sites.


Computer Magic - On VHS.mp3

WEEKEND / YOUNG PRISMS split


The latest release on Transparent is a split between Weekend and Young Prisms. You'll probably remember Weekend from the Mexican Summer 10' single out earlier this year, where they prove there's still a place for noise pop with melodies. Young Prisms proposal and history is not far from Weekend's as their sound is quite close and they also had a release last year on the label that brought us Washed Out's Life of Leisure and also the live 7 split 7' with Small Black available on the Japanese label Big Love. Another thing these bands share is that both are from San Francisco and they've played shows together in many occasions.
The 7 inch is a limited to 300 release as they normally do, available at Pure Groove in the UK.

Young Prisms - I Dont Get Much.mp3