Sunday, 30 January 2011


While Jana Hunter has put on quarantine her solo efforts after some remarkable releases, she joined a band last year called Lower Dens that put out an album, Twin Hand Movement, and a single, I Get Nervous, that, at least, are comparable with her previous stuff if not even better. They started the new year putting out a new release: the single Batman / Dear Betty Mayo out on Gnomonsong as usual with two brand new songs; the jolly and upbeat Batman and the more dense and introspective B side, a Mayo Thompson cover. Both songs blend together perfectly thanks to Jana's haunting voice although they are quite different.

Check as well this promo video for the single that, strangely, doesn't have the song on it but a weird cooking lesson:

Thursday, 27 January 2011


Sea Pinks is the alias of Girls Names' drummer solo project. With his main band they achieved an international status of recognition thanks to their two EPs, one for Captured Tracks and one for Tough Love, and a split single with Brilliant Colors that are between my last year's personal favourites and they'll soon will release their first album on Slumberland which I can't wait to listen to.
And on his free time he had time to put out a tape that's already some months old but it's still available for you to get here as a download only as the tape is already sold out. On that tape he managed to simplify even more the sound of his main band and give it a more 60s shinny pop sound that sometimes reminds me a lo-fi version of some Kindercore bands like The Masters of the Hemisphere.

You can download for free one of the tracks here.

And now he re-recorded some of the songs of that tape with a full band and released a 4 track 12" white label on the same label that is selling out really quickly. Here you can see the video of the re-recording of the main track, Peripheral Vision

Peripheral Vision from Sea Pinks on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Levek introduces himself like this on his Myspace: I'm a bus driver that makes music. After a long day of elementary schoolers putting gum on my lovely pleather bus seats I enjoy a good space jam while sorting through the Disney VHS collection. .. Just after reading this description you know you have to like his music for the sake of it, only because he deserves it. And then you listen to his music and you realise there's a lot to enjoy to his music. This is his first official release although he previously put up a demo mini-album on his Bandcamp full of big little songs that pay a lot of attention to the arrangements and take a lot of inspiration from classic Disney movies soundtracks like Dumbo or Fantasia. Online, he's even been compared to Sufjan Stevens for the way he arranges the songs, like if they were little orchestrated masterpieces. Although his approach and his compositions are quite different I can understand these comparisons and I can imagine what he could do with more budget. And anyway, the A side of this single sounds like at least he had the opportunity to record in a proper studio and the results are splendid. Look on the Bright Side is a beautifully recorded song that also opens new doors for him, looking for more soulful sounds, taking inspiration from Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. The most amazing thing of all is that everything comes from the mind of just one person, David Levesque, who should be given the opportunity of recording a whole album with a bit of budget and I'm sure he would get the acknowledgment he deserves.
You can get the 7 inch on Father / Daughter records, a small label which only has three references so far (I've covered the three of them in here) but every single one they put out is a must have.

Levek - Look on the Bright Side

Monday, 24 January 2011


Lately, good dance music has been flirting with some 90s and 00s stereotypes of popular dance music, giving them a new and more valuable interpretation. From the diva voice sample to the acceleration of beats or the overload garage bass , projects like Kingdom or Teengirl Fantasy give a new vocabulary to these old and overused cliches. Christian Aids (not sure where the name inspiration came from) are a band / project from Manchester with no information at all on their Myspace: just a couple of killer tunes that use those cliches as well but the final result is something as modern and current as Mount Kimbie or James Blake, to name the evident and current glory names of the genre.
Fever starts as an atmospheric and dark beatless tune to explode into a colourful and crazy fast dance song proper of post rave years, everything in less than 3.30 minutes. The song is still a demo so it may change once is out.

Christian Aids - Fever (demo)

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Austra is the new creature out from the many talents of Katie Stelmanies, a Toronto singer who's been in many projects and released some stuff under her name as well, like the amazing single Believe Me / Crying I reviewed in here a couple of years ago. This week, her new combo, a more electronic and beat oriented version of her solo stuff but still with the spirituality and drama of her previous releases, came to London to perform some shows and present their first release, a 12 inch with three songs that was previously released on Fucked Up's label One Big Science and now is out through Domino in the UK. You can here the three songs on the Domino Soundcloud space in here or get in in one of the many shops Domino gets to.

Austra - Beat & The Pulse by DominoRecordCo
Friday, 14 January 2011


I've never made a post about a musician passing away before. This blog's purpose is another but Today was a very sad, sad day. Broadcast was one of my favourite bands ever and when I received the news I felt like a friend died. I've heard her voice so many times it became so close to me. It is music I always revisit and go back to. I never get bored to listen to again and again. It was a very sad, sad day.


UPDATE: A friend of Trish uploaded a mistape online she made him before Broadcast's last tour in Australia. It's really interesting. Here's a note from him:

"Before she went to Australia Trish sent me a mix CD of bonkers pop music she compiled, I never thanked her. It's called Mind-Bending Motorway Mix and I want to share it with you, please pass the link on, share it far and wide, it's a little tribute to a (as a friend referred to her today) exhilarating woman, we're all thinking about you, James.

"Sorry I don't have a tracklist and to be honest I like it that way. I think it's less about who you're listening to on... that compilation and more about the fact you are listening to something that Trish took time to select and compile for me and in turn yourselves. Sorry but please just enjoy the music."

You can get the mixtape here


Manchester was the centre of the universe back in the late 70s with bands like Joy Division, The Fall or The Buzzcocks and then again in the 80s with The Smiths, Stone Roses or Happy Mondays. Everything got a bit quieter afterwards (with exception of Oasis) and nowadays while the city has risen from the post-industrial decadence to a more modern cosmopolitan city its musical influence over the world has been fading to nearly disappeared. If you walk around the city, its record shops and bars, you can see a general nostalgia for those glory days that now look more like a tourist attraction / theme park. But we still have, from time to time, a new band that appears from the small live circuit of bars as it's the case of The Louche F.C.
After growing up from gig to gig / mouth to mouth they will release their first single next month on Sways Records, the double A side Back Bedroom Casualty / Only in a Dream. They define their sound as 60s post-punk / Orbison shoegaze which is obvious on Only in a Dream.
You can pre-order it here .

The Louche F.C. - Only in a Dream

The Louche FC - Only in a Dream by sways


Anika, a 24 year old German girl settled in the UK and Berlin, released an album at the end of last year that's been massively overlooked (probably because when it appeared all the lists were pre-designed) although it had all the elements to be a candidate to be on the end of the year lists: produced by Geoff Barrow from Portishead and Beak>, mixing experimentalism with a post-punk attitude that makes the whole thing retro, current and timeless and approaching the cover (Bob Dylan's Masters of War, Yoko Ono's Yang Yang or Julie London's popularised End of the World) as a weapon reminding The Flying Lizards crazy covers of the late 70s.
It's impossible to read a review of the record without seeing the name Nico all around, clearly an influence but also the consequence of making the obvious association of German female vocal artist with strong accent singing in English with a love for dark and mysterious melodies, all very European sounding. Anyway, there's more to the record than that as it filters dub "a la Metal Box way", Krautrock, 60s pop or synthwave.
You can catch her live at London's Lexington on the 26th this month or later in France, Belgium, Spain or at the Portishead's All Tomorrow's Parties events next Summer.

Anika - Masters of War

Thursday, 13 January 2011


Zoo Kid makes us think, we that are far away from our youthful years, that we through away the best years of our lives. How can a 16 year old make songs like this? Has he been making music since he was 2 to get to this level of composition abstraction and sophistication and make it sound natural and innate? (The credits praise written, performed and produced by Archy Marshall)
His song Out Getting Ribs has already been praised around but the B side to the single, Has This Hit, out on House Anxiety Records and probably soon to be sold out (so you better run) is as big as the A side. He sounds as he's been listening to lots of music (he can sound like Ian Curtis without wanting to sound like him in a time everybody wants to sound like him but fail trying) and filtered everything in a way it only ends up sounding as himself. It's definitely a one to follow from really close in the British scene in a time there's not much interesting going on here.


I haven't mentioned Beko for a while now. It's hardly impossible to get track of all what they put up as every Monday you have a new (virtual)free single, compilation, boxset, etc.. and if you get distracted for a while, you've missed some weeks and have lots to catch up. This last Monday though, is obvious that I would mention, taking into account the previous post, the free 11 track compilation they put together on collaboration with La Station Radar. 11 artist that have previously released something for this label hands out a new / unreleased track for our enjoyment, including some personal favourites like Ela Orleans, Dirty Beaches, Jeans Wilder or Archers by the Sea. You can download the whole thing (and many more free great music) here

Ela Orleans - Black and White Flight


This 7 inch has already a couple of months but the hibernation of the blog + how long it takes the postage from France to the UK during the Christmas season have delayed the whole thing. Probably you've heard something about Jeans Wilder before, maybe one of his numerous tapes or maybe the split single he put out with Best Coast, as well as this for La Station Radar, one label that has increasingly become more and more indispensable. This single contains three songs of noise surf that work as a perfect companion for his first proper vinyl LP, Nice Trash, out at the same time as a collaboration between this label and Atelier Ciseaux which is more sampled and melody based and explores other quieter territories.
You can get both things here

Jeans Wilder - Simpler Times

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


Next Monday, the never ever resting Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls fame will release her second single with her solo project La Sera after the dream pop beauty of Never Come Around. This second single called Devils Heart Grow Gold will also feature in her first album out on February 15th that will be simply called La Sera and will be another reference on the newly imprint Sub Pop branch label Hardly Art. The B side Dedicated to the One I Love, which will not appear on the album, sounds like is a cover of the classic song many times covered and popularised by Mama Cass between others.
In other news she will be touring Europe once again next month including White Heat in London. See you there.

La Sera - Devils Hearts Grow Gold


Last year we saw a couple of releases from a band called Sleep ∞ Over who investigated into the atmospheric parameters of bands like Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil and other 4AD bands from the 80s. After some months of silence, a new project from two of its members called Boy Friend appeared yesterday at BandCamp. Not sure if this means that Sleep ∞ Over are not more but seems logic as their first EP called simply Boy Friend follows what their single for Forest Family Records started and if these songs where not signed under this new name it would be impossible to guess it's a new project without knowing it in advance.
It was up for download for free yesterday. From today you'll have to pay $4 USD for the whole thing (4 tracks) or $1 for individual tracks, but it's worth the money as it is even better than what they've done before.

Get it here

Boy Friend - The False Cross


Hello everybody. It's been a while since my last post, nearly a couple of months. The reasons for this hibernation are many: time, technical difficulties and some other reasons I'm not going to name.
The fact is I'll try it again. Some things have changes meanwhile like the way you can stream / download songs. My upload provider stopped accepting more uploads and I've struggle to find a new one that offered the same conditions. Anyway, here we are again. Hope you enjoy it.