Monday, 28 February 2011


It's been a while now since i last talked about a Captured Tracks release taking into consideration I do it really often as the amount of records they put out and the quality of those is both really high. One of the last things they've released (actually I think that if not Today it was last week) it's the debut single (after a 6 tracks tape) of Brooklyn's Widowspeak, a band which has accumulated many good reviews and plenty of comparisons with Mazzy Star thanks to the blissed sounds, slow melodies and a voice with certain resemblance to that of Hope Sandoval. For this first and beautiful single they recover two tracks from their first tape, Harsh Realm and Burnout in new and improved re-recorded versions. You can also listen to some other tracks (including the B side Burnout) on their Facebook profile.

Widowspeak - Harsh Realm

Friday, 25 February 2011


I hate those internet You Tube sensations everybody talks about and later on appear on Weezer videos; guys blowing things or getting harmed Jackass style, pathetic people with no life performing songs in the campiest way for their 5 minutes of fame no matter what and so on. Said that, I'll have to say that although Tonetta can be regarded as another pathetic attempt for internet glory as he's making a fool of himself dressed in lo-fi budget drag and make up performing in front of a curtain in what it looks like the basement of his house in Canada, at least, he's performing his own songs and, I have to say, they are kind of good. Forget the story behind suitable for X Factor (abandoned by his wife and kids 1983, living as a recluse at his home since then with hardly any contact with the outside world) and even don't pay much attention to the videos themselves as they can easily put you off the music itself (although i understand some people may consider they actually work well together) or the fact he looks more fit than Schwarzenegger having a similar age. the thing is that these songs he's been recording for 30 years with old guitars and an old drum machine with just one rhythm are actually quite good and, in a sense, he could be compared to a marginal Bob Dylan, a less poetic Leonard Cohen, a transatlantic Ian Dury or even Ariel Pink, everything through an obvious Glam-Rock filter and punk attitude evident in the lyrics as much as in the performance.
And a guy who saw that talent behind organised some of this tracks into two compilations that came out last year called 777 and 777 Vol. 2 on Black Tent Press. Check out one of the tracks here and multiple videos on Youtube

Thursday, 24 February 2011


EMA, formerly of noise band Gowns, has gone solo after a getting a bit bored of excesses and is trying to go pop on her first release as a solo artist. And I say trying because, although she calls it pop, I'm not sure if releasing a single of a 7 minutes song with a b side of a 17 minutes track is what the general public can understand of pop. Anyway, is the most pop you've heard of her and both tracks here are huge no matter what genre you tried to put them under. The Grey Ship starts like a ghostly and mysterious song and suddenly, in the middle of the song, there's a change of rhythm and melody and a feedback comes through. Erika describes it as "I imagined it being like when Dorothy opens the door to Oz and the whole world turns from black and white to technicolour”. For the b side she attempted covering Kind Hearted Woman, a Robert Johnson blues staple that she transforms into a symphony and its recording nearly ends with her patience, spending months perfecting the track and adding lots of layers until she got what she had in her mind from the beginning.
Although I've heard that it was meant to appear as a 7 inch (I don't really know it that would be possible taking into consideration the length of the tracks) it has only appeared as a download only single by now that you can get here and the album has already been announced for April. Can't wait to hear what it's going to be like.

Friday, 18 February 2011


If the name Ryan Trott doesn't ring any bell maybe you will be more familiar with it if I tell you that he normally records as part of Family Trees, the band that put out the beautiful single Dream Talking on Father Daughter Records last year. Now, he just give us as his first solo EP Spirit Home as a free download. The obvious difference between this EP and the stuff he's put out with his band is the method of recording and final sound, being this a more bedroom lo-fi recording and with a more live sound. As he puts it himself these songs are “8 songs of lo-res hi-fi bedroom dream psych garage folk”.

Listen to one of the tracks here:

Or download the whole thing here

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


Vancouver's Mode Moderne have been working as a band for a while now but mainly inside the Vancouver scene and not getting much international attention. I imagine that if instead of being from Vancouver and having auto-release their first LP they would have been from Brooklyn and had published their record on Captured Tracks, things would be a bit different nowadays.
Maybe, if you were born in the 80s or afterwards you might be a bit bored by now of all this post punk / synth wave revival we are living these days with bands like Cold Cave, Cosmetics, Blank Dogs and co. but if like me you happened to listen to this kind of music when you were younger is kind of refreshing to listen to new bands and new songs in the key of something so familiar to you but at the same time new and exciting.
Mode Moderne's music could have been put out at any point between 1978 and 1983 or, by defect, between 2008 and 2011. Not many possibilities you could hear something like this in between these two slots as the music with these influences that was out in, let's say randomly, 2004, at least had a slightly contemporaneousness that could let you make difference between the old and the new. However, sometimes this new bunch of bands influenced by old British and German bands from the late 70s / 80s don't have this characteristic and could make you confuse them for an unknown old band. There's nothing wrong with that; music shouldn't be judged by its release date anyway and let's face there's not many things nowadays we could say they sound so 2011! And when your songs are as good as Mode Moderne's they could eclipse some of the names they could be compared to.

Mode Moderne - Les Neuf Soeurs


Soft Power is a Scottish record shop famously known for the fact they only sell vinyl (as all the record shops should be) that last year also turned into record label with the release of their first reference, an LP by Theoretical Girls. The second reference was finally announced last month and it's going to be a split single by personal favourite Dirty Beaches and Brave Radar's Conor Prendergast. The split single will contain at least three tracks. Dirty Beaches's side will have a Johnny Cash cover of the singer more in the key of Nick Cave's version (well, actually is exactly as Nick Cave's version but as lo-fi as you can expect is going to be a Dirty Beaches track) and also an instrumental track called Gone to Hell Come Friday dedicated to the memory of Broadcast's Trish KeenaBoldn.

You can listen / download Dirty Beaches The Singer and Conor's Great To Be Here here:

Dirty Beaches - the Singer

Conor Prendergast - Great to Be Here
Monday, 14 February 2011


Fort Lowell Records' latest release, already their 5th, is the first physical single from Death Kit, a LA band that includes members of previous FLR collaborators Wet & Reckless. It's also their most dance oriented and upbeat release to date and it also has for the first time a remix as one of the tracks on the record, Death Kit first single I Can Make You Love Me as interpreted by video?.
This single makes me think of FLR as a big family as it not only contains members of a band they released before but also the remix is made by the group they released as a second single and the vinyl comes with two exclusive download only tracks, one being an acoustic cover of the single's second track by Tracy Shedd, who happened to share the split single with Wet & Reckless and the other a cover of the original song Tracy released for them, this time performed by Death Kit.
The single also comes with a two sided leaflet explaining the 9 facts you always wanted to know about Seagulls, a common bird in Tucson with a footnote from The Birdman, a non-lucrative association that provides care and homing for birds and on the other side you can find information about the Tucson Community Darkroom a project carried by Julia DeConcini, who also created the beautiful artwork, and Jasper Ludwig who provide traditional photographic education and darkroom rentals for the Tucson Community.
You can get the 500 limited record here.

In other news, Fort Lowell Records will contribute with a single to Record Store Day 2011 with no other than Howe Gelb with two different projects: Sno Angel on Side-A and Melted Wires on Side-B. "Spiral" will be the 'Sno Angel song, which is a live version with the Voices Of Praise Gospel Choir. "Cordoba in Slow Motion" will be the Melted Wires song, which is a collaboration between Giant Sand and Calexico, and has not been release yet. Congratulations!!

Death Kit - Devadasi
Sunday, 13 February 2011


Factory Floor have never been in a hurry to conquer the world. Their release periodicity of one single / EP per year (if we don't count the remix series 12s they put out last year after the unnamed EP) hasn't been altered since 2008's Bipolar 7' and this year's fascicle has already been named. In April and via Optimo (Espacio)'s imprint we'll receive R E A L L O V E, a one new track + Optimo remix 12" which will help us through the year while we wait for new stuff and put our hopes up is not for a whole new year again. I haven't heard the original yet (which is produced by Joy Division / New Order's Stephen Morris) but the remix it's an hypnotic song in the key of Lying but with the natural Optimo feeling all over the place.
Factory Floor are also scheduled to perform on one of the two All Tomorrow Parties's Portishead events this Summer at Alexandra Palace.
Monday, 7 February 2011


Although is not the first official single of the sen Cold Cave album and it's not planned for it to have a physical format, The Great Pan is Dead has been chosen by Wesley Eisold himself to be the presentation of his sophomore record and opening track as it also was the first song he composed for the album. If you happened just listen the split EP with Prurient, the Cremations compilation or you saw them live during the last leg of the tour, maybe it will not surprise you as much as if you just heard Love Comes Close. To star with, Wesley's voice has won a lot of confidence and is not afraid anymore of shouting whatever he wants to say. The fact that the band has been playing together for a while has also helped to get a more filling sound, less bedroom produced and more studio full band played. And, as he comments in some interviews this is the sound he was looking for after finishing the stuff that ended up on Cremations but, something closer to pop but still with an experimentation and punk attitude. The record ended up being much more pop than what he was expecting and the beginning so he tried it again for this record that is suppose to follow the pattern of this first song, a breathtaking song about magic, preservation, youth and movement.