Neil Pennycook put the shapeshifting wonder of Meursault to bed last August and, bar a pause for the ace Bastard Mountain album, got to working on his own material once again under the Supermoon name, less filled out and more suited to devotional church service atmospherics than sonic cathedral but no less heart-on-sleeve emotive, beating heart melancholic or inventively arranged, and that distinctive voice is as strong as ever. From an EP of early recordings, try this example.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Good news for everyone who likes a good Mountain Goats concept album, because LP number fifteen Beat The Champ (out April 13th in the UK) is solely about professional wrestling. Or more precisely a refraction of John Darnielle's "avenue of escape when I was a kid", so presumably not really a professional wrestling story arc at all if we're any judge of the man's back catalogue. Except (and indeed) this track actually is about Chavo Guerrero Sr, Texas and LA-based multiple local champion of the late 70s and 80s and Darnielle's squared circle hero as something to cling to against his afore-written about abusive stepfather.
Posted by Simon at 9:46 pm
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Landshapes have been around for a while in a couple of guises but they've never sounded quite as sure of themselves as this from their second album sessions. The electronic bass seems to slither as much as pulse, the rhythm pushes and progresses as if in a hallucinatory trance and guitars attempt to break free of their shackles while Luisa Gerstein is hypnotic atop. It's quite something.
Monday, January 19, 2015
Frankly, it's been too long - they've been talking about new material since being involved in a music-shifting app nobody understood that was released in September 2013. Continuing a proud tradition of poor album titles this one is called +- and is produced by Michael Beinhorn, who did the duty on And The Glass Handed Kites and helps the band return to that era's ambitious arena-in-miniature forward momentum with obtuse lyrical concerns.
Posted by Simon at 4:41 pm
Friday, January 16, 2015
Jilk is a Bristol-based electronic collective who fuse glitches with ambient soundscapes and you know who the currently second album-bound Haiku Salut are, DON'T YOU. Coming together in the name of remixing they instead collaborated on a single out February 9th, wherein awry, airy washes of sound both found and synthesised shape themselves around the stutters and pinpoint arrangements we know the trio for, eventually invegilating their way in and setting off sparks and creeping down ambient-psychedelic paths.
Posted by Simon at 5:17 pm
Thursday, January 15, 2015
The shimmering, hypnotic post-shoegaze beauty of Echo Lake was getting quite some attention around their debut album in 2012 until the death of their drummer necessarily halted their momentum. Back on March 2nd with second LP Era, the single pounds on the walls and shapeshifts beneath but expands its horizons over six and a half minutes of poised noise and beauty.
Posted by Simon at 5:23 pm
Yak are one of those hyped London bands we hear so much about these days, replete with connections (something to do with Peace's social circle) and a hip label behind them (Fat Possum, putting this out on 24th February). None of which seems to matter once disappearing down the wormhole of this psych-out, reminiscent of nobody so much as 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster reined in a little, with a guitar sound that shudders and careens out towards space, a thick old bassline and a boggle-eyed chorus.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Carlisle's The Lucid Dream put out a magnificently lysergic single as part of Too Pure's Club last February, and their second album due 30th March is preceded by this reverb frenzy that channels Spacemen 3 and Flying Saucer Attack in its motorik drive and warp factor guitar sounds, straining at the seams of its surroundings by its speeding up end.
Posted by Simon at 6:32 pm
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Newly signed to Wichita, who are on a good run of form as far as obtuse solo auteurs are going, young Londoner Oscar Scheller possesses a rich baritone that's somewhere between Magnetic Fields' Stephen Merritt and the soulish gravel of Sean Rowe. Musically he's somewhere in between too but leaning more towards the former's synth-aided melodic formality, favouring a poised emotional release that explodes into a big pop melody chorus that just about restrains itself from taking off too unduly. Single out 1st March.
Posted by Simon at 5:00 pm
Monday, January 12, 2015
The cohorts play their parts, of course they do, but Ellis Jones just has this way of putting together a slightly ramshackle, slightly left of fuzzy centre song that flirts with mid-90s US power-pop and bedroom lo-fi without ever really being either, a querulous voice at the centre of a shaking melody and a lyrical style that cuts to truths almost too uncomfortably. No One's Coming For Us is out 9th February; on March 21st they play our own fourth annual Leicester Indiepop Alldayer.
Posted by Simon at 5:49 pm
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
And we're off for 2015 with someone who was among our tips for 2014 and promptly released nothing all year. He's already making up for that with this single, featuring Tom Dougall of Toy on lead guitar and Jack Hayter on weeping pedal steel, on the 26th, with debut album Hoverance due in April. A smidgen over two minutes is just enough for the sophisticatedly melody and reflective imagery to set out its place.