Monday, August 25, 2008

A journey of discovery

As record companies lose money and bands look for new ways of getting their music to the people quicker blah blah drone zzzzzzzz. Someone has to put the fun back into the way music is presented, so it might as well be The Wonderland Project. A duo originally from Brighton and Oxford, they match wistful life vignettes to offbeat keyboards and beats, somewhere between the Postal Service and Pagan Wanderer Lu. Their new album The History Of Science & How To Mend A Broken Heart is out today and is available from Amazon and iTunes, but they're hoping that's not the way you pick up on it. Instead from today they're distributing a number of limited edition, numbered CDs in random places around the country, the hope being that whoever picks them up listens, rips them if they want and then leaves the CD in another place where it can be passed on. Those who pick them up will also be asked to tell the band via their website where the CD was dropped, so the individual journeys can be plotted on the roving album map and they can see how far the records have got. We're not sure how much of a response it'll really get, but it's definitely worth a shot.

The Wonderland Project - A Sense Of Community

While we're about it, let's delve back into the promo pile for something we've had lying around for about four months now and never got round to posting from until now, for which we apologise. Stars And Sons is Mike Lord, who also plays in the live incarnation of our old friends 4 Or 5 Magicians and on his own produces infectious keyboard-led melodies with an ambitious sweep that recalls Ed Harcourt and an air that is positively Canadian (which Lord's not, he's from Brighton via Colchester, but there's echoes of Owen Pallett and Spencer Krug at large) The Goat Show EP is available on an honesty payment system from Myspace; if that's too much effort, 14.28571% of it is below.

Stars And Sons - Fights Already Fought

Finally we continue our recent co-option of Project Notion, a band who when first brought to your attention we commented upon the top line of their Myspace friends and now find ourselves on that same top line. If you're coming fresh to these five teenagers-and-thereabouts from Melton Mowbray, and if you aren't thanks to what we've written about them before you might recognise a lot of this paragraph, they trade in a complexity that defies most attempts at pinning them down. The guitars are math-rock tappy, the rhythms from the better end of jazz-rock, Tori Maries sounds like she's come hotfoot from a trip-hop recording session, and there's an undertow of folky acoustics and percussion. They're mesmerising live, where the intricate Tim and Mike Kinsella-esque guitars (although we do actually doubt they'd claim Cap'n Jazz and their ilk as influences the way they use them) really take off, and while they've claimed influence from Anathallo and Califone and longtime local scene trustee Kevin Hewick reckons "The Sundays crossed with Durutti Column and Discipline era King Crimson", really there's nothing immediately coming to mind that accurately nails their style. This is from The Ethereal Apparatus, a six track EP they're currently giving away to anyone who sends their snailmail address to the email address in their Myspace blog.

Project Notion - Castles In The Air

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