So we've been snowed under in the last couple of weeks with CDs and mp3s, as any rightful blog should, and have only just emerged demanding oxygen having pared down to the very best of them. And a lot of good stuff has come to the fore too, so there'll be another mp3 post next week, but for the time being, and still on Sendspace for server reasons we can't work out:
Do you remember Distophia? They were a discordantly lo-fi Birmingham outfit whose 2003 mini-album Soda Lake attracted fervent support from the underground as was and whose 2007 album Beat Dyslexia attained proper mythical properties by dint of never bein released due to label/band problems, although we understand it's now on various download services. Three of them have now reformed as Calories, and they do actually get to release an album, Adventuring, via our compadres Smalltown America on 9th March. The noise of Sonic Youth, the hidden melodies of Seafood, the twists of Pavement, the everything of their mates Johnny Foreigner... it's all going on and it works.
Calories - Adventuring
The Gullivers, a trio on record now swelled to four from rock city Bicester, are big on making nothing out of something, by which we mean they take the tools other use to send their songs well over the production top - yearning vocals, shimmering delayed guitars, general English wet weather melancholy - and contract them into these small boxes of glacier-like stately movement. It never reaches the really intense levels their clear influences from The National and Joy Division suggest because it feels it has enough about it already not to need it.
The Gullivers - Neptune
Sheffield's Screaming Maldini will never want to deal with us again if we mention that the start of one of their Myspace songs reminds us of Alphabeat, but we're not in this to make friends. No, we're in this to share good new music with you. They may call it prog-pop but this, La Roux, is what we understand out here by 80s-style pop - it doesn't really hark back to that era at all, but its free flowing melody and inventive layering make it stand out in territory they could if they tread very carefully mark out as their own.
Screaming Maldini - The Extraordinary
Hailie from Boca Chica, who we recommended on here a while back, emailed to tell us about The Key Party presents.. 'Playing Favorites', a compilation of the interconnected parts of the Pittsburgh scene. Our pick is Lohio, a six piece somewhere around Ziggy Stardust Bowie, Sparklehorse, the New Pornographers and the Gillian Welch & David Rawlings end oof alt-country.
Lohio - Sea And The Sun
Lostmusic Records are releasing a series of 7"s early this year, the first of which features the Phillipines' Moscow Olympics on one side and on the other Stockholm's The Morning Paper, who bring us drums from the Mary Chain, guitars from Slowdive and pleasing ethereality.
Morning Paper - Always Real