When Loqui's press release dropped into the STN cubbyhole it declared them as "hailing from Leeds but a million miles away from the indie-rock plodders who have put that city on the map", which for a blog that's often hailed the great stuff coming out of that city in the last couple of years seemed a little forward. Still, we assumed they meant the Kaisers and Pigeons and pressed on, which was fortunate as they're one of those bands who seemed to have listened to a lot of uncool influences and sometimes threaten to resemble them but have a spark of genius/madness that sends them well away from the wrong targets. They mention the Cardiacs in their PR and share some of that jazzy, awkward sense that they themselves only have a vague idea of how to get from A to B and certainly aren't going to do so with the minimum of fuss. Then again, you can hear a certain theatricality in them, not so much West End or Brechtian but the low rent glamour of early B-52s and Sparks, and the odd slip into ska-punk mode. No, stay with us. They have a limited edition 7" called Hermes Pan out today on Sturdy Records.
We're having a summer, aren't we? Welcome, then, Bermondsey's Lion O'Brien, who make the kind of sunkissed, optimistic pop that's infectious to a fault with just the merest hint of jangle, sounding like a cut down Fanfarlo or a less West Coast harmony indebted Magic Numbers. Their forthcoming EP is called Raincloud Vs Sunshine, which sounds about right, and is out July 20th. Side note: they're a trio of two men and a woman, who drums. Guess who's furthest forward in their promo picture.
More music made for either lying back in the grass or pulling inappropriate shapes in public are provided by Apples - terrible band name, by the way - who are from Hereford, which seems to be delivering some interesting stuff on the quiet with old STN favourites Gossamer Albatross and the recently signed to Big Scary Monsters instrumental hardcore outfit Talons. The Apples aren't orchestral or math at all. In fact, they sound like Haircut 100, on one track sax and all. Luckily this is the Mystery Jets end of 80s references rather than the Ladyhawke end, and they've got a degree of punk-funk latitude about them too, and a hint of that Afrobeat indie thing you hear so much about. Second download single Theo is out this week.