Monday, April 25, 2011

Sweeping The Nation presents... We Make Our Own Mythologies

This album is no longer available

Released to coincide with STN's sixth birthday on Friday - we're organising a gathering of fans along the Mall in central London to mark the day - We Make Our Own Mythologies (click through the picture, which is Alex Hale's singular handiwork) is our first proper compilation of the sort of British bands we've expended far too much effort on promoting for no other reason than we think you, the discerning audience, should be listening to them. We're selling it through Bandcamp on a pay-what-you-like basis with a set minimum of £3 (or each track is 50p). All the money made after Bandcamp and PayPal take their cuts will go direct to Macmillan Cancer Support, providing care to improve the lives of people affected by cancer, an organisation that provided invaluable help to my family in the last couple of months of last year.

Twenty tracks therein, including a number of exclusives, demos and rarities, very generously donated by artists and labels concerned upon our request, and we publicly and graciously thank them all. We didn't ask for any sort of umbrella theme or stylistic levelling off, so this is a bit wayward and idiosyncratic as far as charity compilations go, but you'd expect nothing less from us after so long. Let's have a quick rundown.

Johnny Foreigner - Who Needs Comment Boxes When You've Got Knives
One of the bands we've been proud to say we've sometimes over-keenly followed from early on, and we know they know about us too. Taken from You Thought You Saw A Shooting Star etc., their EP from the end of 2011 on Alcopop! Records.

Ace Bushy Striptease - EchoeseChoesecHoesechOesechoEsechoeS
Birmingham's excitably wonky lo-fi kids offer an exclusive track from their third album, The Words That You Said Are Still Wet In My Head, to be released some time in late summer/autumn. They're currently touring with The Middle Ones and will be playing Indietracks.

Well Wisher - Babe Issues
Well Wisher are from Manchester and are reminiscent of that Kinsella-aided wave of math-post-hardcore bands Chicago spewed out over the mid-90s, all spidery guitars, collapsible rhythms, strident vocals and emotive self-regard. This comes from a forthcoming split 7" with Canadian fellow travellers Polina.

Kidnapper Bell - Falling And Laughing
Three spikily intricate Birmingham-based bands in the first four! Kidnapper Bell have been around for three or four years now developing their sturdily livewire, almost poppy explosive powderkegs of jumping post-post-punk. This is taken from their recent limited edition double A-side.

Codex Leicester - Hey Hey Hot Legs
Across the Midlands to... well... Leicester, and a band whose demos, all tightly wound post-hardcore guitar abuse with a restless art-metal twist, have been exciting many a cutting edge radio DJ.

Stagecoach - Ice Age
From 2009's We Got Tazers! EP, an example of the much touted London-via-Surrey outfit's knowledge of the best route through dishevelled, compact power-pop.

Honour Before Glory - A Beautiful Reminder
Exclusive track from recent sessions by the new project of Whiskas, who you'll know best from ¡Forward Russia! and who now trades in reverberating, fractured atmospheric soundscapes with heartfelt songwriting at its core.

Her Name Is Calla - Pour More Oil
From last year's stunning debut album proper The Quiet Lamb, a stately, unhurried march towards the flames building from delicacy to a bloodletting of strings, brass and cathartic cries.

Rumour Cubes - At Sea
An EP out last October in small physical quantities, from which this comes, proved a tantalising enough introduction to a soaringly cinematic six-piece who deal in ebbing and flowing textures, led by strings, undertowed by electronics.

Under Alien Skies - Slew
We've been banging on about the Prestatyn duo for a while now, because every release fascinates with the way it perambulates around hazy washes of harmonies, effects and hovering beats. This previously unreleased track layers their usual blissed out vocals on more distorted terrain to unnerving effect.

Stairs To Korea - Josiah's A Writer Now (demo)
Having just released everything he's put out so far on Little Fractures EP, Will Vaughan's newest material starts off like a fight between a ragged rock band and a wall of amateur electronics and only gets less explicable, and thus more good, from there.

Moscow Youth Cult - Sakura Sakura
The Nottingham-based duo play live alongside cut-up video of bizarre sci-fi films and their music is a bit like that too, skew-wiff electro beats and loops producing a kind of 8-bit electropop the charts wouldn't recognise.

The Japanese War Effort - Pool Attendant
From an EP called Surrender To Summer that had an almost only rumoured about release last summer but will be reissued properly by Song, By Toad soon enough, Jamie Scott feeds hazy summer melodies into a broken electronic forcefield and attempts to form a strain of oblique storytelling out of the remnants.

King Post Kitsch - Walking On Eggshells
Another recent addition to Song, By Toad's splendid stable, a mysterious Glaswegian only publicly known as Charlie attempts to carve a path between lyrically astute classic melodicism and hotwrired electronics on this from last year's Monomaniac EP.

Japanese Sleepers - Whistler's Breath
From last month's Little Victories EP, released by Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation, Japanese Sleepers are equally from Nottingham and, yeah, Sheffield and merge folk-tinged, tenderly reflective indie - Bobby Wratten should be jealous - with just off-centre melodies and electronic rhythms.

My First Tooth - Silent Spring
Another Alcopop! product, Northampton's My First Tooth specialise in melancholy, almost summery folk-pop with a heartaching undercurrent. There is banjo plucking. There are uplifting wordless chorales. This is taken from last year's album Territories.

Ralegh Long and the Primary 3 - The Trees of The Field
Taken from sessions for an EP to be released later in the year, an example of the directly expressed ideas and enigmatic melodic reconstruction that's seen Long compared to Robyn Hitchcock and Darren Hayman.

The Sound Of The Ladies - The Only Girl Who Would Ever Break My Heart
In his downtime Martin Austwick is Martin The Sound Man, resident third wheel on the award-winning Answer Me This! podcast. He's also an actual qualified quantum physicist. And as you can hear here he's also a lyrically wry and expansive singer-songwriter.

Daughter - Run (demo)
Daughter is Elena Tonra, a 19 year old from north London with an acoustic guitar, a sweetly acidic, vulnerable yet commanding voice and a poetic bent, deeply resigned to vicissitudes of love and caring. The Communion people are already behind her and she's just released the His Young Heart EP.

Shy And The Fight - Living
Finally, an exclusive track from a forthcoming EP, Written about a band family member's fight against cancer, from Chester's heartfelt hookworthy hoedown folk-country septet, recently heard on the Jack Wills advert of Daily Mail fame.

We Make Our Own Mythologies - buy now for at least £3

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