Friday, July 04, 2014

Friday free-for-all: The John Steel Singers, Talons, Dad Rocks!, Hooray For Earth, Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards

The John Steel Singers - Common Thread

Brisbane's John Steel Singers are a kind of Antipodean sunshine pop cousin to, say, the Phantom Band's windswept dolouresness, in that their basic structures are boosted by elements that both underpin and weft the melodies - motorik psychedelia, prog expansiveness, warped electronics. Here, for example, a glistening hook-laden pop song is strapped to the back of a cosmic undertow. Album Everything's A Thread is released on the 28th.

Talons - The Dreams Have No Dream

Most of the tracks we post nowadays seem to be the second released tracks from new albums, and so it is with the Hereford instrumental sextet and New Topographics, out 4th August via Big Scary Monsters. This is a subtly different beast from most of their dynamic dramatics approach, taking on shoegaze noise with a hint of Reichian repetition underneath, over which it chances a heroic solo. An extended coda brings their duelling violins back into play to heighten the tension.

Dad Rocks! - Body Mass Index

Whether heartfelt or in the cause of wryness, we know Snævar Njáll Albertsson writes songs about things others don't. Our newest taste of second album Year Of The Flesh, released 29th September, is largely piano-based before swells of full funereal brass and crash cymbals take over, a heartstring-tugging ode to a loved one close to death due to anorexia-related causes.

Hooray For Earth - Keys

On their second album Hooray For Earth still haven't decided whether to embrace anthemics or let such fall upon their attempt to introduce chugging guitars to pastel-shaded synths and vocals. The first single from new album Racy, out 29th September, sends the whole thing down dark, distorted lanes instead, an insistent pulse driving things onwards while sticking stingers under the wheels.

Dan Michaelson and The Coastguards - Burning Hearts

Michaelson's baritone croak might have set Absentee aside from the day's also-rans but it's found a more understandably useful home in countrified tones, such as the "misleadingly upbeat" (his words) electrified dustiness of this single from fourth 'solo' album Distance Is, out 18th August and featuring contributions from the Magic Numbers' Romeo Stodart, Johnny Flynn and ex-Metronomite Gabriel Stebbing.

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