Thursday, March 23, 2017

STN recommends: 23/3/17

Perfume Genius - Slip Away

The last time Mike Hadreas had something from a new album to share it was Queen, and it blew most of the year away. Like that song this bursts from a tentative opening into technicolour; unlike it this seems more metallic, less keen on outre sashaying than percussion-driven bold statements of individuality, strength through passion's vulnerability. No Shape is out May 5th.

Saint Etienne - Heather

Bob, Pete'n'Sarah's first album in six years, out June 2nd, is called Home Counties, that most London of bands getting round to considering their shared teenage years in Surrey and Berkshire. From just the (19-strong!) tracklisting business appears to be as unusual. There's a track called Sports Report! And Church Pew Furniture Restorer! And one, presumably in tribute to Earl Brutus' Nick Sanderson, called Train Drivers In Eyeliner! And Bob's finally got a track called Popmaster in! The song features an unexpectedly heavy bassline amid some quite restrained pastorial synth floatiness and Cracknell's lyrical muse stuck in suburbia.

Gallops - Crystal Trap

A third advance cut from Bronze Mystic, out 21st April, starts off in ambient waters and then slowly gains its propulsive steady vertical takeoff by means of 8-bit settings, syncopated rhythms and electronic post-rock floating before a mammoth synth sturm und drang moment. It's quite the adventure, yet again.

H Hawkline - My Mine

Huw Evans' In The Pink Of Condition was one of the sleeper hit albums of 2015, and with Cate le Bon co-producing and playing alongside Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa I Romanticize, out 2nd June, might well give him that extra push. The single is certainly classically further along his trail of shaky, skewed take on harmonic psych-pop.

Thurston Moore - Smoke Of Dreams

Neither the folkishness Moore openly loves nor the noise of yore, Moore's new album Rock n Roll Consciousness, out April 28th, was produced by Paul Epworth, which might explain some of the sheen, and features Steve Shelley and MBV's Debbie Googe, which doesn't. It's quite contemplative and thinking retrospectively of youthful hopes and ghosts, in fact, maybe a side effect of his residing in London these days.

Big Walnuts Yonder - Sponge Bath

Reminder that BWY a) is a bad name and b) are Mike Watt, Nels Cline, Deerhoof's Greg Saunier and Tera Melos' Nick Reinhart, and when we first came across the project they were essentially free jazz hardcore. This time around they're up the hypnagogic end of the scale, Reinhart taking vocals on a queasy psych-out lope. There's a track on the self-titled album, out May 5th, called I Got Marty Feldman Eyes.

Ralegh Long - Take Your Mind Back

It's kind of dizzying seeing where Long goes, as he evolved from power pop to orchestral beauty and now into a kind of country rock take on Big Star/Paisley Underground moves, with his honeyed presence to the fore. There's a pre-order/manufacturing crowdfunding going on for Upwards Of Summer, out 9th June.

Mr Jukes - Angels/Your Love

Well, this is unexpected as much for being any good as its origins. A brassy soulful, sax-driven cool groove featuring a looping sax sample from jazz fusionist Jorge Lopez Ruiz plus impassioned vocals from one BJ The Chicago Kid, pitching somewhere between a becalmed Avalanches, a jazzier Gorillaz and the Face-friendly first flowerings of British jazz-funk circa 1982, you'd never guess it was the first solo work of Jack Steadman, formerly of Bombay Bicycle Club. Album God First is out June 9th.

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