Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - French Press
Another of that growing band of taut, whipsmart young bands, the kind-of-title track from The French Press EP, out 10th March, is expansively melodic surf-pop with bite that lands somewhere between the Dunedin Sound and the nu-slacker Parquet Courts/Real Estate types in its relentless semi-jangle building to a crescendo of a climax. They call their sound "tough pop/soft punk", which does the job better than we could.
Wire - Diamonds In Cups
The second offcut from that difficult fifteenth album Silver/Lead, out 31st March, is them in restrained mood, which in Wire's world means a glam guitar sound and Colin Newman sounding simultaneously equanimous and threatening in a way you can imagine having equally appeared on Chairs Missing or A Bell Is A Cup Until It Is Struck.
Laura Marling - Nothing, Not Nearly
Again, the way things are going we'll have videos for the whole of Semper Femina before it's released, and yes, we're aware that's the end of this week now. Lots of words, bluesy power chords as eight-bar punctuation and a paen to love's imagery and resilience.
Trust Fund - Splitter
We'd not had anything from Ellis and co in 2017 and it's now March so that had to change sharpish. Taken from Put Ears On Yourself, a 7" series from Sligo-based Art For Blind Records, as usual it sounds like it might fall apart if you prodded it just had enough and deals with the notion of companionship, around the notion of using a headphone socket splitter on a coach journey.
Meilyr Jones - Watchers
To tie in with the last dates to support 2013, a chamber orchestral ballad about a man who goes blind looking out to sea at night after his loved one drowns, with the literary hopelessness and grandiosity that all of the above naturally suggests.
yr friends - i got nothing/Magana - To Be the Same
Two tracks now from the latest of Audio Antihero's compilations, Unpresidented Jams raising money for the Southern Poverty Law Center and National Immigration Law Center - Alexei Berrow you'll know from many, many STN points of exposure before, Jeni Magana continues building on her reputation for semi-broken resilience. Elsewhere there's new Fridge Poetry (Junior JoFo), Jeffrey Lewis, Jack Hayter, Benjamin Shaw, Deerful and Cloud among many others.
Overcoats - Nighttime Hunter
At first the New York-based duo resemble First Aid Kit with a laptop, but with Autre Ne Veut and Nicolas Vernhes (Dirty Projectors, Daughter, Deerhunter) co-producing it's bound to turn into something else, and so it proves as the crystalline harmonies, already dipped in self-doubt and vulnerability, are sent through loops and restrained beats to emerge as R&B-tinged spectrality. Album Young is released 21st April.
Big Walnuts Yonder - Raise The Drawbridges?
There's a name. Quite the background too, as they're a coming together of the great and legendary Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE, latter day Stooges), Nels Cline of Wilco and plenty besides, Greg Saunier of Deerhoof and Nick Reinhart of Tera Melos. They have a self-titled album out May 5th, from which the first bolt starts off aiming to filter hardcore through free jazz a la Minutemen themselves, then threatens to turn into Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band instead, before attempting to find common uber-psychedelic ground regardless of sense.
Wavves - Daisy
Hey kids, remember the hazy, crazy days of 2010? Nathan Williams is off a major and on his own Ghost Ramp label for sixth album You're Welcome, due May 19th. That he/they are promoting it by supporting Blink 182 isn't entirely helpful, but the single is the kind of natty, slighty screwy surf-punk cut that made people aware of him in the first place.