Monday, May 21, 2018

What you may have missed: March

Amaya Laucirica - Let It Happen
It's been a big year so far for Australian acts catching on overseas and Laucirica is at the upper end with Rituals, sumptuous, quietly multi-layered and open hearted dreampop rich with yearning and learning, like a Melbourne Rose Elinor Dougall

BRNDA - Five Dollar Shake
Post-punk's... not dead? This has the insistent bassline, choppy guitars and minimal take on James Murphy-style declamatory vocal style of the form, but the conciseness is swapped out for six minutes of insistency

Cavern Of Anti-Matter - Automatic Morning
Also six minutes of insistency, but as you'd expect on a much more exploratory kosmiche bent dipping into dystopian sci-fi electronica

Czarface & MF Doom feat. Open Mike Eagle & Kendra Morris - Phantoms
Czarface is Inspectah Deck and two others, Doom has yet another collaborative album under his belt, and Open Mike takes the crown on the 8-bit backing that heads into creepy drama

Dama Scout - Milky Milk
Almost as if bands are too young to remember the Mary Whitehouse Experience these days. Bot as strong as their EP from last year in truth but still a strong addition to the catalogue in its uneasy shift from studied cool to sludgy riffs

Dinosaur Jr. - Hold Unknown
An Adult Swim Singles Club production, Mascis' guitar takes off in its compact form and it sounds not like a knockoff but something that stands alongside their post-reformation best

Ed Schrader's Music Beat - Seagull
Far too late to catch up on the Baltimore duo who released their debut in 2012, but an intriguing concoction that starts off as bass-led casual minimalism and then, aided by producer Dan Deacon, races into a sonic wormhole

Frankie Cosmos - Jesse
Standout from Vessel, Greta Kline's third album of self-questioning diary thoughts as elliptical lyrics

Gender Roles - Gills
88 seconds, one immutable riff, a whole host of forward motion punk-pop excitement she wrote

Hilary Woods - Inhaler
Slo-mo, almost modern classical based, atmospheric eeriness is Woods' stock in trade and with every release seems to develop its aura more, floating ethereally like Grouper crossing over with Julee Cruise. The album Colt is out 8th June and we can't wait

Hop Along - Prior Things
Unusual to hear strings on a Hop Along track, and indeed at not far off six minutes of straining restraint it's really not their usual approach even though Frances Quinlan still sounds anguished in her self-examination

Illuminati Hotties - Paying Off The Happiness
Kiss Yr Frenemies is a tremendous debut album of off-kilter guitar-pop that nods well at Los Campesinos! in its all-in-it-together atmosphere, unsurety about gradually becoming a responsible adult and elaborate, sometimes misleadingly peppy musical settings

itoldyouiwouldeatyou - Get Terrified
Overstaffed (now including Alexei JoFo) and full of musical ideas, shifting like math-rock and screaming into the picture like post-hardcore, with a socio-political heavy underwiring

John McCabe - April
Classy three minute Cali guitar pop that sounds even better in this weather we're having

John Parish - Sorry For Your Loss
Hey look, another low-key PJ Harvey feature! A duet with her oldest collaborator apparently about someone else who worked with both, Mark Linkous, it's mandolin-led and oddly light until an acid guitar pokes its head in

La Luz - California Finally
Harmonies, twangy surf guitars, audible steady cruising... there's a suspicion that more is going on underneath, but they sound like there's a big blue sky above them at all times

Lakookala - My Way Home
Another product of LA, this one all the work of Nicole Ranalli, but really quite different as a quicksand bassline gives way to electro beats, plinking piano and dramatic Harveyish vocals

The Lay Llamas - Silver Sun
Not related to that Silver Sun, but Italian droney-Krauty-psych from the mind of one Nicola Giunta, aided on the upcoming album by Mark Stewart and members of Goat and Clinic, all of which makes sense in context

Lithics - Excuse Generator
Twitchy unspooling riffs, springy tight-wound bass and clipped aphorism lyrics. Portland has crossbred Shopping and the Au Pairs, and the result is very satisfactory

Pip Blom - I Think I'm In Love
This had actually been around for a year already, but international rollouts and all that. That the Amsterdam band supported the Breeders in Europe makes perfect sense in this tense lo-fi choppy cut

Roxy Rawson - Rounded Sound
It's now seven years since we first wrote about Rawson, since when she's suffered ill health, moved from Hitchin to San Francisco and finally finished an upcoming album. Her command of spellbindingly offbeat string arrangements and quixotic Regina Spektor-recalling approach remains intact

The Saxophones - Picture
Californian husband and wife duo are bruised, reverbed and jazzily slo-mo like something from David Lynch's dreams. For extra points, Alexi Erenkov sounds oddly like a more legible Stuart Staples

Snail Mail - Pristine
Lindsey Jordan is nineteen, yet the Baltimore native sounds like she has the self-confidence and bittersweet tendencies of a much older songwriter, and the itchy guitar chops of one too

Steven Adams & The French Drops - Free Will
Great headline set at our Alldayer in February, Adams' way with a barbed lyric and skewed indie-rock coast unaffected. (He's also a big Charmpit fan, as should everyone be)

Tracyanne & Danny - Alabama
Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura, Danny Coughlan of Crybaby, and a more overt steel guitar-fed version of the former band's countrified swooning in a tribute to their late Carey Lander

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