Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fire Island Pines - Bratislava

It's fair enough as we first picked up on it from him, but Keep Pop Loud has already reviewed Dry Route To Devon, Art Is Hard Records' compilation of new artists from the south west, physically released as an A3 double sided map with QR codes embedded for every location represented so you can scan them and listen in as well as access details and exclusive comment. Somewhere Jack from Alcopop! is furrowing his brow and crossing an idea off his longlist. Straight outta Wadebridge - current home town of Andrew Ridgeley and Keren off Bananarama, don't you know - the sextet Fire Island Pines clearly know their Smiths, Pulp and Felt but more accurately recall the sophisticatedly literate melodrama sub-genre that briefly thrived in the late 90s - Jack, Animals That Swim, the Flaming Stars, up to and including the more upbeat Tindersticks moments. It's a long time since we've had a band that sounded like that.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Algiers - Four Priests

Algiers are one of Dartz! plus one of The Maple State and have newly signed to Big Scary Monsters for an EP out next month of which this is the title track. It's a neat summation of the two bands, actually, Dartz!' mathier-than-Hawking moments reined in to a framework of grandiose emo-as-in-Get Up Kids statement making.

Algiers - Four Priests by bsmrocks

Hooray For Earth - True Loves

Not exactly minimalist, this, in either soaring synth sense or, especially, video-wise. And when it says 'soaring synths' don't start getting visions of Flowers, this comes with skittish beats, huge sub-bass, NASA bleeps and airy vocals hinting at something bigger, weightier and graver, like a more upbeat and filled out Twin Shadow. The album of the same title has been around for a while in America but has only just been licensed in the UK to Memphis Industries for full release next February.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bonjour - I Tried It, I Liked It

When Alexei Berrow describes a band as "basically everything thats awesome about all them philadelphia bands we bum, IN ONE BAND" we have to sit up and listen. From the forthcoming Motivational Suicide EP, you can see what he means, heavy on the Kinsella back catalogue and en-pointe emo-but-not-really tricksiness.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Jamie N Commons - The Preacher

Howling, Harvey'n'heroin-era Nick Cave via Mark Lanegan-recalling stormy weather blues from the pages of the Old Testament from a man with a gravel-marinaded vocal. Given he's a 22 year old from New Cross he might be putting it on a bit, mind.

The Preacher by Jamie N Commons

Post 2500, this. Well done, us.

Half Man Half Biscuit - Tommy Walsh’s Eco House

Couldn't miss this opportunity. Long time readers will know Half Man Half Biscuit albums are left out of the STN end of year countdowns as you cannot judge them by the same criteria as other releases. And so it is that we come to another long player, 90 Bisodol(Crimond), out Monday on the ever reliable Probe Plus and continuing to betray Nigel Blackwell's singular satirical sharpness. This isn't technically from it, the song is but this is a Marc Riley session version from last year that sounds much sharper than the recording.

Half Man Half Biscuit - Tommy Walsh’s Eco House by barrygruff

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spotlight Kid - Forget Yourself In Me

Yeah, often they 'merely' sound like Isn't Anything played through a submerged radio, but it's not everyone that can reverberate and conjoin noise and blissful harmony with such success. Their album Disaster Tourist is out October 17th online and November 14th physically.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Flamingo Drive - Cryptograms

A message was left about this track on our Facebook group in April and we only saw it tonight. There's cutting edge on point for you. Flamingo Drive are led by Bobby Grindrod, formerly of dapper nu-croonists Friends Of The Bride, here letting his suave vocal cut through the rush of psych garage-tinged indie-pop as it used to be done.

Cryptograms by Flamingo Drive

We Three And The Death Rattle - Stitches and Winners

Robot Needs Home, the label run by John off of Maybeshewill, has collated EXPORTS02, ten exclusive live recordings made during the Summer Sundae-supporting Leicester Fringe Festival in August. Mostly local bands, chiefly post-hardcore, though the two factions of former Blakfish members (Hymns and &U&I) are represented too and there's a Grace Petrie song written in immediate reaction to the riots. Here's something fresh from the aforepraised howling blues-garage noise merchants.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Strange News From Another Star - I Am Weatherproof!

STN has always proved a welcoming spare couch for the oddball, the loudly angular, the manaical and the Cardiffian, so it's a wonder we haven't written about these much earlier. SNAFS are a trio led by newish Future Of The Left second guitarist Jimmy Watkins whose excellently titled new EP DEATHBYUGG strips garage rock back to its evil Nuggets core (only one of the nine tracks makes it past 2:30) and adds a dash of Mcluskyism for radiant taste. They're supporting Los Campesinos! in November and playing Swn before that.

Wild Beasts - Thankless Thing

Another glorious piece of luminescent, pulsing circularity much of a piece with the misleading languidity of Smother. Also you surely have to hear Hayden sing the word "curmudgeonly" at least once. It'll be on the back of the 12"/bunched with the digital release of Reach A Bit Further on November 12th.

Wild Beasts - Thankless Thing by DominoRecordCo

Monday, September 19, 2011

Daughter - Love

This closing track taster of The Wild Youth EP, released 21st November, develops Elena Tonra's writing voice away from the more straightforward folkiness onto the kind of iced over heartfelt appeals over haunting ambience we've heard the likes of Blue Roses trading in, only more desperate and disturbed in the moment. Tonra's phrasing really is something, able to go from lost soul to barely concealed anger/anguish ("did she make your heart beat faster than I could?") Elena and co are touring with Benjamin Francis Leftwich next month and play three special Christmas shows: 6th December Bristol Cube Cinema, 7th London St Giles In The Fields, 8th Manchester Deaf Institute.

Daughter - Love (taken from 'The Wild Youth EP') by ohDaughter

Friday, September 16, 2011

Still Corners - Into The Trees

The delicate sound of ritualisation, their new single keeps the pinpoint guitar parts and whispery vocals and puts them up against rushes of percussion and a guitar solo (and synth wash, come to that) which owes a bit to Bowie’s Berlin phase. The debut album is finally out October 10th on Sub Pop.

Still Corners - Into the Trees by subpop

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pris - They Wear It Tight

Don’t think I ever wrote about this newish Pris song, so... a newish Pris song. Slightly less guitar trash and more pop cyanide-flavoured bubblegum than at least I’ve posted before but still comes across like the bolshiest gang we all want them to be. In other news they’re now four girls as they’ve found a female drummer and they have dates coming up at Factory 251 in Manchester (October 7th), the Bull & Gate (Hallowe’en) and Islington Academy’s Feeling Gloomy (November 12th), and after that the world.

They Wear It Tight by I Love Pris

Sacred Harp - Found In The Open Country (The Underlying Deep Structure)

It starts like a David Lynch theme, then morphs into Mew as covered by Low, then gets even more indiscreet and spooked. By press accounts this isn’t the half of the range of the Oslo-based band's album Window’s A Fall, out on Brainlove in December.

Sacred Harp - Found In The Open Country (The Underlying Deep Structure) by brainlove

Ketamines - A Rotten Bond

If you think you can stand another band with uberfuzzy reverb-favoured production values and half-hidden vocals, presenting Alberta, Canada’s Ketamines. (Yeah, someone was always going to form a lo-fi band with that name eventually) The kind of raw synapsed, barely hinged psych-garage with wheezing organ the first Horrors album would have sounded like if all you knew about it was the initial write-ups, this will be on one of Odd Box’s Singles Club 7”s with another one of theirs and two of female-fronted blues-r’n’r shouters The Vignettes.

Martin Carr - The Santa Fe Skyway

Carr, who seems to have been inducted into the UK pop culture inner circle of Tweeters, returns to his maxi-pop far-sighted best on this new demo (demo!) A little bit freeway summer fun, a little bit Astrud Gilberto, a little bit 60s psych and a lot impressive.

The Santa Fe Skyway (demo) by Martin Carr

Friends - I'm His Girl

THE HANDBELLS! Friends’ second single, out Hallowe’en, is in capsule Lykke Li after being taken to see a secret Tom Tom Club gig at Paradise Garage. There’s a cowbell solo.

Friends - I'm His Girl by LuckyNumberMusic

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Zulu Winter - Never Leave

A band gaining traction in the London industry hype stakes as they get round to a first single, on the hipper than thou Double Denim. When I first wrote about the band the influence of Wild Beasts’ rhythmic layering was written in 64 point bold but this deviates to the flashing light indie dancefloor. Not even the glistened to a fault synth textures sound that slight seconded in this ever spiralling workout.

DD008 A1: Zulu Winter // Never Leave by Double Denim Records

T E Morris - Dream

And still the lo-fi four track EPs by T E Morris (off Her Name Is Calla, as well you should know by now) keep coming. Moon is the sixth in three months, featuring a Low cover and a free download as well as this. Do they have solitary log cabins in snowy woods in Pocklington?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Darren Hayman - The Ship's Piano

A Darren Hayman piano ballads album should be touch and go but it’s basically no different from a Hayman acoustic ballads album, that is to say intelligent warmly expressed. It, like this, is called The Ship’s Piano and is out, ooh, October? Hayman has just brought out a double A side from the January Songs project, half of which was the Elizabeth Morris-voiced I Know I Fucked Up, and will follow with a Christmas EP. It’s September 12th and I’m linking to a Christmas EP.

The Ship's Piano from Darren Hayman on Vimeo.

Keith Top Of The Pops & His Minor UK Indie Celebrity All-Star Backing Band - I Hate Your Band

In which the Eddie Argos-affiliated man about town and up to 24 volunteers (bandmates sounds somehow inappropriate), including most of Art Brut, both permanent We Are Scientists, all of Black Box Recorder, Simon and Julia Indelicate, both of Carter USM, Dyan from the Blood Arm, both of Robots In Disguise, Jackie from the Yummy Fur/1990s and Tim Ten Yen. The only rules, it says here are ‘no rehearsals’ and ‘no soundchecks’. It figures. Fuck You! I’m Keith Top Of The Pops is one man being playfully spiteful and hordes of guitarists and everything else available trying to keep in raucously shambolic stomping time and tune behind. This is the touching ode to the London toilet circuit.

Keith Top Of The Pops & His Minor UK Indie Celebrity All-Star Backing Band - I Hate Your Band by abadgeoffriendship

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Fanfarlo - Replicate

Has everyone suddenly got something to impart? Fanfarlo have been working on their second album for quite some time, still no confirmed release date or other details but the recording is finished and this is Replicate, the first sign of that new collection. Clever, really, you become condition to think with the strings and the slowly building swell that something from their usual grandiosity sweep is going to burst in any second… and then it doesn’t. The band have also announced a hefty tour, of which this is the fulfilling UK portion:

30/9 Hoxton Hall

Those were the UK dates on Fanfarlo’s tour.

Los Campesinos! - By Your Hand

Ah, the first fruit of Hello Sadness. This speaks for itself. There’s some UK tour dates in November, none of which are anywhere near me or routed so as I can realistically get to them:

7th London KCL
8th Brighton Haunt
9th Cardiff Globe
10th Glasgow Oran Mor
11th Leeds Cockpit

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

DZ Deathrays - The Mess Up

The first release on Kissability, a cassette label (see, told you they’re coming back into fashion) collaboration between Transgressive Records and Radio 1 in Wales renaissance woman Jen Long (who we got a playlist off back in the day), is Ruined My Life EP by Brisbane’s DZ Deathrays. Think Death From Above 1979 without the electro leanings, quite so far into the red distortion or fidelity range, and you’re left with an energetically agile duo wild-eyed straining at the leash.

DZ Deathrays - The Mess Up by Kissability

Benjamin Shaw - Somewhere Over The M6

Did you like the scratchier than hell lo-fi navel gazings of Shaw's much admired if difficult to push onto unwary friends 2009 EP I Got The Pox, The Pox Is What I Got? Well, put all that aside, his new single is six and a half minutes of looped noises, sighing synths, a big fuzzy guitar solo that never ends and Shaw’s dark introspection. It sounds like a one channel recording of all Syd Barrett’s downbeat work at once, including the never envisaged post-breakdown stuff. Ambitiously, there’s a radio edit on the EP. Shaw’s debut album proper There’s Always Hope, There’s Always Cabernet is out November 21st.

Fashanu - Dangling The Carrot Of Parenthood

Recommended to us via Ace Bushy Striptease and similarly fond of a tremendous title, Durham's Fashanu tread on the Dismemberment Plan/Stapleton post-hardcore too-hard-for-emo line on their Cassette Tapette EP, so called for its initial mode of release (they’re coming back into fashion, you know)

Collar Up - Short Term Memories

An Edinburgh band who sound like Ben Folds joining Mercury Rev, a not unattractive proposition. Out September 26th.

Short Term Memories by collarup

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Trips And Falls - Marginally More Than Mildly Annoying

The slippery taster of second album People Have to Be Told, out 26th September on Song, By Toad, bolts a stop-start summery pop melody onto sentiments that are anything but.

Trips and Falls - Marginally More Than Mildly Annoying by Song, by Toad

Monday, September 05, 2011

Johnny Foreigner - (Don’t) Show Us Your Fangs

Last week we got news of Hello Sadness; now the yang of the great STN two sides of the same coin have news to impart. Johnny Foreigner vs Everything - a statement of fact, and also the title of their third album, released November 7th. Allegedly 18 tracks long, this is the comparatively subtle (Don’t) Show Us Your Fangs *, the choice of single in another ridiculous format.

(* not ‘Yr’?)

(don't) show us your fangs by johnny foreigner

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Trophy Wife - Canopy Shade

From a new EP, Bruxism, out on October 17th. This track is produced by Plaid, though it does still pretty much sound like Trophy Wife.

Trophy Wife - Canopy Shade (Produced by Plaid and Trophy Wife) by trophywifeband