Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Future Of The Left - Sheena Is A T-Shirt Salesman

The first single from The Plot Against Common Sense, out May 28th, and at this stage of FOTL proceedings I really don't need to say anything else. Sidenote: it was while sheltering from the rain outside 10 Feet Tall and seeing Falco wander out in conversation with Gareth Campesinos! that I began to really suspect that last year's Swn was put on entirely for my benefit.

Rotifer - Aberdeen Marine Lab

The last time Robert Rotifer and band (Darren Hayman and Ian Button) appeared on here we described it as "a sepia-tinged sway". This time, produced by Wreckless Eric ahead of an album, The Hosting Couple, on Edwyn Collins' AED label, it's a mod-tinged glam-garage stomp of the kind Billy Childish might have been responsible for some time in the mid-80s. If, that is, he was given to writing about observation of fish.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Salvage My Dream - Your Runaway Clothes And The Dying Diamonds of Your Mind

The great Audio Antihero have put together their second overstuffed charity compilation, Some​.​Alternate​.​Universe. Raising money on a pay-what-you-like (as long as it's at least £3.99) basis for The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, there's plenty of artists on it that are relevant to our interests - Johnny Foreigner (and Yr Friends), Jeffrey Lewis, Internet Forever, Superman Revenge Squad (and Nosferatu D2), Runaround Kids, Still Corners, Paul Hawkins & The Awkward Silences, The Scottish Enlightenment, Benjamin Shaw, Shoes and Socks Off, Jack Hayter, Wartgore Hellsnicker, Totem Terrors, Eddie Argos' other other band The Art Goblins and 22 others. Basically, you should be buying it anyway. Just in case, here's another example, the project of Robin Fisher of Wakefield, ambient slowcore which carefully deviates and reveals new intriguing layers.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Willy Mason - Restless Fugitive

It's been a while since Mason was the next big acoustic thing but he's always retained a high level of interest despite a lack of releases since 2007 and it looks like he's going to get a decent push for his upcoming third album, as following his Lianne La Havas duet he's recruited Dan Carey to produce. There's something big-wide-prairie about the reverberating guitars and whisky/dusty vocal that results, eked out over more than six minutes of cinemascope swell.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Yr Friends - The Last Time I Say Don't Leave Without Me, I'll Probably Mean It

Sir Alexei Berrow's latest attempt to simultaneously explore the emotional crevices and depths of his broken lo-fi soul and stave off Birmingham City Council bailiffs is the second Yr Friends EP, Yr Friends Have Already Left. Written with soundtracking a projected post-apocalyptic New York drama in mind, the slo-mo early hours guilt is dipped in ragged electronics, bits of violin and self-harmonies influenced by Sparklehorse and Red House Painters. His band go on tour soon, as listed the last time we wrote about them.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Shamefaced Sparrows - The Madison

Pretty much read what we wrote about them last time and apply it to this too. Link Wray would be proud of the intro, then it turns into rock'n'roll fit for the neighbourhood hop.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hold Your Horse Is - Title Track

An exercise in laser guided brevity acting as a preview of - finally - a debut album out, oh, some time soon. Right at the apex of greatest pent-up release, it cuts itself off. It must mean something.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Daughter - Tomorrow (live)

One quick, special one for the night. Elena Tonra and her band popped by The Selector, the British Council's own new music show, and unveiled a wonderful new song pitching her yearningly pure folk heartbreak against Igor Haefeli's misty reverb guitar.

The Blessed Oblivion - Don't Weep

We Can Still Picnic, the label co-owned by Bjorn and Erik from Wake The President, are putting out MAO DISNEY (Fluxing Up The Aesthetic), a 12" featuring eight examples of 'The Sound of Neu Scotland'. The Blessed Oblivion... well, we can tell you absolutely nothing about them, their only web presence being their presence on this compilation. Scam? Maybe, but the song's great whatever, a very Nancy'n'Lee gender duet dusty western spooked road movie blues. All the tracks are worth a cursory listen, though - they're at time of writing the most recent uploads to WCSP's spiritual kindly uncle Creeping Bent's Soundcloud.

Amanda Mair - Sense

Seems weird for Labrador Records to be breeding someone with actual pop potential rather than just twenty people in the basement of Brixton Windmill thinking so, but that's the effervescent charm of the 17 year old Swede. From a self-titled album out next week over there, there's a resemblance to Those Dancing Days dialing down their northern soul leanings in favour, sunshine melodies with an emotionally honest flavouring.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Club Of Rome - Blood And Veins (To The Core)

This is the reunion of several members of a briefly feted band of the early-to-mid 00s, but it's doubtful you'd remember them so it doesn't matter much. This demo is a pretty good advancement, though, dark electronic undertow rearing up and dragging the anxiously angular post-post-punk centrepiece through underground DFA discos and cold basement percussive jams.

Evans The Death - Telling Lies

Urgent, noisy and shorter than your average. After three singles for Fortuna Pop!, which got them signed to the standard bearers Slumberland in America, the Evans The Death fuzzbomb pop parameters are being set out neatly. Out on the 27th, this is relatively cleaner and more straightforwardly melodically jangly, giving Katherine Whitaker's forceful vocals more room at the front to breathe. Note, however, that overloaded distorted guitar that hijacks the song for a solo and then cuts it off in its climactic prime.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Damages - Tie A Ribbon

Cranky things develop in the outliers. Damages, from Burnham-On-Sea in Somerset, aren't sensationally inventive - staccato guitar, razorwire bass, driving drums - but along with a singer who sounds curiously like Gwen Stefani their scratchy, arty mess of accusatory post-punk with cowbell stands its ground between the spiky new wave brigade of 2003-04 and the Help She Can't Swim/Angular Records school of scratchy jolting.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Strange News From Another Star - Schrodinger's Cats The Musical

Hot as can be off the recording materials, new material from Cardiff's best obliquely nuts noise-pop trio. As usual, it sounds like they only noticed the presence of brakes when the brick wall was far too close. No idea if these are imminently leading to something, though we know a split 7" is impending.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Johnny Foreigner - (Small Fraud)

It feels like an obligatory public service these days. A new outtake from Vs Everything, which Alexei specifies "Kelly hates". Basically Lex monologuing over some whirling out of control electro, they've tagged it 'georgepringlecore'. Oh, you.

March tour dates! At long, long last. Most dates have We Are The Physics supporting; the last two are lengthy affairs in the vein of their dual album launch shows.

1st Sheffield Harley
3rd Derby Victoria Inn
7th Southampton UNIT
8th Brighton Green Door Store
9th Northampton Labour Club
10th Cheltenham Frog & Fiddle
11th Leeds Brudenell Social Club
16th Birmingham Flapper
21st April London Garage

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Severin - High Shot

If Curve had had access to laptop recording technology and had overloaded their keyboard effects to further the post-Sleigh Bells noise element they'd be somewhere near the icily digital warp factor sound of Severin, who've enlisted the increasingly interesting production, not to mention the increasingly busy calendar, of Rory Attwell. The bass alone would rot guts at ten paces.

Monday, February 06, 2012

This Many Boyfriends - Starling

Released as part of a fanzine by the Leeds tykes on the 20th, a straight-ish excitable jangle and direct-ish tales of "ornithology and love", replete with a heroic dash to the finish. Neither anthemic or shambling, merely grazing near the point at which they intersect.

They have dates, largely as support to bands with a habit of filling rooms with acolytes in their varying ways:

23rd Manchester Deaf Institute *
24th Sheffield Queens Social Club *
25th London 100 Club #
26th Leeds Brudenell Social *
28th London ULU +
29th Cardiff Buffalo *
1st Edinburgh Liquid Room +
2nd Brighton Concorde 2 +
3rd Leeds Met Uni +

* supporting Allo Darlin' - the Sheffield date has Standard Fare too, and has been upgraded
# London Popfest, with Allo Darlin', Comet Gain, Ace Bushy Striptease and others
+ supporting the Cribs, as are Spectrals

Oh, and we didn't tell you about Leicester Indiepop Alldayer, did we? This is our contribution to the epidemic of popshow spectaculars, Saturday 24th March at Firebug, headlined by Tender Trap (Amelia Fletcher's current residence, for the uninitiated) and also featuring the aforementioned TMBs, MJ Hibbett & the Validators, Just Handshakes (We're British), Anguish Sandwich, The Sweet Nothings, August Actually and the Sunbathers. Add yourself to the Facebook event and buy a ticket.

Fire Island Pines - Oh Therese

Cornwall's luxuriantly jangling sextet have a new EP, Rickie Lee Jones (that's its title, not an out of place namecheck), out on the 28th via 7" and download. Its lead track may only be not much over two minutes long but doesn't feel in a rush to pack everything in, its literacy and melodic pop nous nodding towards Pulp and the mobile stillness of Trembling Blue Stars.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Perhaps Contraption - Cousin/Grandma

You don't get many mutant nuts jazz-inspired collectives these days, or many at all ever, so the London art/concept/'happening' octet are filling a niche we didn't know needed filling, that of the post-Cardiacs situationist marching band. With chameleons and giant millipedes.

Lambchop - Gone Tomorrow

Mr M, Lambchop's tenth album, eleventh if you count Aw C'mon/No You C'mon as single discs, out 20th February, is Kurt Wagner's response to Vic Chesnutt's death, a treatise on what we learn from life and loss. The first three minutes are the kind of soul-inflected country lament, here with elegant strings backing, Wagner knocks out like others put the kettle on, before going through an ambient effect tunnel and re-emerging into all sorts of jam-like moving-on crystalline shapes.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Chap - What Did We Do?

All new Chap material is difficult to grasp at first, and then the layers of wry start cracking and letting the light in. We Are Nobody, out February 20th physically and the week before digitally, is, they claim, a set of "NON-IRONIC super straight pop songs". Maybe straight in their minds, but nobody else would use 80s odd-pop melodies in this kind of just slightly left tilted fashion.

The Chap - What Did We Do? from Lo+LOAF TV on Vimeo.