Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dirty Projectors - Gun Has No Trigger

There's always been a new DPs album due this late spring/early summer, but this emerged last night with no warning, not even further details. It's more straightened out than you'd expect, if only by their standards - there's something of the Eels about the backing beat and the females are reduced to heavenly choir of angels status against Dave Longstreth's ever wobbly lead.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Johnny Parry Chamber Orchestra - Keep Kicking & Screaming

A chamber TV On The Radio, anyone? Johnny Parry, sometime collaborator with Michael Nyman, Talvin Singh, Beth Orton and Seb Rochford, put together a thirty-piece orchestra to back his filmic explorations in nuanced electro-grandiose textures, the compunctually arranged background lending a mildly Waitsian air were he more into optimism and stateliness with electronic burbling underneath. The whole album (Fields & Birds & Things, April 16th) promises to be mightily eclectic, the other tracks available borrowing from everything from modern classical to Leonard Cohen to full-on horn section dramatics. No expense similarly spared on the video.

The Blanche Hudson Weekend - (Just Like) Susan George

Yet more stylish beat girl fuzz (this place is 90% lo-fi tinnitus at the moment, isn't it?) from the prolific Leeds lot. Quite a few of the most stylishly fuzzy British bands come from Leeds or round about there. Wonder why that is. Anyway, it's classy buzzsaw wind tunnel indiepop pulling its own melody just enough off the rails.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Anguish Sandwich - Idiot C

They were all highlights, really, but the charging, collapsible lo-fi angular art-punk trio from Northampton shone at Leicester Indiepop Alldayer (remember us going on about that?). Bermuda Triangle EP, out on Odd Box on 8th May, tries vainly to keep its arms within the ride at all times, heard here at their most restrained, but their kicking out reflex is never far from the surface.

Japandroids - The House That Heaven Built

The lo-fi fuzz-noise duo and the concept of speeding down the loneliest highway on a last chance freedom ride are usually mutually exclusive, but there's something of the rush of the New Jersey wind in the drop-top Cadillac about the first sighting from their June-due second album Celebration Rock. In their own terms, of course, more Titus Andronicus with a wall of knives closing in on their heads than anything too Gaslight Anthem-y.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mission of Burma - Dust Devil

Mission of Burma have now made four albums since reforming, each a textbook example of how reinvigorated veterans should conduct themselves when studio time looms. At a smidgen under two minutes the first light from Unsound, out in July, is as cussedly awkward in construction and willing to pull its own ambitions apart limb from limb as ever.

Backyards - Goodhart's Law

Another from the seemingly never ending Yorkshire production line, Backyards's new single, out April 21st, is tentatively atmospheric with a rubbed raw core, lushly dark (or darkly lush) driven by weeping violin and textural bedding without entering overbearing meltdown at all.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Best Coast - The Only Place

"What do you expect?" rarely suffices as a track review, but this is Best Coast we're talking about, so of course it's a classically sunkissed song about Bethany's lazing around on the beach, almost certainly toking whilst there. Less lackadasical, more filled out perhaps due to the influence of Jon Brion's production, the album press release notes suggest there's curveballs to come when the album of which this is the title and opening track is released on May 14th, but when an upbeat chorus sees Cosentino declare "why would you live anywhere else?" it's not like she yet feels the need to come back into the shade.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lone Wolf - The Swan Of Meander

Paul Marshall returns with a second album, The Lovers, in autumn. Before then this taste has more than a hint of the Peter Gabriel about it (something he's hinted at before, of course), built on a percussion loop, a bulkier, lovingly layered sound than before and the sort of emotively fulfilling, gradually unfurling and soaring touch that gradually burrows under the skin.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Standard Fare - Girlfriend

The next band to take part in WIAIWYA's 7777777 series (don't worry too much, it's a 7" out in June), the first to be released of ver Fare's three new tracks is that bit more tentative, fitting the metier of fretful lyrical concern, until bursting into a massive chorus with a big old bassline trampling underfoot. "Not everyone has encyclopedic knowledge of music" is among Ms Kupa' warnings. WELL THEY DAMN WELL SHOULD.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

TOY - Motoring

The hirsuter-than-thou kraut-psych-also-kinda-goth-in-a-John Hughes-soundtrack-way yes-we-all-know-now-what-band-most-of-them-were-in east London explotary force's second single builds over its motorik beat with a soup of guitar pedal overloading and laced inside electronic modulation. Mini-Horrors they may be tagged, but there seems to be less black-clad melodrama in favour of hurtling inexorably for the centre of the universe.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Runaround Kids - You'd Feel The Same

Sit down for this. The first new material since the spiky Wakefield trio's STN number 19 of 2011 album is being released as a T-shirt plus free CDR (ah, the value of recorded music). A special bundle deal via Bandcamp means you'll also be on the mailout for a forthcoming 12" split single with We Are Losers, a cassette with The Spills and a compilation CD with those tracks plus more, as well as badges, stickers, scans and whatever else fits into an envelope. None of this would be any good without a halfway decent song to front the whole extended project up and it is, exploding into life like a more acute Cribs before re-evolving two or three times over into jagged college rock in which the melody fights to emerge to the top as guitars dart, jab and eventually coast about and the action switches from accusatorial shouts to recent JoFo-like end of the night balladry of a broken man.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shy And The Fight - All That We See Or Seem (revisited)

We've been waiting a while for the proper debut release from Chester's emotively centrifugal indie-folk collective - indeed we first blogged this song last May in its chrysalis form. The properly recorded version, a limited edition 7" out at the start of April on Popty-Ping Records, brings great fidelity to the old trick of starting delicate and ending up group rousing, committed to the last. Hear it here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Jack Hayter - The Shackleton

Hayter's ability to connect the worn lines between ragged folk strum, spirit-soaked lived-in vocals, poignant yet oblique lyrical concern smuggling plain truths in descriptive surroundings and the odd lo-fi electronic foundation makes his occasional recorded output worth the wait, as with this pained timeline. There'll be plenty of it this year as Audio Antihero present The Sisters Of St Anthony, this being the first of twelve new songs for subscribers only.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Love Ends Disaster! - Starting Fires

Nottingham's most hotwired return with a new single that plays to and up against their strengths: guitars that alternately vibrate and howl, post-punk warped backwards anthemry (think BSP) and an ever present sense of existential dread. Obviously, being a song released in 2012 called Starting Fires, there's riot footage in the video.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Veronica Falls - My Heart Beats

This very Chart Show Indie Chart video is for new material from Veronica Falls, a hugely inconsistent band before now toning down the fuzz and with the aid of the increasingly worth watching out for Rory Attwell coming into their own as breezily efficient janglepop classicists. The Primitives are bringing out a new album soon but their standard as effervescent brain candy-drill figureheads may yet be outdone by the youth.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Sunbathers - Summer Made Me Love You

Blissfully summery vibes for this drizzly March day from the Northamptonshire duo. Acoustic guitar, shaker, blissful beach-based hopefulness, all done in 100 seconds. From the January, February, March, Ely, Cambridge EP out as of this week.

The Sunbathers, as well as in ascending order of play August Actually, The Sweet Nothings, Anguish Sandwich, Just Handshakes (We're British), MJ Hibbett & the Validators, The Rosie Taylor Project and Tender Trap, are playing Leicester Indiepop Alldayer, curated and controlled by our fair hands, Saturday 24th March, Firebug, from 3pm, with the BMX Bandits film Serious Drugs after the music preceded by a Duglas T Stewart and producer Jim Burns Q&A. You can pay on the door if you wish but a good few advance tickets are still on sale.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dolfinz - Teenage Bloom

From the free new Song, By Toad 2012 sampler (which also features among plentiful delights a new Meursault demo, the third album currently set for mid-July), a band following Copy Haho out of Stonehaven and a track that will come June be making up 25% of a sound of lo-fi Scotland/Manchester 12" on the label with PAWS, Waiters and Sex Hands. This is what Yuck aimed for and fell short of, pure early 90s harmonic pop shot out of a cannon and landing in a net constructed entirely from Kevin Shields' pedal board.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Breton - Interference

If Breton have a 'sound' it's one of declamation over bassy electronics and samples being pushed into the red. This time an actual freshly recorded orchestra, both played straight and loop sampled. provide a widescreen hook under a seperate big vocal hook, developing into a driving drone of dramatic intent and dark, self-destructive emotions filling in the gaps. Album Other People's Problems is out on the 26th.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dexys - Nowhere Is Home

Finally, the long mooted (we're talking since 2004 here) Dexys fourth album is imminent. It's called One Day I'm Going To Soar, out June 4th. Officially just Kevin Rowland, first incarnation bassist Pete Williams and Mick Talbot (who was in the Projected Passion Revue version before his Style Councilling) these days, this is, slightly unexpectedly, a country take on the heartfelt Muscle Shoals soul version and, less unexpectedly for those acquainted with the last couple of new Dexys songs, features Rowland pondering his Irish roots and what they actually mean to him at length.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Tall Ships - T=0

When they're good, they're almost unbearably exciting. This, for example, may not have the most immediate melody at first - that comes, don't worry - but the looped math riff seems to grow more powerful with the repetition while around it is controlled thunderousness. When it turns into an actual song halfway through it's deceptively simple a la Tubelord, then we thunder back into the heart of the blaze. It's the first taste of their debut album proper, out through Big Scary Monsters/Blood And Biscuits on April 16th on white 7".

Perhaps the only band to have toured with both Three Trapped Tigers and We Are Scientists in the same year, they're about to go off and support two more slightly kindred spirits, Los Campesinos! this month and Maps And Atlases next:

20/3 Exeter Phoenix
21/3 Bristol Thekla
22/3 London Electric Ballroom
23/3 Oxford Academy 2
24/3 Birmingham Rainbow
26/3 Manchester Academy 3
27/3 Liverpool Academy 2
28/3 Edinburgh Liquid Room
29/3 Newcastle Academy 2
30/3 Norwich Waterfront
31/3 Sheffield Leadmill

16/4 Bristol Cooler
17/4 London Garage
18/4 Manchester Night and Day
19/4 Glasgow Nice 'N Sleazy
20/4 Leeds Brudenell

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

White Arrows - Fireworks Of The Sea

Can't quite decide whether LA's White Arrows are following the expansive electronic path of Hooray For Everything or whether they'll turn into Fixers-like tropical all-in-one genre leapers, but this first taste of an EP out next month and an album due some time in the summer mixes hi-life guitar sounds, AnCo's clearest vocal effects and the odd rhythms too, layers of mainlining analogue synths and textural sunniness in the dark corners.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Son(s) - If I Hear You Talk Apostrophes Again...

The shadowy Edinburgh figure whose work so far has swung from close-miked folk to psych-highway riding takes a detour on Leviathan, an EP out 7th May on download and "limited edition cassette tape, complete with intriguing inlay artwork". Mmm. This incarnation of the sound is a brassy stomp with distorted guitar solo and growly semi-threats, introspective but forward marching.

You Slut! - Magnifiererer

The East Midlands' (other) finest guttural post-everything instrumental slamdown merchants release second album Medium Bastard on 16th April. Like some unholy Don Caballero/ASIWYFA midpoint nothing seems to be quite the same twice for the first taste's duration, constantly turning its complex riffs inside out MC Escher-goes-math-rock style then hitting the accelerator for no good reason other than it'd be fun to.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Belmondo - Dressed Up For A Letdown

There's an unrepresentative amount of folk being posted on STN among brand new names at the moment. Whether that's because plaintive songwriters are raising their game or everybody else has stopped trying is a moot point - actually, going through the inbox regularly as we do, it's the latter - but the late night broken melancholy of Glaswegian Tiff Griffin and his band reaches beyond more obvious contemporary countrymen focal points (King Creosote, James Yorkston) and comfortably onto John Martyn territory. This is the lead from an EP out April 21st.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Owl And Mouse - Finsbury Park

An Australian armed with only a strummed ukelele and direct, hopeful emotions? Sounds familiar, and indeed Owl And Mouse is the nom du indiepop of Hannah Botting, sister of Allo Darlin's celebratedly moustachioed bassist Bill. EP One, available for £1 or whatever you fancy, is unvarnished low-key and lovingly heartaching. Can we not post the whole thing? No, that'd be a bit awkward in embedding terms, let's stick with the one in the middle.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Rhosyn - Birds

It's been a very long time since we've heard anything new from Rose Dagul's chamber dream-lucidity project - the last new tracks emerged in October 2010, according to the STN archives, and they were last sighted live in July. Three new demos went up a couple of days ago, though, of which this is our pick, looping plaintive caws and menacingly building, partly plucked cello behind her own dark materials.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Sam Airey - The Unlocking

Despite putting Airey's The Blackout in our best tracks of 2011 rundown we've never before actually properly written about the Leeds-based singer-songwriter. Bearing a mature voice marinaded in whiskey croak and a command of imagery born of growing up on a small island (Anglesey) with is small town and maritime suggestions, it slowly turns from an acoustic sparsity to a haunting shimmer without losing touch with its directest of introspective connections. The EP A Marker And A Map is out on the 26th.