Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Savages - City's Full

And hello to you too, Jehnny. The taut, visceral behemoth that is Savages live, all black clothes, thousand yard stares and strobe lighting for effect, is quite the thing but with only two properly recorded tracks to their name there's been a temptation to think they're coming a bit far a bit quickly. Well, they've been thinking of us all along - the I Am Here EP, out 30th September, is four tracks recorded live on their July tour with Palma Violets (who'll have to do a lot better if they're ever going to be featured on STN). Here there's blasts of serrated guitar noise, tripwire post-punk bass and Ms Beth making like Poly Styrene with braces removed and bodily pressed up against a jagged wall.

Friday, September 21, 2012

City Yelps - Lawns

The new Tiger? Well, it's a tag I've been keen to use even if it sounds like some sort of joke. Leeds' City Yelps, of whom this is the only evidence currently online (and at time of posting it's only had 45 views, so talk about early adoption), have that kind of psych-y, Kraut-y, rattly mildly cryptic Fall-indebted rush about them, alongside a heap of lo-fi half-drowned shambling like they used to make, and it's all done in just over two minutes.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Why? - Strawberries

My, how good is Mumps, etc. going to be? Another advance track, built on handclaps, piano effects and jaunty glockenspiel fills, Yoni Wolf plots his own decline, namechecks Garrison Keillor and generally confesses to self-loathing, but in a light way. UK dates in October: 8th Brighton Old Market, 9th London Electric Ballroom, 10th Manchester Central Methodist Church, 11th Bristol Fleece, 12th Glasgow SWG3, 13th Oxford Bullingdon.

Owl & Mouse - Canvas Bags

From a new picture disc by the people behind London Lexington's Hangover Lounge night, Hannah Botting gradually opens her uke-strumming emotional core wide, decorated by plaintive piano and multi-tracked backing vocals.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gwenno - Ymbelydredd

Having started as a Welsh language electro-disco diva, then deviated into Cornish language new age classical, then into English language retro girl group-turned-thematic disco with wide-ranging laptop pop side work, Gwenno Saunders would seem to have come full circle with her first proper solo EP in a decade, based on recollections of a Cardiff upbringing. Ymbelydredd (Radiation, if you must know), the title track of said EP, recalls carefree days in the sun with the kind of retro-modernist homebrew sheen Saint Etienne made their own and Summer Camp have mined close enough to. If the Cymru-ness puts you off here's a translated version. Translated into French, admittedly.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lord Huron/Scott & Charlene's Wedding/Summer Camp

Lord Huron - Time To Run

Ben Schneider's once-solo project made the STN list of things to look forward to in 2011 on the back of an EP, Mighty, that sweltered and turned in a post-AnCo folk and calypso influenced heat haze. Schneider promptly spent the whole of 2011 on the road and the first half of 2012 in the studio, gathering four like minds around himself. The result, Lonesome Dreams, is out in a couple of weeks; the advance track is propelled by insistent tribal drumming atop which snugly lies sunshine pop shapes discoloured by so much sun the colours eventually start running into and over each other, racing but languid.

Scott & Charlene's Wedding - Footscray Station

THERE'S A BAND CALLED SCOTT & CHARLENE'S WEDDING. They (well, he, one Craig Dermody) are from Adelaide, to be fair, and are now based in New York where the name must be bemusing people. Very much Australasian, in a way, the laissez-faire psych-indie of The Clean falling into a big whirlpool of Velvet Underground vinyl. Download from here.

Footscray Station by Scott & Charlene's Wedding from Craig Dermody on Vimeo.

Summer Camp - All There Is

But you'd never guess it was Jez'n'Liz if we hadn't just said so. It's not an official release, the toytown hip-hop beat take on the Steinski cut-up method created for Radio 4's Short Cuts (link active until next week) as "a 'documentary song' which delves into the falsity of flirting and those moments when we realise we've really fallen in love".

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ice, Sea, Dead People - You Could Be A Model

Let's talk about the music first, because if we get onto the detail of the release at the same time we'll all get confused and dizzy and have to sit down. ISDP do better than most this kind of well sharpened knife-edge high wire art-punk, all a nauseously abrasive attack of enervated bass and guitar like either peals of sirens, especially on what passes for a middle eight, or a colony of earthmovers.

Right then. This is out on 8th October on 7" picture disc, with every record having a unique design. At the instigation of Daniel Eatock, who designed the Big Brother logo, and Tate exhibiting artist Andy Holden, a group of art students and ISDP fans brought turntables with them and used them to draw a line upon a 7"-sized circle of paper. For the first track of the two on the record (the other is Ultra Silence, as posted last year) the line was made by moving the pen from the edge to the centre of the rotating paper disk, drawing a line for as long as the band performed the track in the same room. For the second the pen could be moved backwards and forwards creating a more elaborate spiral image. All 180 designs were then pressed onto the vinyl. You're going to need visuals, aren't you?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Indelicates - Class

Something inevitable, while simultaneously cheering, about the Indelicates writing a song called Class and coupling it with a video in which Simon wears a neckerchief and top hat while carrying a cane, wouldn't you say? It's traditional fields for them - Brechtian cabaret in unwritten musical form with lyrics bleeding with bitter irony about the enfranchised and everyone else's merrie England. Simon and Julia (and the rest)'s fourth album Diseases Of England will be released in three parts, starting next month - preorders and a second video will emerge next week, it says here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fear Of Men - Mosaic

The Brighton woozy pop outfit are now part of the Too Pure Singles Club, for a 7" out 15th October, after a good eighteen months doing the rounds of east London lo-fi and cassette labels, but still committed to coasting in summery discomfort, a warm, lackadasically daydreamy melancholia that has something just slightly too wrong about it.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

From the inbox pt 5: Field Music/Darren Hayman & the Long Parliament/Withered Hand/Allo Darlin'

Field Music - If There Is Something
Why no talk of Plumb being on the Mercury shortlist? They're the kind of band critics swoon clean away at the feet of, and not without reason. To tie in with an October tour the brothers Brewis are putting out a covers album, Play, available from 1st October only from their website. The roll call - Syd Barrett, Robert Wyatt, Pet Shop Boys (twice!), the Beatles, Leonard Cohen, John Cale and this Roxy Music song given the stately, stomping and unexpected moment of falsetto harmony treatment.

Darren Hayman & the Long Parliament - How Long Have You Been Fighting For?
A second taster of Hayman's sprawling 17th century Essex witch trials concept album The Violence, pastoral folkiness in a woodwind-spattered shape decorating Hayman's imagining a puritan love song as written by people who believed only the blind were truly pure as they could never look upon God's image directly.

Withered Hand - Inbetweens
Hayman also at work here, this time as producer, on Dan Willson's new EP, out on the 24th and with this as title track. Not really as delicate as Willson makes the sentiments sound, the imaginative lyrical touches come together as something wracked within its own pain where the humour is pitch dark and romance is bleak. Oh, and Neil Pennycook of Meursault, Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit and Josie Long of comedy all cameo in the video.

Allo Darlin' - Golden Age
Northern Lights will be the third single from the glorious album Europe and it comes backed by this lively and entirely summery shuffle, a circular guitar riff that's just there to enjoy itself acted out as Elizabeth finds herself lucky to be where she is, again. They're on tour at the moment, a free afternoon show in Blackburn today followed by Leeds Brudenell tomorrow supported by STN compilation stars Just Handshakes and T.O.Y.S, Brighton Haunt on Wednesday and London KCL on Thursday with Tigercats. Don't sleep on any of them.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

From the inbox pt 4: Lone Wolf/The Hundredth Anniversary/Jo Mango/I Am In Love

Lone Wolf - Good Life
Paul Marshall's second album The Lovers, out November 12th, is, he says, a concept record: "each song is a different conflict between two or more different personalities within the same head, so the album becomes like a huge lovers tiff". There's definitely something of the emotionally shaken man cradled in the corner rocking back and forth about this single, betraying something of the influence of Talk Talk whose recent tribute album Marshall contributed to as Laura 'Blue Roses' Groves' lead vocal on the chorus (and, by the way, she's well overdue new music, surely?) offsets the clicking non-standard percussion, subtle synth layers and mental space meander through very dark passages.

Jo Mango - Cordelia
Collaborating with David Byrne, Vashti Bunyan, Devendra Banhart, CocoRosie, Vetiver and Admiral Fallow... well, it might leave you feeling quite confused. In Glaswegian Mango's case it's produced a tender, gorgeously airy while not quite straight chamber folk sound and a pure voice dealing in detailed vivid imagery like a more realist Felix or less strict to type Nina Nastasia. Her second album, the tremendously titled Murmuration, produced by Adem, is out 5th November.

The Hundredth Anniversary - Slip
We were only introduced to Brighton's The Hundredth Anniversary three weeks or so ago and already they're deviating on a slightly different path with their first proper single. Tentatively chiming, creating vast landscapes with atmospheric guitar sounds, it betrays their post-rock influences while remaining vageuly accessible as three minutes of slow burning intrigue.

I Am In Love - Palm
And something completely different to those three. Leicestershire's I Am In Love have had a couple of synthpop singles out and had Radio 1 attention but this is a new frontier, one that marries nearly played out 80s electro-disco tropes to M83's earthmoving shoegaze synth washes plus desperate chants and creates something which mines the darker side of the genre - the industrial clank of Heaven 17, say - before comprehensively running it over.

Friday, September 07, 2012

From the inbox pt 3: Tessera Skies/Why?/Everything Everything/PINS

Tessera Skies - Soliloquy Of An Astronaut

Oh my. Slow motion life sickness soundtracking from a Newcastle trio - four years in development, one track out, come on, shape up - who Simon Raymonde is currently mad about. Not far from Sigur Ros or the Chicago post-rock set (via Kyte, say), they see electronics, strings and so forth as something to burble quietly and form shapes and textures in their own time, in their own way, a slow burning ambient landscape that doesn't so much drift as form new and excitingly shaped Arctic glaciers. Shimmering, twinkling and surging where required, it's enough to bring a metaphysical chill even to these Indian summer nights.

Why? - Jonathan's Hope

A first proper sample from the implausibly titled but hugely exciting in prospect Mumps Etc., in which Yoni Wolf toys with the piano soliquolies of Eskimo Snow but instead turns it into an uneasy stroll in which he considers the album titular illness, incorporating Wolf's usual TMI setting and the emotional see-saw it engenders.

Everything Everything - Cough Cough

They said they were going to become more approachable and literal, and then they go and do this. The first single from an album due in January, synth bass and martial drums suggest a working knowledge of R&B production before spinning the constituent parts off into (head)space amid staccato harmony, lyrical references to police, violence and police violence (oh look, riot footage in the video, presumably that means this is their political statement) and the usual Everything Everything everything-at-once game theory.

PINS - LuvU4Lyf

There's quite a bit of searching the danker corners of the shared houses where guitar bands fester for something British to hype far beyond their early means, but luckily PINS are far more Savages than Palma Violets, and in more than gender make-up. The title track from an EP out October 1st on Bella Union begins tentatively, as much as thumping tribal drums, spidery ringing guitar and mild panic repetitive vocals can be called tentative, before breaking out into a chorus of post-Banshees slash and burn.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

From the inbox pt 2: The Mountain Goats/Free Swim/Burning Buildings/R. Ring

Well, having been well behind on August 23rd, we then lost broadband connection for a week, followed by days away at End Of The Road (great, thanks). Now things are back to full working order but new music hasn't had the common courtesy to pause for a bit while we catch up.

The Mountain Goats - Cry For Judas

This almost feels so old by now it should be recorded direct to hissy boombox. Album fourteen, Transcendental Youth, is out October 1st and seems to be a return to sociological forensic detail in John Darnielle's writing, based around a loose cast of recurring characters based in Washington state, religious and social outcasts all. A big bouncy rhythm with heroic horn section, true, but such folderol is covering for as dark as Darnielle's written in a while, working in telling religious references and fated prophecies.

Free Swim - Vuvuzela Venezuela

The psychedelic bliss of Paul Coltofeanu's multi-layered project has only just been introduced to STN and already their excellent fourth EP, She Dreams In Lights, is up for free download. Ostensibly a collection of cryptically arranged images experienced by a girl in a heavy dream state over one night, it bridges the gap between whimsical British art-pop to dense Flaming Lips-styled psychedelic flourishes. This is more towards the former end in a Super Furry Animals vein, and it also namechecks Leo Sayer.

Burning Buildings - Feet (Razbliuto)

The Manchester trio claim their forthcoming EP Body Parts is "all about Infinite Jest and Metal Gear Solid and girlfriends and having rubbish jobs". Sounds like most of what STN posts already. The actuality is more complex going on the name-your-price single as wiry, skipping post-punk influenced lines chime, race and generally fall over each other's outstretched feet before having a bit of a rest and think and re-emerging all dramatic and ultimately semi-anthemic.

R. Ring - Fallout & Fire

R. Ring are Mike Montgomery of someone called Ampline and Kelley Deal of someone you do know, the Breeders. Keeping herself busy while Kim is on the never-ending Pixies travelling show, it sounds as if she's taken to miking up the strings of the acoustic alongside the usual pickup while Montgomery's amp hums ominiously in the background, making for a mildly spooked, open ended cavernous sound.