Friday, November 30, 2012

Doesn't Your Balloon Ever Land? - a special offer

Back in August STN launched its second compilation in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Doesn't Your Balloon Ever Land?, 25 tracks handpicked from the finest newish British talent, has so far raised £233 for the charity.

As a way of thanking everyone who has so far contributed and as a Christmas bonus, the album has been repriced as pay-what-you-want for the rest of 2012. You can download it for free if you wish, or you can swell the charitable coffers further.

Doesn't Your Balloon Ever Land? - buy now

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Affair - Finger Tight

Not much background can be unearthed about Affair - they're a London duo known merely as M and K and they seem to have been putting tracks out for a couple of years - but there's just as much darkly intriguing in the music, uneven sequencers and overexposed synth backdrop with coolly unknowing female vocals like a less electro Fever Ray lost in a sea of sun-warped VHS tapes, a heavily claustrophobic Grimes or just the personification of what chillwave did when the weather got dark and frosty.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My First Tooth - Past Broadcasts

We know they were on the first STN compilation but it's literally years since we properly wrote about My First Tooth. So what do you want to know? They're from Northampton, they're on Alcopop!, there's six of them in the studio incarnation (though four if you see them live) and their indie-folk is the sort that yearns and soars, the sort that never forgets to have fun while feeling off about things. Their second full-length, Love Makes Monsters, due early in 2013 with the usually reliable James Kenosha among its production credits, this first single free download is contemporary downhome chamber pop, strings, horns and backing vocals pulling the song towards the atmosphere never mind what the rest of it wants to do.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Farewell J.R - A Thought, A Mind

I suppose this would be an appropriate time to be listening to a band called Farewell J.R... A good half-year old but spotted afresh to us in Nialer9's 40 Of The Best New Artists Of 2012 list it seems to be the work of one bloke from Cambridge, though the Soundcloud notes list parts recorded in Cork and Sydney. The sparsity, reverb and generally mournful chamber-folk charge mean Bon Iver comparisons come easiest to hand but that's far from the whole story, the delicacy with which and the space within which the arrangement builds and the harmonies lift suggest a rare quality in building something that seems original from long familiarised partworks.

Mitchell Museum - Red Water

The last we heard of the Glaswegian post-everything psych-pop eccentrics they were... well, they were going on hiatus last August. Yet despite our suspicions and those of past experience this turns out to have been a seemingly final 'hiatus' shorter than most artists' between-album writing sessions, as back with a slightly different lineup they've put out a pay-what-you-want EP, The Spanner Works. Slightly more controlled and less electronic weird than before they're still producing freak-indie-folk propelled by pure electric jolts, marching a brass-bound army towards the darkness.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sambassadeur - Hours Away

Never liked that name, but the Swedish indiepop almost-veterans have been a constant evolving spectre at the feast in an intriguing way. From a double A side out this week on the often reliable Labrador, it beefs up the Camera Obscura-ness of yore into something that marries stridency and a certain 80s pop influenced force with shoegaze-quoting guitar surges that sound like whalesong and breezy, contemplative, very Scandopop vocals.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Carousels - Sweet Honey

You think from the intro it's going to be retro sunshine pop, then it turns into Isn't Anything. Fifteen months after writing about the Cambridge duo-now-full-band's initial demos they've got an EP out, including this track available for the price of an email address, which roars, reverbs and warps itself like MBV taught us how but has plenty of its own interest between the points on the graph the needle buries itself into, pretty much the ideal meeting of shoegaze wrecking ball and harmonic vocal sweetness so many have tried and failed to attain.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Alarm Bells - Cocoons

We've seen various ex-members of Dananananaykroyd around and about since their last gig just over a year ago but Alarm Bells are that band's last lineup's rump, four thereof crucially including leadish guitarist David Roy and secondary singer/loon John Baillie Jnr. It might not be entirely surprising to find that after a corroding synth intro it launches into the kind of post-hardcore that can't get its own bearings half the time, falling down stairs and collapsing over itself, driving half-formed melodies and awkward time signatures into brick walls and turning the remnants inside out like a Scottish Mission Of Burma set to spin cycle, this time incorporating computer sounds. The video is something of a Lawnmower Man headfuck.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Ace Bushy Striptease - Death By Autofill

Let the record show the falling-over-each-other-countermelodically STN favourites have a new album out this week, the cumbersomely titled Outside It's Cold Just Like The Inside Of Your Body And, and this is its free download track. Let this also be a promise that this blog will soon return to posting tracks by people it's not already posted loads of tracks in the past by because it's easier if we think you already know them.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Mowbird - Hey Athena

Wrexham's slacker-scuzz emissaries have a new EP out, The Quiet Despair Of The Starship Enterprise, featuring among others a track we've written about before, one we put on an album and this, sounding simultaneously sloppy and sharp, 60s garage organ propping up punchy Guided By Voices-ish lo-fi thrust.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Runaround Kids - Blush

Wakefield's warped wonders have spent the year releasing singles in various splits and formats, but on December 12th they do the old fashioned thing of putting them all together, albeit within a comic, in a mini-album entitled Teeth Blue, Lips Red. Two new songs are included, this one making a grab for US college rock, punchy and pushing at the self-imposed limits with a sparky set of riffage and a heroic rush to the line.