Thursday, March 30, 2023

Shangri-Lass - Parallel

By day Rose Love is bass player in Sheffield's bilingual uniformed bewitched dark-folk psychout Sister Wives. Her superbly named solo project, this emotionally taut opening track from an EP Over & Over due 28th April, does indeed borrow something of its self-harmonies and retro-futurism from the girl group sound by way of ye-ye, spacey synths and a good element of her band's tripped out darkness on the edge of the mountains.

The Beths - Watching The Credits
Hand Habits - Something Wrong
Lucinda Chua feat. Yeule - Something Other Than Years
Tugboat Captain - Deep Sea Diving
Memorials - It's In Our Hands
Cable Ties - Time For You
CLT DRP - New Boy
Mera Bhai feat. Maria Uzor - Midnight To Dawn
Your Heart Breaks feat. Kimya Dawson - Wesley Crusher

Friday, March 17, 2023

Trust Fund - animals in war

In 2018 Ellis Jones let it be known that he was putting his all too frank slacker indie outfit of no fixed other membership and of surprise Frank Ocean Apple Music show support Trust Fund to bed. Then, without fuss, he resurrected it last year for capital and late nite skate, two superior cuts of spare, intimate acoustic introspection cut to the bone. This is the third, a plaintive, almost nostalgic examination of interpersonality featuring vocals and extras from Lan and Owen from Ex-Void (and Joanna Gruesome back in time, and O. is also in several hundred other bands) and what sounds like a shot at a Spanish guitar solo towards the end. There's a whole load of upcoming dates as well, starting tonight at Dulwich Hamlet FC.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Death & Vanilla - Out For Magic

Malmo trio Death & Vanilla first crossed our path with 2015 debut album To Where The Wild Things Are, which cracked our end of year top 20 albums. They've been on and off since if we're honest but their central tenet of maintaining the retro-modernist-futurist bent that encompasses radiophonic, dreampop, ye-ye, motorik and all that kind of thing has been their core throughout and comes to the fore on the last single before sixth album Flicker, taking Stereolab's space age bachelor pad by strategy.

JGrrey ft. Kojey Radical - May
Furrowed Brow - Jill
Temps - partygatorresurrection (feat. Open Mike Eagle, me oh myriorama, Montaigne, Low Growl, bb tombo)

Friday, March 10, 2023

Panic Pocket - Mad Half Hour

It's been a while since we've heard from Sophie Peacock and Natalie Healey, the London duo whose acerbically cathartic lo-fi harmonic synthy pop gave them cult attention (including a place in our 2019 Half-Dayer that we've since retconned into an Alldayer to make this year's tenth day celebrations work out) That while is in fact three years since their sole EP, until now where they've signed to, appropriately, Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey's Skep Wax label for an album released on 26th May of the same title (and they're supporting at May's Heavenly reunion dates) The advance single comes with the most instantaneous of melodies, the most anthemic of choruses and a lyric about glamour nostalgia, a moment of fun as authentic self-care and, oh yeah, appears to be sung from the perspective of Geri Horner.

Baxter Dury - Aylesbury Boy
Media Giant - Man Bites Dog
Problem Patterns - Who Do We Not Save?
Bar Italia - Nurse!
7ebra - Lighter Better

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Alice Low - Fruitcake

Another of those acts we love but might have slipped through the net during that period we just weren't writing about stuff, Cardiff-based Low set out her stall in every single conceivable way with shapeshifting fourteen minute 2021 debut single Ladydaddy, followed it with a trio of pointedly hypersexualised electropop tracks, then compressed it into pop song length with theatrical late 2022 single of blowing expectations Show Business, and in between developed a live presence peaking with an extraordinary set last Green Man. Taken from debut EP proper Transatlantic Sugar, out April 21st, the new one continues in her avant lane of identity reckoning glam extravagance pushing with all its might against its surroundings. There's bits in evidence of Sparks, Prince, Thin White Duke pre-plastic soul Bowie, Todd Rundgren, Don't Stand Me Down Dexys, within an insistent all too unvarnished confessional slow burn that doesn't see why it shouldn't throw in a coruscatingly widdly guitar solo. The Low experience can soon be seen supporting a couple of H Hawkline's dates and then The Great Escape.

The Family Battenberg - Feed Yer (Nganga)

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Show Dogs - Don't Go In The Water

Cardiff's Show Dogs could qualify as a supergroup if you'd ever heard of any of the bands they were previously in, so there's that. What you should know is they emerged late last year with an EP of wryly point-making slacker power-pop and now they've got a second, Y Rhwd Gwelw, out on the 17th, from which comes a pointedly Beach Boys-referencing piece of sunshine pop being covered by a dark cloud, being as it's about water pollution at the mouth of the Severn.

Foyer Red - Plumbers Unite!
James Ellis Ford - I Never Wanted Anything
Jeremy Tuplin - Dancing On Your Own

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Nuha Ruby Ra - 6 In The Morning

Between festivals, a string of great singles and supporting on Yard Act's first big tour it's very possible you'll have come across Nuha Ruby Ra in the last couple of years, or might be about to as she's about to play some dates with Self Esteem. Often you can't miss her for her intimidating, provocative live persona involving no visible backing, two microphones and more than likely an enormous hat. The music makes its mark too, dirty gothic industrial increasing in intensity with its insistent bad trip thump of a pulse and a and the kind of withering sprechgesang (yeah, again, but seriously) clarity amid social dropouts and arseholes that can most clearly be found at the titular time of the morning. EP Machine Like Me is out on the 17th on Brace Yourself Records, the label that put out Baby Shack so are already actual godheads.

CHROMA - Don't Mind Me

Have we talked about CHROMA much on here? We've mentioned them and previous singles by name and title, certainly, but by now we've seen them five or six times without any of those being outside Wales, a fate that still befalls any bilingual Welsh band. Signing to Alcopop! with a debut album on the horizon should sort that out as more people experience their live power and more generally the Pontypridd trio's Gossip-by-way-of-DFA1979 pummelling riffage led by a lyrically honest and open firestorm up front in Katie Hall. They're off to SXSW in a couple of weeks with a fundraising gig in Cardiff on Saturday and a GoFundMe for everyone who can't make it there.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Dancer - Arch Nemesis

A conflagration of members from Glasgow bands Current Affairs, Nightshift, Order of the Toad and Robert Sotelo, yes, it's yet more of that talk-singing (though more of the latter than with most) over acute post-punk stuff you've come to know and love in the last few years. It does however feel that unlike the majority of bands who've emerged doing similar in the last year these have actually drawn inspiration from the source, uncoiling without freneticism in the manner of - yes, here it comes - Life Without Buildings (their label refers to them as "inspired by LWB", so fair enough) via the Raincoats, with less of the impressionistic vocalising and more introspection and awkward bass-led groove. Plus their self-titled EP has a song entitled Chris Whitty's Inner World.

Monday, February 13, 2023

So where were we?

Yes, for the third time this year we're trying a new approach, AKA come crawling back to the one successful outlet we ever had. Twitter is an algorithmic cesspool where everything new gets lost unless you work a lot harder than these posts necessitate, Substack was a decent idea to us but evidently very few others, so for permanence it turns out we're back at the blog. From now on instead of grouping several together so the nuances get lost we're going to go back to what we did years and years ago and much better and more committed music bloggers still do perfectly well, namely posting single tracks as and when we hear something that we think you should too. Except for this first one, which is just to clear the decks of everything up to this point - bearing in mind on said newsletter this year we've already covered these tracks and these tracks.

Lambrini Girls - White Van

Maybe there is something to this whole party-like-it's-1997-at-the-Highbury-Garage/Camden-Palace glitter scene semi-revival/DIY femmepunk thing we've been plugging away at over the last year or so. The Brighton trio whose You're Welcome EP is out on 19th May and are supporting scene-in-our-own-heads leaders Panic Shack's London date tomorrow (as we post this) are actively explosive, a mildly satirical and very much visceral blast of punkish fury a la Dream Nails on the wolf whistling passing male gaze in particular and whose actual responsibility for such behaviour it is generally.

Private Party - Pink Daydream

From Cardiff Gets Splattered, a R*E*P*E*A*T Records 7" out this Friday also including tracks from Helen Love, The Mudd Club and Femmebug, some hazy emotionally contradicted chiming by some teenagers from Llanelli who it turns out released a more than promising EP, Artificial Feelings, last July. Also their singer is called Violet Sourbutts, which is a magnificent name.

Sluice - Centurion

North Carolinan Justin Morris has something of the Yo La Tengo about this from his forthcoming second album as a deceptively simple, almost folky rhythmic song by way of Bill Callahan is slowly overtaken at intervals by feedback as Morris' writing starts breaking up and then turns into an art-rock semi-freakout.

Thandii - Give Me A Smile

The second track in this selection to deal with unwanted street catcalling but one that goes about it in a very different way, as you'd expect from a duo from hip Margate who've actually been around since 2017 but are only on March 31st getting around to an album, comprising a jazz vocalist and Inflo's percussionist of choice (Simz, Kiwanuka, Sault) The latter is a big touchstone here, the kind of slightly left of centre psychedelic soul touching on unsteady trip-hop that fits snugly into retro-futurism.

Drahla - Lip Sync

We'd assumed the Leeds trio had gone the way of all flesh over the pandemic given their silence on all fronts since 2019's Useless Coordinates album but nope, they're back and developing their art-noise into industrial electronic percussion, burrowing bass, switches from noise to minimalism, crazed sax in the background and Luciel Brown generally daring you to turn away.

Dream Wife - Hot (Don't Date A Musician)

Sardonic? Noisy? We're about back where we started. This might even rival FUU as their best song, and who'd have thought that would ever happen.