Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Mountain Goats - The Legend Of Chavo Guerrero

Good news for everyone who likes a good Mountain Goats concept album, because LP number fifteen Beat The Champ (out April 13th in the UK) is solely about professional wrestling. Or more precisely a refraction of John Darnielle's "avenue of escape when I was a kid", so presumably not really a professional wrestling story arc at all if we're any judge of the man's back catalogue. Except (and indeed) this track actually is about Chavo Guerrero Sr, Texas and LA-based multiple local champion of the late 70s and 80s and Darnielle's squared circle hero as something to cling to against his afore-written about abusive stepfather.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Landshapes - Moongee

Landshapes have been around for a while in a couple of guises but they've never sounded quite as sure of themselves as this from their second album sessions. The electronic bass seems to slither as much as pulse, the rhythm pushes and progresses as if in a hallucinatory trance and guitars attempt to break free of their shackles while Luisa Gerstein is hypnotic atop. It's quite something.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mew - Satellites

Frankly, it's been too long - they've been talking about new material since being involved in a music-shifting app nobody understood that was released in September 2013. Continuing a proud tradition of poor album titles this one is called +- and is produced by Michael Beinhorn, who did the duty on And The Glass Handed Kites and helps the band return to that era's ambitious arena-in-miniature forward momentum with obtuse lyrical concerns.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Jilk & Haiku Salut - Periscopes

Jilk is a Bristol-based electronic collective who fuse glitches with ambient soundscapes and you know who the currently second album-bound Haiku Salut are, DON'T YOU. Coming together in the name of remixing they instead collaborated on a single out February 9th, wherein awry, airy washes of sound both found and synthesised shape themselves around the stutters and pinpoint arrangements we know the trio for, eventually invegilating their way in and setting off sparks and creeping down ambient-psychedelic paths.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Echo Lake - Waves

The shimmering, hypnotic post-shoegaze beauty of Echo Lake was getting quite some attention around their debut album in 2012 until the death of their drummer necessarily halted their momentum. Back on March 2nd with second LP Era, the single pounds on the walls and shapeshifts beneath but expands its horizons over six and a half minutes of poised noise and beauty.

Yak - Hungry Heart

Yak are one of those hyped London bands we hear so much about these days, replete with connections (something to do with Peace's social circle) and a hip label behind them (Fat Possum, putting this out on 24th February). None of which seems to matter once disappearing down the wormhole of this psych-out, reminiscent of nobody so much as 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster reined in a little, with a guitar sound that shudders and careens out towards space, a thick old bassline and a boggle-eyed chorus.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Lucid Dream - Cold Killer

Carlisle's The Lucid Dream put out a magnificently lysergic single as part of Too Pure's Club last February, and their second album due 30th March is preceded by this reverb frenzy that channels Spacemen 3 and Flying Saucer Attack in its motorik drive and warp factor guitar sounds, straining at the seams of its surroundings by its speeding up end.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Oscar - Daffodil Days

Newly signed to Wichita, who are on a good run of form as far as obtuse solo auteurs are going, young Londoner Oscar Scheller possesses a rich baritone that's somewhere between Magnetic Fields' Stephen Merritt and the soulish gravel of Sean Rowe. Musically he's somewhere in between too but leaning more towards the former's synth-aided melodic formality, favouring a poised emotional release that explodes into a big pop melody chorus that just about restrains itself from taking off too unduly. Single out 1st March.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Trust Fund - Essay To Write

The cohorts play their parts, of course they do, but Ellis Jones just has this way of putting together a slightly ramshackle, slightly left of fuzzy centre song that flirts with mid-90s US power-pop and bedroom lo-fi without ever really being either, a querulous voice at the centre of a shaking melody and a lyrical style that cuts to truths almost too uncomfortably. No One's Coming For Us is out 9th February; on March 21st they play our own fourth annual Leicester Indiepop Alldayer.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Ralegh Long - Islands

And we're off for 2015 with someone who was among our tips for 2014 and promptly released nothing all year. He's already making up for that with this single, featuring Tom Dougall of Toy on lead guitar and Jack Hayter on weeping pedal steel, on the 26th, with debut album Hoverance due in April. A smidgen over two minutes is just enough for the sophisticatedly melody and reflective imagery to set out its place.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


To close off 2014, a list of records we're interested in for 2015. Some of these will be rubbish. We apologise in advance. Obviously the biggest date in the new year will be 29th April when STN turns ten years old, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Panda Bear - Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper (12th January)

Belle & Sebastian - Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance (19th January)
The Decemberists - What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World (19th January)
Diagrams - Chromatics (19th January)
Menace Beach - Ratworld (19th January)
Sleater-Kinney - No Cities To Love (19th January)

The Phantom Band - Fears Trending (26th January)

Darren Hayman - Chants For Socialists (2nd February)
Tigercats - Mysteries (2nd February)

Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear (9th February)
Trust Fund - No One's Coming For Us (9th February)

Marika Hackman - We Slept At Last (16th February)
The Wave Pictures - Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon (16th February)

Gang Of Four – What Happens Next (23rd February)
Public Service Broadcasting - The Race For Space (23rd February)

Modest Mouse - Strangers To Ourselves (2nd March)
of Montreal – Aureate Gloom (2nd March)

Evans The Death - Expect Delays (9th March)
Will Butler – Policy (9th March)

Manhattan Love Suicides - More Heat! More Panic! (16th March)
Twin Shadow - Eclipse (16th March)

Laura Marling - Short Movie (23rd March)

And So I Watch You From Afar
Emmy The Great
Everything Everything
Girls Names
The Go! Team
Haiku Salut
Joanna Gruesome
Kiran Leonard
Mammoth Penguins/Hayman Kupa Band
Nadine Shah
Rose Elinor Dougall

The Acorn
The Avalanches (yeah, right)
Band Of Horses
Bat For Lashes
Beach House
Beth Jeans Houghton
Black Rivers
Built To Spill
Cat Power
Heavy Petting Zoo
Holy Fuck
Jamie xx
Lone Wolf
Los Campesinos!
Napoleon IIIrd
Other Lives
School Of Seven Bells
Still Corners
Summer Camp
Teenage Fanclub
Wild Nothing
The Wrens