Sunday, March 01, 2015

The Acorn - Influence

It's nearly five years since Ottawa's expansive, investigative folk-futurist MVP Rolf Klausener and friends put out the second Acorn album No Ghost. Having reconfigured his approach since a new record, Vieux Loup, is finally due in the spring, from which comes this electronically inclined workout, a deep old electric bassline and floaty synths rubbing up against a pensive vocal, conflicted lyrical self-examination and guitar strums that could best be described as minimalist.

Heavy Petting Zoo - Isabelle

Just in time for St David's Day our favourite Swansea surf-garage kids return with a single that forms part of The Joy Formidable's Aruthrol singles club (this is Aruthrol C, out on 7" 26th March). Weighing in well under the two and a half minute mark the propulsion is car chase sequence ready, the guitar shudders and charges and Amy Zachariah tempts the unwary onto the rocks. Oh, and if you're quick and in Cardiff they're playing Clwb Ifor Bach early this evening as part of a festival to mark the saint's day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Comet Gain - To The City's Core

Last year's Paperback Ghosts album was autumnal and bucolic; its follow-up EP is distorted and psychedelic. This, new Comet Gain followers, is what they do. There's a whirring Farfisa, Rachel Evans' damaged call-outs, a rippling guitar solo, something that almost qualifies as a breakbeat and a rock'n'roll going wrong underlay. Comet Gain headline what looks like a remarkable alldayer at London's Shacklewell Arms on 7th March with Withered Hand solo, Tigercats, Simon Love with A Little Orchestra, Evans The Death, Darren Hayman, Pete Astor (The Loft/Weather Prophets) and Bill Botting (Allo Darlin')

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cloud - Melting Cassatt

Tyler Taormina describes Zen Summer, his second album as Cloud out April 7th, as intending to "help those experiencing the anxiety associated with a state of flux. I wanted it to envelop the listener completely, and for them to realize that things would be alright in the end". He's certainly throwing himself into the picture as this sounds like Why? gone dreampop, confessional lyrical flow in a wavering voice over floating textures and misleadingly genteel backing.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fever Dream - Serotonin Hit

East London trio Fever Dream do that whole shoegaze do but with a dark post-punk undertow in the melody lines and structure, meaning they're not just another band turning on the distortion pedals and hoping for the best. Indeed clocking in at under three minutes it reminds us more of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! or Sonic Youth's more commercial excursions, fuzz brandished with quiet malice. Debut album Moyamoya is out April 27th; they play STN's Leicester Indiepop Alldayer at Firebug on March 21st.

Telegram - Inside Outside

We've now posted four Telegram officially released songs but this, on Dan Carey's Speedy Wunderground project, is only their second official release. It's more straight psych-indie than the glam-motorik elements of those tracks but it's still supercharged, compacted carried-away pop and seems like it means everything to them to get it out there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Nadine Shah - Fool

If Shah sometimes seemed an observer on her first album, the second taster for Fast Food, out April 6th, sees her jump right into the action and belittle a hip poser and two-timer, aided by a raw, minimalist guitar line that sounds like an active radar station. Deliciously malevolent.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Du Blonde - Black Flag

So this is the new, fully renovated Beth Jeans Houghton - prowling guitars and heavy staredown vocals that stay this side of rock-chick-for-the-sake-of-it through genuine viscerality and poise. It feels like a release. Jim Sclavunos produces, which makes sense. Album follows in the spring.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Lord Huron - Fool For Love

Ben Schneider always seems to make the records he fronts in a heat haze, his 2012 first album Lonesome Dreams driven by sunshine pop and trial percussion. The first taste of second record Strange Trails sounds more like Eddie Cochrane's spirit has infested the studio, early rock'n'roll melodies drifting in and melding with the prevailing, colours-running atmosphere that's equal part Beach Boys' influence on Panda Bear and the last vestiges of chillwave.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wire - Joust & Jostle

Seems very wrong that Wire are releasing a self-titled album, but here we all are. Out April 20th, their thirteenth studio album was almost entirely previewed on the road as with much of their earlier albums, the rest of the tracks brought in afresh by Colin Newman and reacted to in the studio spontaneously. Again much like "classic" Wire, much as the band would hate that term, it careers along with a rhythmic charge and half-hidden acidity, and is all done not much over two minutes in.

Novella - Land Gone

Novella started off as a blurry lo-fi band, shifted line-up, moved the sound tunnel sideways and are now a propulsion machine, in the Toy ballpark via a dose of Lush, with the insistency of the motorik beat and the extra element of the keyboards reflecting off and shifting around the sinuous, relentless rush of the flangey guitars. And then there's a sort of rock-out ending. Not unsurprisingly given those influences, Joshua from the Horrors co-produced their debut full-length Land, out 11th May.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Joanna Gruesome - Last Year

If it isn't broken... break it? The first track* from Peanut Butter, out 11th May, features things you'll recognise - Alanna shouting and then (almost) sweetly harmony singing, fuzztoned divebomb guitars - and little things that demonstrate how they're moving on, more of a sense of control and a pinpointed anger in the lyrics. Still among the most exciting we have.

(* except the album also features Jerome (Liar) and Psykick Espionage from their recent split singles)

Monday, February 09, 2015

Lone Wolf - Give Up

Paul Marshall's third album The Lodge, out May 11th, would seem to be very deliberately different to the expansive melodramas of the first two. That's because he's in a very different headspace to then, having first vowed to give up making music at all, then having an anxiety-related breakdown before deciding to put it all into one final push, recorded in the now defunct converted barn studio commemorated in its title. Piano pushed to the forefront, the results land in that heart-on-sleeve, silence-as-telling-feature area between Mark Hollis and Perfume Genius by way of Wild Beasts' minimalist moments, continuing the "warmly bruised voice tell(ing) tales of internalised pain and the confused psyche" we referred to on The Lovers just over two years ago but sounding even more fragile and willing to break down the human psyche.