Thursday, May 17, 2018

"Make Your Own Mind Up" by The Firestations

In early April we featured The Year Dot by UK band The Firestations.  To say that the album impressed us is an understatement, and I believe we referred to it as "a musical fireworks show" (link to WYMA feature).  The band is now releasing the shimmering, layered, standout album track "Make Your Own Mind Up" as a single with three added remixes by Bit Cloudy, Grasscourt, and The Nameless Book.  Check out the video or stream below and make your day better.

"Make Your Own Mind Up" is available as a digital release via Lost Map Records, which we expect is the only record label on the Isle of Eigg, an island off the coast of Scotland.

Bandcamp for "Make Your Own Mind Up"
Lost Map Records

"Sunday Roast" by Courtney Barnett

The answer is "yes, of course!"  The question was "do you want more Courtney Barnett.  We get a lot more Courtney tomorrow when new LP Tell Me How You Really Feel is released.  But we have a video for a song Courtney wrote when she was 13.  The seemingly effortless lyricism of her songwriting and sincerity of her performance slays us.  Being competitive guys we figured that we would write the great stuff we accomplished when we were 13, however, when viewed in print it was obvious that some things don't need to be shared.  And I am reminded, and comforted, that there is a statute of limitations applicable to most of it.

Tell Me How You Really Feel is out tomorrow, May 18 via Mom + Pop Music (US and Canada), Milk! Records (Aus and NZ), and Marathon Artists (UK and Europe).

Courtney Barnett Website
Website (for album orders)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"An Air Conditioned Man" by Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

We still are about a month away from the release of the debut LP from Melbourne's Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, but the good lads don't want us to suffer too much while waiting.  Accordingly, we have another album track to enjoy while we wait for Hope Downs to drop.  Indie rock heaven, folks.

The album will be out June 15 via Sub Pop.

Bandcamp for "Mainland"
Sub Pop

Monday, May 14, 2018

Death and the Maiden - Wisteria

We have a wisteria growing alongside our front steps.  It winds up the pillars of the overhang and overhead trellis, and then spreads up, out and across, creating a virtually impenetrable tangle of branches and leaves that is eight feet high, 10 feet front to back and 14 feet side to side.  At this time of year it blossoms, and the visual effect is stunning.

And with our own foliage in mind, we think that Wisteria is an apt name for the new album from Dunedin, New Zealand's Death and the Maiden.  Its nine tracks present dark, tangled pop, full of mystery and unease, but always propelled forward by an insistent, inspired polyrhythmic beat.  The synths and reverbed guitars create an enveloping sound, like a dense aural fog.  The overall effect is hypnotic, evocative, and addictive -- at the same time claustrophobic and liberating.  And frankly, after listening to it we find it hard to turn directly to other other music.

Death and the Maiden are Danny Brady, Lucinda King, and Hope Robertson.  Wisteria is out now via Fishrider Records and Occultation Recordings.

Bandcamp for Wisteria
Firshrider Records
Occultation Recordings

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Famous Problems - Hey! It's Raining!

We aren't the type to wish problems on anyone.  But if you are going to have problems, why not famous problems?  You could ponder that question, but frankly that seems like work.   We suggest as an alternative listening to Famous Problems.  The collection of talented musicians, including all of the special guests, consists of Jeffrey Green, Peter Whitney, Neil O'Brien, Scott N. Amore, Alison Cotton, David Feck (Comet Gain), Pam Berry (Black Tambourine), Mark Flunder (Cee Cee Beaumont), John Panos, and Delia Sparrow.  They all have a story, or rather many stories. And some of those stories, autobiographical or not, become songs for our ears on Hey! It's Raining!  And what do our Famous Problems offer here?  Fuzzy indie pop, jangle pop, and slow burning piano ballads - and that's just the first three tracks.  And then they give you even more.  This gang are master pop tunesmiths, and they deliver the goods.  But instead of blathering on by ourselves, we offer the comment by David Feck: "So open your ears, children, to the sound of bleeding wounds, of paperback legs, of dirt road sailors, of prison poets and hairy, hairy hearts."  You must admit, it is worth listening just to discover the sound of a hairy heart.

Hey! It's Raining! is available now in vinyl and digital formats from London label WIAIWYA.

Bandcamp for Hey! It's Raining!

"Future Me Hates Me" by The Beths (video)

A few days ago we celebrated the release of Warm Blood EP by Auckland's The Beths (link).  But time doesn't stand still, and the band now is preparing to release the full length Future Me Hates Me.  You can sample the title track in video format right here, right now.

The Beths are Elizabeth Stokes (guitar/vocals), Jonathan Pearce (guitar/vocals), Benjamin Sinclair (bass/vocals), Ivan Luketina-Johnston (drums/vocals).  The album will be released via Carpark Records.


Friday, May 11, 2018

For Scott Hutchison

We cover a lot of Scottish indie music here, and our interest therein is due in no small part to the quality of the songwriting of Scott Hutchison, the frontman for Frightened Rabbit.  We are very sad to learn that Scott died this week, a likely suicide, and a likely victim of depression.  While we usually don't continue to cover our favorite bands if they sign with a major label (not because we are oppose such signings, but because we focus our volunteer efforts on artists with fewer resources), we continued our interest in Frightened Rabbit and Scott's Owl John project even after FR signed with a major.  He was a singular talent and his music brings us great joy.

We commemorate Scott's sad passing with a few songs from his impressive catalog, beginning with the first song many outside the UK heard from the band, "Head Rolls Off" from their second album, Midnight Organ Fight.  The band was preparing a massive tour to commemorate the tenth anniversary of that album.

Website (Frightened Rabbit)
Facebook (Frightened Rabbit)
Twitter (Frightened Rabbit)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Flying Fish Cove - Flying Fish Cove EP

Flying Fish Cove is the main settlement on Australia's Christmas Island.  It also is the name of a Seattle indie pop band.  What the two have in common, if anything, is unknown to us (as, admittedly, are many other things), but as this is an indie music blog rather than a travel blog, I think you can guess which Flying Fish Cove we will address herein.

Flying Fish Cove is a relatively new band, probably not having celebrated a second birthday yet, but they have a distinct summery, jangling sound that should draw comparisons to Heavenly.  And as far as we are concerned, that sound is just ... well ... heavenly.  Their introductory self-titled EP consists of four tracks showcasing the band's bouncy indie pop style, with plenty of vocal swoops and changes of pace.  Based on the evidence here, this is a band that can take a venerable and well-established genre and invent their own delightful twists.  The EP is a true delight, and we look forward to more from Flying Fish Cove.

The members of the band are Dena, Jake, Sean, Chris, and Jacob, augmented by Star, Lydia, and Jade in the studio.  Flying Fish Cove EP is out now in digital and CD formats via Jigsaw Records.

Bandcamp for Flying Fish Cove EP

"Toy" (official video) by Young Fathers

Two months ago we expressed our love for Cocoa Sugar, the latest album by Edinburgh trio Young Fathers (link to feature).  Frankly, we think that any reason to remind you of the record is good enough, but today we bring you the excellent video for album track "Toy".  If you haven't checked out Cocoa Sugar, this is your reminder.

Bandcamp for Cocoa Sugar
Ninja Tune page for Cocoa Sugar

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Beths - Warm Blood EP

We don't know about you, but we are not happy that we learn about  a terrific record that escaped out attention when released a couple of years ago.  And it is even worse when that record has become difficult to find.  We have to admit that this specific lack of professionalism occurred with respect to Warm Blood EP, which was released in 2016.  However, Carpark Records has bailed us out by signing the ace creators of that EP -- Auckland, New Zealand's The Beths -- and re-releasing Warm Blood.

The Beths are comprised of four jazz students who love pop punk so much that they formed the band to play it.  The result is Warm Blood, which apparently was recorded soon after the band received an extra large shipment of pop hooks from Acme Pop Hook Company.  Combined with their natural musical talent, punk energy, and delicious vocals (all four members sing), the resulting record may have the catchiest five songs you have encountered in a long time.  The band will release full length album Future Me Hates Me in August, also via Carpark Records, but that is no reason to not get this EP.  Right now.

The Beths are Elizabeth Stokes (guitar/vocals), Jonathan Pearce (guitar/vocals), Benjamin Sinclair (bass/vocals), Ivan Luketina-Johnston (drums/vocals).

Bandcamp for Warm Blood
Carpark Records page for Warm Blood
Various links to obtain Warm Blood EP