This is a dual purpose post. First, we wanted to give you some great tunes to start your weekend. Second we wanted to introduce you to Danish songwriter-producer Goss. Since we know very little about the man other than he has impressed us with his talent, and his Healthcare EP is due near the end of the month. So with that, we'll let you get on with your weekend.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Lush Purr is Gavin Will, Andy Fazio, Emma Smith, and Rikki Will. You can pre-order Cuckoo Waltz at the Bandcamp link below.
Bandcamp for Cuckoo Waltz
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Breakfast is important. In his seminal work "Israelites", nutrition expert Desmond Dekker noted the value of getting up in the morning and slaving for bread so that every man can be fed. But nutrition has advanced since the '60s, and bread may no longer be your choice to break your fast. And in the interest of public service and our dear readers' health, we will suggest one of our favorite ways to start the day: Breakfast Muff. The Glasgow trio has impressed us with the few songs we have heard so far, and today (over breakfast, of course) we were treated to their latest offering, "Baby Boomers". A bracing blast of rhythmic punk that will begin your day wide awake and full of that attitude you need to deal with bosses, roommates and political pundits, it will be paired with "R U A Feminist" on the band's upcoming 7" to be released by London label Amour Foo on May 7. The record will be available in your choice of vinyl or digital download.
Breakfast Muff are Eilidh McMillan, Simone Wilson, and Cal Donnelly, who switch instruments so there is no way to know who played what on the record.
We worry about you. Take care of your body -- have some Breakfast Muff.
Bandcamp for Babyboomers / R U A Feminist
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
I suppose one reason for this reaction is that I simply love style of music that The Bats have perfected; the chugging, jangling folk influenced rock has been a musical interest of mine for decades. I think that another is that Robert Scott's songwriting perfectly blends the specific and the opaque, inviting the listener to subconsciously add his or her own details and emotions on the platform he has offered. Then there is the fact that this band has worked together so long, and has so much evident trust in each other, that their efforts produce perfect little musical testimonies to their friendship. However, not to be overlooked, in fact, a major point here, is that after 35 years of music-making, The Bats have created some of their best songs for The Deep Set. Their first full length, Daddy's Highway is considered by many, including this writer, to be a masterpiece. But in my view, many of the songs on The Deep Set could easily slot into the lineup of that seminal album without detracting from, and perhaps improving, the set. The melodies, themes and tone are all there. A bit of the rough edges have given way to more performance polish, but that is neither unexpected nor troublesome. Scott's lead vocals hold up well, with a touch of weathering (like the creases on my old LL Bean leather jacket, it just adds depth). Kean's seemingly effortless but bouncing bass and Grant's crisp and sturdy drumming are ever lively and connected. And in my view Woodward's lead guitar lines, economical but incisive, are the best she has contributed to an album for The Bats. This is an album that not only is a joy for now, but will remain very satisfying for years. A deep set, indeed.
The Deep Set is out now via New Zealand label Flying Nun. In North America, Onmian Music Group is handling the release.
Bandcamp for The Deep Set
US Flying Nun orders
Flying Nun Records
Omnian Music Group's page for Flying Nun Records releases
We expect that Siberia is the only album you will hear this year that was entirely composed on the Trans-Siberian Railway. And we mention that fact because it is striking, and to get it out of the way, because the music is the real story here, and it is good music. Siberia is the third album from Vanbot, the performance moniker of Sweden's Ester Ideskog. Ideskog and two collaborators boarded the train in the Russian capital, and traveled for 17 days to Beijing. Along the way they composed and recorded the 11 tracks which, without any further production work or additional recording, became Siberia.
The songs on Siberia feature spacious arrangements feature icy synths and soaring, high register vocals reminiscent of Enya, or of Ideskog's fellow Swede Robyn. Stylistically, they encompass ethereal electronic dreampop and more robust electro-pop. The effect of this wide variety of approach results in an album that plays with the listener's focus. The dreamier numbers are like intriguing aural background -- lovely, but giving the listener time and space to think and dream, perhaps with some inspiration from the song. The faster-paced songs are more immediate, and more demanding, with thumping rhythms pull you into the track. And I think that such changes in focus are part of the charm of Siberia, and part of why it works for me -- I listen to the album and imagine that I'm riding on a train, with my focus changing depending on the scenery, my companions, the location of the stations, and my mood. The result is a different and enthralling listening experience.
Siberia is out now on all digital platforms, as well as vinyl and CD formats.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Zebra Hunt has been one of our favorite local bands for some time. But we take our obligation to our readers so seriously that we will not recommend a band without current knowledge. So I left the warmth of hearth and home (and a long list of home improvement projects) to see this band in shows on the two most recent Tuesdays (somewhat oddly, both times on the bill with an Australian band). One could wonder whether they were stalking me, or I was stalking them. But knowing that my parole officer never takes my side, I'll just observe that they are an excellent live band and very nice people, and say no more about that.
What I also will tell you is that In Phases, Zebra Hunt's second full length album is due in mid-May via Madrid's Tenorio Cotobade, Having heard several songs, I assure you that the album will be a winner, so start saving whatever pennies the tax man doesn't take from you next week. Two songs are available now, and you can enjoy them below.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Love Sport is Max Makinen, Aki Pohjankyro, Mikko Sulonen, and Teemu Tanner, with contributions from Liro Tulkki on Keys. Dull Tracks is out on April 14 via Helsinki label Soliti Music.
Bandcamp for Dull Tracks
Bandcamp for "Tall Poppies"
Chapter Music page for "Tall Poppies"
Sunday, April 9, 2017
But regardless of my potential troubles, the song is a gem -- loose enough to make you feel good, and tight enough to have the kind of polish that can headline and album. If you like the song as much as we do, note that it will be on the new album Rocket, to be released on May 19 by Domino Records.
Bandcamp for Rocket
However, when you encounter a perfect kiss, it overshadows the pretenders. So too, in pop music. Thus, we bring you a musical perfect kiss. And not to be coy, it is THE PERFECT KISS (all caps, in case you didn't catch the import of the words themselves). Their debut mini-LP is Disconnect, and after listening closely, we'd have to observe that it is a wonderful thing when the audacity of the promise in the name matches the execution. The project is headed by the pop-tastic Joe Moore, who previously fronted THE YEARNING and Lia Pamina. For Disconnect, Joe provides all the instrumentation on a vintage Yamaha PortaSound PSS-450. He has recruited Holly Vanags to sing, and it is an inspired choice as her sweet, delicate voice complements the material perfectly. The songs have all of the sugary melodies and sign-provoking hooks of classic indie pop purveyors such as Ladytron, Saint Etienne, with the added wry thematic spin of a Stephin Merrit (The Magnetic Fields, Future Bible Heroes and others). Joe's lyrical observations address disillusionment and disconnection in today's world, and you follow along with the lyrics while streaming the entire album at the Bandcamp link below. In fact, we recommend streaming it -- consider it the equivalent of an extended musical perfect kiss.
Disconnect is available now in 10" vinyl or digital download formats via Madrid's Elefant Records. You can find some details at the Bandcamp link below, and stream the album.
Bandcamp for Disconnect
Elefant Records page for Disconnect