Monday, 22 September 2014

PINS #10 - Come Back

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I've been a fan of cassettes over the past couple of years because they offer an affordable way for bands to release something physically. Small-run vinyl is expensive on a per unit basis whilst CD's are not exactly glamorous and add to that the fact, something I know from personal experience, that selling them can be difficult (don't let 'record vinyl sales' stories lull you into a false sense of security - it is harder than ever to sell records as a small, diy label). Many releases these days are seemingly more for the nostalgic, die-hard collectors like myself rather than your day to day music enthusiast - apparently streaming off Spotify (I still don't have an account) is meant to support for a musicians livelihood.

So with that in mind I'm quite open about Cassette Store Day, sure there's no such thing as a cassette store and quicker than you can say feed-an-executive some bigger labels have jumped on board as another way to eek money out of the hardcore fan base with a re-re-re-issue of some 'classic' release but it also offers some interesting / cool releases too. Top of the list this year is this from the awesome Manchester quartet Pins, a three tracks covers EP from which we've been treated to an advance stream of the title track "Come Back" ( a cover of the The Belles song from 1966)

Vocally the track retains much of the same vibe, a buzzy, alluring sheen to which Pins add their own distinctive characteristics, spiky, adrenaline fulled fuzz-pop rhythm laced with darkley-hued menace.

Come Back is released on Cassette Store Day, this Saturday 27th Sept, limited to 100 copies. Don't expect them to hang around too long. Pins hit American next month with some UK shows also in the diary before the year is out - details.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Alvvays #2 - Next of Kin

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Alvvays, one of my discoveries of The Great Escape, and indeed 2014 return to the conscious (if they were ever away from it) with a rather nifty video to one of their debut record's finest moments, "Next of Kin".

The track is as glorious a moment of melodic guitar pop as the year has offered, giving you almost four minutes of near-perfect delicious, sweetening vocals, bursting guitar hooks and glistening, rose-tinted romance. That's something you can hardly refuse.

Alvvays is out now in the UK via Transgressive. I was on my sick bed when the band last hit London so I'm sure to be making amends when the band return to on October 30th - details.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Slow Skies #3 - Bodies

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After the exceptionally gorgeous "Ice Field", Slow Skies returns with the second track from her forthcoming Keepsake EP, "Bodies", due here in the UK on September 29th via Faction Records. The good news, it's even better...

"Bodies" starts equally restrained and intimate with slow motion percussion and shimmering guitars guiding Karen's soft, crystal-like vocals before turning in a darker direction, with haunting lyrics and funeral march beats leading to a stunning climax of raging instrumentation which takes the band off to a completely new territory. It's one I like. Lots.

Angel Olsen #3 - All Right Now

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First a grumble, I really do not approve of the whole 'deluxe edition' thing (which usually come hand-in-hand with a Pre-Christmas marketing campaign) unless it comes with a free copy for the people who purchased the 'old' album when it was originally issued (and I've known that to happen twice, once Bloc Party, once The Staves). I can understand re-releasing a record to try and ride a wave of publicity or eek out a few extra sales but I'm really don't understand why it seems to come at the expense of early adopters, or fans as they should be known. Anyway, the net result here is that we're getting new music from one of the finest artists around today, so I'm not going to moan anymore...

Angel Olsen is to release an expanded edition of her Burn Your Fire For No Witness record on November 18th via Jagjaguwar, it comes with five additional tracks (or three if you have the Endless Road / May As Well 7" already) and the the stream of "All Right Now" provides fine ammunition to tempt you to part with your hard earned, a slow, sultry number that gives the listeners new and old the perfect insight to Angel's haunting vocal, here it dominates through meandering acoustic plucks and leaves the listener gasping for air with its simple, heartbreakingly beautiful air of splendour.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Noire - Those Days

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"Those Days", the second track from Sydney's Noire serves as a gorgeous introduction to an effortlessly cool and mellow sound, bringing together Jessica Mincher's delicious, swooning vocals with beautifully restrained disco-shimmer and slick, polished production, the result is as smooth a groove as I've heard all summer long (I know it's pretty much autumn).

Fans of lush, nostalgia inducing pop should listen below. You can download it via iTunes now.

The Hanged Man - First Time Dreaming

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Rebecka Rolfart might look familiar to you, she certainly was to me from her earlier time in the sadly defunct Those Dancing Days, her debut track as The Hanged Man, "First Time Dreaming" has instantly perked my interest in her new project, offering a dark, heady statement of intent.

What immediately grabs you is the bass-line, full of intensity and deep, spidery patterns which swarm around Rebecka's ominous vocals and psychedelic synths for a mood firmly fixated within the dark realms.

"First Time Dreaming" is released via PNKSLM Recordings and a new act to follow is discovered.