Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Echo Lake #4 - This Year

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As per my last post on 2:54, until this week we'd had a couple of years radio silence from Echo Lake (two bands I can actually remember seeing together at The Lexington probably over three years ago now). The London based band return with a new song "This Year", part of a forthcoming compilation for Marshall Teller Records (whom the band play a showcase for this Saturday at the Shacklewell Arms - details) before hopefully treating us to details of a second album later this year.

An accompanying press release states that the track is actually an older track revisited and you can perhaps tell, a languid, haze of swirling, psychedelic pop that would fit well on their debut EP rather than the greater, more purposeful atmospherics of the full-length Wild Peace, either way, it sounds perfect listening here amongst the blue skies of North London, go bask in its glow below. Welcome back guys. Don't leave it so long next time please.

2:54 #8 - Orion

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Two years have passed since we last heard new music from 2:54, a wait which ended yesterday with the return of the Thurlow sisters and their track "Orion", it comes coupled by the news of a signing to the wonderful Bella Union for their forthcoming second album (as yet unannounced but promised for later this year).

The track is compelling, a strong, bolder continuation of the dark, brooding melodies which initially hooked me almost four years ago now. It instantly gets the pulses racing, huge drums, jagged guitars and a potent combination of menace/alluring vocals sweeping with dramatic, cinematic beauty. I'm sure I'm not the only one excited to hear more.

There's a UK tour penned in for November which kicks off at London's St Pancras Old Church - tickets go on sale tomorrow and I'll be sure to grab one quick.

Doe Eye - Shattered

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To San Francisco again and Maryam Qudus' Doe Eye whom came to my attention a couple of weeks back with the video to her track "Shattered".

An intriguing, experimental sound is introduced as stark synthetic soundscapes complete with abrasive industrial beats and detached vocals swirl around with a cold, nightmarish beauty. It's mysterious and atmospheric throughout as lyrics full of stalkerish intent instantly tell you that this is music of the night.

Another track from her album Television - released back in April and available digitally and on CD via Bandcamp now - "Diamond" is similarly captivating, as rich and shimmering as the title would indicate invading your mind with a metronomic beat hypnotising around Maryam's luscious echoes. I like this.




Monday, 21 July 2014

Indiana - Heart on Fire

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Advertisting. It can work. I'm normally one to shy away from adverts before Youtube videos and quite often don't listen to tracks that expect you to sit through thirty seconds of something beforehand - frankly it sucks, I'd rather the music model were like in the old days but seemingly I'm in the minority and people would rather advertisers pay the way, or part there of, instead of actually buying music they like lots - a model I'm not sure applies to anything else in the world - anyway, that's an entirely different story for another time...

Nottingham's Indiana came on before something I was emailed, I cannot remember what now but I was cooking dinner at the same time so I went into the kitchen after clicking on the link and then quickly came back to see what was playing... that as they say, is that. She is signed to Sony and appears to have been around for a good eighteen months so God knows where I have been but her latest single "Heart on Fire" is my introduction (I've actually just read that she's had a top 20 hit too - bloody hell).

Her voice reminds me of the melt-your-worries-away sweetness of Emily Wood and musically it's similar to much of the music I'm finding myself listening to this year, slick and stylish with glistening synths and lusciously smooth beats combining with a hook that makes you want to press play all over again. I'd say that's the very basis of a great pop song and "Heart on Fire" is most definitely that.

Indiana's debut album No Romeo is released 1st September.

Ruby Fray - Barbara

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Ruby Fray is a new name to me, an Austin, Texas quartet led by the even better named Emily Beanblossom, "Barbara" is the track that introduces me to their music, the first taken from their forthcoming second album and showcases a brooding noir-sound that explores a dark, atmospheric terrain akin a combination of Chelsea Wolfe, Bird and Widowspeak. I'm down with that.

Propelled by a ominous bass groove and shimmering guitar textures "Barbara" bewitches around Emily's hypnotic vocals, the beautiful result threatens to explode but remains understated and haunting. I'm left intrigued for more.

The album Grackle is released September 30th via K.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Robyn Sherwell - Love Somebody

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London based Robyn Sherwell comes to my attention with the swoonsome beauty "Love Somebody", a track which sounds like the music I was brought up listening to in the early 90's (and is now very much enjoying a renaissance), smooth, mellow pop with a soulful vocal and irresistible hook.

"Love Somebody" is sparse beats and glacial guitars which radiate a beautiful atmosphere in which Robyn's repeated call and response questioning of "can you ever love somebody..." breaks hearts. It recalls the soft, smouldering beauty of Lisa Stansfield at her finest and if it were released back then, it'd be hitting the highs of the charts, now of course we know things have changed unless you are on X Factor protege or worse Ed Sheeran...

"Love Somebody is released 7th September via Birdland Records with a release show taking place on the 11th at London's Islington - details.