Tuesday, 2 September 2014

She Keep Bees #9 - Radiance


It seems new She Keep Bees songs are coming in our ears as often as weeks anew, that's never something to grumble about, "Radiance", the third track to be taken from the Brooklyn duo's forthcoming LP Eight House (available to pre-order now from Rough Trade) is another beauty too...

"Radiance" continues the stark, sparse mood set by earlier tasters "Is What It Is" and "Owl", this time without the backing of Sharon Van Etten's haunting harmonies - that's probably a good thing - we all love Sharon but it should be the case that SKB's can create the wow factor themselves with no need to use a 'name' to create publicity- in an ideal world that is of course and I hope this slow-paced, luxurious wonder draws in fans, new and old alike. It surely should, radiating not with swagger or drive but hard-hitting emotions and grace. This is a special band alright.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Golden Fable #5 - Armour


Monday morning got off to the best possible start with the very welcome (and long-awaited) return of Golden Fable, now a trio, the North Wales based act have made September their own by announcing not just a new album, their second, but a preceding EP all in one go...

For now we've got "Armour" to sink our teeth into, the first taster of the new album, entitled Ancient Blue and due for release on November 10th, the track gives a hint into an exciting progression, a dynamic and exhilarating rush of bold instrumentation and Rebecca's ever faultless vocal. The jagged guitar patterns and heavy drum beat that runs throughout sees Golden Fable capture their live sound on record for the first time, a collision of haunting and cinematic soundscapes with a dramatic, post-rock edge. It's an impressive, breathless return.

The aforementioned Breathe In EP comes with little information (as yet) other than it contains three additional tracks and is released two weeks earlier than the album on October 27th. Ancient Blue and Breathe In can be pre-ordered now via Bandcamp - I've already done so.

Layla #4 - Fight The Fire


I adored the emotion that ran through Layla's last track EP Black Mud, taking the London based artist from promising newcomer to a certain star on the horizon, she returns now with "Fight The Fire", the first track taken from her next EP Weightlessness.

The soft guitar shimmers and comforting piano twinkles that introduce "Fight The Fire" lets you know what to expect immediately, a gorgeous torchlight ballad that resonates through its warming melody and luscious string sections as Layla's devastating vocals turns you to mush inside.

More details of Weightlessness are to follow. Layla plays her biggest headline show to date on November 3rd at London's Lexington - details.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Souvenir Stand #4 - Fall


I'm sure and hope you'll forgive a little blog about a song that is being released through my own label, Beautiful Strange. Souvenir Stand was originally an organic blog discovery, as long ago as June 2012 and since there's been a cassette tape EP release (the wonderful Days) and now this, a new two track 7" single called Surprise, it is due at the end of the month and available to pre-order now via Bandcamp.

"Fall" sees Souvenir Stand, primarily the work of New Jersey's Stephanie Cupo, shed some of the sugar and spice and all things nice allure that shone through Days for a darker, more grown-up, Twin Peaks' esque mystique. I won't go on, I've never been one for excessive self-promotion but it's a belter, I'm sure you'll agree.

Listen below and any support you may like to give Stephanie and this release, would be greatly received.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Poppy Red - Hand Into The Fire


Poppy Red is a new name to me but the now Brooklyn based quartet seemingly formed as an evolution of the solo project of Molly Long. Their debut full-length Hand Into the Fire is Released in the US via Nineteen98 on September 23rd with the tracks I've heard thus far have me itching for more, two slowly-revealing mini-epics of haunting melodies and glistening guitarscapes.

The first of them, "Crush", is wondrous, a heady marriage of grunge guitar riffs, crashing, sparkling melody and ethereal vocals harmonies, Molly's cooing vocals floats on top evoking nostalgia and gripping emotion throughout the breathless track.

The more introspective "Hand Into the Fire" is just as good, a gorgeous, sparkling torchlight beauty that pulls you in amongst its atmospheric grip and refuses to let go, simmering on the edge before rising to a sumptuous, dynamic climax around the repeats calls of "I only want to understand".

A new love is seemingly found. Check out both tracks below:

Esben and the Witch #10 - Dig Your Fingers In


The last time I wrote about Esben and the Witch it was to rave about the behemoth "No Dog", now the trio return with the more subtle (that wouldn't be hard, in truth) "Dig Your Fingers In". The latest track to see the light from their new album A New Nature, due September 9th and available fromRough Trade amongst others.

"Dig Your Fingers In" deals in a delicate, spiritual world and is somewhat sparser than you are perhaps accustomed to from Esben, beginning with little more than soft, gentle ringing guitars patterns and Rachels' shiver-inducing vocal, the atmosphere is kept on edge through before climaxing with a brutal, raw crescendo of pummeling guitar noise.

Exceptional, but you probably didn't expect anything else.

Esben play London's Oslo next Thursday - I'm looking forward to it. Details.