Monday, 1 September 2014

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.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Everything By Electricity #5 - Abyss

Very glad to welcome Everything By Electricity back to these pages again, as a long time follower - this is a band without any official release that I first mentioned here two and a half years ago - I keep wondering where they are /pi hong for a live return / release news. Now, perhaps we are nearing the time for those questions to be answered...

Last week the seemingly still London based trio reveled a new track "Abyss" and its a beauty, continuing with the retro-synth soundscapes heard on last years re-birth with Yulia's soft-focus vocals stealing the show amongst a swooning tapestry of glacial guitars, shimmering effects and propeller-like beats. Simply put it's utterly delicious.

I'm pretty sure I've asked EbE not to stay away from us for so long, I'm going to do so again.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Meenk #2 - Firefly


It's safe to say that Meenk is one my new music addictions, following swiftly from my 'introducing' post a couple of weeks back is this, a new track, "Firefly".

Softer and prettier than anything on the Scamu Scau EP it retains the same lo-fi, home-recorded charm throughout and amongst the simple, stripped back ringing guitar riffs is this super-sweet, tuneful melody which endears with May's flickering vocal full of melancholic delicacy and moreish beauty. Become hooked below.

Scamu Scau is available now via Bandcamp - go and give it your love.