Monday, 28 February 2011

Birds of Passage #2 - Without The World

I first introduced Birds of Passage a month ago and briefly mentioned an album would be out via Denovali, it's now been announced for March 25th, in true Denovali fashion it's available in an exquisite array of packages (gatefold vinyl / 36 page poetry book / cd) - see for yourself and pre-order here.

'Without The World' is Alicia Merz's debut release, getting a much needed re-pressing. It's an intoxicating work of art that is truly touching, heartbreaking and beautiful, combining dark, haunting soundscapes with the voice of a siren singing you to a dreamy sleep.

Many artists use excessive instrumentation to create atmosphere or mood, 'Without the World' is a master-class of minimalist and experimental song craft. Alicia beautifully uses natural sounds to complement instruments.

On "Whisper a Word" we can here an organ and the sound of wind rustling leaves whilst the breathy ethereal vocal delivery creates a sense of undoubted optimism.  There are more traditional lo-fi folk moments on the more relaxed "Fantastic Frown" with acoustic guitar, "Skeletons" breathy vocals, cool ambience and reverbed instrumentation is a touching, emotive highlight.

The titles of "Prey For A Sunny Day" and "Those Blackest Winter Nights" give no secrets to the gloomy, chilly feeling created by the use of drone, waves and electronica, faithfully recreating the feeling of emptiness during those cold, lonely winter's nights.

You've got just two days left to contribute to Alicia's European Tour (end of March / April) and receive some exclusive material in return - for more information on that head here. For the dates (supporting the wonderful Her Name is Calla and beginning March 27th in Leeds head here).

'Without the World' is something to immerse yourself in, its hazy mesmerizing beauty is a perfect antidote to the hectic lives we lead. Enjoy some of the tracks yourself below:

fantastic frown by birds of passage

scarlet monkeys by birds of passage

skeletons by birds of passage

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Cold In Berlin - New Music "Introducing"

http://www.coldinberlin.com/ http://www.facebook.com/coldinberlinband

I'm pretty good at casting off music within thirty seconds, liking something within that same time-scale is a much rarer thing. That thing happened with Cold in Berlin. Enter your new favourite punk rock band (and your parents least favourite). "Destruction" had me instantly hooked, with its unremorseful, menacing and brutal assault on the ear-drums.

"God I Love You" kicks quite the punch, the frenetic screams of vocalist Maya bring the JMTIL favourite quote "sounds like a cross between Karen O / Siouxsie" back with vengeance, just add a dash of Shirley Manson. With sinister guitar hooks, machine-gun drums and the best opening lines I can think of, "I had a girl and she was perfect // So I decided I would fuck her " Cold in Berlin have an in their arsenal an absolute monster of a track.

"Inertia" starts with fuzzy rock sounds before exploding at the mid way point with a brazen attitude, sharp riffs, pounding beats and, of course, ferocious vocal delivery. "White Horse" is unsettling and utterly brilliant; "There is no white horse // You’re a stupid little fucker if you thought there was".

The album is so explosive that I could continue to use superlatives on every track, but I'm sure you've got the idea. If you like dark, punky music with a fuck you attitude and exceptional delivery then Cold in Berlin will be right up your street. I've read a few reviews of their album which seem to be dismissive purely on the basis that there are a few cuss-words involved - I didn't realise it was 1900?

I feel I'm slow on board with CiB, the one gig they've played since I discovered them I had to miss (though I'll be getting to the next one I can) but I am pretty convinced the bands live show will be mesmerising and pretty fucking insane.

You can get their debut album 'Give Me Walls' direct from the band for eight pounds delivered - mine arrived in two days. Go here. 8.7 / 10

God I Love You by coldinberlin

Inertia by coldinberlin

Let's Buy Happiness #6 - Fast Fast Video


A nice and timely reminder for you, one of my favourite bands Let's Buy Happiness release there secound single ‘Fast Fast’ out 28th Febuary through there own label Ghost Arc Records. get it now and give the band some money to produce the next single / album that promises so much - go here: letsbuyhappiness.bandcamp.com

Here is the video for the single, I'm chilly just watching it! It reminds be a little of the Whirring video, perhaps because of the location and that recording on another cold day. The song of course is brilliant, a perfect intro for a new listener to the textured expansive sounds of Let's Buy Happiness - read more of my thoughts here.



The band are currently on tour, I recommend you get your arses out of the house and see them - I can't make this London gig unforch - for the second time this week Wednesday gigs please stop!

Dates:
March 1 GLASGOW - The Captain’s Rest
March 3 SHEFFIELD - Topman CTRL - The Plug w/ Frankie & the Heartstrings
March 9 LONDON - The Old Blue Last
March 10 BRISTOL - Start the Bus
March 11 BRIGHTON - The Hope
March 12 SOUTHAMPTON - The Unit

Let's Buy Happiness - Fast Fast by Six07Press

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Austra #3 - The Beast

I'm probably pretty lucky living so close to London that I get chance to see almost every band that I want to on a regular basis, I can think of only a handful of artists that I've not seen live that I am really desperate too (Holly Miranda, Perfume Genius, Anika, St Vincent) - well the latest addition to that list is definitely Austra, I'm pretty annoyed I never made the effort to see their Brixton Windmill show in January. There are some French dates penned in for April and the debut album is released 16th May so fingers crossed they'll be some dates around then. I'll be there! Double Vinyl LP sounds sweet too.

Watch this, a piano rendition of a new track entitled "The Beast" and it is truly breathtaking and gorgeous:


Austra "The Beast" from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

Austra - Beat and the Pulse by Vitalic Noise

Friday, 25 February 2011

Jenny O. - New Music "Introducing"

http://jennyo.bandcamp.com/

The first thing that struck me with Jenny O. is her beautiful, charming voice. It has this soulful warmth to it that carries her songs with elegance and grace. From New York, but located in L.A. she recently released her first EP 'Home' via Manimal.

Lead track "Well Ok Honey" is a put a smile on your face track which is undeniable fun and will make you wish it was spring already combining bluesy electric guitars and hand-claps to lovely effect. My EP highlight "All My Wishes" follows, it's simply a gorgeous track, stripped back to just a gentle, melodic acoustic guitar and the engaging voice of Jenny's at the front of the mix.

The continuing genre changes continue with "Won't Let You Leave" which comes in somewhere between a country number and a track from the '500 Days of Summer' soundtrack. Then guitars are put away in favour of a grand, sweeping piano, firstly on ballad "I Do I Do" which sweeps lovely into "Home" which closes the short 16 minute five track collection, one that quite accurately sums up the EP, with its lyrics "I'd give up anything to be home". Warm, glorious and lovely, Home will make you which you were just there. 8.0 / 10

Jenny O - Well OK Honey

Jenny O - Won't Let You Leave

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

2:54 #2 - Debut Single Details

http://www.myspace.com/thetwofiftyfour
http://soundcloud.com/thetwofiftyfour

Sister duo 2:54 were one of my hopes for 2011, their dirty shoegaze / 90's grunge sounds with maximum levels of reverb and distortion tick all my boxes. They've now confirmed details of their debut single: "On A Wire" b/w "Cold Front" will be released via House Anxiety on 28th March.

We've heard "On A Wire" previously in demo form, not too much has changed, it needed not, it's still a moody menacing bass heavy number. New one "Cold Front" is more percussion heavy than previous numbers but still in evidence are the chugging, distorted guitar-work that makes 2:54 really stand-out amongst the ever increasing number of new bands from the Capital.

Listen to both sides below:

On A Wire 7" by 2:54 Band
Cold Front 7" by 2:54 Band

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Bat For Lashes #2 - Depeche Mode Cover


http://www.batforlashes.com/

I love Natasha Khan, I don't think I've heard a bad Bat For Lashes song, can't be too long until the third album now.

Here is a cover of Depeche Mode no less, Strangelove, apparently done for some fragrance which is a bit odd but the song is wonderfully intoxicating (boom boom)... here it is:

Bat For Lashes - Strangelove (Depeche Mode Cover) by morrisday

Fierce Creatures #2 - New Track

http://www.facebook.com/fiercecreaturesband

Fierce Creatures return with a new track "Ships to Shore", which is the first single in a series (the band hope to release a new single with a B-side every few months to create around ten songs to be released as an LP), it'll be available for download along with a b-side on the bands website March 15th.

"Ships to Shore" is an airy, dreamy number which reminds me both musically and with the seafaring theme of the recent Tennis LP though the beautiful harmonised instrumentation exhibited on their debut EP 'I Mostri Feroci' remain, it's a nice song indeed.

If you / someone you know are in Fresno, CA then you can support the band and help them get to SXSW by purchasing a limited ticket / exclusive merch deal - see this link for more on that.

Here is a stream of the track for you:
Ships to Shore by fiercecreaturesband

Monday, 21 February 2011

La Bête - New Music "Introducing"

http://soundcloud.com/labetemusic 

The bands facebook bio has pretty much stolen my thunder, because it is as accurate a summation as one could give:

"La Bête was conceived in north London summer 2010 by the desire to create unsettling, seductive rock 'n' roll. Dark, dissonant and hook-heavy, their sound is raw and unapologetic."

If you like some dirty, sweaty music to dance your blues away, La Bête will be right up your street, a near perfect combination of Cat Power, YYY's and PJ Harvey - so yes, pretty much the same influences as the last couple of introducing post I've done!

"Bring Your Body Home's" wonderful bluesy influenced sound injects incredibly raw energy into an undeniably punky, sleazy, trashy and sexy number.

To date they've played just a handful of gigs, the next is Wednesday, 23rd Feb (can people not schedule gigs I want to go to on Wednesday's please!) with the brilliant Cold in Berlin in Hoxton, so if you are free why not go and find out for yourself.

LA BÊTE - La Bête by La Bête

LA BÊTE - Bring Your Body Home by La Bête

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Saint Saviour - New Music "Introducing"



No real time today and now complete lack of energy! I promise to fill in this space over the next couple of days, just listen and / or watch these first - absolutely exquisite and beautiful. Just what I need after the day I've had!

Saint Saviour: Woman Scorned (official) by Saint Saviour
Saint Saviour - Hurricanes by rafalmichalfilip

Friday, 18 February 2011

The Chapman Family #5 - New March Tour


It's almost a week since the end of the frankly amazing TJF tour and I've spent a lot the time since listening to The Chapman Family and the amazing abrasive assault of "All That's Left to Break" - I'm not sure why it's not on the album 'Burn Your Town' (out March 7th - get it pre-ordered signed here) but do not fear because it is available as a free download by simply heading to The Chapman Family website - http://thechapmanfamilyisnotacult.com/ - Free kids, FREE.

The tracks I've heard on record and live are just as superb - foreboding, menacing and ominous, a perfect summation of the coalition governed Country we've been forced to live in, without really asking for.
I cannot wait to hear the album version of "A Million Dollars" - the live version is a twisted masterpiece of brutal, frenzied guitars and pounding drums carried by Kingsley's insane vocals and antics.

New tour dates have been announced, and it's one hell of a fucking brilliant tour too - not only do we have TCF, we also have other JMTIL favourites O Children and John & Jehn. I'll certainly be doing a few of these.

Full dates:


TICKETS availble on this link or http://www.artistticket.com/

Recent single "Anxiety":
Anxiety by The Chapman Family

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Terror Bird #3 - Waiting For Nothing EP

VR001 - TERROR BIRD - WAITING FOR NOTHING


Full disclousure: This is my label, I'm not going to review my own releases on my own blog, it seems contradictory to the aims of this blog, needless to say I love the music I'm putting out. Press release below:

LIMITED TO 500 COPIES ON BROWN VINYL w/ hand numbered insert and download coupon.

SIDE A
01. WAITING FOR NOTHING
02. SHE KISSED ME (AND I FELL ILL)
SIDE B
03. THRILL KILLER
04. SECRET RITUALS

Released Monday 7th March. Pre-Orders will get digital version one week early. ORDER.

Intelligent and exhilarating the lyrically dark title track ‘Waiting For Nothing’ is a masterpiece of huge sweeping synths. “She Kissed Me (and I Fell Ill)” is a glorious pop number with Never’s melodic vocal shining through in one of Terror Bird’s most dazzling tracks to date. The bright and upbeat “Thrill Killer” with shamelessly beautiful piano and keyboard arrangements kick starts side B before the gloom laden “Secret Rituals” with reverbed vocals and haunting keyboards close the EP in emphatic style.

Terror Bird are on an extensive European tour throughout February and March.
For dates please see Myspace.

Stream Side A below:

Terror Bird - Waiting for Nothing by Verulamium Records

Terror Bird - She Kissed Me (And I Fell Ill) by Verulamium Records

Phonic Riot - New Music "Introducing"


http://phonicriot.bandcamp.com/

Phonic Riot are a relatively new duo from Washington, DC who have been playing together for about six months and have just released their debut EP, three tracks, on tape - you can order one of the tapes here - you'll probably want to do that after you've given it a spin below because it's quite simply fucking superb... Guitarist / Vocalist Angela Morrish has a voice that combines the range of beauty in PJ Harvey's material, an aggressive Corin Tucker and Siouxsie's banshee like wails.

It's fair to say their debut release is big and exceptional."Run Nicki Run" hits you straight off like a ghostly MBV, ambitious fuzzy shoegaze pulled together by Nathan Jurgenson's driving drums and the haunting beauty of Morrish's vocals. The song escalates to a climatic wall of sound and it really is quite brilliant. "March Girl" has a distinct gothic taint to it, with a repetitive dark guitar riff and sound that the aforementioned Polly Jean Harvey would be very content to have created.

The jewel in the crown is undoubtedly the eight minute sprawling epic "Libertina", which builds from a gentle minimalist buzz, creating desolate imagery with its dark and brooding soundscapes to a full powered searing and soaring wave of noise.

Phonic Riot - Run Nicki Run by 2,632 Tapes

This live version calls for a massive mosh-pit of crazed devotees - if Phonic Riot carry on like this I'll be there with bells on.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Caitlin Rose #17 - BBC Six Music Session + Live at Camden Barfly Review

Caitlin Rose is back in Europe on her "Shanghaied" 2011 Tour, I had the pleasure of seeing her for the eighth time last Friday at Camden Barfly, despite being a little bit poorly (perhaps the codeine / beer mix got her through the show!) Caitlin gave a typically humorous show where she proclaimed she's dating, so can't write any new material aside from a rather tongue-in-cheek number entitled "Eating Myself To Death" a verse of which goes;

"I read the paper, I watch the news but I can’t see my feet beneath this weight I just can’t lose!" and later on twitter another; "Can't leave the livin room, can't leave the house, them demons I keep feedin lord, I just can't get em out ... so I'm eatin myself to death" - a hit in the making!

"Shanghai Cigarettes" was typically rousing, the live treatment treating us to a more urgent, loud and fun version matched perfectly by Caitlin's soaring, impeccable vocal. As always, "Spare Me" and "That's Alright" provided foot-stomping highlights - I recorded them with my rubbish camera, I may or may not upload them when I get a moment!

Setlist:

See you at the Borderline next month for a repeat performance, hopefully with a well Caitlin and a couple of "treats"!

You can download a recent BBC session with Cerys Matthews below...

Caitlin Rose - 13th February 2011, BBC Studios, Manchester, UK - Broadcast by BBC 6Music on 13th February 2011 for "Cerys Matthews"

DOWNLOAD: Mp3 LINK

01 Chat I
02 "Learning To Ride"
03 Chat II
04 "Shanghai Cigarettes"
05 Chat III

Caitlin Rose - Shanghai Cigarettes by Stayloose

"Own Side" is released next week, here is the video:

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Angry Years - New Music "Introducing"


http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Angry-Years/135568893309 //
http://theangryyears.bandcamp.com/


London based art rock trio The Angry Years sent me their demo "Dress Yourself as Someone Dead" a little while back and it's definitely work checking out. With a heavy yet catchy riff, dual vocals the groups sound brings together influences such as early YYY's, Nick Cave and White Stripes creating a cohesive minimalistic approach to their work

Dress Yourself as Someone Dead by The Angry Years

You can download it for free using the Soundcloud link above, you can also get a new demo, an almost Jim Steinman length song titled "The Depressing Resurgence of One-liner Comedy" which could well be better than "Dress Yourself..." I am really enjoy the tempo change at the halfway mark, where crunching guitars and stomping drums are thrown at you, a real gritty and honest track. If raw and genuine alternative music with due care and attention paid to lyrics and instrumentation is your thing, then you won't go far wrong checking out The Angry Years yourself.

The Depressing Resurgence of One-liner Comedy by The Angry Years

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart #3 - New Album Details

Following the release of their eponymous pop debut in 2009, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart return (although with two singles and an EP since I can't say I felt they disappeared! - no bad thing) with a new single and album. 'Belong' is out on March 28th via Fortuna Pop! Tracklisting and Pre-order details can be found here.

After the band’s European tour which involves a date at King’s College, London on March 3rd. I'm racking my brain because I think I'm busy that day, but I can't find any evidence of it so I may well be present - their last London show at 229 was probably the best I've seen the band.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Belong by Slumberland Records

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Heart In Your Heartbreak by Slumberland Records

Monday, 14 February 2011

Strobelight - New Music "Introducing"

http://www.facebook.com/Strobelightmusic // http://soundcloud.com/strobelight

Strobelight hail from Mexico but live in LA, they jumped out from the page on first listen thanks to the striking beauty of the first song I listened to, a couple of weeks ago now, "Safe (Piano Killer)" is quite wonderful, strong piano with a progressive beat and some amazing harmonies that just ooze majesty. The stand-out for me has to be the rich and soulful vocal which is quite stunning.
Safe (Piano Killer) by Strobelight

"Lies" is upbeat with a strong drum base, chugging stomping guitar lines and (again) a truly striking vocal. Strobelight excel in reinventing themselves with many different genres evident in their songs, alternative, folk, rock, electro etc, it is all very refreshing anyway.
Lies by Strobelight

The dreamy "One More Time" is an ambient down-tempo song that is (in fear of repeating myself here) beautiful, I'm not sure if it's a different vocalist (sounds like it to me?). The track has a vinyl scratching sound throughout and the spacey atmosphere created suits it to perfection.
One More Time by Strobelight

Their first album 'The Morning After' is due in March, certainly worth further investigation. You can currently listen to sixteen songs on the groups soundcloud page, so off you go.

Here is the official video for "Safe (Piano Killer)" in all its cinematic glory:

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Call The Doctor #2 - New Track


Bristol based Call The Doctor return with 'Take It Out' released on iTunes 21st March through Glasstone Records with ultra-limited CD singles available at gigs in March, the dates you can find on the picture above.

"Take it Out" is an urgent, punky stomp with nods to Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Sleater-Kinney, clear influence to the later in the bands name too. Jerky guitars, clattering drums and frenzied vocals, yeah I like this one:



Or audio if you prefer:

Take It Out by 1-2-hear

Here is my highlight from their debut EP;

Call the Doctor - Little Bones by morrisday

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Airborne Toxic Event #3 - New Album, UK Residency

The Airborne Toxic Event have announced the follow up to their 2009 self-titled debut. 'All At Once' will be released on 18th April.

The 11 tracks from the album will be revealed exclusively online.  A unique acoustic video version of every track on the album, entitled The Bombastic will be showcased in the eleven weeks leading up to the album release, starting with the title track All At Once. Each video is one take, one shot and completely live. Each  Bombastic will be shown every Tuesday on the bandʼs website www.theairbornetoxicevent.com starting Tuesday 15th February 2011.

They'll be back in the UK playing a few live dates around the release too, including five in London, tickets will go on sale next Friday. Season Tickets available for the London dates costing £40, the first 50 purchases will get entry to the "Special" album release show. All sounds very exciting, I first saw TATE at the Dublin Castle quite some time ago now, I'll be hoping to repeat that with these gig announcements.

The Americans are getting a song called "Changing" for the first single, us UK folks get "Numb". You can hear that below and a live version for "Changing"

Those tour dates:

APRIL
04 Nottingham Rescue Rooms
05 Manchester Academy 2
06 Glasgow QMU
08 Leeds Cockpit
09 Dublin Academy 2
10 Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
18 London "Special Show"
19 London Dublin Castle
20 London Barfly
21 London Kings College
22 London Koko





Edit: Here is the first of those new acoustic videos:

Friday, 11 February 2011

Vienna Ditto - New Music "Introducing"


http://viennaditto.wordpress.com/ //
http://soundcloud.com/viennaditto

Although it's getting to time of year where signs of Spring are sprouting, for example, it's still pretty light and it's almost 17.00 here is a wonderful chilled song entitled "Wintertime" by Vienna Ditto. It's a lovely ambient track with a beautiful and smooth vocal performance that would fit that lazy day mood when the weather is too bleak to move from the comfort of the duvet:

Vienna Ditto - Wintertime (demo) by viennaditto

Hearing that in my inbox was enough to make me investigate the band further; a three piece from Reading who've been making music for a while and even played Glastonbury 2009. The next track I listened to was the equally wonderful, "Best Shot", another melancholic electronica track, opening with some military drumming and electro wobbles it creates a perfect soundtrack for the incredible voice of singer Hatty. Listen and download for free below:

Vienna Ditto - Best Shot (demo) by viennaditto

The band have a new EP coming out on 14th of March, released on their Souncloud page, so make sure you keep an eye out for that.

Stricken City #5 - R.I.P.

Last night saw the final ever Stricken City gig which is certainly a shame as the hour slot at the sold out Drop venue in Stoke Newington more than showed there is more than enough room for their lush indie-pop tunes in the world as they went out in emphatic style. A rousing "Five Meters Apart", the song that first hooked me too SC, "Bardou" and the wonderful "Losing Colour" were amongst my favourites in the hour long set.

The pulsating rhythms, playful guitars and Raa's soft vocals, capable of soaring peaks produce a wonderful 80's pop sound was the band played to a puppy dog audience who were lapping them enthusiastically up, sadly we won't be hearing them do it again. The band did request the audience record three songs in the middle of the set for them to release a montage of at a later date, so maybe we'll get one final SC memoir before the band move on to pastures new. I have no doubt that Rebekah will be back.

'Losing Colour' is the second and final Stricken City album, you can purchase a digital version of the entire album for a measly £1 (or more which I'd say is only fair) from their shop here. If you'd like something physical, there are (limited to 300 and I imagine a lot went last night) 7" Sized CDs which come with lyrics sheets and fold out sleeve (mine has a last ever show stamp too) available to order from Puregroove. If you want one of them I'd move fast and you can also get their final bits of merch in their shop.

As a final farewell, SC released this video which is basically a solo live performance by Rebekah Raa, intimate and imposingly beautiful:


Rebekah Raa - Bella Writer (Live) from Stricken City on Vimeo.

Here are a couple of tracks off the album, see you in your next live Sc:
Corridors by {Stricken City}

Animal Festival by {Stricken City}

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Those Darlins - New Album

http://thosedarlins.com/

Those Darlins have released details of their forthcoming second album 'Screws Get Loose'. "Be Your Bro" is the lead single, an 60's influenced infectious garage rock number and is pretty great, as is the video which you can watch below.

"Be Your Bro" has some fun lyrics and a nice take on the "let's just be friends angle" with vocalist Jessi singing:
"I just wanna run and play in the dirt with you // You just wanna stick it in" and "I may have girlie parts but I've got a boyish heart".


If you so desire you can order it as a 7" or pre-order the album directly from the band here.

NIGHTJOGGER by Those Darlins

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Ellie Herring - New Music "Introducing"

http://soundcloud.com/ellieh

With a hushed echoed vocal Ellie Herring creates some mystic, creepy and atmospheric electronica consisting of wonderful layering, compelling experimentation and anxiety.

On "Touch Point" Ellie had crafted a slice of perfect ambient soundscapes that would be perfect as a backdrop to a 4am party or soundtrack to a film such as Christiane F (if David Bowie wasn't available) such is the aural druggy feeling created so magnificently.

Touch Point by Ellie Herring

"Ever Ever Said" is a trippy, spacey number with a soft repetitive shuffled beat and vocal. Beautiful and chilling at the same time:

  Ever Ever Said by Ellie Herring

You can listen to two more equally blissful chilled tracks over on Ellie's soundcloud page.

Ellie is signed to the label Race Car Productions and will release titled EP, "Flailing in Attraction", in early 2011.

Scanners - New Double A-Side


http://www.scannersmusic.co.uk/ // London four-piece Scanners are due to release their second LP 'Submarine' in March, we've been treated to a lovely introduction in the form of double A-Side single 'Salvation / Baby Blue' which is released on Feb 28th. It is quite delicious.

"Salvation" a mysterious dark, brooding affair that recalls a gothic PJ Harvey with some sinister lyrics about dragging a lover to a grave. The eerie melody, progressively aggressive drum beats and rousing "woah" chants combine to make the track a real stand-out . The flip side is "Baby Blue" a candy sweet indie pop masterpiece. With it's upbeat melodies, delicious vocals and twinkling glistening guitars it give a real 60's pop feel. One of my favourite tracks of the year so far, if only the weather was matching the happy, summery feeling it gives. One for the BBQ parties in the summer.

A sure fire gem if tightly crafted indie music is your thing, part rock, part pop, fully addictive, see for yourself:

Scanners - Salvation by Sainted PR

Scanners - Baby Blue by Sainted PR

The band are on tour in the UK in March.

Austra #2 - Album News and Live Show

Austra have announced details of their debut album, out 16th May via Domino. It's called Let It Break and if what I've heard so far is anything to go by, then it is going to be great.

Even more on an indication can be found over on nyctaper where we have a short but most excellent recording of the trio from December. I've listened to this four or five times and its fantastic, considering all six tracks are on the album consider it pre-ordered.

Austra - Beat and the Pulse

A rather not for work video to the single "Beat and The Pulse"

AUSTRA "Beat and the Pulse"
Uploaded by domino. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Cold Cave #4 - New Track


Cold Cave have made the opening song from their new album Cherish the Light Years(due April 5th via Matador Records) for free download. The song, “The Great Pan Is Dead” is pretty great, generating an almost indistinguishable explosive wall of noise: a  pummelling beat accompanies fuzzy guitars all washed around with mind blowing synths. A massive statement for the new album, can't wait.

Listen:
COLD CAVE - The Great Pan Is Dead by My Punk Spirit

Download:

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Misty Miller - New Music "Introducing"

http://www.mistymiller.com/

At just 16, Misty Miller's music is pure and charming, her folk songs have a lovely whimsical nature which is a perfect antidote on this Saturday evening where I'm still recovering from last night. There is a radio-friendly accessibility around the purity in her voice is a calming influence and her sweet witty lyrics, I can see her going far.

She states this on her website "when I was 8, I started writing songs with my brother, and about 2 years ago, I was given a ukulele as a gift. At first I wasn’t that interested, until one day when I was bored, I picked it up and started strumming. It was so addictive and I taught myself how to play within a few weeks. I’ve been writing music on it ever since"

Robin at the exceptional Breaking More Waves  introduced me to her here and I have to agree with everything he says. With an EP already available to buy on iTunes and an album following on Valentine's Day Misty Miller could well be a new sensation by Glastonbury time, I can see her going down very well on The Park, Emily.

Listen to her new track "Little Thing Called Love" below, another slab of velvet voiced pop perfection.

Misty Miller - Little Thing Called Love by the ruckus



Sleigh Bells #6 - Live at the Forum

Here is a great Sleigh Bells recording from their recent Radio One show, ripped straight from the broadcast. A fantastic live show it is too.

DOWNLOAD: FLAC PARTS ONE // TWO

Setlist:

Sleigh Bells - Kentish Town Forum, London, England, 20th January 2011

Broadcast live on BBC Radio 1

1.DJ Intro
2.Intro
3.Tell 'Em
4.Infinity Guitars
5.A/B Machines
6.Kids
7.Riot Rhythm
8.Treats
9.Holly
10.Rill Rill
11.Straight A's
12.Crown On The Ground
13.DJ Outro

Sleigh Bells-Tell Em (Diplo Remix) by diplomaddecent

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Paper Crows #3 - Follow The Leader

Paper Crows return on March 21st with new double a-side single 'Follow The Leader / Fingertips'. "Follow The Leader" is an upbeat yet much darker and unsettling number than the previous Paper Crows tracks we've heard to date. Emma's vocal more in Bjork territory with measured electro beats creating another fine track for the duo.

Early last month I wrote this about "Fingertips":

"Fingertips" has a distinct early Portishead feel to it, an atmospheric melancholy pop-noir with a beautiful soulful touch which allows Emma Panas glorious vocal to shine through in a brooding, mature and ultimately rewarding listening experience.

If you want to catch them live, the duo are headlinging YOYO (Notting Hill Arts Club) next Thursday, 10th Feb. Head here for more information on that.

You can stream both sides below:
Paper Crows - Follow The Leader by Sainted PR

Paper Crows - Fingertips by Sainted PR

The Barettas - New Music "Introducing"

http://thebarettas.bandcamp.com/

Canadian trio The Barettas got in touch to introduce the release of their debut 7" "Touche", it's a catchy power pop stomp with a bit of garage rock / punk spirit, driving rhythms and sing-along choruses, the vocal reminiscent of Gwen Stefani. Backed with "Black Sheep" another slice of infectious indie-pop.

You can download the single for free via the groups BandCamp and order a phyiscal copy via this link.
Listen:



The girls also have an EP available on iTunes or on CD here. There's still the garage pop feeling, but these tracks contain a bluesy feel too with my favorite being the oddly titled "I Dig The Alley, But Not The Birds".

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Terror Bird #2 - New LP and Single

http://www.myspace.com/xterrorbirdx

The first of a couple of posts bringing some news on one of my favourite new acts, Vancouver's Terror Bird.

Possibly the most active of any group at the start of 2011, this post bring news of two of three releases penned for the first quarter of 2011, next week I'll bring news on the third, which I'm helping them release, so there may be some bias in my views here!

Terror Bird are pioneers of synth-pop producing dark 80's sounding glam pop which is both chilling and heartfelt, full of real substance and a perfect soundtrack for the increasingly gloomy world we find ourselves in.

This week saw the release of a long awaiting LP jointly released by Adagio 830 and Night People entitled 'Human Nature'. It is available to order here, the first 200 are on clear vinyl. "Human Life" showcases the sound perfectly with its reverbed vocals, haunting keyboards and minimalistic arrangements. Terror Bird are capable of both catchy pop melodies and dark new wave synth-wave doom. A reworking of "We Were Monsters" is quicker than the original version from the "Shadows in the Hall" 7" and it's vastly improved for it, the blistering pace and Nikki's gorgeous vocal have made me love this track more than I already did.
The third album of 2011 so far that will be in my end of year lists, no question.

Then we have released on 21st February a UK based single entited "Outside" b/w "When I Woke Up" which is released through new label Night School, it's limited to 300 hand-screened 7" vinyl and is another essential purchase. Order it now. "Outside" sees Nikki Never duet with a ghostly version of herself and is quite exceptional, with trademark casio-sounding backing keys and percussion. The B-Side is just as great.

Catch the band on their European tour right now - dates on their Myspace. They hit the UK on 8th March supporting Former Ghosts at Cargo and will be staying for a week.

Listen below:
TERROR BIRD  -  When I Woke Up by NightSchool
TERROR BIRD - Outside.mp3 by NightSchool

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Auction For The Promise Club - New Music "Introducing"

Facebook // http://www.auctionforthepromiseclub.co.uk/

Auction From The Promise Club, are a band from Cornwall, and are comprised of a brother and sister (Zoe and Toby) and bassist friend (Pez). They produce an energetic, powerful guitar based sound which leans close to some early 90's indie-rock bands and comparable with more recent groups such as Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Metric and dare I say it, The Joy Formidable.

There are four tracks to download for free direct from their soundcloud and an TBA EP to be ordered from their shop. I shall be onto that as soon as my PayPal gets some funds in it!

With crashing drums, multi-layered buzzing guitars and a stunning vocal Auction For The Promise Club have four demos that to me only say one thing - fucking awesome (that's two things I know). "Awake" with its loud thrashing chords oodles cool thanks to Zoe's sultry voice and blistering riffs. "Under China" is a soaring high energy anthem which explodes with frenetic, aggressive power.

"Tick Tock" deviates from the others with a lush, melodic and relaxed sound which highlights Zoe's hauntingly beautiful voice, it's a lovely come down to their other tracks that sit more in the traditional alternative punk-rock genre - I think we have another band that'll turn in a rather wonderful acoustic session.
The best of the four though is the thunderous "See Through" an absolute powerhouse of a track, its blistering pace, infectious riff is a mosh-pit favourite in the making. Epic.

That's another band on my to see live list then. Another great discovery, how I love new music. These are just demos too! They seem polished and advanced to me, I'd certainly be happy if these were the final cut.

Here's the video for the sublime "See Through":

Auction For The Promise Club - See Through from Mathy & Fran on Vimeo.

She Keeps Bees #5 - New Album Preview

Just a quick post as I covered She Keep Bees just last week - for full Euro tour dates see my last post here.

Jess and Andy yesterday released a preview for the forthcoming third album 'Dig On' which will be out on the superb Names Records in April. Can't wait for that and those tour dates at the end of the month.

The track is entitled "Saturn Return" and it's a typical She Keep Bees sound of bluesy garage rock that certainly packs a solid punch, looking forward to the rest of the album.

 Saturn Return by She Keeps Bees

Creatures of Love - New Music "Introducing"

http://www.facebook.com/creaturesoflove

I'd heard of Creatures of Love through their Joy Formidable connections but hadn't listened to them before catching them support TJF at The Borderline last Saturday, I was suitably impressed.

The menacing intro and dimly lit stage set-up gave a strong signal that we were in for a gothic spectacle, that we were. Lead singer Bonita Mckinney was sporting a cape similar to one I've seen Zola Jesus wear a few times and the similarities don't stop there, an incredible vocal with a sound that sits somewhere between the aforementioned Nika, Esben and the Witch and the pop sensibilities of Florence Welch. Instead of the incessant pacing of Zola Jesus, we were treated to bewitching stares and a powerhouse voice from Bonita backed wonderfully by some pounding electro beats.

"Barbitos" might still be in demo form but it's a dark, electro masterpiece. Edgy guitars, witchy ambient synths and percussive beats create an brooding, atmospheric beauty. It is a real sign of intent.

Creatures Of Love - Barbitos (Studio Demo)

The band released a digital EP last year which you can get on iTunes. It contains six tracks very much in the same vein. Highlights include the haunting chimes on intro "Creatures of Love", "Book Thief" and "So Low". Check them out live, I was impressed, you will be too. Expect to see Creatures of Love back on here soon.

Creatures Of Love - So Low