Monday Monday, here again, shitey attire. You had too much to drink again and you’re pretty fucking tired. Will we ever learn. If you were at and Pulp, nice one, if you’re going to Blur next weekend, will see you, not down the front, but sat up on a nice seat but with a pretty good view. Here’s some ball bouncingly good tunes for you. Naturally. Well we wouldn’t serve you up a shit sandwich would we?!? Heard that, you at the back. Cheeky bugger. Enjoy! Laters.
Vera Sola – Desire Path
Why we love it: “And I’m telling you now, that I am fine. I’m fine, oh I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine.” Vera Sola sings these words as ‘Desire Path’ ascends into the full cinematic sweep of its denouement. The American/Canadian poet, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist has described her latest single – her first new music in four years, since her debut album, Shades in fact – as having emerged out of feelings of “compounded delusion, denial, despair.” Within the context of the song and its dramatic departure from her earlier recordings, her words sound like an assertion of a creative reawakening, fuelled by a deep personal resolve. It is a bold, expressive work, one that merges the huge emotion of a 60’s pop ballad with that of a blockbuster movie soundtrack. (Simon Godley)
Adore – Postcards
Why we love it: Adore are a 3-piece garage punk band hailing from Galway, Donegal and Dublin. Lara Minchin on guitar and vocals, Lachlann Ó Fionnáin on bass and vocals, and Naoise Jordan Cavanagh on drums have released their debut single ‘Postcards’. The band have been relentlessly gigging since they formed and somehow this does come through in their track. Lyrically the track is influenced by para-social relationships in the 21st Century.
It’s an edgy combination of surf, disco and pop with both male and female voices taking turns to lead on the vocals on ‘Postcards’. Ireland continues to be a fertile breeding ground of new music and Adore look like another talented addition. By the way, is that a little sniff at the end of the track! Love it! (Julia Mason)
Bleach Lab – Smile For Me
Why we love it: because it is another ethereal slab of Bleach Lab that makes us very excited for their debut LP, Lost In A Rush of Emptiness, due out in September. In particular this new single sees Jenna confront the sexual harassment she has had to put up with, stepping out of her comfort zone to address personal issues that need to be continuously discussed so one day they may not occur. Wishful thinking perhaps but if we keep talking about it, calling people out, then maybe men will think twice before intimidating and demeaning women.
Jenna says “Lyrically, This was one of the most empowering but challenging songs to write on the album. The theme for ‘Smile For Me’ is of my own experience of sexual harassment, as well as experiences I know far too many women suffer themselves. Something I hear so often as a woman in public is being told to ‘cheer up, love’, if I’m not immediately, positively responsive to an unknown person’s advances. It’s completely deflating, infuriating and humiliating. The lyrics are intentionally directed at the culprits and offenders, words I would be too afraid to say in the moment if not for fear of the reaction.”
Musically, this is up there with their best across their three EPs and the ace singles from the forthcoming album, Bleach Lab occupy the period at night when you’re contemplating life, you’ve imbibed a little, you feel wistful and introverted. Jenna’s vocals float through you like whispers on the breeze, liquid guitars are melancholic but hopeful, a rhythm section holding everything down like your own personal rock, keeping you grounded and upright. (Jim Auton)
Das Koolies – A Ride
Why we love it: Das Koolies is the project four of the five Super Furry Animals, Huw ‘Bunf’ Bunford, Cian Ciarán, Dafydd Ieuan and Guto Pryce. They have released a seven minute, yes SEVEN minute track called ‘A RIDE’ and it’s a pulsating thriller full of beats, breaks and bleeps. It’s a taste of things to come as they will release their debut album DK.01 via Strangetown Records in association with Amplify Music. It winds up at the very start and then sets off at pace, ducking and diving with its electronica techno vibes which loop creating a soundscape to sink into. There are vocals but to be honest it’s the music that matters here. This is the four piece letting loose and throwing out the rule book. Just fabulous.
The band says of ‘The Ride‘: “Maybe this one’s about thieves in public school uniforms and their tax haven stashes. The start was pure electronic. Then the vocals pushed open a door. What was behind it was kind of bizarre. But, then, that’s music.” (Julia Mason)
Modern Nature – Murmuration
Why we love it: “I think the most important aspect of that idea (the swing of humans) is collectivism; the rhythm, melody, timbre, dynamics, all the aspects of music are not the responsibility of one instrument, they are the responsibilities of all the instruments. The vocals are no more important than the bass. That makes the music move in an organically unpredictable way. Like a flock of birds or a school of fish, notes breaking the surface and then disappearing. That’s how I want this music to feel.”
These are the thoughts of Jack Cooper, musician, composer, and man who is primarily the leader of the band, Modern Nature. He is reflecting upon the creation of No Fixed Point In Space, the third full-length album from Modern Nature which will see the light of day on the 29th of September via Bella Union. And ‘Murmuration’, seven minutes of beautifully expansive, explorative sound is the lead track to be taken from that forthcoming record. Captured in the song’s accompanying video shot over Brighton’s Palace Pier, Murmuration’ emulates the gently balletic shape shifting movement of starlings as they collectively twist and turn, swoop and soar. (Simon Godley)
The Vanity Project – Epoch
Why we love it: The Vanity Project are London based duo Rob Paterson and Flora Jackson and to describe their sound as “Epic” would simply not be big enough. Just listen to their new single ‘Epoch’ which is a veritable brew of everything from dance, to pop, to rock, to post-punk, to new wave, and all the way back again.
The band themselves describe their nihilistic club single ‘Epoch’ as: “…Simply about the yawning emptiness that capitalism instils in people”
It’s an utter blast, a 6 minute cornucopia of sounds and influences but with a vocal that is strong and on point. This may be eccentric and left-field but it’s an absolute riot. The bassline and impossible to resist beats make it dancefloor fodder and the accompanying video directed by James Walker perfectly encapsulates this mix of ideas. It includes a cabaret, Brechtian play, and a psychedelic hellscape, as well as a gun welding housewife, a queer love story, karaoke machine sing-a-longs, and a kidnapping.
If you are feeling blue, get ‘Epoch’ on and it will have you grinning from ear to ear. (Julia Mason)
Katy J Pearson – Willow’s Song (feat. Broadside Hacks)
Why we love it: Having just seen the magnificent 50th anniversary restoration of the cult film The Wicker Man at the cinema the week before last, hearing this re-recorded version of ‘Willow’s Song’ is both timely and reassuringly familiar. Written by Paul Giovanni – who composed the rustic folk soundtrack for the original film – this cover of ‘Willow’s Song’ unites the Bristolian singer-songwriter Katy J Pearson with the London-based folk collective, Broadside Hacks. Just like the film itself, the song is mysterious, vaguely sinister, deeply unsettling, and deceptively surreal.
Talking about ‘Willow’s Song’, Katy J Pearson says: “Strangely, I heard The Wicker Man soundtrack way before I watched the movie. I remember my dad playing me Willow’s Song and I found it hypnotic and it started being a song I listened to a lot. The version I did for the record was a kind of psychedelic/ krautrock version so having the opportunity to work with my friends Broadside Hacks on a traditional cover which they put together so beautifully has been really brilliant. I’m such a fan so it’s an honour to be involved in the 50th anniversary of The Wicker Man.”
‘Willow’s Song’ features on a forthcoming EP which includes new versions of some of the The Wicker Man’s most memorable music. The 9-track EP from Katy J Pearson and friends (Broadside Hacks, Drug Store Romeos, Sarah Meth, Orbury Common, Evie Hilyer-Zietler, Bert Ussher, H.Hawkline plus special guests as well as remixes by Richard Norris and Stone Club) celebrates the film’s iconic soundtrack and will be released on CD on September 25th as part of the 4-disc The Wicker Man 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition and digitally later in the year on Heavenly. (Simon Godley)
The Last Dinner Party – Sinner
Why we love it: because whilst they may not need our help whilst being the hype band on everyone’s lips, a week of TOTW couldn’t pass without acknowledging the majesty that is ‘Sinner’ and how exciting this band feels.
The Sparks comparison is difficult to avoid but they drop into rollicking, riff laden, pop, baroque masterpiece. Heavy with numerous harmonies and wild, scattergun lead guitar licks, this shows a further string to their bow following ‘Nothing Matters ‘ hopefully it will start putting the industry plant spite to bed once and for all.
Lizzie Maynard described the track as “a story of self-acceptance, and the longing for the past and present self to become one”. (Jim Auton)