Confession: this was supposed to be published a couple of months ago, but for one reason or another (almost all related to management incompetence here at RRP) it got stuck in the system. A bit like that important tax demand you’ll find under the sofa if you look just a bit harder…
New Arcades came to my attention when they supported Empathy Test at their EP launch gig at the end of November last year. It’s an ideal match, with both groups generating gorgeous synth-pop sounds. Empathy Test bring the ethereal atmosphere, while with “Wherever You Are” New Arcades supply the energy.
As a bonus / to make up for not letting you know about this fantastic track sooner, here’s a remix of “Wherever You Are”. Be sure to follow New Arcades on Soundcloud and look out for their next single.
Bronx Cheerleader are, they cheerfully inform RRP, from a Southern Ontario town best known for producing 3-time Grammy winning polka king Walter Ostanek. Now that’s pretty bold, wouldn’t you say? Putting yourself in that sort of company, I mean. If you’re going to take a seat next to the triple polka king you’d better be authorised to be up here.
Fortunately “Mad Sam is Dead” is plenty good enough. Indie rock with a slacker vibe and whispered vocals, interrupted occasionally by the twang of a guitar that brings in a mood I can best describe as surf-desert-morricone. I doubt that makes much sense, so give it a stream from the Soundcloud link and find out for yourself.
Their next album, Hell in a Rocket, is due for release sometime in 2015. In the meantime, hook up with Bronx Cheerleader through these here links:
2015 sees a welcome return for Stornoway, first with single “The Road You Didn’t Take” on February 16th, followed in April by a new album, Bonxie.
Bonxie, as I’m sure you all know, is another name for the Great Skua, a seabird native to The Faeroe Islands. You’ll also find them breeding in Scotland, and preying on smaller birds. Nature, eh?
The album’s themes and songs have come from singer (and Dr. of Ornithology) Brian Briggs’ move to a wild and no doubt – as tradition and cliche dictate – windswept corner of Britain. “I wanted a shake up and I wanted to feel more connected to the outdoors – I wanted to feel small.” He probably didn’t want to be clawed at and regurgitated on by Skuas, but I’m told that happens if you linger too long in some of these wild corners.
Taken from the forthcoming album The Neverending Paint Job, “The Arising” is a new track from former one-man band turned musical collective Hillström & Billy.
Crying strings and menacing guitars create a widescreen vision of a weary americana moment, all bleeding into a protracted quiet/loud outro. Produced by Christian Kjellvander, “The Arising” will be available for sale and download on 2nd March 2015.
This is what happens when “Electro-acoustic ambient post rock” meets “Baroque-pop-folktronic-neo-classical-something-or-other”. Jilk bring the former, Haiku Salut the latter, and together they have created “Periscopes”, an atmospheric, ambient, brassy, glitchy work of art that stands out even among the highest quality instrumental work that seems to be pouring from the skies these days.
You can stream the track on Soundcloud, but make sure you check out the riot of colour video, directed by James Sampson, that accompanies the track.
“Periscopes” is out on the How Does It Feel To Be Loved label on February 9th.
For the last new music round-up (for now) a half-list of three, to bring the total of artists covered up to a very (Alex) Tudor-esque 99. One for the completist/obsessives to fret about.
Erica Glyn – “All Just For You”
Singer / guitarist / producer Erica Glyn has just released a new EP, Dollars fpr Thieves, comprising four original compositions and a cover of the Echo & The Bunnymen track “The Killing Moon”. “All Just For You” is the EP’s stormy lead track, demonstrating the shades of darkness Glyn pours liberally across the EP.
Phone Home are an instrumental two-piece, comprising Michael and John Vallarelli. “Bean” is slightly more extended than I’ve heard from them in the past, and while the bleeps and electronica have been present before, here they’re given more spotlight, and allowed to drive the melody rather than flitting around or adding to it. Get it from Bandcamp. Go on… do it!
Young Braves are a group of teenagers in the business of making melodic indie song-writing seem like a walk in the park. On “For The Day” they set up what seems like a pretty decent groove, before building it up then deconstructing it about two-thirds of the way through, making the song’s rousing close seem all that much sweeter.
“Down For Whatever” is the latest single from the fast-rising (should be, anyway) soon-to-be former-best-kept-secret Chelsea Lankes, who at some point you have to think is going to take her hook-laden soft-synth-pop into the mainstream for chart glory. It’s a chilled out, laid back paean to living tonight and letting tomorrow do its worst. It’s smooth and easy, and the guitar strums behind the synths will probably drive your music snob friends (not saying you definitely have any, of course) crazy. Because most things do.
Coming hot on the heels of their Grease Voyage split EP in December 2014, which Sun Voyager shared with King Pizza label-mates Greasy Hearts, “Be Here Now” was recorded during sessions for the EP’s follow-up.
Not to be confused in any way with the bloated cocaine-fuelled Oasis album of the same name, “Be Here Now” is low-slung and dirty as hell; these are good times for fans of all things garage/psych/lo-fi.
Expect an album from Sun Voyager some time in 2015. In the meantime, check out their other EPs, twitter, facebook etc…
Gillbanks are London-based friends Sam Gillbanks and Hugo Heaverman. Citing influences from Nirvana to Nick Drake, Pixies to Nightmares on Wax, they’ve just finished recording their first album together, Lived-In. “Anxious?” is the first single from the album, and I don’t want to mention any specific names, but frankly it’s in a whole different league from some pretty remarkably successful recent two-piece outfits.
Rough guitars, dirty howling vocals, crunching percussion and some well timed loud/quiet/loud make “Anxious?” the kind of track that you could easily find yourself sticking on repeat and forgetting everything else.
Except a digital release for Lived-In sometime in the very near future.
Californian trio I, Us, & We featured in a round up here not so long ago with their track “Sunday”. Now, from the same forthcoming Mono EP, comes new track “Lanterns”. Again, it’s an atmospheric creeper underpinned by warm electronica and terrific production. To enjoy it the most, listen to it while reading a few words the band have written:
Floating above a sparse and alien landscape the observer can only do that which they are intended to do. Observe. We see a panoramic photo of a beautifully sparse glacial scene. All sense of time and space would be lost in the eternal white if not for the soft streaks of grey that subtly allude to a physical presence, and imply the existence of metaphysical musings.
It is in this vast space that we most search for something human. Amidst the immense beauty of the natural world, it is the face of a loved one that we search for most. There is a sense that we can traverse this new world as long as we have the soft voice of a mentor to guide us.
This seraph’s song envelops us with a sense so cold it burns. It is in this perpetual state of shock we continue to search for meaning. As our consciousness beckons us forward, the subtlety of this barren landscape begins to come into focus. Yet even through the eyes of enlightenment there is little to see, and less to understand.
Intuition guides us forward, and suddenly all is lost. The white has become black, and a sense of static in the air reminds us of the grey streaks of a world long past. Riding along the short wave of the infinite we begin to realize that there was never anything to begin with. We created the light, the dark, and every shade of grey in between. It is only through this understanding of ourselves that we can begin to float onward, and begin again.
Mono is out in February. Stream “Lanterns” from Soundcloud, below.
It seems like only yesterday that I was writing about Two Cartoons and their single “Horizon Approaching”. Then again, it wasyesterday, so that’s actually reassuring.
After critical success in their native New Zealand, and slots at the Rhythm & Vines festival (along with Tame Impala, The Presets, Kimbra and Mark Ronson among others) and the NZ Going Global Music Summit, the duo signed to Far South Records and moved to London.
This year they’re releasing the Lost Boys Club EP. We’ve heard two tracks so far – “Horizon Approaching” and this, the EP’s title track. “Lost Boys Club” is more evidence that Two Cartoons are a fully-functioning indie-pop hook machine, building up from a simple verse into bright bursts of chorus and sending it home in style.
The Lost Boys Club EP is due for a release in mid-March. In the meantime, stream the title track right here.
Welcome to the lost boys club
We’re more alive here than anyone
This week’s most exciting new release news has undoubtedly been the announcement of the fourth album by The Leisure Society. Following The Sleeper, Into The Murky Water, and Alone Aboard The Ark is new album The Fine Art of Hanging On. The album will be released on April 13th, on the Full Time Hobby label.
As well as the album announcement the band made the first single from the album, “Tall Black Cabins”, available to stream from Soundcloud. It’s every bit as lovely a piece of songwriting as we’ve come to expect from Nick Hemming, and sets expectations pretty high indeed for another fine album of orchestral indie-folk.
The Leisure Society will be on tour in the UK in April. A full list of dates is on the band’s website: