Super Subs Week #5

Inspired by a survey I took earlier, I bring you a final six music submissions for Super Subs Week, with each described in three words.

Sophont

Gothic, trip-hop, suspense.

Bandcamp | Facebook


Facebook | Twitter

Smooth, mellow, promise.


In Hours

Facebook

Swedish, melodic, anthemic-ambient.


Measured in Heads

Facebook

Intriguing, mood-lit, stripped.


Buffalo Buffalo

Bandcamp | Facebook

Orchestral, sweet, indie-folk.


Buck

Pulsating, interstellar, silky.

Facebook | Twitter

Cheatahs – Mythologies

In its first incarnation, shoegazing was barely a genre. It wasn’t a well-defined sound, and scarcely existed as a scene outside its own bubble. The term was part descriptor, part insult. Now it’s undergoing a great renaissance: Nowhere is 25, feted, and rebooted by a reunited Ride, and enough time has even passed for a follow-up to Loveless to squeeze its way out of Kevin Shields’ brain.

There’s a sense that Shoegazing is now more tangibly represented than in the past, when even bands associated with the scene were quickly disassociating themselves, stopping when they’d had enough. Moose were shoegazing until they clearly weren’t, Lush likewise. Ride tried on new footwear with varying degrees of success, while Slowdive morphed into Mojave 3.

Modern acolytes of the form are doing more than ever with the very idea of what shoegazing was, is, and could be.

Take Mythologies, for example. With its aposite name inspired by a collection of Roland Barthes essays about semiotics and myth, it offers riddles wrapped in mysteries, and hints at connections from past to future: an extracorporeal existence between the bounds of magic and reality.

Throughout, it takes shoegazing staples – distortion, texture, echoes, reverb – and combines them with percussive breaks and stops. It’s as if every flowing chord progression has to be halted in case it becomes too comfortable. The whole album is a journey of unknown origin, uncertain direction, along unmarked waypoints.

Opening track “Red Lakes (Sternstunden)” begins with vocals that sound backwards as well as forwards, and ends with snatches of German. Its title references the concept of a great moment, a decisive pivot in history. You consider whether this screams arrogance, before recalling the astrological interpretation of sternstunden as events dictated by the movements of the stars, the celestial workings beyond our grasp or control. “All connected in an infinite age” might be the first line of “In Flux” (distortion renders it difficult to catch), the track suggesting a greater knowledge than we possess. “Let us compare mythologies”, starts “Hey Sen”, before morphing into “Deli Rome”, itself flowering briefly through layer upon layer of reverb and more hard to make out vocals over a gently pulsing beat. There’s not much hook to hang on here, more a feeling of alchemic experimentation in layering.

“Colorado” pulls us further into the noise-well, down into the dense depths where everything is uniform, all unique properties subsumed into a wall of sound. Until the second half, where everything falls away. Pushing through the event horizon you reach a world of light patterns. Your brain tries to make sense of it as it would a dream; the resulting sound is the tantalising “Su-Pra”, which dissolves even as you strain to contain it. Then a moment of clarity as “Seven Sisters” wraps its tendrils around you. A moment of bliss is felt before you’re tossed into another confusing place and time: “Murasaki” is sung in English and Japanese, reflecting the work of the song’s inspiration, Murasaki Shikibu, who combined Chinese histories, narrative poetry and contemporary Japanese prose in works such as The Tale of Genji, perhaps the first novel, the first modern novel, or the first great novel. Perhaps all of the above. According to eleventh century court custom, dialogue is delivered in the form of poetry, sometimes by modifying famous works, often with barely disguised subtexts.

Semiotics is defined as “the study of meaning-making, the study of sign processes and meaningful communication”. Mythologies seems bent on testing the fundamental importance of both meaning and communication by offering as few clear signals as possible. Nothing is certain, especially intention. The influence of Cheatahs’ “gallery-based improvisational noise shows” is revealed in the way Mythologies gathers its pieces together without specific direction and then looks upon the assembly and suggests emergent meaning.

That’s not to say there aren’t obvious tunes and straightforward belters anywhere in Mythologies. “Channel View” wanders off towards brilliantly catchy college rock, “Freak Waves” hammers riff after riff with wild abandon, “Seven Sisters” is a sonic sundae, and “Mysteci” is the perfect wind-down your brain needs after an album’s worth of chaotic uncertainty.

And after the wind-down, of course, there’s more: as “Reverie Bravo” breaks briefly into drone-backed chant there’s time enough for one more celestial observation:

It will reach the apogee then it’s over

Whenever, or wherever that may be, who can say?

Spooky

Halloween is not a season. Just so you know.

The Nightmare Before Christmas – This is Halloween

It is. Sort of. It will be on Saturday. And I will be doing my utmost to avoid being tricked or handing out treats. Humbug!

Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead

He is, you know.

Baron Daemon – Ghost Guitars

Haunting, I’m sure you’ll agree. Scary like Rentaghost.

Siouxsie and the Banshees – Trust in Me

This Jungle Book track was also covered by Belly for their Feed The Tree single, but Siouxsie triumphs in the sinister tingles stakes.

Screaming Lord Sutch – I’m In Love With Dracula’s Daughter

I’m not really.

The Dream Syndicate – Halloween

He says you shouldn’t believe the things in papers
They can’t come true
And don’t believe the things that you see on TV ’cause
They’ll never happen to you
No no, not on Halloween

Super Subs Week #4

I have six more music submissions for you right here, ranging from folky singer-songwriterness to alt-rock, to blues rock, to 80s-style pop goodness.

Camcorder

Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Super Subs Week #4 kicks off in raucous style, thanks to some alt-rock, Woking style. Camcorder are: Tobias Noto – vocals and guitar; Owen Baker – Drums; Mat Peachey – Bass. Manifest Misery, their debut EP, was released in September and is available from their Bandcamp page. The costiness is anything from zero upwards, dependent on how generously you would like to reward them for their hooks, heft and riffage. Hint: generosity pays.

Manifest Misery by Camcorder


Slowcoach

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Slowcoach is the work of Melbourne-based Dean Valentino. “In Limbo” is his second release as Slowcoach. I’m detecting a strong sense of the likes of Real Estate in the wandering vocal lines and ringing guitars. In my book, in case you don’t know, strong Real Estate vibes are very much a good thing.


Honeyspiders

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

A self-titled debut album from Honeyspiders is out on November 14th, via Cobra Basket Recordings. Here’s hoping the LP sustains the low-slung down n’ dirty rock of “New Blooms”. Think back to that first time you heard BRMC and realised you’d found your anti-twee.


FRENSHIP

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

FRENSHIP offer up a teasing description of themselves as “Hall & Oates meets Ellie Goulding”. I have no real view on Goulding, but Hall & Oates were there in the 80s in my formative pop years (“Family Man”, anyone?) so the comparison is intriguing enough to reel me in. And I’m glad I’m easily led, otherwise I might have missed what Pigeons & Planes described as “like Tears For Fears with a touch less darkness”. And, yes, if you’ve already made it to P&P, then RRP isn’t going to boost your profile all that much, but what the hey, every little helps!


Mirror Mask

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

When Prince goes seriously darkwave, this is what he’ll be shooting for. And then he’ll give it away with The Mail on Sunday / Tidal and personally oversee a takedown of any fan uploads. Because Prince is a dick. Don’t buy Prince records, by Mirror Mask records instead.


Andy Newton

Reverbnation | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Andy Newton now lives near Boston, where he composes songs – which he’s been doing since his undergraduate days, fuelled by the memories of golden oldies he used to hear on his local radio station. A Banner Day, released this summer, is his debut album. It’s a folk-rock collection with emphasis on both the “folk” and the “rock”, switching easily between contemplative plucking and hammered riffs alike.

This Is How It Feels To Be Indie – The Indie Vigil #11

This Is How It Feels To Be INDIE! – Broadcast 28/10/15 by Radio_Scarborough on Mixcloud

Welcome to your weekly catch up on the “This Is How It Feels To Be Indie” radio show hosted by Adam Jeffery on Radio Scarborough. Last week’s show featured all the usual great music including Echo and the Bunnymen, The Shins, and Two Door Cinema Club. Keeping up with the latest new bands there was also tracks from Delamere and Superfood, plus “Calling Out”, the great new single from Distant Sun. You can find the full track listing on the Indie Radio Facebook page and give us a “like” and a share please! You can also listen again to the show in full on Mixcloud here.

The weekly feature of “The Best off of a Best Of” (hosted in conjunction with Everything Indie Over 40) was Pop Will Eat Itself’s 16 Different Flavours of Hell. The winning track was “Def Con One” as voted by the Twitter followers and that amazing EIO40 t-shirt was won by @Betamax857. Well done! Keep an eye out for next week’s competition and get your vote in!

Also on the show Johny popped by and gave us his “Lost Indie Classics” while Adam nipped out for his usual iced latte and cinnamon swirl. This week he brought us “The Little Engineers Set” by The Dentists and “The Procession of Popular Capitalism” by McCarthy. Did you get the connection? It was of course the return of The Apprentice on the telly!

This week’s Vigil is going out live on the air, but I have been lucky enough to get hold of the info on our participant. He’s clearly a very brave man as he’s agreed to visit the studio and spend some time with Adam, so let’s meet Paul:

I’m Paul Burnett. I’m 39 and a bit of a mongrel! Scotland born, Australia bred now living in Scarborough with my beautiful wife Katey and two sons Ryan and Owen. Since I can remember I’ve been fortunate to have been around great people who have impeccable taste in music and in the age of chew-em-up-and-spit-em-out pop bands, whether it’s subliminal or forced, my challenge now is to make sure my kids are exposed to alternatives to the mainstream! A big thanks to Adam for a great show and for the opportunity for my 15 minutes of fame.

So, going out live on the show these are Paul’s three tracks:

Something Old

New Order – “Every Little Counts”

I find imperfections and chaos in music very attractive and a few high charting singles aside, this band were mostly unpolished – especially in a live setting. I discovered this band over 25 years ago and loved everything about them. I was particularly fascinated with the story of their record label, Factory, and how this affected their sound. The label had a very unorthodox approach, but allowed them to maintain full artistic integrity. The sound, the slick but very expensive Peter Saville artwork, the musical reinvention through the years after the Joy Division years made for a really interesting musical journey.

My choice for Something Old is taken off their 1986 album “Brotherhood” and although there are far better crafted tracks on this album and throughout their back catalogue, it captures the essence of the imperfect chaos that makes them one of my favourite bands of all time.

Something Borrowed

The Flaming Lips – “Do You Realize?”

The Flaming Lips were a retrospective discovery. A good friend of mine in Australia was a big Flaming Lips fan and he lent me several albums prior to the release of arguably one of their finest “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots”. The Lips stay true to their experimental sound in the album, but it’s also scattered with fantastic melodic pop-sounding songs.

So, for my Borrowed selection, I’ve picked a song that means something different to everyone who listens to it. It’s also the song to which my wife, Katey, walked down the aisle to. 

Something New

Alt J – “Taro”

My choice for Something New is “Taro” by Alt J. A really beautiful track in so many ways and another band with unique sounding vocals. In my opinion, Taro is by far the stand out track on the album “An Awesome Wave”. I love the way it builds through each chorus with the Indian Bhangra sounding guitar work which is actually created by finger tapping with a roll of electrical tape. If this is new to you, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I’m writing this before the show, so hopefully it all went to plan and you enjoyed the first ever live Vigil. Thanks to Paul for sharing his song choices with us along with the reasons why he’s picked them and also for braving being in an enclosed space with Adam!

Listen in to the show next week to find out who will be featured in the vigil and then come and join us for a debrief along with a replay of their tracks.

And finally, as always, don’t forget to tune in to http://www.radioscarborough.co.uk/ on a Wednesday night to hear some great music and chat.

Super Subs Week #3

We’re already just over / just under the half-way mark in Super Subs Week, depending on whether you count the weekend as a subset of or adjunct to the week. Either way the prime music submissions just keep on coming.

Split Feed

Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Split Feed are a trio from Newcastle, Australia. Their new single, Vanilla, rocks in the uncomplicated full-barrel way of the best three-pieces and you can can grab it for whatever price you deem fit and appropriate from the band’s Bandcamp page. While you’re there, why not also grab the Googolplex EP?


Harriet Little

Facebook | Twitter

With the absolutely entrancing “America” already out, Harriet Little offers more evidence that her debut EP, due out in 2016, will be a sound touching in its majestic use of control and gentle emotive shifts.


The Chancers

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

There’s something familiar in the opening bars of My Love: familiar places, eras, and sounds. And then a much bigger bass than you were probably expect rolls in underneath suddenly there’s something new AND something old, and you’re thinking that if it works for Richard Hawley or Allah-Las, this kind of through-the-ages jangle can work for The Chancers, too.


Nice Place

Facebook | Twitter

It’s so easy, too easy maybe, to listen to a new single today and say how ’80s it sounds. Which is why, every now and then, it’s nice to be able to say it, and not be referencing neon, new wave and new romantics. Recovering harks back to another side of that time, the one with a hint of reverb, perhaps a little storytelling, and a melody that started life as a bedsit composition and ended on an indie-pop compilation.

“Recovering” is out on 27th November, via Matrix Promo Music.


PLGRMS

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

I sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that I’ll probably only get contacted by bands with a handful of followers or streams behind them. And then I see something like this: “Pieces”, the debut single by Sydney/London duo PLGRMS, has over 29K plays on Soundcloud. It is a large number and a very small one at the same time. The only difference is whether you’re looking at it from the perspective of an artist starting out, or one who’s already part of the scene.

As for the track, well, Pieces is mournful and uplifting, glitchy and smooth as you like. With every beat, it finds ways to sever a distance between disparate halves, before pulling together for a closing triumph.


Audionauta

Bandcamp | Facebook

Sure, there’s a lot of ambient, orchestral, chilled post-rock, post-wave around these days, but I don’t recall that being a problem for genres and movements already more casually accepted into the cultural mainstream. Besides, Audionauta are the first Argentinian band I’ve come across who are creating this sort of sound, and the melodies and atmosphere are as rich as any I’ve heard.

Super Subs Week #2

Music submission week, aka Super Subs Week, aka Hidden Wonders Week, aka Just Great Music That You Might Otherwise Miss continues with this, very much its second instalment.

Maybe The Moon

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Maybe The Moon’s two members, Karmen Kimball (vocals/keys) and Alex Lasner (guitar/keys), met the day the world was meant to end. They discovered a mutual love for Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music (in which case they might want to steer clear of this recent live review of Ferry in The Quietus), the world continued to be, and soon they were engaged. Then they set about writing and recording beautiful synthpop together, the first fruits of which they’ve been releasing through 2015.

Co-incidentally, they got in touch on twitter as well as through the contact form. It never hurts to try different paths…


The Fatty Acids

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

On the one hand, as a signed artist who’ve already caught the eye of Wayne Coyne and the ear of Steve Lamacq, The Fatty Acids maybe don’t need a hand from us. On the other hand, Worst Part is one of the best examples of its kind I’ve heard in some while. And I’m not even going to tell you what kind I think that is. Take a listen to its infectious melody and you’ll get what I mean.


Jenny Marie Keris

Website | Facebook | Twitter

And now for some different fish, in different kettles. Jenny Marie Keris is a singer/songwriter based in Florence, Alabama, who for years has been penning poetry and lyrics, and recording demos of her songs. Now she is in a position, hopefully, to record an EP, financed by an Indiegogo campaign. The EP will be out in June 2016, and you can fall in love with the title track, “The Distance Between Us”, right here.


Hand Drawn Maps

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

We are Hand Drawn Maps. We’re a new, local, Los Angeles based band with a fire under our asses to make music that we, ourselves, would actually listen to.

It’s music that you should listen to as well, dear reader. “Kites”, the debut single by the three-piece, has some serious hookage and melodies so sharp I don’t even feel the nicks. Hand Drawn Maps are: Greg Schwartz on bass, Mercedes Cruz on drums, and Stewart James on vox/guitar.


Shaky Shrines

Website | Facebook

I actually spotted Shaky Shrines on Hype Machine the other day and loved a track (both literally and clickily). Rather than nod in appreciation of my efforts, they said “hi!”, “hey!” and “our album is terrific, you should listen to it!”. Words to that effect, anyway. And I say the same to you, especially if you like garage/psych vibes and an easy coolness of tone.


Emile van Dango

Instagram | Twitter

Emile van Dango is a 21 year old songwriter and producer from Cape Town, South Africa, aiming “to mix the beauty of folk mentality with lush world of psychedelia to create my own dream world”. His new single “Caroline” marries double-tracked vocals as homage to John Lennon, with sweet burned by the sun guitar tones.

Super Subs Week #1

Music finds its way onto Record Rewind Play (and into our tweets) in a variety of ways: sometimes I take a trip downstream on Soundcloud and see where the flow recommendations takes me; sometimes fellow music lovers alert me to fantastic new bands on Facebook; sometimes I open my email and wade through the thousands of unread mails vying for my attention.

Some of those emails are from mailing lists I’m on, some come out of the blue from PR companies. The ones I want to focus on for Super Subs Week, though, come to me via this site’s contact form.

They come from bands doing it themselves – doing what they can and need to do to find an audience. It’s not easy work, and speaking as a little indie music blog that sometimes feels insignificant in the face of the internet behemoths, I know how frustrating it can be to keep pushing and pushing and wondering if and when it’s all going to come good.


Forebear

www.forebear.la | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Forebear originally got in touch back in February to let me know of their self-titled EP. I was a big fan of Forebear, and duly featured it. More recently they got in touch again through the contact form to let me know of new single “People’s Champ”. Its beauty and tenderness scream the unfairness and injustice of a world that tends to overlook the remarkable in favour of the humdrum. And I’m at least partly complicit in that: “People’s Champ” was sent to me back in August, since when it has waited patiently for its moment. I can only apologise and mention how delighted I am that other sites were quicker to spot the suffused brilliance of its textures, moving from arpeggios and distorted vocals to lush strings and back before closing with first heavyweight then feather-light guitar tones.

Forebear are: Scott Goldbaum – Vocals / Guitar; Mike Musselman – Drums; Molly Rogers – Viola / Vocals / Keys; Nick Chamian – Bass / Vocals.


Bri Clark

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Bri Clark is a 22-year-old singer-songwriter from Perth, Western Australia. “Assertion” is, appropriately enough, a song about being strong and not fearing rejection. The strength and conviction of the message is more than matched by Clark’s vocal and a production that generates passion and real depth of feeling through quiet/loud contrasts.

Just phase it out, phase it out
To get to where you wanna be
Don’t turn around, there’s no way back now
Just keep your eyes on me


The Cold Bones

Facebook

The Cold Bones are Oliver Mavilio & Rebekah Pledger. Together they conjure dark dream pop and shoegazing sounds. Check out the slow burning and more than a little bit sinister sounding “How You Spend Your Time”, and the buzzing “Dawn Daze”.

https://soundcloud.com/thecoldbones/how-you-spend-your-time

https://soundcloud.com/thecoldbones/dawn-daze


Apeman

Facebook

Apeman are a three-piece alternative rock band based in New York City. Mutantala is their second album, which the band has been working on alongside touring commitments for the last three years. Do them a kindness and have a listen – there’s much to love in its playful but intricate, ever-shifting indie rock jangle.

Apeman are: Ryan Gredd – Guitar, Bass, Trumpet & Vocals; Dexter Dine – Guitar, Bass & Vocals; Ethan Primason – Keys & Drums.


Freak Static

http://www.freakstatic.com | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Freak Static is the work of Leicester-born Matt Matuska. “Snooze” largely defies categorisation, but Matuska himself has described his work as psychedelic pop, and Snooze as Disney-indie. Whether that captures the full range of everything that’s going on under its covers is for you, the listener, to decide…


TeethOfWolves

Website | Facebook

First quiet, then a shock, finally acoustic guitar that conjures up the spirit of very early Boo Radleys, and pure, primal vocals.

Longtime friends and music collaborators Jeremiah Bredvad and Travis Rosen began working on acoustic tracks written and performed by Jeremiah back in 2010 when they met at a now defunct coffee shop/music venue in San Antonio, TX. With limited time and funds, they were able to connect with legendary producer Gordon Raphael to create the core of the tracks that would become Teethofwolves.

Distant Sun – Calling Out

Norwich’s own four piece indie rock band Distant Sun have been hard at work since forming in early 2010. Their second album Reverse the Ending is due for release next month and the lead single “Calling Out” was selected as the BBC Introducing track of the week in June 2015.

The single is out this month and has picked up some serious radio airplay on many stations around the country, and rightly so: with great lyrics, tight vocals and strong guitar, it’s hard not to like this track. I’ve been playing it a great deal over the last week and am looking forward to hearing the full album. Finding a new artist with that spark of something exciting is always a bonus so I’m recommending them as a band to watch out for.

Pre-order “Calling Out” now on iTunes here and await the full release on 30th October 2015.  The album Reverse the Ending will be available on 13th November 2015.

Follow Distant Sun

http://www.distantsunmusic.co.uk/

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Time

Not only have you been granted an actual, real extra hour with the clocks going back (subject to geolocation) but this week you also get a bonus Six Picks. Unlike the extra hour you spent asleep last night, this is not literally a waste of time.

Oh, and it was a significant date in time travelling movie history this week as well, apparently. Presumably it was the date Bill and Ted actually gave their history assignment talk or something. Excellent.

Max and the Moon – “Modern Love”

Not to be confused with the Bowie track of the same name, “Modern Love” sees Max and the Moon compare love today with love yesterday and come out broadly in favour of whatever works best for your epoch.

can I take you back in time with me
to the edge of the world
with the devil and the odyssey?

Ride – Time Machine

Classic post-shoegaze that is doubtless used as the theme tune for some alternative timeline’s Doctor Who equivalent. Bit of a noob time-travellers error in the lyric, though:

Losing control
I’m landing back in this year
Did I ever move?
Did I disappear?
If I could move through time
I’d go back and put it right

Meddling in the past is the sort of wanton stupidity that leads to…

https://youtu.be/XfIm_ieHF9E

Johnny Foreigner – Alternate Timelines Piling Up

Indeed. Have you ever seen the movie Primer? It probably has the highest ratio of storyline confusion and unravelling cost to actual shooting cost of any movie ever made. Despite only costing around $7000 to make, Shane Carruth’s film manages to pack in more ideas, threads, timelines and intrigue than those costing thousands of times more.

Marching Band – Travel in Time

When will people learn? Sweden’s Marching Band used this track on their debut album Spark Large to announce their plans for rewriting history. Where (or indeed “when”, or even “wheres” if you’re into all that multiverse stuff) will this all end?

And I’m learning how to travel in time
All to make right the things I’ve done wrong
And when I do, I will open my mouth
I’m going back, back, back in time

Courtney Barnett – “History Eraser”

If you’re going to mess with reality, best to do it drunk and within the confines of your own imagination. Especially if it’s as brilliant and poetic as the one belonging to Courtney Barnett. If you want to know how difficult erasing history really is (in a loose sense of the word “really” obviously), read Stephen King’s “11.22.63” and you’ll get an idea of the perils and travails involved.

We caught the river boat downstream and ended up beside a team of angry footballers.
I fed the ducks some krill then we were sucked against our will into the welcome doors of the casino.
We drank green margaritas, danced with sweet senoritas, and we all went home as winners of a kind.
You said “i guarantee we’ll have more fun, drink till the moon becomes the sun, and in the taxi home i’ll sing you a triffids song!”

Idlewild – Take Me Back In Time

For a band that were once described as “the sound of a set of stairs falling down a set of stairs”, Idlewild have come a long way.

There’s a nice ambiguity in the lyric to this closing track from Post Electric Blues – is Roddy Woomble looking forwards or backwards?

But I won’t try to live side by side
And I won’t try when you can take me back in time

Inchoate Observations On The State Of Things

In case you didn’t already notice it from the army of bulldozers clawing mercilessly at the cultural landscape, today’s giddy feeding frenzy is pretty much the perfect storm as far as the great minds behind Global Release day are concerned. A day on which one song by one artist can generate more conversation than a thousand underground musicians. This is event culture: music as commodity. It’s exciting, like a new coke flavour.

This is 2015.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

A world in which newer is always equated with better, and newest therefore always means best. A world in which national TV hosts tell you how excited they are to introduce the next fabulous special guest and their fantastic new single (and you’re going on tour, aren’t you? Tell us about that, why don’t you) even though the hyperbole is completely redundant because the PR and booking system has been calculated to within a fraction of a degree on the clapometer, such that you know the audience (and the audience of millions at home – how exciting is this!) will match their seal-claps (unpaid) to the smile of the presenter (paid) and star (2% extra sales per degree of whiteness).

It’s a hit from me!

Well that’s going to be massive. Of course it is, when the system demands and designs massive hits. When the soundtrack for mainstream cultural events must contain nothing but known, bankable quantities. That one you like is on Graham Norton again Mum! Before a song is released, it is set to become the soundtrack of the summer. According to its creators and their friends, who just happen to be taste-makers-in-chief.

And then the backlash. God! The inevitable, soul-sucking backlash. Can’t sing, can’t write. Talentless. Overhyped. Cynical posts on blogs everywhere (ahem).

So wrong, so much of the time, and nothing more than a conscious and very deliberate rejection of the premise, the setup: a refusal to be told. But understandable: when critical appreciation is non-existent, or irrelevant at best, you can’t simply add a voice to the discussion. How do you introduce considered opinion into vacuity? Why bother? So hey, why not just write about it anyway, and if you can’t in truthful honesty say something good, stick to the facts and ask your readers what they think. That way you can still be part of the conversation (phew!) while distancing yourself from the noise. Better to be inside the tent, pissing out, eh? Is it me, or is it really crowded in here, and why does “outside” look just like a slightly bigger tent?

Ah. But, you say, what happens when the star releases something disappointing?

Talk to me about how that happens. Too many people have too much invested, directly and indirectly, in a successful release. Remember, newer always means better. Not only that, but sometimes when it’s not good, it’s better than that: it’s good enough. If expectations were lower, it would be released differently. There is no hope here, only dread certainty. The certainty of millions of units, and the certainty that you will be listening in the days and weeks to come, no matter what.

Acre Tarn – Flex

Acre Tarn is the electronic music project of Anna-Louisa Etherington, a singer/producer originally from the Lake District. “Flex” is the first track from Acre Tarn’s forthcoming second EP. It’s as stunning as this text so far is dry and factual. Etherington’s voice soars (and not just in the lazy vocal descriptive way – it flies, dips and swoops all around), over deep dark synths and a rolling, rumbling rhythm. I could listen to this for hours.

Acre Tarn join Saycet and St.Lô on the “Oui Love” tour, starting at Birthdays in Dalston on 27th October. Check the facebook post here for details:

Oui Love Exchange tour 2015 is nearly here w/ Saycet, St.Lô & Acre Tarn.Don’t miss out, it’s going to be…

Posted by Oui Love Exchange on Thursday, 22 October 2015

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