Palm Honey – Bewitched

Like a swirly lollipop or a stick of rock with one more colour than you expected, “Bewitched” melds pinches of psychedelia with strands of indie rock and bakes a sweet confection out of the resulting mix. And just at the end, a little umami to savour in the slowed-down wind-down.

Palm Honey play The Horn, St Albans for Juicebox Indie on 12th December. “Bewitched” is out now, and available to purchase on iTunes and stream on Spotify.

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Naives – No Way

At the end of a year of festival slots and tour support, and ahead of their debut EP due out next year, Anglo-French synth pop trio Naives have revealed their latest single, “No Way”. Essentially, you could classify it as funky feelgood synthpop. You might, if you don’t think it’s too spoilery, mention how it seems to wryly nod to Guns ‘N Roses a couple of times, but maybe you’d rather focus on the overall feel: smooth and slinky.

Naives are: Marc Jacc (vocals/multi-insrumentalist); Lapo Frost (bass); Benji Huntrods (drums)

“No Way” is out on 27th November and will be available to purchase on iTunes and Spotify.

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The Lonely Together – Congregation

I want to somehow convey here the idea that “Congregation”, the new single from The Lonely Together, sounds and feels so very of its place (that place being Scotland) and in many ways strongly reminiscent of other bands of that place (such as, say, Frightened Rabbit) while at the same time making it clear that this is in no way a criticism, and that the accented vocals and the harmonising ‘ah-ahh’s are the perfect complement to the song’s gliding principles (and in doing so drop in a sly reference to another Scottish band), and I want to do all this while recognising that choosing “Scottishness” as a strong defining element is just plain wrong anyway (I wouldn’t expect bands from Northampton to sound the same as bands from Southampton), and reconcile my position by considering that I just find a particular genius in the assembled sound that seems to spring so easily from so many indie guitar bands, many of whom just happen to be from Scotland.

That’s the plan, anyway.

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Field Music add US tour dates, announce Commontime preorder

Having recently shared “The Noisy Days Are Over”, the first track from Commontime, their forthcoming fifth album together, Field Music’s Brewis brothers have now made the album available for pre-order and added US tour dates to their 2016 tour.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Commontime is out on February 5th, and is available to pre-order on:Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Pre-order the album and you’ll get the “The Noisy Days Are Over” as an instant download. The first orders will also receive a limited edition signed A3 art print.

Field Music 2016 tour dates

Feb 25 Newcastle, The Cluny
Feb 26 Newcastle, The Cluny
Feb 28 York, The Duchess
Mar 03 Cardiff, The Globe
Mar 04 Exeter, Exeter Phoenix
Mar 05 Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
Mar 10 Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
Mar 11 Manchester, Band on the Wall
Mar 13 Glasgow, CCA
Mar 18 London, Islington Assembly Hall
Mar 19 Southampton, Engine Rooms
Mar 20 Brighton, The Haunt
Mar 24 Washington DC, DC 9
Mar 25 Philadelphia, PA, Johnny Brenda’s
Mar 26 New York, NY, Rough Trade
Mar 27 Boston, MA, Great Scott
Apr 01 San Francisco, CA, Independent

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Turin Brakes – 96

There was much excitement last week among Turin Brakes fans, when the band dropped a teaser video online with the hashtag #TBLostProperty. Then, this week, they announced a new album, Lost Property. The band’s seventh album, and first since We Were Here in 2013, Lost Property is set for a January 29th release.

Speaking to Record Rewind Play Olly Knights described the new album as “a pastures new type of record, but with all the experience of what happens when we leave our comfort zone thrown in. It’s unmistakably TB, but with some new twists and turns”.

The band also shared the official video for new single, “96”, which you’ll get as an instant download when you pre-order Lost Property:

Official Store (for signed products & bundles) – http://po.st/TBstore1
iTunes – http://po.st/TBiTunes1
Amazon – http://po.st/TBAmz1

And if the sweet sound of the vocals and guitars of “96” are anything to go by, it could be pretty special.

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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

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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.

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

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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

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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

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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.