Wildling – Heart of Gold

Within a few short months covering the tail end of 2014 and the start of 2015, Wildling went from making their first live performance to headline slots to appearing at SXSW showcases. Next thing, they’re recording a debut EP in Bob Clearmountain’s Apogee recording studio. A lot of thought, dedication and hard work had led Wildling to this place: where they go from here is as yet unknown.

That debut EP will be released in October. Ahead of it the first step on the rest of the band’s journey comes in the form of a cover of a Neil Young classic. A brave choice: Neil Young covers are not hard to find, neither these days are slowed, stripped back reboots of past glories. Wildling nail it.

You can download “Heart of Gold” free from the band’s website:

http://www.wildlingmusic.com/heartofgold

Tour Dates

You can catch Wildling on tour August and September, Supporting Hey Marseilles.

8/27 – Wenatchee, WA – Cafe Mela
8/28 – Yakima, WA – The Cave at Gilbert Cellers
8/29 – Eugene, OR – Cozmic Pizza
9/1 – Los Angeles, CA – Satellite
9/2 – San Francisco, CA – Brick + Mortar
9/3 – Davis, CA – Sophia’s Thai Kitchen
9/4 – Portland, OR – Miss. Studios

http://wildlingmusic.com

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One more thing… you can also listen to “Heart of Gold” on Soundcloud:

Philco Fiction – June 17

Don’t judge a book by its cover, as the saying goes. Nonsense, of course, but not the point. Do, however, always listen to Norwegian duos dressed in white, holding a cat.

“This is not the summer of 1992”, sings Turid Alida on “June 17”, the new single by Philco Fiction, wishing for days gone by, days of better weather, better raves, deep house and good times. And while we would caution against romanticising the past, it’s impossible not to get swept up in the moment:

To me, it’s bright, big and beautiful. The music, the preachers, the wars, the vibrations, the illusions, the summers were different. I try to remember one single rainy day from my childhood, but I just can’t. Summer never cheated on the 90s, I promise. Like I would ever lie about such things as the weather.

I’m sure it must have rained at some point in the ’90s, even if only on Fran Healy, Shirley Manson and unjust fellows everywhere. Again, not the point.

The real point here is that “June 17” is a magnificent slow-burning electropop song – lazy verses interrupted by brief military drum rolls, choruses punctuated by stabs of brass, in its entirety a slowly melting ice-cube under a cocktail umbrella on a freshly sprinklered lawn.

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Shmohawk – Everything I Want Is Nothing I Can Own

Without you realising it, Shmohawk have been around since 2007. But just because you didn’t hear about them until now is no reason to feel down, not when you are now just moments, just a matter of pixels in fact, away from listening to “Everything I Want Is Nothing I Can Own”, from their recent self-titled album, released in April 2015.

Full of Big Star / Teenage Fanclub jangle and hooks and a timeless sound, “Everything I Want Is Nothing I Can Own” is a delight from start to finish, never more so than in the simple progression around the misplaced confession “I’m not worthy of your love” at the song’s heartfelt center.

Enjoy the (free) melodic sunshine, as they say.

Based in Seattle, WA, Shmohawk are:

John McFarland – Guitar/Vocals/Harmonica
Tim Benway – Drums/Bass/Organ
Doug Strange – Backing Vocals/Bass

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KINS – Young

Having spent most of 2014 on tour in the US, touring with Courtney Barnett and performaing at the SXSW and Bonnaroo festivals, London-based Kins have been back in the studio to record a new EP, Cyclical, due for release this summer. From that EP comes “Young”, available to stream and as a free download. Flitting between anxious electro-pop and fuzzy shoegazing, “Young” plays with textures and shades – Thomas Savage’s vocals sometimes sounding cherubic, sometimes pained, from time to time manipulated, and here and there filtered with a soft layer of distortion, while wavering synths and guitar take turns at the dance.

Kins are: Thomas Savage (lead vocals & guitar), Rob Walters (bass), Alex Crosby (guitar & keyboards) & Alex Knight (drums)

Cyclical will be released digitally via East City Records on 6th July.

Kins play the following headline live dates this July:

Monday 6th July – Door Store, Brighton
Tuesday 7th July – Servants Jazz Quarters, London

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Urso Polar – It’s Official I Hate Ramsgate

Talk about storming out of the blocks: at this early stage in their career, Urso Polar are really delivering the goods. Following “Mostly Harmless” and “Oh My God I’m So Happy Right Now”, “It’s Official I Hate Ramsgate” is their third release of a spectacular few months.

It might seem strange for a Brazilian indie-rock group to be singing about a Kentish seaside town, but don’t get distracted for too long by that quirky detail – instead be sure to let the energy take you and the lyric charm you, and the mix of jangling and chiming guitars win your heart. It shouldn’t be too hard, frankly, because “It’s Official I Hate Ramsgate” is another glorious indie disco whirl from Urso Polar.

The Atlantic Ocean’s between you and me
And all of this water will tear us apart
We settled the score, I’m fine with a draw
I knew you were not my type from the start

So I can’t complain
Even if I did you wouldn’t hear me
You’re so unkind
I’m telling you know, so you best believe it

This is about how I came
To hate Ramsgate
This is how, this is how I came
To love you

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New music playlist 2015//11

Another week rolls by – another week of free downloads, new releases and album previews, from debutants and old hands alike.

And yet again it’s been a varied week, genre-wise, with Sufjan Stevens sitting alongside Muse, and Tame Impala finding their new electro-psych stylings in a playlist with indie-pop and indie disco from Fire Department Club and Max and the Moon.

Enjoy the feast!

Tame Impala – Let it Happen

What a week it’s been for musical transformations. First we had Mumford & Sons’ not entirely Dylan-esque drunken stumble down electric avenue, and now Tame Impala have gone all ‘lectronic on “Let it Happen”, their first new release since 2012’s Lonerism. While this is no “Elephant” or “Mind Mischief”, it’s not, in truth, as radical departure as some of the long faces and dropped jaws in the hardcore fan-zone would have you thinking. Let’s face it, any reasonably psychedelic plying its trade in the twenty-first century is going to have some electronic element in play for that authentic feeling of messing around with moogs, and Tame Impala have never been a complete exception to that rule.

“Let it Happen” moves in the unmistakable manner of the Tame Impala – that rhythm, those vocals – but trades guitars overlayed with effects for something a little less fuzzy, rather like the shift MGMT engineered between Oracular Spectacular and Congratulations, but in a way that should be less jarring for fans. And even if it feels alien at first, it’s a song worth persevering with. It’s nearly eight minutes long, but don’t think you can take a shortcut by dipping in and out – you’ll only get lost in its subtly evolving circles that way. No, the only way to do this properly is to sit back, preconceptions laid to one side, for the full eight, and wait until the end to make up your mind.

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Chastity Belt – Joke

“Joke” is the second single from Chastity Belt’s forthcoming album Time To Go Home, out on March 24th via Hardly Art. As with the title track, released a few months back, there’s a truly satisfying sense of indie-pop gone off-piste. It’s what you might expect to get out of a band like Alvvays if you deprived them of basic luxuries for long enough that they began to loathe that Archie chap and everything he stood for.

Having met in a small college town, Chastity Belt got together as a sort of joke / not joke in Seattle. Their latest press shots show the band’s four members (guitarists Julia Shapiro and Lydia Lund, bassist Annie Truscott, drummer Gretchen Grimm) posed in the style of those 80s/90s “get your awkward family portrait here”, with a backdrop that’s by degrees worse than train carriage decor. They are joined by sporting trophies, academic gubbins: such wholesome a-grade students they must be…

Their approach emphasises the sense that they’ll do whatever they feel thank you very much rather than be just another band or (cos you know how the media works) the latest all-girl band to try to break the male hegemony yadda yadda yadda.

Anyway, “Joke” is certainly no joke, and Chastity Belt are getting seriously good. Look out for that album later this month.

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Lanks – Hold Me Closer

If you were on the ball recently you’d have been able to download Lanks’ first EP, Thousand Piece Puzzle, completely free. If you weren’t, don’t be downhearted – Lanks has released a new single, and once again he doesn’t want any money in exchange for his hard work, creative graft and melodic skills. “Hold Me Closer” is an electro-guitary triumph that somehow seems to gather layers, pace and intensity with every beat, while still retaining a sense of space and a still center.

Make an artist happy today, and download “Hold Me Closer” for free direct from Lanks at http://www.lanksmusic.com/ today.

Phantom Runners – Laserbeam

For Brighton’s Phantom Runners 2015 could be a breakthrough year. Currently eyeing up labels and being eyed up in return, the band are working on some new tracks, apparently under the influence of Blood Orange and Michael Jackson among other things, which could produce interesting if unpredictable results. “Laserbeam” is their first release of the year, bring you a summer’s day in mid-February with its laid-back rhythms, guitar bursts and soft meadow-breeze harmonies. And it’s a free download, which ought to always lighten the darkest of moods on the greyest of winter days.

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Lull – Dead Or Alone

From the moment the title track kicks in to the last moments of gentle feedback of “Bubble Tea”, this three track EP from Lull is a heavy, crunching, distorted, woozy fifteen minutes of shoegazing and noise-pop heaven. Not for nothing have Lull garnered comparisons with Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine and Smashing Pumpkins. And look – it’s completely free, too. You people don’t know how lucky are, you know. When I was a lad (about a hundred years ago, since you ask), I had to risk the meagre contents of my Post Office account on overpriced CD singles or weirdly expensive and easily damaged cassettes to get a fix of new indie sounds. Now you can just pop along to Bandcamp, click a button, hand over your email address, et voilá. And if you do that with Dead Or Alone, you’ll be a short download away from owning three tracks that each bring the noise in their own way.

“Dead Or Alone”, the EP’s opening and title track, is a crunchy slice of slacker indie rock; it doesn’t take long to spot that the EPs time machine has been dialled back to a non-specific 90s period. It’s followed by “Break Hearts”, which alternates between dreamy and hefty before signing off in a drum and guitar solo whirlpool. Closing track “Bubble Tea” sounds like a cover of “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer. For two chords. The rest is a glorious nod to the disorienting shoegazing sound of My Bloody Valentine, and a fine fine way to finish.

You can download Dead Or Alone for free from Lull’s Bandcamp page. Follow the link down in the Bandcamp bit just down from here.

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Unifier Sign with Spartan, want to give you free music

Having recently signed to Seattle-based label Spartan Records, North Carolina’s Unifier have announced the release of a new EP, entitled Gutted, for March 24th.

They’ve also announced that their 2011 EP, Oh, Great City, has been re-released by their new label with three bonus tracks and new artwork. For the next week, the EP will be available to download for free direct from Spartan Records, and each day this week, they will be streaming a different song from the EP.

Download Oh, Great City free HERE