FIVE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
5. A Band To Keep You (Frog) Eyes On
Frog Eyes is a vehicle for the work of Canadian songwriter Carey Mercer. Whilst they’ve built up a decent following on the other side of the pond with their complex songs and distinctively emotive vocals, it seems like things are just hotting up for the band. They’ve just announced the release of their latest album, Pickpocket’s Locket and shared it’s excellent leadoff single Joe With The Jam, which features the string arranging talents of Spencer Krug best known for his work with Wolf Parade.
Pickpocket’s Locket is out August 28th via Paperbag Records. Frog Eyes tour the USA in September, including dates with Destroyer.
4. The Return Of Mr Music
In certain circles the name Pete Astor will get knowing nods and quiet adulation. In the 1980’s he gained notoriety as a member of The Loft and The Weather Prophets, both acts associated with the legendary Creation Records. This week he revealed his latest single Mr Music. Recorded in conjunction with Veronica Falls‘ James Hoare, it’s a proper English pop-song, equal parts late-era Ray Davies‘ and Greenwich Village 1960’s folk-scene and every bit as great at that sounds.
Pete’s put together an impressive band to help him out on a few upcoming dates, including a slot headlining the Church stage at Indietracks, and with the promise of a new full-length record on Fortuna Pop on the way, one of the great English songwriters shows no signs of slowing down just yet.
Mr Music is out July 17th on Fortuna Pop. Pete Astor plays Indietracks Festival July 26th.
3. Which Way next for Richard Hawley
When Richard Hawley left Pulp, following a short spell playing guitar for the band, it seemed quite unlikely that he would end up being the most successful solo artist the band would produce. Seven albums, two of them that crashed into the UK’s top ten later, he’s proved everyone wrong.
Richard has shared Which Way, a straight up Rock’n’Roll number with a scuzzy guitar. It brings to mind Edwyn Collins‘ classic A Girl Like You, and possesses enough poppy-hooks that Richard still sounds a bit like the Arctic Monkeys sleazy uncle, in the best way possible! While he was at it he confirmed his return later this year with Hollow Meadows, his much anticipated eighth studio album, and first since 2012’s psychedelic-tinged Standing At The Sky’s Edge.
Hollow Meadows is out September 11th on Parlophone Records.
2. Dream A Little Dream
Just like Beck a couple of weeks ago, Trust Fund return following a critically acclaimed album with a brand new single. Also, just like Beck it’s called Dreams, and also just like Beck it’s really rather brilliant! That’s probably about where the Trust Fund and Beck comparison ends because the tracks couldn’t be more different.
Featuring Alanna McArdle, former front-woman with one of our favourite bands of the moment, Joanna Gruesome, Dreams is a bit of a shift in direction for Ellis Jones, the man behind Trust Fund. It’s still characteristically down beat but the lushly produced and poppy chorus is a delightful addition to his formidable musical armoury, while Alanna‘s vocal is a perfect accompaniment, sticking to the more tuneful, less shouty end of her spectrum, which is only a slight disappointment!
1. It Only Takes A Single Spark To Start a Fire
Beach House return with brand new single Sparks. This showcases their new sound which they have promised will transport the duo to, “a louder, more aggressive place”. Certainly with it’s disturbing clanking and uncharacteristically messy keyboard line, it’s new territory for the duo, but it continues to showcase their ability to make effortlessly great pop music.
Sparks is the first track to be lifted from Depression Cherry the upcoming album by Baltimore Dream-Pop duo Beach House. Their first album since 2012’s Bloom, and their fifth in total. Beach House first came to our attention with their self-titled debut album, a fragile re-imagining of the Cocteau Twins or Slowdive, it showcased the duo’s talents and their sound has only got more lush and textured ever since.
Depression Cherry is out at the back-end of the summer, and despite being released in a Red Velvet case;, a decision that was meant to showcase luxury and decadence, but only brings out textural loathing in us, we can’t wait to hear where they take their music next, it’s surely one of the most anticipated come backs of the year.