FIVE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
5. Monotony Go Back To The Castle
Monotony, the so called “evil twin of Sauna Youth” have finally found a home for the vinyl of their first ever six songs, on Brighton’s ever-excellent label Faux Discx. The Montony 12″ having only been available previously on a limited edition cassette. The record is so brief and intense that rather than leave the flip-side blank they just printed the same thing on both sides!
Ahead of its August release the band shared Back To The Castle, a fine example of their dirge-punk sound. As their press release puts it, “BBC 6 DJ Marc Riley heard [it], started playing them and refuses to stop, ruining dinner time for many people across the UK.” Monotony is certainly the grimier side of the band members output, which also sees them perform as the similarly excellent Sauna Youth, who we featured recently (and you can read about HERE)
4. You’ve got to get up to Break Down
Paul Smith has come a long way since his formative years fronting Maxïmo Park, reading lyrics from books, and wearing a lot of hats. Last year’s excellent travel diary meets neo-classical collaboration with Peter Brewis was one of our albums of the year and he’s set to return this Summer with new band The Intimations.
This week, Paul shared the albums second cut, Break Me Down, a slab of 1980’s inspired dance floor filling indie, which belies its inward glancing lyrics. Discussing new album Contradictions Paul said, “I only ever want to release music that I feel adds something new to the world, however small” from what we’ve heard so far, come August, Paul might well have succeeded in the stated aim, still wears a lot of hats though!
Contradictions is out August 21st on Billingham Records. Paul Smith and The Intimations tour the UK in September.
3. Girl In A Sling – Destory(h)er
Vancouver native Dan Bejar is set to return in August with his eleventh album under the pseudonym Destroyer. Ahead of that album he’s shared the video for the second track lifted from the album, Girl In A Sling.
Discussing the video for the track, director David Galloway said, “he’s the Pacific Northwest’s Buster Keaton, and I hope one day to share that with the world. One day. For now, though, there’s just this sadness. This poison season.” And certainly the casual observer would probably see more sadness than slapstick in both the song and the video, either way it’s an exciting taste of the album that’s too come.
2. Owl & Mouse & Octopus & Alpaca?
Ahead of the release of their debut album Departures on Fika Recordings, Owl & Mouse have shared the video for their new single Octopi. Now expanded to a five piece band, Owl & Mouse is a vehicle for the song-writing talents of Hannah Botting the sister of Allo Darlin’ bassist Bill.
The expansion in numbers has also seen an expansion in musical horizons. Whilst early recordings were largely vocals and Hannah’s omnipresent ukulele, Octopi showcases how far they’ve come, featuring pulsing bass, delicate guitar details and some frankly delightful twinkling keyboards. It all bodes well for the ambition of their upcoming album. On top of that the video has a wide array of Alpacas something we can’t help but endorse!
1. And So Rose The Cold Moon
At the back end of last year singer-songwriter Alela Diane and guitarist Ryan Francesconi got to talking at a mutual friends show. Alela had just given birth to her daughter and was not feeling entirely sure how to tie that in with her musical career, Ryan was experiencing a creative dead-end: uninspired to continue his exploration into instrumental music. Something clicked, and the idea of collaboration was born, Ryan sent Alela intricate, beautiful guitar pieces, Alela stared out the window and slowly over time worked out how to sing over them.
We’re sure you’ve worked out how that story ends but the result is an album, Cold Moon which won’t see the light of day until October. Until then there’s the magical first single, The Sun Today, which previews what could be one of the most beautiful musical coming-togethers in many a year, we can only hope the album is half as beautiful.
Cold Moon is out October 16th via Rusted Blue Records/Believe Recordings. The pair play two dates in the UK in October including London’s Bush Hall.