Five Things We Liked This Week – 30/10/2015

5. I’ll EL VY with a Little Help From My Friends

We mentioned EL VY, the project of The National’s Matt Berninger and Menomena’s Brent Knopf, not that long ago, but with their album going out today it seemed as good a time as any to remind you how exciting this release is.

This week the band shared the lyric video for new single, Need A Friend. The track continues in the vein of the first single, Return To The Moon; setting Matt’s distinctive vocals to something much more upbeat, electronic and dance-floor friendly than we’re used to. Whilst not initially the most obvious combination, it works wonderfully and we can’t recommend the record as a whole highly enough.

…keeping busy EL VY have also shared a second track this week entitled Silent Ivy, which has a delightfully creepy sort of Tom Waits vibe, the video for which you can see below.

Return To The Moon is out today (October 30th) via 4AD. EL VY play a short tour of the UK in December.

4. Los Bonsáis Can Be (Their) Heroes Just For One 7″

Our favourite Spanish Indie-Pop heroes Los Bonsáis released the superb Nordeste EP back in February and it instantly became one of our favourite records of the year. This week they’ve announced details of their next release, which flips the situation and tells us what their favourite records are.

The four-track, ¡Fanzine! single, is a collection of covers of some of the songs that have influenced the band, translated into Spanish and given the Los Bonsáis treatment. The tracks hark back to the C-86 era of Indie and show the bands love of all things jangling and melodic from TV Personalities to The Vaselines. This week they shared, Nada Que Hacer (Nothing To Be Done) a cover of legendary band, The Pastels, while our Spanish is far too limited to comment on the translation, we know it sounds every bit as exciting as the original.

¡Fanzine! is out on the 6th of November via Elefant Records.

3. Time To Feed The Monster

Confusingly, Promise & The Monster are neither all that monstrous nor two different people, it is instead the pseudonym for the work of Swedish song-writer Billie Lindhal. We’ll be hearing a lot more about Billie in the build up to the release of Feed The Fire, her first album to be released on the legendary Bella Union imprint. The album was recorded in Stockholm with producer Love Martinsen, with the aim of producing a darker and more mechanical take on the elegant pop of the 1960’s.

Whilst the album won’t be with us until next year, this week we received the first hint of what to expect in the shape of new single, Time Of The Season. Rapidly chiming guitars and racing percussion give the track a rush of urgency, below Billie’s vocals which recall the likes of Howling Bells’ Juanita Stein or The Duke Spirit’s Leila Moss. Dark, brooding and very, very exciting, it’s only serves the feed the fire of expectation surrounding this record (did you see what we did there?)

Feed The Fire is out January 22nd via Bella Union. 

2. Drink In The Rain

Like all music writers we are now contractually obliged to point the following fact out once, and once only, The Drinks and Drinks are entirely different bands. Whilst we utterly adore Cate Le Bon’s work with Tim Pressley, we’re also rather keen on this London based trio as well. They released their debut album just last year, but are already back with a brand new album, which will see the light of day next month.

To wet the collective appetite, they’ve this week shared a superb new single, The Coming Rain. A track that combines vocal harmonies the match of The Unthanks, baggy-psych guitar lines The Music would be proud of, and enough pop hooks that they come across as a slightly more accessible version of The Wharves, which might have something to do with Dearblha Minogue being in The Wharves. We love Drinks, we love The Wharves, and now we love The Drink, and so should you!

Capital is out November 13th via Melodic Records. The Drink play Jamboree in London on November 13th, before a full UK tour in January.

1. MONEY Can’t Buy You Happiness

Turn the clocks back to 2013 and you might remember the emergence of Manchester’s MONEY. On the back of only a handful of shows, the band emerged with a debut record, The Shadow Of Heaven, which has absolutely no right to be as utterly brilliant as it was. Back in the present day, two years later we’re about to get our hands on its highly anticipated follow up, with the Suicide Songs due for release on Bella Union early next year.

The recording of the album was perhaps necessarily fraught, the band convened for sessions in Manchester that were plagued by drunkeness, mental ill-health and internal disputes as to which direction the music should take, which at times made whether there would be even be a follow up highly questionable. Luckily on the advice of producer, Charlie Andrew the band relocated to Brixton, and after three-months of sessions the next step for MONEY became inevitable, and Suicide Songs was born.

This week they’ve shared the albums superb first single, You Look Like A Sad Painting On Both Sides Of The Sky, surely one of the most emotionally draining and painfully beautiful songs to ever open with whistling. The track recalls the likes of The Antlers or Meursault, in it’s openly emotional vocal delivery; beautiful distant backing and perfectly judged instrumentation, be it swelling, soaring strings, the constant chugging strum of the acoustic guitar or the smallest tinkling of piano. It might not have been easy to get this point, but if this track’s anything to go by MONEY’s return should be well worth the wait.

Suicide Songs is out January 29th via Bella Union. MONEY play London and Manchester next month, but they’re sold out. They’ll be back on tour in the UK in February next year. 

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