5. Trust (Fund) Us, It Was A Great Show
Fresh from last weeks release of Seems Unfair, their second full length album of the year, Trust Fund have this week headed out on a UK tour in support of the record. We headed down to The Lexington in London to see them run through a wonderful set, lifting the highlights from both of those records.
What was really pleasing was seeing the packed house out to support Ellis and co. The set showcased both records perfectly, showing both their range of songwriting and impressively dextrous musicianship, Ellis’ vocal range was particularly impressive, at times he made a mockery of gender stereotypes, hitting high notes with ease. New tracks such as the single, Football were as well received as the older more established material, although it was a delight to hear the old favourites as well, Cut Me Out was a particular personal highlight. With likeable characters, quality playing and extremely good songwriting, Trust Fund are surely one of the most exciting bands on the circuit now, and we really can’t recommend getting down to see them highly enough.
Seems Unfair is out now via Turnstile. Trust Fund’s tour continues, click HERE for details.
4. Round Here We Call It A Duvet
Boston’s Quilt have this week confirmed details of the release of their third album, Plaza. Whilst we won’t see that record until Spring next year, they did at least have the decency to share one cut from the record, in the form of new single, Eliot St.
The track builds around a simply strummed guitar and singer Shane Butler’s vocal, which is pitched somewhere between James Mercer and Elliot Smith. As the track progresses he’s joined by a gently ticking drum beat straight from the Eels playbook and some gorgeous backing vocals that add a real collective depth to proceedings, as well as light Beatles-like psychedelic quality. “I’ve had no luck”, Shane notes at one point, if the albums half as good as this single, their luck might be about to change.
Plaza is out February 26th via Mexican Summer.
3. Snakes On An Ark
Des Ark is the pseudonym under which Aimée Collet Argote, alongside a host of talented collaborators, chooses to share her music with the world. Aimée has been doing this for the best part of a decade now and recently released Everything Dies, her fourth album, via the always excellent Graveface Records.
This week Des Ark shared the latest snippet of her sound, in the shape of the video for new single, Snake Stuff. A gently unwinding, folk-driven track, all twinkling pianos, warm rich slide and slow and steady acoustic guitars, sounding not unlike an American version of our own Nat Johnson. The excellent lyrics make for painfully honest listening as Aimée dissects her inability to make a struggling relationship work. Painful and beautiful in equal measures, it’s a superb piece of songwriting that does make you wonder why it has taken ten years for her to start to get some recognition.
Everything Dies is out now via Graveface Records.
2. Benedict Grows Thin Skin
Listening to the sumptuous vocal chords of Benedict Benjamin, you might feel you’ve heard it before, possible of course because he’s a former member of both Peggy Sue and Mariner’s Children. Beyond that though there’s a timeless, familiarity to the voice, it’s simply a thing of raw, sumptuous wonder and a very useful weapon to have in your musical armoury.
This week Benedict shared his first single, Thin Skin, which is lifted from his debut album Night Songs. The track builds around simple guitar patterns, and gently pulsing bass notes; a rich, textural and highly ambitious piece of songwriting, there’s more than a hint of Grizzly Bear or Bon Iver about it, and it’s every bit as exciting as that sounds. Lyrically it’s an admittance of weakness, and a consideration of how the mistakes we have made shape the person we are, ultimately he concludes, “I am the sum of choices made, I am the sum of errors and mistakes, there is who I’d like to be and who I am”. A stunning single and a tantalising glimpse of what promises to be a very exciting debut album.
Night Songs will be out March 25th via Sugarcoat Records. Benedict Benjamin has a number of upcoming dates in London, click HERE for more details.
It was only last year that Flowers released their debut album, Do What You Want To It’s What You Should Do (which you can read a review of HERE), since then they’ve barely got off the touring circuit. Which makes the fact they’re already looking at putting out its follow up all the more impressive.
This week they shared the first taster of what will be their second album, in the shape of single, Ego Loss. The track seems to act almost as a bridge from their previous material to new sonic ground. It starts off like a classic Flowers track, Rachel Kennedy’s piercing soprano sits front and centre, as shimmering, tremulous guitars chime behind her. As the song unravels though it becomes clear they’ve been hardened by their time on the road, they gradually reveal a less fragile side to their sound, the drums pick up in intensity, the guitars suddenly lurch into a higher gear, laden with a grungy scuzz, and it becomes clear that Flowers have just upped their game, roll on record number two.
Flowers new album will be out next year via Fortuna Pop (UK) and Kanine Records (US). Flowers play The Betsy Trotwood in London on December 12th as part of the Big Pink Cake Christmas Party.