5. On The Money
With apologies to our former homeland of Leeds, we’re rather Manchester heavy this week! It was only a couple of weeks back that we shared news of the upcoming second album by Manchester’s MONEY. This week they’ve shared the second single to be lifted from it, I’ll Be The Night. It may have been three years since the band’s debut, and while it’s taken some time to produce the album, MONEY are wasting no time in showing what we can expect from the follow up, Suicide Songs, having previously shared You Look Like A Sad Painting On Both Sides Of The Sky.
Whilst we wouldn’t normally bombard you with so much of one band, I’ll Be The Night is just too good to ignore. Simultaneously lighter and more anthemic than You Look Like… if that was the howling of a broken man, this is the sound of a resilient spirit, a man who is, “certain we’ll be heard above the sound of the empires tumbling down”. There’s something of Neutral Milk Hotel in the heavily strummed acoustic guitar, a touch of Hope Of The States in the grandiose bursts of strings, while the vocals are pitched somewhere between Elvis Perkins and a less accented-Frightened Rabbit. Further evidence that you can ink in MONEY on your list of the most anticipated albums of next year.
Suicide Songs is out January 29th via Bella Union. MONEY tour the UK in February, click HERE for details.
4. Crossed Wires
Back in October we pointed you in the direction of Cross Record, the new project from Austin based Emily Cross and her collaborator and husband, Dan Duszynski. That was shortly after they shared Steady Waves, the first track to be lifted from their upcoming debut album, Wabi-Sabi. That record won’t be with us until the back end of January, but to whet appetites this week they have shared new single, High Rise.
The track is accompanied by a frankly bizarre video. Featuring Emily in a full body suit- even her face covered by a sort of balaclava meets stocking combination- through a serious of contorted dance moves Emily attempts to merge into the world around her, and then for some reason there’s a chainsaw; it’s oddly compelling watching. Back to the music though, High Rise is a fabulously intense piece of song writing; built around ringing stabs of piano, and a guitar that starts life as a muted strum but slowly morphs into an fierce ringing riff, Emily’s wispy, effortless vocal sits atop the mix, the middle ground of Angel Olsen and Bjork; and it’s every bit as good as that sounds.
Wabi-Sabi is out January 29th via Ba Da Bing Records.
3. A Leonard Always Changes His Spots
Born in Saddleworth, Greater Manchester, songwriter Kiran Leonard, is still remarkably only twenty despite it being already two years since his critically acclaimed debut album Bowler Hat Soup. Luckily Kiran is keeping us in the dark no longer about his next move, this week detailing his signing to Moshi Moshi, and revealing that the follow up, Grapefruit will be with us in the spring of 2016.
He’s also shared the first ‘single’ Pink Fruit; if you can really call a sixteen minute piece of music a single: Joanna Gruesome would call it an album! The track is, well, it’s pretty much everything; it starts life as a jerky maths-rock mystery, before suddenly going all horn-heavy Dirty Projectors pop-opera, and then stumbling into something resembling a chorus that sounds a bit like The Smashing Pumpkins, and that’s just the first four minutes. The remaining twelve recall Damien Rice orchestral folk-pop, Radiohead-like weird noises, Steve Alibini-like loud noises and frankly most other music you can even imagine. A single track with more twists and turns than some albums, mark us down as intrigued and looking forward to hearing where Grapefruit will take this ambitious songwriter next.
Grapefruit is out March 25th via Moshi Moshi. Kiran Leonard plays a short UK tour in January, click HERE for details.
2. The Goon (Sax) Show
Our apologies to The Goon Sax because we were slightly late in discovering their incredibly good debut single, Sometimes Accidentally, but we’ve been cursing ourselves and pressing repeat ever since. Luckily this week the Brisbanian trio have given us another track from their upcoming album, Up To Anything, to sink our teeth into.
Boyfriend isn’t quite as jangly, or Pavementy as their first offering, but luckily it’s just as good. Stacatto blasts of guitar merge with drums and percussion, before it settles into a laid back rhythm and some anti-folk-tinged male-female vocals carrying a hugely catchy chorus. Lyrically it’s about the age old problem of loneliness and wanting, “a boyfriend, or just anything real”. On the basis of what we’ve heard so far, The Goon Sax are quietly carving out a niche as Australia’s premier purveyors of lo-fi pop masterpieces, roll on the debut album.
Up To Anything is out at some point next year via Chapter Music.
1. Pins Got It Bad
Earlier this year Manchester five-piece PINS released their second album, Wild Nights via the ever excellent Bella Union; you can read our feature on the album HERE. This week they’ve detailed the release of their new single, Got It Bad, as well as announcing a string of dates for the Spring.
Got It Bad is accompanied by a new video, directed by Sarah Jenny Johnson, the video suits the song perfectly, tapping into the hazy melancholy which permeates what is at heart a love song. The track is one of the stand-out moments on Wild Nights, all perfect girl-group harmonies and twanging psych-inspired guitars. “Saturday night, Sunday morning, I’m going to love you, love you forever” Faith sings, and whilst it’s not spelt out for the listener, you can’t help but feeling that she’s not even sure herself if that’s a good thing or not. Having supported the likes of Best Coast, Gang Of Four, Stealing Sheep, Sleater Kinney, Drenge and Wire, 2016 already look like the year PINS step up and make their own headlines.
Wild Nights is out now via Bella Union. PINS head out on tour in the UK and Europe in February, click HERE for details.