Five Things We Liked This Week – 25/03/2016

Another hugely busy week for new music, so as well as our famous five below we’d also like to point you in the direction of new material from these lovely sound makers: Frightened Rabbit, Jambinai, Field Music, Trevor Sensor, Car Seat HeadrestLisa Prank, Really Big Pinecones, Tuff Slang, Kevin MorbyMarissa Nadler, Left With Pictures, PJ Harvey, Jenny Gillespie, Shonen Knife, Dan Michaelson & The Coast GuardJar Arner, Dignan PorchWhitney, ParticipantBat For Lashes, Why We LoveThe NationalBasia Bulat and Tina Refsnes.

5. Grapefruits Don’t Make Good Friends

Today see’s the release of Kiran Leonard’s genre-smashing and limitlessly ambitious new record, Grapefruit. We’ll have a lot more on that in the not too distant future, but marking the albums release Kiran has also this week shared a brand new single, Don’t Make Friends With Good People.

Don’t Make Good Friends is delivered with a typically high-brow accompanying story, the lyrics written whilst watching the Chytilová film Sedmikrásky. Kiran has described the track as a sibling to the albums lead single Pink Fruit, and suggested it shares that tracks, “shame and condemnation and bitterness, which nobody seemed to really pay attention to in the former”. Kiran cites influences on this track as Fela (presumably Kuti), one time Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Weston, and a lyric from Richard Dawson’s track The Magic Bridge, as well as Arsenal fans, Roddy Doyle and shirking villainy. Certainly it’s just as varied, brilliant and intriguing as that sounds, although we think with it’s meandering guitar work, swooping vocals and near constant tempo changes it sounds a lot more like a one man band take on Mars Volta; maybe that’s just us though, either way, as usual it’s fascinating.

Grapefruit is out today via Moshi Moshi. Kiran Leonard is on tour now, he has also added extra dates in August, click HERE for details of all shows.

4. The Rest Is Noise

Connecticut-based quartet Sorority Noise have this week shared their new single XC, the latest track to be lifted from their upcoming EP, It Kindly Stopped For Me. That EP is the follow up to last years critically acclaimed album, Joy, Departed.

Pairing twinkling piano details with a gently strummed acoustic guitar and a particularly clanking glockenspiel, XC is a downbeat and earnest track, but a beautiful one. Singer Cam Boucher’s vocal is pitched somewhere between Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam and Brand New’s Jesse Lacey; they might not sound like natural bed fellows but somehow it works, it suggests a band moving into a new direction, and bodes well for what could be a very interesting EP next month.

It Kindly Stopped For Me is out April 22nd via Topshelf Records. Sorority Noise are currently on tour in the US, click HERE for details.

3. Heartbroken Dreams

On the back of their increasingly legendary live shows, Anglo-Icelandic trio Dream Wife are currently in the process of making musical waves across their native London. This week they have shared the video to their latest single, Hey Heartbreaker, which is lifted from their debut release, EP01.

Hey Heartbreaker marks Dream Wife out as disciples of Riot Grrrl, but also the electro-clash era of turn of the millennium dance-floor filling indie; that they covered Peaches at a recent gig certainly shouldn’t come as any surprise. Catchy and angry in equal measures, Dream Wife might just the anarchic poster-girls 2016 needs.

EP01 is out now via Cannibal Hymns. Dream Wife play London’s Corsica Studios April 13th, click HERE for details of upcoming shows.

2. Postcards From Berlin

Question: Who links Kanye West, Katherine Jenkins, Placebo and John Grant? The answer is Hove based violinist, orchestral arranger and newly announced solo artist Fiona Bryce, and you can add a whole host of other names onto that list at your own leisure. Recorded over the last five years, in between her efforts working on a huge catalogue of other people’s work,  Fiona somehow found time to put together her own album, Postcards. This week she has confirmed the album’s release via the ever excellent Bella Union, and shared the albums lead track, Berlin.

Postcards is ten musical snapshots, instrumental compositions rich in sound and minimal in instrumentation, little more than violin, cello, and piano. Each track is a,”musical selfie” from the city that it’s named after, each track being composed in the various cities her day job took her to, whether that was Koh Yah Noi in Thailand or Denton, Texas. The first taste of the album, Berlin is a frankly beautiful thing; built around pulsing, cello drones and waves of crystalline violin, it’s a track laced with a cinematic quality, but one with the emotive depth of Explosions In The Sky or Godspeed You! Black Emperor, it’s a moving piece of music, and we can’t see to what else this unique talent has come up with.

Postcards is out June 3rd via Bella Union.

1. Andy Is Having A Magician At His Party

Long term readers may remember an article we wrote about Saskatchewan-based songwriter Andy Shauf’s 2015 record, The Bearer Of Bad News. It’s fair to say since then things have been going rather well for our Andy; now signed to Indie mega-label ANTI- Records, he’s set to release his second album, The Party, in May and it’s already looking like he could be one of 2016’s breakthrough stars.

This week Andy has shared the video to his latest single, The Magician, a track you may well already have heard doing the rounds on 6Music. The Magician is a track that builds on Andy’s previous output, still present are the wheezing clarinets, heartbreaking vocal and rich piano chords, but it’s injected with a new sense of classic-pop, indeed if someone said it was a lost Elliot Smith cover of a John Lennon or Harry Nilsson number, we’d probably believe them. Stunningly produced, and quietly confident, this might just be the sound of Andy Shauf making one of 2016’s most intriguing records.

The Party is out May 20th via Anti- Records. Andy Shauf has a number of UK shows coming up, click HERE for details. 

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