Five Things We Liked This Week – 15/04/2016

As is seemingly the norm these days, there’s an awful lot of great tracks about this week – if the five below don’t quench your thirst for new sounds, we’d also suggest you take a look at: Wussy, Cate Le Bon, The Julie Ruin, Marchildon, Hudson Bell, Flowers, Luke Whittemore, M.Craft, Programm, Mock OrangeAcapulco Lips, Pony Time, Throws, Pity Sex, Batteries, Mitski, Supermoon, Stephen Steinbrick,  Car Seat Headrest, The Felice Brothers, MONEY, Try The Pie, Something Anorak, Slotface, Fews, Gurus and Fear Of Men.

5. Fading Seaside Glamour

You’ll probably remember us getting very excited about the music of Amber Arcades on a semi-regular basis ever since we heard last year’s excellent Patiently EP. Since then Annelotte de Graaf, the song-writer behind Amber Arcades, has been teasing the release of her debut album with a series of stunning singles, the latest of which is the album’s title track, Fading Lines.

Fading Lines builds around rhythmic guitars and solid, propulsive drum beats, which act as a back drop for some dreamy, reverb gilded guitar lines and Annelotte’s soft, wistful vocals. Such ethereal and beautiful music might suggest a slightly dreamy approach to the world in general, although that’s contrasted by Annelotte’s day job, working as a legal aide on UN war crime tribunals. Either way if she keeps making music this good, the world might be about to lose a legal aide and gain a bonafide superstar.

Fading Lines is out June 3rd via Heavenly Recordings. Click HERE for details of all upcoming Amber Arcades shows.

4. Boy From The Modern Country

William Tyler is a Nashville-based instrumental musician. He first came to much of the worlds attention via his first album for Merge Records, 2013’s Impossible Truth. That record has been described as something of an epic song-cycle, drawing influence from artists as diverse as Brian Wilson and Leo Kottke. This week William has confirmed details of the follow up to that record, his fourth album, Modern Country.

William has described his latest collection as being inspired by, “the vanishing America that still exists on the back roads, in the small towns and on the AM radio stations.” If you’re expecting an insular and deeply American record though, the album’s first single Gone Clear, would suggest anything but. It’s seven minutes of beautifully pulsing harmoniums and rapidly finger picked guitars, and minimal percussion, the track is laced with shades of Lau, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and even a touch of Nick Drake. What it does capture is the rapidly changing landscape of the modern world, it is not a track that ever rests on its laurels; the pieces constantly shifting musical sands serve as a timely reminder of the power of instrumental music to move people just as much as any words. It might not sound like any sort of Modern Country record you’ve ever heard before, but it might be all the better for that.

Modern County is out June 10th via Merge. American readers might be interested in William Tyler’s upcoming tour dates with the likes of Wilco and The Mountain Goats, click HERE for details.

3. Ariana The First Mercury Girl

Mercury Girls are a four piece band from Philadelphia. They caught our attention because of the presence of Kevin Attic, guitarist in jangle-pop geniuses Literature, and because they’ve just become the latest act to sign to the always excellent Slumberland Records. This week they’ve shared their debut single Ariana, which will get the full 7″ treatment next month.

Mercury Girls basic background is in the classic indie-pop world, but on Ariana they take that as jumping off point and stretch their sound into new musical territories. Whilst the lead guitar has the jangle of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, lead-singer Sarah Schimineck’s vocals, are more reminiscent of Veronica Falls or The Cocteau Twins, and the steady pounding drums and rumbling bass bring to mind punkier acts like Joanna Gruesome or Sauna Youth. With a high-profile slot at NYC Pop Fest and busy Spring tour schedule, this enchanting single is unlikely to be the last we hear from Mercury Girls.

Ariana is out May 20th via Slumberland Records. You can pre-order the 7″ HERE.

2. Candy Is Making Weaves

Toronto four-piece Weaves have this week announced a string of UK dates for the summer, many of which are in support of the equally excellent Beach Slang. To coincide with this announcement the band have also shared Candy, the second single to be lifted from their upcoming self-titled debut album.

Weaves have compared the track to, “a bright pink piece of cake”, and certainly there’s an element of sugary hooks and it causes plenty of action in your brains reward system. Candy was one of the first times that singer Jasmyn Burke collaborated with guitarist Morgan Waters, and the excitement of those first musical endeavours together seems to have wormed it’s way onto the finished product. Full of jarring guitars, stop-start drum beats and hazy sing-speak vocals, it’s the latest piece of evidence to suggest their debut album is going to be very good indeed.

Weaves is out June 17th via Memphis Industries. Click HERE for details of all upcoming Weaves shows.

1. Meat Me On The Couch

Des Moines Slacker-Pop quartet Karen Meat only released their debut album last year, but they’re already working towards their next release, this week confirming a new four-track 7″, which will be out this summer via Slump Pump Records. This week the band have shared the title track from that release, On The Couch.

Karen Meat list an array of influences, from Santigold to Jonathan Richman and ELO to The Moldy Peaches, and from the sound of On The Couch they are certainly not afraid of trying to merge seemingly disparate styles into a cohesive whole. It buzzes with lo-fi electronics, steady drum-machine beats and strained emotive vocals. Like Katie Crutchfield and Jason Little fronting Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, Karen Meat are a fascinating proposition, and they even throw in one of the most ramshackle endings you’ll hear all year, which somehow just adds to the enjoyment of this utterly charming record.

On The Couch EP is out June 3rd via Sump Pump Records. Click HERE for details of all upcoming Karen Meat shows.


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