Five Things We Liked This Week – 06/05/2016

Before we get to the fabulous five below, can we also advise you look into new music from: Great HareTacocat, Golden Fable, Beds, Weaves, Amber Arcades, Jerry Paper, Sally Shapiro, Band Of Horses, Aerial EastRadiohead, Let’s Eat Grandma, September Girls, Mutual Benefit, Rick Redbeard, Casket Girlsde Montevert, BrodkaDM Stith, Fear Of Men, Meilyr Jones and the wonderful new video from Martha.

5. Boys Just Wanna Have Friends

Boys is essentially a solo project for Swedish song-writer Nora Karlsson, who you may know from the considerably more noisy and less swoonsome, HOLY. This week Boys has shared her new single, All My Friends, which is lifted from the upcoming Love on Tour EP, out later this month via PNKSLM Recordings (that’s Punk Slime for those of you who like vowels in your words like any normal person would).

All My Friends starts off life as a gentle beast, like a girl-group Spectorish pop-song played at half the speed it was intended, before the track slowly morphs into an altogether more triumphant second half. The glorious brass flourishes bring to mind Jens Lekman, whilst the rattling lightly jazzy drums have a hint of Do Make Say Think, even as Nora’s sweet vocal ensures we’re still very much routed in a bedroom-pop feel. A rather delightful offering, it walks the fine line between shimmering summery dream-gaze and lightly melancholic C-86 pop; and comes out sounding wonderfully fresh as a result.

Love on Tour EP, is out May 20th via PNKSLM Recordings. 

4. A Change Isn’t An Impossible Dream

Haley Bonar was born in the excellently named Brandon, Manitoba and raised in the even better named, Rapid City, South Dakota. However her musical journey really begins in Duluth, Minessota, when, whilst playing a local club, Haley was spotted by Low’s Alan Sparhawk; a week and a spot opening for Low on a national tour later, and Haley quit being a college student and became an ambitious musical drop-out. All of which might go some way to explaining why Haley has called her latest album, Impossible Dream.

This week has not only seen Haley confirm details of the release of her next album, but she’s also shared it’s first single, I Can Change. The song is fantastic, a blur of rolling toms, affected guitar chords and Haley’s stunning, Martha Wainwright-like vocal. The song deals with the universal themes of having to adapt to fit into the world around you, and how ultimately happiness can be found just by accepting your own personal truth, Haley singing, “I could be so happy, if I let myself be happy,but I’m too busy behaving for a crowd”. Emotive subject matter, delivered with an emotional honesty and a deftness of musical touch, what’s not to like?

Impossible Dream is out August 5th via Memphis Industries. Haley Bonar tours the UK in October, including dates supporting Field Music, click HERE for details.

3.Cloudy With A Chance Of Heartbreak

Joana Serrat is a songwriter from Vic in Catalonia. Today see’s the release of her third album, Cross The Verge, and this week she has shared the latest track to be lifted from the record, Cloudy Heart.

A duet with Slowdive’s  Neil Halstead, Cloudy Heart is a gorgeous swoon of soulful Americana-pop; imagine if Caitlin Rose wrote a duet between Allo Darlin’ Elizabeth Morris and a lackadaisical Nick Drake and you won’t be far off the sound of this beautiful track. Cross The Verge, which was recorded in Montreal with Arcade Fire producer Howard Bilerman, also features cameos from Basia Bulat and Ryan Boldt, whilst we haven’t heard it yet, if it’s half as good as the single, it’s going to be very special indeed. Mark down Joana Serrat as an artist well worth your time, and if you’re very quick you can catch her on her UK tour which starts tomorrow.

Cross The Verge is out today via Loose. Joana Serrat’s UK tour starts tomorrow, click HERE for details.

2. Happy To Mitski You

Continuing the near impeccable run of releases on the excellent Dead Oceans label, New York’s Mitski Miyawaki is set to release her new album, Puberty 2, next month. The follow up to 2014’s Bury Me At Makeout Creek, the early signs are that the record is a subtle step up for Mitski, and a more confident and fully realised record than it’s predecessor.

This week Mitski has shared the albums second single, Happy. The track builds from the rapid fluttering of a processed beat, via squelching electronics and a delightfully honking saxophone, it’s the surprisingly effective middle ground of Julia Holter and John Grant channeling his maximum level of 1980’s funk. Discussing the track, Mitski has noted it’s about the exhausting cycle of happiness and misery, concluding, “happiness fucks you. Once it’s in your hands you try to hold onto it, but the nature of happiness is that it passes through and eventually leaves, and something else – sadness, anger, a low after the high – has to follow.” If this track is anything to go by, whilst we might avoid suggesting it makes us happy, the music of Puberty 2 is going to be a darn site better than we remember our teenage years sounding the first time around.

Puberty 2 is out June 17th via Dead Oceans. Mitski tours the UK in October, click HERE for details.

1. You’re In Good Company With Braids

It was only last summer that Montreal trio Braids released their most recent LP, Deep In The Iris, but they have already confirmed details of it’s follow up. Later this month they will release an EP of new material, Companion, and this week they have shared the video for it’s title track.

Companion is a wonderfully atmospheric piece of songwriting, building around little more than a beautiful voice, and the pulse of a lone synthesiser, it brings to mind Bjork’s most minimal efforts or Imogen Heap. The lyrics are equally affecting, drawing you in from the opening line, “it had nothing to do with you, how can I make that more clear, I don’t remember loosing you, early in Spring my dear.” And it doesn’t loose your attention from there, culminating in the spectacularly beautiful finale; the synthesiser departs, leaving just the gentlest of piano runs; it shapes to fade away entirely but then the voice returns for one final heartbreaking melody. This week has also seen singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston share an essay on Sexual Abuse & Empowerment through art with Pitchfork, a brave and personal piece of writing that we would thoroughly recommend everyone read.

Companion is out May 20th via Arbutus Records. Braids tour the UK in June, click HERE for details.

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