Five Things We Liked This Week – 13/05/2016

Further listening this week takes in: M.Craft, Eli Paperboy Reed, Prism Tats, Goat, Emmy The Great, Supermoon, Nico YaryanTobacco, Karen MeatMaria UsbeckEAT FAST, Darren Hayman & Papernut Cambridge, Oslo House, Red Sleeping BeautyGregory Alan Isakov, Big Thief, and the wonderful Los Angeles Natural History Museum featuring video from Munroe.

5. Take A Ride Around The Garden Centre

You may we remember we previously raved about Scrap Yard, the debut single from indie-supergroup Garden Centre. Following on from that track, the Brighton based five-piece have this week confirmed details of their self-titled debut album, which will be out next month via the ever excellent Faux Discx.

Garden Centre, who consist of members of Joanna Gruesome, Keel Her and King Of Cats, have also this week shared a second track from that record, Riding. The track starts off as a blast of rapid pulsing electronics, and solid straight drums, bringing to mind the likes of Architecture In Helsinki or The Spinto Band. It then collapses in on itself, leaving just a muted guitar riff and scratchy but emotive vocal, and then before you know it, it’s gone. It also would appear to mainly be about the joys and dangers of bikes. Unique and rough around the edges in the best way possible, Garden Centre seem to pack more ideas into a two minute pop song that some people fit onto an entire album. Talking of albums, the band have promised their debut is at least partly inspired by, “the experiences and memories of a group of people who used to hang out in an abandoned plant nursery.” And if you’re not intrigued by that we don’t know what’s wrong with you.

Garden Centre’s self-titled debut album is out June 24th via Faux Discx. Garden Centre tour the UK in June, click HERE for details.

4. The LUKA of Love

Why Don’t You Go To Her is the new single from Toronto songwriter, LUKA. From the opening line, “this is a conversation between me and my heart”, it is a track that wears its message firmly on its sleeve. It is that emotional honesty that makes LUKA’s upcoming album, Summon Up A Monkey King, such an enticing prospect.

Why Don’t You Go To Her bounces by on an easy going guitar-line that brings to mind Mac De Marco, but what really elevates it is the voice. A blend of Devendra Banhart’s breathy tone, and Jonathan Richman’s half-spoken delivery, it’s a spectacular instrument. Add to that a lyrical tale that blurs the excitement of new love, with a tangible sense of self doubt and anxiety that it could all go wrong; “maybe I am scared, well then just talk to her? Just please talk to her, try to explain love is no game, and you must refrain from rushing in, I don’t want to hurt nobody no more, so I’m going to go home and think about love.” It’s the kind of conversation everyone’s had with themselves, follow your heart, or listen to your head – either way our heart and our head are in unison where LUKA is concerned, this is fabulous.

Summon Up A Monkey King is out June 24th on Yellow K Records. 

3. Frozen Shadows

That Oakland songwriter, Emily Jane White borrowed the title of her latest record, They Moved In The Shadow All Together, from the opening of a Cormac McCarthy novel makes a lot of sense. Both artists inhabit the eerie and somewhat bleak fringes of life, depicting both trauma and togetherness, and translating a feeling of the collective spirit that can be discovered in losing everything we know.

This week Emily has shared Frozen Garden, the first song to be lifted from her upcoming fifth album. The track is a bristling, haunted slice of doomy-folk, a world of ghostly harmonies, distant rippling floor-toms, and just the gentlest of melodic whispers from guitars and strings; it recalls the world of songwriters like Marissa Nadler and Bat For Lashes, and sounds equally beautiful and timeless. Five albums in her voice and songwriting have never sounded stronger, and we’ve got high hopes for next months album release.

They Moved in Shadow All Together is out June 10th via Talitres Records.

2. The Spook School Go Home

Last year The Spook School released their second album, Try To Be Hopeful; the album received a slow drip of critical acclaim and the record has seen a significant rise in the band’s profile on both sides of the Atlantic. This week the band shared their first new material since that record, in the shape of a new track, Gone Home. Gone Home is The Spook School at their most poppy and jangling, bringing to mind the work of Veronica Falls or Allo Darlin’, whilst lyrically it longs to be back to a simpler time, bassist Anna Cory taking lead vocals and noting, “I just need someone who knew this voice when I was this person at thirteen.” The track also comes with an excellent video, with the basic premise of a running race, with a villainous twist that will see you never look at Anna the same way again.

Gone Home is lifted from an upcoming compilation, Continental Drift. The album will be a joint release between Fortuna Pop and Slumberland Records, designed to showcase the labels acts both here and in the US, and also featuring contributions from Tigercats, Mercury Girls and Wildhoney. A coming together of two fabulous labels with a shared musical ethos, this budding romance of the Indie-Pop scene is one we’re hoping to see flourish and carry on for many years.

Continental Drift is out August 26th via Fortuna Pop/Slumberland Records. The Spook School are currently on tour in the US, they tour the UK in June before headlining Indietracks in July, click HERE for details of all upcoming shows.

1.Steve’s Gunning For The Ancient Jules

Next month will see Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Steve Gunn release his latest record, Eyes On The Line. His first release for Matador Records, it is the latest step on Steve’s journey from guitarist (he formally backed Kurt Vile in the Violators as well as releasing a number of instrumental albums) into a fully fledged frontman.

This week Steve has shared the latest taste of Eyes On The Line, in the shape of new single, Ancient Jules. Building from a loose, driving guitar motif, the track builds on the back of some easy Real Estate-like drums, into a wide-screen Americana sounds, it’s a sonic representation of sun-drenched open roads, as explored previously by everyone from Tom Petty to The War On Drugs. As ever with Steve Gunn the guitar work is exemplary, the contrasting but entwined tones of the two guitars allowing them to sing in perfect harmony. If all of Eye On The Line is this good, Steve Gunn might just be joining Kurt Vile in crossing over from the Americana world and becoming a main stream star.

Eyes On The Lines is out June 3rd via Matador Records. Steve Gunn has no UK shows planned as of yet but plays dates in Europe and US, click HERE for details.

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