Five Things We Liked This Week – 24/06/2016

This week’s further listening: Steady Holiday, Jay Arner, L.A. Salami, Lord Youth, Weaves, Teenage Fanclub, Mild High Club, J Churcher, DIVAN, Jenny Hval, Nite JewelPINS, No Joy, Player Piano, NOTS, Health & Beauty, Angelic Milk and Sigur Rós.

5. Breathe In The Music Of Lung Dart

Lung Dart, the London-based duo consisting of Tim Clay and James Rapson, have this week confirmed details of an upcoming mini-album, As I Lay Drying, which will come out at the end of the Summer on PRAH records.

Marking the announcement, the duo have also shared the first track to be lifted from it, in the shape of the rather anatomically named, Healthy Functional Tissue. The track is based around a simplistic piano motif, and the repeated multi-voiced harmony, “fool, you will find, you need a woman”, there’s shades of Bill Callahan or Lambchop in the booming, baritone vocal that takes the foreground. The track moves with a slow subtly but buried in its quiet evolution, is something remarkably beautiful. Lung Dart have suggested that their record is designed for listening to on headphones on the night bus home, but that would obviously involve staying up far later than this site would ever recommend.

As I Lay Drying is out via PRAH Records on September 2nd. The album will be proceeded by a “listening session-art instillation” in Peckham August 26th & 27th, and no we don’t really have a clue what that involves either.  

4. Don’t Laugh It’s Lucy Dacus

2016 is shaping up to be a very good year for Lucy Dacus, she’s already released her debut album, No Burden, to massed critical acclaim, but if the Richmond, Virginia songwriter thought that was as good as that album could get, Lucy has now teamed up with the legendary Matador Records, who will re-release the album physically later this year.

This week Lucy has also shared a brand new video for her track, I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore. The video is the classic life on the road documentation, which when you’re touring with the ilk of The Decemberists, Frightened Rabbit, Julien Baker, and Car Seat Headrest, is probably fair enough. I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore finds Lucy crashing out muted chords in the mould of Angel Olsen or Torres, while she shares a lyrical tale of wanting to give up being the funny one, to be the cute one, the best dressed, the smartest, or the artist. Ultimately it’s about a desire to be taken seriously, and there’s real heartache in the final line, “that funny girl, doesn’t want to smile for a while.” As well as No Burden’s upcoming re-release, September will also see a handful of UK dates for Lucy Dacus, it’s fair to say things are looking very bright for this hugely talented artist.

No Burden is out now digitially, with a physical re-issue via Matador Records. Lucy Dacus plays End Of The Road and London’s Old Blue Last in September, click HERE for details.

3. Expert Fools

Next month will see Baltimore indie-pop quartet Expert Alterations’ first ever UK tour; to whet fans appetite for those dates, the band have this week shared a video for new single, Such A Stupid Fool.

Such A Stupid Fool is lifted from the bands 2015 record, You Can’t Always Be Liked, which came out via Kanine Records. The track is a fine taster of what the band are capable of, a winning combination of lo-fi recording and jangle pop. Across it’s sub two minute running time it brings to mind the self-deprecating stylings of fellow indie-pop newcomers The Goon Sax, which we obviously entirely approve of. If you’ve been following our recommendations there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing Expert Alterations shortly as they’re playing dates with The Spook School and Flowers, as well as a slot at Indietracks festival, yet more reasons to head up to Derbyshire in July.

You Can’t Always Be Liked is out now via Kanine Records. Expert Alterations tour the UK in July, click HERE for details.

2. Wednesday’s Wedding Is Full Of Omni

Next month will see Trouble In Mind Records release Deluxe, the latest album by Atlanta trio Omni, who consist of former member of Deerhunter and Carnivores. This week they have shared their new single, Wednesday Wedding, and one listen will leave you unsurprised that the band cites the likes of Devo and Television as influences.

Wednesday Wedding is a track that, in many ways, exists beyond the traditional boundaries of rock music; they’re infused with the same paint outside the lines spirit that underpins the work of Cate Le Bon or H.Hawkline, and sound much better for not trying to stick to any sort of rule book. Avoiding the formulaic and four-four without resorting to throwing melody out of the window all together, Omni are just the sort of thrillingly angular band you never knew you were looking for.

Deluxe is out July 8th via Trouble In Mind Records. Omni only have North American dates at the moment, but click HERE to keep up to date with their movements.

1. Keaton’s New Track Is Alright

Poet, composer, visual artist and songwriter Keaton Henson, is perhaps unsurprisingly a busy man. That might well go some way to explaining why his upcoming album, Kindly Now, has been four years in the making. Keaton has described the record as his most emotionally stripped back record to date, and has hinted it’s, “an unheroic and unsettling examination of past loves, the role of the artist, and owning up to your own destruction.”

While we won’t here the fruits of Kindly Now’s recording until September, this week he has released the first taster of that music in the shape of new track, Alright. Venturing into new music from an artist as versatile and prolific at Keaton is always a thrilling prospect, but what truly shines on Alright is the beautiful simplicity of it all. There’s little more to the track than an echoing, raw piano, and Keaton’s arresting vocal, other instruments drift in and out of earshot, but the star is Keaton himself. Keaton has suggested the track is about the perils of success, the, “very English way of grinning through the pain” at having to be on display to earn the opportunity to make the music he wants to, as he sings, “don’t make me go outside, god knows what out there lies, I’m hoping I don’t die after you.” Emotionally honest, beautiful performed, it’s one of the most atmospheric and beautiful tracks we’ve heard all year, and ironically one that is only going to project Keaton even further into fame’s unerring spotlight.

Kindly Now is out September 16th via Play It Again Sam. Keaton Henson plays London in November, click HERE for details.

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