Five Things We Liked This Week – 22/07/2016

Further listening: Rattle, Dead RabbitsSewage Farm, My Morning Jacket, Fiona Brice, Darling Cora, Black Surf, Joyce DelaneyWild Beasts, PWR BTTM, Mandolin OrangeParrots, Soundwalk Collective, Lisa Prank and S.M. Wolf.

5. Pills, Thrills And Vagabonds

Not to be confused with homophonous post-Pistols project of Johnny Rotten, New York’s Pill are a four-piece band who formed in Brooklyn, and will release their debut album, Convenience, next month via Mexican Summer. Based on the accompanying press release the band are very keen, like so many other bands, that nobody try and pigeon hole them: with a sound this fresh that’s not likely.

This week the quartet have shared the latest track from their debut album, Vagabond. The track builds around an anxious driving proto-punk beat but takes a step into jazzy territory via the fluttering saxophones and syncopated rhythms of the middle section; the seemingly discordant ideas are held together by the anxious, impassioned vocal yelp of singer Veronica Torres. Pill’s is a dark, claustrophobic sound, an unashamedly difficult, but rewarding listen. Listening to the band it’s clear Convenience finds Pill looking at the world and finding much to be angry about, as they put it, “this is a time and a place in which convenience is delivered and returned for store credit. This is a time for Pill.”

Convenience out August 19th via Mexican Summer. Pill are currently on a very short US tour, click HERE for details.

4. Cowtown Tweak Their Sound

Cowtown have been a fixture on the Leeds music scene pretty much since they formed some twelve years ago. Next month they will release their fourth album, Paranormal Romance, the recording process being something of a Leeds DIY-Scene triumph. It was recorded during the cities flooding, which hit producer MJ’s Suburban Home Studio, and as such was recorded in Cowtown’s practice space, before being mastered by Forward Russia’s Tom Woodhead – delightfully Leeds all round.

This week Cowtown have shared their new single, Tweak. The track is a delightfully energetic blast, all rapid clanking guitars and steady beats, with an “oh-way-oh” chorus which is arguably lifted directly from The Bangle’s lyrically questionable hit, Walk Like An Egyptian. Tweak lasts a mere minute and a half, which is probably the ideal length for this delicious slice of pop-tinged punk. Discussing their new album Paranormal Romance, Cowntown have cited bands like The Coneheads, Devo and The Breeders, as well as films such as Teen Wolf and Ghostbusters as influences, which is a wonderfully hard to imagine amalgamation of things, next month we’ll get to find out if those references make any sense at all.

Paranormal Romance is out August 19th via The Audacious Art Experiment & Hot Salvation (with Happy Happy Birthday To Me handling the US release). Click HERE for details of all upcoming Cowtown shows.

3. The Order Of Mice

Maybe it’s all the gorgeous sunshine doing the rounds across the UK this week, but one listen to The Order Of Things, the new single from Field Mouse, had us wanting to take a running jump into whatever cool body of water is nearby. It’s a delightfully laid-back blast of hazy harmonies, driving drums and echoing electric guitars; a slice of guitar pop-perfection that Jenny Lewis or Evan Dando would be proud to call their own.

The Order Of Things is lifted from Field Mouse’s upcoming second album, Episodic. That album is out next month via Topshelf Records, and whilst it features guest slots from Alisson Crutchfield (Waxahatachee) and Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz), Episodic is an album that should mark Field Mouse out as stars in their own right.

Episodic is out August 5th via Topshelf Records.  Field Mouse are spending the summer touring throughout the US, click HERE for details.

2. Hang Holly In The Corner Of Your Mind

Brighton might not be the obvious place to discover a great new alt-country talent, but thankfully it was where Bella Union‘s Simon Raymonde went searching. There at an open-mic night he stumbled across a 20 year old Irish-born, Yorkshire bred singer by the name of Holly Macve; Simon recalls how on opening her mouth Holly silenced a crowd of “beery boys.” The rest, as they may well soon say, is history.

Whilst no details have yet been shared of a full length album, Holly has been working with the likes of Bill Ryder-Jones and Lanterns On The Lake‘s Paul Gregory. This week, Holly has shared the video for her stunning new single, Corner Of My Mind. The track is a thing of haunting beauty; the gentle tick of an acoustic guitar, embellishments of piano and electric guitar, and slap bang in the foreground is Holly’s magical voice. Her tone recalls Marissa Nadler, her melodies Imogen Heap, her inflections First Aid Kit; it’s a truly special instrument, and one it seems inevitable the world will be hearing a lot more of in the future.

You can catch Holly Macve at a number of festivals this summer, click HERE for details.

1. Gurr or The Whale

Gurr are the Berlin duo of Andreya Casablanca and Laura Lee, two names that to our ears sound wonderfully like character in an F.Scott Fitzgerald novel. The band are set to release their debut album, In My Head, later this year and this week have shared the latest taste in the shape of new track, Moby Dick.

Whilst we’re not quite sure what the relevance of Herman Melville’s White Whale is to the proceedings, we know a really cracking tune when we hear one, and on Moby Dick the band step away from their previous grungy experimentation into more subtle musical territory. There’s a laid-back West Coast feel to the track; drums rush by in a ceaseless twitching rhythm as the prominent melodic bass propels the whole track along, and the perfect if insubstantial guitar line adds some harmonious beauty to proceedings. The music almost seems to serve to emphasise the vocal, which holds a quiet melancholy but also a muted energy, the words tumbling out rapidly but with a sense of care and pose. Gurr has suggested the track is about having to deal with one’s own ignorance, but it sounds anything but ignorant.

In My Head is out October 14th on Duchess Box Records. Although they’re currently all in Germany, click HERE for all upcoming Gurr dates.

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