Five Things We Liked This Week – 19/08/2016

Further Listening: Adam Torres, Breathe Panel, Astronauts, Resina, Lisa Hannigan, Tigercats, PWR BTTMBlueprint Blue, Eros & Eschaton, September GirlsPavo Pavo, Luxury DeathEzra FurmanWL, Beds In Parks, Annabel AllumMarching Church, Weaves, Kyle Craft, Colin Newman, Sunshine & The Blue MoonThe Tallest Man On Earth, Hiva Oa, Twist, Ira Lawrence, Sam EvianMakeout Point, TeenCanteen, Hazel English,  OmniRainbow Reservoir,  and the superb new video from Steven James Adams.

5. Get To The Bones Of Polykite

Polykite are a five piece band from Melbourne, the latest in a run of excellent Australian music that is both very welcome and slightly unexpected. They formed back in 2013 after meeting in Melbourne’s fertile live-scene, they’ve spent the subsequent three years hauled up in a Northcote garage readying themselves to take a crack at this music thing.

This week the band have shared debut single Bones, and it was well worth the three year wait. Building from a pulsing bass, via soaring, reverb drenched vocals, percussive piano melodies and subtle, stuttering percussion; it’s a delightful slice of expansive dream-pop with nods in the direction of Lanterns On The Lake or Explosions In The Sky. Signed to new London label, Cloud Of Hiss, the band are set to release a debut EP, Primordial, later this year, mark us down as intrigued.

Bones is out September 9th via Cloud Of Hiss. 

4. A Roaring Hand

We must admit that Ari Roar’s self-titled EP from last year entirely passed us by, but we’re reliably informed it was excellent. This week though Ari, a songwriter who has recently re-located to Seattle, shared a new single, Karate Again, lifted from an upcoming EP, Patch Me Up.

Karate Again is a beautiful piece of downbeat bedroom pop, building on gentle percussion, twinkling keyboards and lightly strummed guitars, it hints at the lonely melancholy of Elvis Depressedly, but also the melodic adventures of Grizzly Bear. We might not know much (anything) about Ari Roar, but we do know this sounds very exciting indeed.

Patch Me Up out September 27th via Golden Brown. Click HERE to pre-order.

3. LVLing the Driveway

Next month will see American quartet, LVL UP release their third album, Return To Love, their first record for the legendary Sub Pop imprint. They’re a band who share songwriting duties among all the members, and admit they often have different visions for their sound, but a collective drive manages to tie their music into something that makes more sense than you’d perhaps imagine.

This week the band have shared the albums opening track, Hidden Driver. The track is a fine example of the bands diverse influences, combining to noisy lo-fi of No Age, with the energetic acoustic thrust of Neutral Milk Hotel. Lyrically it explores the balancing act of spirituality and creativity; the chorus repeating the phrase, “god is peeking, softly speaking” as the increasingly chaotic melee of ideas swell around the vocal and engulf it in sound. There’s a pressure that comes with signing to a label like Sub Pop, but LVL UP seem to be making the jump with ease, now let’s hope they make plans to leap across the pond and see us in the UK sometime soon.

Return To Love is out September 23rd via Sub Pop. LVL UP tour the US starting in September – click HERE for details.

2. Can Kiran Fix It? Coayacán

To paraphrase legendary darts commentator, the late Sid Wadell; when Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer….. Kiran Leonard is only 20. Despite his tender age, Kiran seems to have perfected pretty much every genre of music you can imagine. This week though he surprised us once more with a new track, Coayacán, which sounds absolutely nothing like anything he’s done before.

The first new material since his critically acclaimed album Grapefruit, Coaycán is a slice of glitchy, cut and paste trip-hop, in the mould of DJ Shadow or The Avalanches. Twitchy pulses of saxophones, 1930’s cinematic strings and processed beats flutter around Kiran’s always passionate vocal. According to Kiran it’s about “Trotsky and his wife, at home in Mexico City, lamenting infighting on the left, in spite of a beautiful world rampant with tyrants.” The track is an off-cut from the Grapefruit sessions, and will appear alongside other unreleased material on a limited edition handmade CD-R available at all his upcoming shows, as if there weren’t already enough reasons to go and see him! Can anyone show us a more intriguing artist than Kiran Leonard? We very much doubt one exists.

Garden In Bermuda is limited to 75 copies available only at Kiran’s upcoming shows, click HERE for details of those shows.

1. Do Let Julia Win

We have no idea what the Blue Mountains in Australia are like, but they sound beautiful; as does the music of Julia Jacklin, a hugely talented songwriter who hails from them. This week Julia has shared her new single, Coming Of Age, which is the latest track to be lifted from her upcoming album, Don’t Let The Kids Win.

Coming Of Age is probably the most obvious and loud Julia has sounded, building around an easy rhythm and over-driven guitars, both musically and lyrically it suggests a kinship with Margaret Glaspy. Discussing the track Julia notes, “It’s about the need for a new muse when one has given you all it can. It’s also like a mirror pep talk. Looking at yourself in the mirror and saying, “Come on girl!”, stop fretting over the passing of time and just get to work.” There’s plenty of work to come, with months of touring in America, Europe and her native Australia, this is almost certainly not going to be the last we hear of Julia Jacklin, which from what we’ve heard so far can only be a good thing.

Don’t Let The Kids Win is out October 7th via Transgressive Records. Julia plays a handful of festivals before touring with Whitney in November, click HERE for details.

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