Five Things We Liked This Week – 01/09/2016

Further Listening: Tasseomancy, Chain WalletMolly BurchDevendra Banhart,  Twist, Blue Foundation ft. Mark KozelekCross Country, The WolfhoundsMartha Wainwright, Jenny HvalWilcoThe Radio Dept., False Advertising and Communions.

5. The September Women

Parisian pop connoisseurs La Femme are set to release their new album, Mystère, later this month and have this week shared the video for their new single, Septembre. The video is a beautifully shot trip to the beach, a beautifully hazy, over exposed beauty, haven’t got a clue what it’s about mind.

Septembre is a fabulous track, featuring a wonderful guest appearance from vocalist, Angela Hureau. This is a classy slab of sophisti-pop, all easy going bass pulse, ticking drums and what sound suspiciously like Sleigh Bells, while Angela’s vocal is simply divine. The tracks builds via a motorik beat and quietly imposing synths, then slowly seems to unwind into a blissful, fade of an outro.  French music has always had a certain charm to us Brits, but with recent events it seems now to be laced with a fiery determination and desire to keep going in the face of whatever the world throws at it, and La Femme might just be the finest distillation of Paris’ contrasting glamour and grit.

Mystère is out September 2nd via Disque Pointu. Click HERE for all upcoming La Femme dates.


4. Give Midlake A Fair Trial

It’s with an incredible sense of “how is that so long ago” that we bring news of Midlake’s sublime second album, The Trials Of Van Occupanther being ten years old next month. Bella Union are marking the occasion with a swanky deluxe reissues featuring two previously un-released tracks.

This week the band have shared the first of those tracks, in the shape of The Fairest Way. The tracks date back to before vocalist Tim Smith left the band, and as such may well be the last material that surfaces from the bands original line up. The Fairest Way is the sort of pastoral, psych-folk that infused so much of the original record; Tim’s heartbreaking vocal, wistful flutes and the slow but powerful beat of the rhythm section, and even ten years on those Laurel Canyon-inspired vocal harmonies have lost none of their shimmering charm. The Trials Of Van Occupanter is a record that has continued to shine with age, an album that sounded timeless at release and remains fresh and inspiring – it’s a masterpiece.

The Trials of Van Occupanther Deluxe Reissue is out October 28th via Bella Union.

3. Boys Forever are going Underground

Boys Forever is the solo project of former Veronica Falls member Patrick Doyle. Earlier this summer he released a debut album, entitled Boys Forever, and later this month he’s heading out on tour with our favourite Australian’s The Goon Sax.

Marking the occasion, Boys Forever have this week shared the video to new single, Underground. While the video deals in cults, picnics and wigs, the song is an altogether more intriguing affair. Underground is a beautiful, shuffling pop song, the kind of thing Pete Astory or The Go-Betweens made enitre careers out of. A blur of shuffling beats, laid-back guitar lines, and lackadaisical vocals, it’s perfect in its simplicity. As sadly missed as Veronica Falls are the new projects from the members all seem to be great which is making life a lot easier. Talking of which….

Boys Forever’s self-titled album is out now via Amour Foo. Boys Forever tour the Uk latest this month, click HERE for details.

2. Ultimate Painting Are On A Roll(ing Stone)

Ultimate Painting are the duo of  Veronica Falls’ James Hoare and Mazes’ Jack Cooper. They describe themselves as two singular voices, whose sounds have slowly blended into something considerably more focused than you might imagine.

The pair are set to release their new album, Dusk, at the end of the month, and have this week shared a new single, Song For Briand Jones. The sound of Ultimate Painting is fascinating, at once familiar, but not quite like anyone, there’s shades of the steady pulse of krautrock , a very English wistfulness with an almost Kinks-like vocal inflexion, and a production style that’s sophisticated and crisp but still somehow unpolished. It’s simply timeless alt-pop, and in our eyes that’s pretty much perfection.  If their debut record, Green Lanes, was an intriguing introduction to Ultimate Paiting, Dusk might just be the sound of a band coming good on all that promise.

Dusk is out September 30th via Trouble In Mind. Ultimate Painting tour the UK at the end of the month, click HERE for details.

1. Take Itasca For A Spin

Itasca, aka Southern Californian songwriter Kayla Cohen, has this week shared her new single, Carousel, the latest to be lifted from her upcoming album, Open To Chance. Kayla cites the influence of Robert Creeley’s poem, Kore, as a major inspiration for her new record, one of a string of impressively high brow refrences in her press release, that we must admit took us a few reads to get out head around.

Thankfully what’s not confusing, is the music. Carousel is a classic folk-pop song, with just Kayla at a piano, and the gentle pulse of a distant slide guitar, like a long lost Joni Mitchell track penned with Neil Young as his most wistful. Lyrically the track is all together more stressful, Kayla singing about the importance of escaping the grind of everyday life and reminding yourself what’s important in life. An intriguing introduction to an artist, who with dates supporting Ryley Walker on the way, might just prove to be one of the years break out stars.

Open To Chance is out on 30 September via Paradise of Bachelors. Itasca tours the UK in November with Ryley Walker, click HERE for details.

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