Or more accurately – five things we liked in the last fortnight…
Further Listening: The Cut Losses, Jackson Browne, Jason Nolan, The Lovely Eggs, Furr, Pavo Pavo, Jenny Hval, Matt Berry, Let’s Eat Grandma, Black Flowers Cafe, Agnes Obel, Wolf People, Earth Heart, Adult Future, Gurr, Tom Brosseau, Whitney, Martha, Tall Ships, Softspot, Vanessa Anne Redd, Pascal Pinon, Adam Torres, Shana Falana, Kevin Crautner, Amber Arcades, Dark Mean, The Coathangers, Be, Luke Roberts, American Wrestlers, Sacred Paws, Hinds, Baba Naga, Lanterns On The Lake, Bamboo, Terry Malts, Peeling, House Of Wolves, Goat Girl, The Wytches, Young Romance, Blood Sport, Dirty Projectors, Holy Sons, Fair Mothers ft. Kathryn Joseph, Risley, Billy Moon and Forth Wanderers.
5. Sweaty Goons
It’s been an excellent year so far for teenage Australian trio The Goon Sax; they’ve released a critically acclaimed debut album, Up To Anything, and are about to embark on their first UK tour, as well as performing on national radio for Marc Riley. To celebrate their first trip to Europe, the band have shared a video for their sublime new single, Sweaty Hands.
In many ways Sweaty Hands is classic The Goon Sax, effortlessly inviting the listener into the world of teenage romance with all its awkwardness, boredom and self-doubt. Sweaty Hands is one of the albums finest moments, from the primal drum beat to the rolling bass lines its melodic simplicity shines, as Louis’ lyrics take us on a tour of his neighbourhood, his mind constantly drifting back to an un-introduced, “you”. His ability to make the most everyday situation sound like some grand romantic quandary is un-flashily stunning, “I think about you in the elevator alone, and all the things I won’t say when I get home”. It will be intriguing to see how the nuances of their new found fame affect the music of The Goon Sax, but for now their ability to perfectly paint portraits on the mundane details of real life remains arguably their trump card.
Up To Anything is out now via Chapter Music. The Goon Sax’s UK tour starts next week, click HERE for details.
4. Kevin Starts The Tiny Fire
We’ve praised Kevin Morby enough for you to already know that his album Singing Saw is unquestionably one of the finest released in 2016. This week for little reason, other than that he fancied it, Kevin has shared a new recording, Tiny Fires.
Recorded at the same time as Singing Saw, Tiny Fires is unique in that it is the only track recorded with Kevin’s current touring band, whom you’ll be able to see on his European tour in November. A swooning blast of Americana, Tiny Fires blends Kevin’s acoustic strum with a rich sound-bed of gentle percussion and pulsing bass; the closing crescendo, resplendent with howling slides and clattering percussion might just be the most thrilling moment he’s put to tape yet. A timely reminder of just what a talented songwriter Kevin is, Tiny Fires might not have much purpose, but it’s rather lovely anyway.
Singing Saw is out now via Dead Oceans. Kevin Morby tours Europe in November, click HERE for details.
3. Making Waves In The Pool
It was only a few weeks back we were celebrating news of an upcoming Wave Pictures record, Bamboo Diner In The Rain. This week the band have shared the second cut from that record, in the shape of Pool Hall, their ode to their favourite late night activity, now sadly lost to the world.
The Wave Pictures aren’t always the most obviously political band, but something seems to have stirred in David Tattersall of late, and Bamboo Diner In The Rain might just be their most angry to date. Discussing Pool Hall, David notes, “we live in a bankrupt culture, one that celebrates bongo pop morons and largely ignores the real thing. So we can’t really be surprised anymore when our pool halls get shut down. Everyone is staying home, interfacing with their machines.” A contempt for the way the world is going seems to seep into the music; David celebrates the way the track slows as it reaches its final minute, “you won’t find a click-track at any of our recording sessions. I choose instead to think of this as a deepening of the groove, as occurs in the last minute of “Speedo” by The Cadillacs, the greatest record ever made.” Some might see The Wave Pictures as luddites, waving their blues riffs like pitchforks as they try to hold back the tide of musical robots, peddling their future-ready, electro-pop stylings – we prefer to see them as a timely reminder that wherever music goes, there’s still room for a human heart at its core.
Bamboo Diner In The Rain is out November 11th via Moshi Moshi. The Wave Pictures tour the UK in November and December, click HERE for details.
2. The Pressure Of Patience
Patience, aka Roxanne Clifford of Veronica Falls fame, released her debut single, The Church, earlier this year, and it not only almost instantly sold out, it also received near unanimous acclaim and an unstoppable wave of hype. That it was very good helped of course, as is her second single, The Pressure, which she shared earlier this week.
The Pressure takes the listener back to the hey-day of synth-pop, pitched somewhere between the electronica of The Human League and the indie-pop of The Pastels. In the best way possible The Pressure sounds a bit like a soundtrack to a 1980’s documentary about the future, all icy electronic production and sweet, multi-layered vocals; its triumphantly walks the line of harmony and other worldliness. Patience remains a virtue as we await details of a full length release, but by the time it does come round to being released, the wave of hype might just be deservedly unstoppable.
The Pressure is out September 30th via Night School Records.
1. Tancred Pens A New Song
Tancred, aka New England resident Jess Abbott, released their third, and finest album to date, earlier this year and will shortly be heading over to this side of the Atlantic to promote it. To whet appetites ahead of that tour, Tancred have this week shared the video to new single, Pens. The video is an homage to horror movies, featuring the seemingly omnipresent Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz; discussing the idea behind the video Jess notes, “I wanted evil to seem really seductive and just take me with it. But evil is still evil no matter how sexy it is so I still needed to die at the end.”
Putting aside the video, Pens is primarily just a rollickingly good pop song. It opens with a muted strum of electric guitar, Jess’ vocal sways into earshot as rolling toms beat a primal rhythm behind her. Like so many songwriters at the moment, Jess’ music transports the listener back to the alt-rock world of the late 1990’s, but Jess injects it with enough fresh melodic hits and lyrical ideas to lift it way above a pastiche. Jess has suggested that Out Of The Garden is a record about, “doing what you want, what you need, without letting anything or anyone stop you – and smiling while you do it.” Fine advice, and if everyone else sounds this good following it, then all the better.
Out Of The Garden is out now via Polyvinyl Records. Tancred tours the UK in November, click HERE for details.