Five Things We Liked This Week – 18/11/2016

Further Listening: Palm Honey, Woodes, Kindling, Bambi Lou, Girl Ray, Young Romance, Imaginary People, Arborist, Kevin Krauter, Cavegreen, Minihorse, Living Body, Lilah Larson, Menace Beach, Desperate Journalist, False Advertising, Ty Segall, Jealous Of The Birds, NOTS, Peach Club, Haste, Agnes Obel, Aaron Lee Tasjan, The Trouble With Templeton, Thom Hell, Rubblebucket, Patchwork Guilt, Georgia Ruth, Brandon Can’t Dance, Delafaye, Cloves, Robocobra Quartet, The Molochs, Jesca Hoop and a new video from Horse Thief.

5. You’ll Fall (Apart) For Totally

London quintet Totally only formed at the back-end of 2015, but on the back of some high-profile support slots and a pair of lo-fi demos, they’ve already caught the ears of an ever-growing audience. This week the band, who feature former members of Ex-Lovers and Feathers, have shared their debut single, Falling Apart, which will be out today via Art Is Hard; seemingly on a pin badge, no we don’t really get it either but we definitely want one.

Having recorded early demos with Sauna Youth’s Lindsay Corstorphine, and featured in the Pete Astor live band, Totally have impressive DIY-scene credentials, but their influences stretch way beyond their back door, incorporating the likes of, “sixties girl groups, Australian guitar pop and 90’s R & B.” Falling apart pairs a soulful, R&B flecked lead vocal, with the sort of distant harmonies Midlake perfected on The Trials Of Van Occupanther; while the steady tick of drums underlay meandering, expansive guitar work – the result is a track that doesn’t really sound like anything else. Falling Apart might be a slightly damning title for a debut single, but here’s hoping Totally keep it together for a while yet – very promising.

Falling Apart is out today via Art Is Hard Records. Click HERE for all upcoming Totally shows.

4. Pip Hall Adds Some Soul To The Devil

Pip Hall is a frankly ludicrously talented 16-year-old songwriter, who may well already be our favourite musician ever to come out of Preston. Pip self-released her three-track debut EP, Sisters, earlier this year. The record caught the ear of many, including the good folk at My Little Empire Records, who snapped up Pip’s signature and will release her new EP, the excellently named, James EP.

We’ll have to wait until March to hear the whole EP, but ahead of its release Pip has this week shared the first taste of the record, Devil You Don’t. The track builds around a pulsating bass line, and fluttering, buzzing synths as Pip’s remarkably mature vocal huskily soars above the rich sound bed. It walks a remarkable path of sounding like the incredibly modern recording of someone who learnt to make music on an ipad, but simultaneously suggesting a liking for classic pop from Fleetwood Mac to Annie Lennox. Listening to this track you can only see a hugely bright future for Pip, a star in the making.

James is out March 10th via My Little Empire Records.

3. Stanley Is Right Down My Alley

One of the most prolific songwriters we’ve come across, Stanley Brinks, aka André Herman Düne, is set to release yet another album early next year on Fika Recordings.  Vieilles Caniques/Nouvelles Caniques is Stanley’s latest double album, and finds him collaborating once more with Norwegian Folk collective The Kanicks.

Ahead of the release Stanley Brinks and The Kanicks have shared a new single, Right Down My Alley. Showcasing a new stripped back Kanicks sound, consisting of just fiddle and banjo, Right Down My Alley is a typically idiosyncratic offering; the lo-fi recording of the banjo takes you ear back to the early days of vaudevillian recordings, while the lyrics touch on the cab decorating choices of bus drivers, loves ability to overcome shyness and the dangers of not getting someone’s address; all in just over two minutes. Stanley has suggested the record is a collection of, “modern day folk tales of love, loss and mischief”, which were recorded in Egersund in south west Norway and inspired by, “midnight sun, midnight swims and midnight beers”; nice work if you can get it!

The double album Vieilles Caniques/Nouvelles Caniques is out January 13th via Fika Recordings. 

2. Squirrel Flower Make Contact

Squirrel Flower is the solo project from Boston songwriter Ellä Williams. This week Ellä has shared Midwestern Clay, the latest track to be lifted from her upcoming EP, Contact Sports, which is out early next month.

The standout here is Ellä’s stunning vocal, powerful and dextrous, it drifts above the bassy minimal musical soup below with the sort of melodies that bring a tear to your eye long before you’ve even got a clue what the song is about. Lyrically it’s a track wrought with doubt, heartache and the overwhelming power of uncertainty; Ellä’s voice soars towards the track’s spine tingling finale as she repeats, “I’ve got no idea what I’m doing here but I’m here ’cause I got no place else to be.” Even better than the stunning first taste of the record, Not Your Prey, it’s fair to say Squirrel Flower is an artist well worth getting excited about, and Contact Sports might just make a late dash towards being of 2016’s most intriguing releases.

Contact Sports is out December 8th via It Takes Time Records. 

1. Novella Change State On New Single

As well as being the name of a short fictional book, Novella is also the musical project from a quartet of talented Londoners, and the band have this week announced details of their new album, Change Of State. The follow up to 2015’s Land, Change Of State was recorded with one of our favourite producers James Hoare, who has produced the likes of Pete Astor, as well as being a member of Veronica Falls and Ultimate Painting.

Ahead of releasing Change Of State early next year, Novella have this week shared the title track. Equal parts 60’s Girl Group, urgent indie-pop and prog-tinged dirge; Change Of State sounds like the offspring of The Beta Band and Nancy Sinatra, which is obviously great. The band have suggested Change Of State serves not just as a title, but as inspiration for the album, the band have watched as the United Kingdom changes both socially and politically in front of their eyes. We’ll find out next year whether Novella have charted the changing face of Brexit Britain: for now we’ve just got this very encouraging start to be getting on with.

Change Of State is out February 17th via Sinderlyn Records.

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