Further Listening: Alexander F, James Leonard Hewitson, FEWS, Deep State, Meursault, Lambchop, Lowly, L.A. Witch, Team Picture, Imaginary People, Participant, Froth, Band Practice, Allred & Broderick, Personal Best, Cass McCombs, Ali Burress, Deep Throat Choir, Frontier Ruckus, Family Friends, Tonstartssbandht, Superorganism, Jealous Of The Birds & Ryan Vail, Lunch Ladies, The Paperhead, Real Estate, Rainbrother, Father John Misty, Jade Jackson, Timid, the Brave, Promised Land Sound, Ela Minus and the brilliant new single from Peaness.
5. A Double Helping of Angel Delight
It’s not long since Angel Olsen released My Woman, one of 2016’s finest albums, but in the spirit of staying very busy indeed, this week we’ve got not one, but two new offerings from St Louis’ finest daughter. The first is a brand new video to My Woman’s closing track, Pops. A slightly off-kilter piano ballad, Pops served as the emotional send off to My Woman, and it’s accompanied by a suitably atmospheric video, all foggy car rides, dusty old pianos in unlit, wood lined rooms and Angel’s far-away stare that seems to carry the weight of the world, as she concludes hauntingly, “Baby, don’t forget, don’t forget it’s our song, I’ll be the thing that lives in the dream when it’s gone”, before the tracks drifts way on a gorgeous piano outro.
Perhaps more intriguing to fans of Angel’s work though is a completely new track, Fly On Your Wall. The track is lifted from Our First 100 Days, a charity compilation album released daily to mark Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, and to raise money for charities that are under threat under his regime. Fly On Your Wall was an off-cut from the My Woman sessions, but it stands up well in it’s own right; Angel’s quivering, yet somehow powerful vocal, accompanied by steady, pounding drums and bass, and angular, wiry guitar work. Angel cites John Cale as an influence on the track, and while it’s not full blown Velvet Underground you can certainly feel some of the same dark, unease, as Angel repeats at the end, “a love never made is still mine, if only real in my mind.” 100 Days might be enough time for Politicians to change the world for the worse, but perhaps by coming together, it’s enough time for the people collectively to achieve something contrastingly incredible
4. Keto Is A Superstar
Keto, or Leah Sanderson to use her given name, is a self-styled lo-fi folk act from possibly our favourite midlands city, Nottingham. Keto garnered a decent amount of attention from both blogs and radio for her excellent 2016 EP, What We Do, and this week has shared a new single, Superstar.
Combining dextrous guitar picking, with swathes of lush strings, Superstar is musically sublime. The real star however is Leah’s vocal; a rich folky voice, with a world-worn quality that belies her tender years, we’re put in mind of the likes of Vashti Bunyan or Nina Nastasia, which is always a fine thing. Having already supported the likes of Aldous Harding, Tom Brosseau and Teleman, Keto will be heading on the road at the end of next month supporting Julia Jacklin- get along, this might just be the birth of a superstar.
Superstar is out February 17th. Catch Keto on tour with Julia Jacklin, click HERE for details.
3. Don’t Let H.Hawkline Be The Last Thing On Your Mind
Considering it’s almost two years since H.Hawkline released his last record, In The Pink Of Condition, it remains remarkably fresh in the mind. Since then there’s just been a single track, his excellent contribution to Heavenly Records’ 25th birthday compilation, that is until this week.
This week H.Hawkline has shared, Last Thing On Your Mind, released to coincide with an American tour with Devendra Banhart, the track is the first taste of his upcoming new album which will be out later this year. Featuring Cate Le Bon and Josiah Steinbrick, Last Thing On My Mind is a fine example of evolution not revolution. Many of the calling cards of his previous output remain, that rich, bassy, perfectly-Welsh vocal, the playful rhythms, the gently surreal vocals, but there’s also new ideas here, the uneasy, twinkling keys implying a love of 80’s electro-pop, while the bassline has all the propulsive, twitchy wonder of Field Music’s peculiarly British funk. A welcome return from one of our favourite outside-pop eccentrics, new music from H.Hawkline will never be the last thing on our minds.
H.Hawkline is on tour in the US with Devendra Banhart currently, he plays UK shows in April, click HERE for details.
2. Pip Hall Turns Over A New Leaf
One of our 17 for 2017, Preston’s ludicrously talented teen-songwriter Pip Hall is set to release a new EP, James, on My Little Empire in March. This week, ahead of that release Pip has shared the second taste of the record, with a brand new track, Turn Over.
Built around layers of melodic electric guitars, and sturdy percussion, Turn Over showcases a more moody indie-rock side to her craft than Pip’s previous output, but it suits her well and the layered vocals remain a harmonious treat. There’s shades of Honeyblood at their most groove-driven, or even 100 Broken Windows-era Idlewild. Like its predecessor, Devil You Don’t, Turn Over again showcases a young and talented musician with a huge future – remember the name Pip Hall.
James EP is out March 10th via My Little Empire.
1. Flick Through The Pages With Magana
Regular visitors to this site will be well aware of the music of Magana, the chosen moniker of Brooklyn songwriter Jeni Magana, who recently released Golden Tongue, our favourite EP of last year. With a string of upcoming dates in the US, Magana has wasted no time in puting new music into the world, and has this week shared a new single to coincide with the tour, entitled Pages.
Pages starts with a flurry of muted, driving guitars, that seem to breathe the song into life, before they’re joined by sweeter, swooping electrics and complex, driving percussion. While Golden Tongue existed in the realms of glittering alt-pop, Pages is a more primal beast, ragged squalling instrumentation paired with angry, pained lyricism as Jeni’s vocal seems to exist simultaneously as a whisper and a yell. It ends with Jeni noting, “we’re just pages of a story that now no-one will hear”, but the story of Magana is just beginning, and it’s already unputdownable.
Pages is available to download for free now via Audio Antihero. Click HERE for details of upcoming Magana shows.