Further Listening: Feature, ULTRAS, Bonnie Prince Billy, Chastity Belt, Dead Naked Hippies, Justus Proffit, The Creak, Lucia Scansetti, The Spirit Of The Beehive, Wilding, Izzy Heltai, Mark Lanegan, Juan de Fuca, Public Service Broadcasting Ft. Tracyanne Campbell, Darren Hayman, Gold Connections, TOPS, Many Voices Speak, Just Friends And Lovers, Billy Moon, Moon Duo, Wolf Solent, No Vacation, Mellah, Me and The Bees, Fleet Foxes, PWR BTTM, Real Estate, Talay, TW Walsh, High Sunn, Night Talks, The Hernies, Kraków Loves Adana and the superb new Jeff Tweedy produced track from Joan Shelley.
5. Pip Pip
We couldn’t decide which songs by a woman named Pip we liked more, so we thought we’d just cover both of them!
Amsterdam native, Pip Blom has this week returned with a brand new single, I Think I’m In Love, the follow-up to last year’s EP, Are We There Yet? Bringing to mind the likes of the Duke Spirit, I Think I’m In Love is a winning combination of fuzzy vocals, sweet harmonies and an incredibly catchy chorus.
Teenage songwriter Pip Hall has been a regular feature on this site since she came to our attention with the brilliant single Devil You Don’t, back at the end of last year. Today marks the release of her brand new EP, and this week Pip has shared the title track, James. The track is named after Pip’s father, who died when she was very young, and focuses on her struggles to accept this loss, as Pip explains, “I’d often come up with scenarios in my head that involved him being in hiding or playing a joke on us and that it was all just a really elaborate plan to test me”. Musically it builds around a slow, repeated ripple of drums, woozy electronic elements and prominent, propulsive guitar line. A deeply moving, and remarkably sophisticated piece of songwriting from one of this year’s break-out acts : now go and get your copy of Pip’s EP immediately.
Pip Blom’s track, I Think I’m In Love is out March 17th via Toaster Records – click HERE for more information.
Pip Hall’s EP, James, is out today via My Little Empire Records – click HERE for more information.
4. The Captain Is Dead – Long Live The Coathangers
We’re reliably informed that not much exciting happens in Atlanta. Thankfully the best part of a decade ago, The Coathangers became the exception to the rule, and the dynamic trio continue to impress with their effortless blending of infectious enthusiasm and song-writing craft. This week the band have announced the release of an upcoming EP, Parasite, as well as sharing the record’s third track, Captain’s Dead.
Discussing the influence behind the track Julia Kugel, the band’s guitarist and vocalist explains, “sometimes people that you trust fail you miserably by falling victim to their own ego. They start believing their own hype, fancy themselves a leader, but they lead nothing“. A personal track, that none the less sits concurrently as a musing on the current political landscape. Musically it’s a riotous slice of garage rock, all tumbling bass lines and steady, pounding drum beats, while the vocals combines the raw energy of punk and a distinctive lilting quality, with a hint of country rock about it. The Coathangers may have been perfecting their craft for a long time, but somehow you get the feeling they’re only just getting started.
Parasite EP is out June 30th via Suicide Squeeze. The Coathangers tour the UK in May, click HERE for live dates and more information.
3. Michael Nau Is A Good Thing
Establishing himself as a fresh contender for the hardest working man in show-business, Maryland’s Michael Nau has this week announced details of his latest album, Some Twist. The record follows hot on the heels of last year’s break-through album, Mowing, and will be accompanied by dates on both sides of the Atlantic.
As well as detailing the release of Some Twist, Michael has also given the world a taste of his new material in the shape of the single, Good Thing. Good Thing invites the listener into a world of meandering bass lines, rich, echoing piano chords and Michael’s world-weary vocal, that fans of Kevin Morby are bound to fall for. The track builds to something of a crescendo of percussion and distant distortion, as Michael wryly sings, “the bird flies life in a happier frame, maybe it just learned to be alive and not regret the pain”. Whilst we would urge caution to any musician who’s being so recklessly prolific as Michael Nau, we must admit we’d happily have music this good every day from now until eternity.
Some Twist is out June 16th via Suicide Squeeze. Michael Nau tours the UK later this month, click HERE for details.
2. Meilyr Jones Keeps Watch
Another artists who’s wasting no time following up a successful 2016, is Welsh-maestro, Meilyr Jone. Following the release of the near universally acclaimed 2013, Meilyr has barely stopped touring, but this week has shared the first new material since that record, in the shape of what appears to be a stand-alone single, Watchers.
Watchers is a typically ambitious project. Meilyr portrays himself as a heartbroken man, who lost his wife to the ravages of the sea and now wanders the cliffs with fallacious hope of seeing her one more time. Musically it’s a lush orchestral number, Meilyr attempting to use the various parts of his 30-strong orchestra to conjure up the sound of the tumultuous sea, the flailing sea-birds battling the winds and the man, lonely and at the centre of it all. It ends with Meilyr’s chilling repeated statement, “watchers, watch out”, as if the man is urging us all to avoid his harrowing fate. Meilyr Jones is surely the most singular and unique mind currently working in music, and that he can wrap these concepts up into music you actually want to listen to, well it’s nothing short of a genius in action.
2013 is out now via Moshi Moshi. Click HERE for more information and upcoming live dates.
1. You Can Count on Girlpool
How do you cope with your life being turned upside down by unexpected success? This was the question facing Girlpool after the release of their critically acclaimed debut album, 2015’s Before The World Was Big. The duo of Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker, Girlpool suddenly found their life went from just out of high school straight into the duality of the on/off life of a touring band. It is those experiences that inspired and influenced the songs which are now coming towards the light, in the shape of the bands second album Powerplant.
This week ahead of that release, the paid have shared 123 the first taste of Powerplant. As well as their return, 123 also marks their first track featuring a drummer, the bands friend Miles Winter, which marks a noteworthy shift in the bands minimal dynamic. As ever the real joy in Girlpool’s music is the organic synthesis of the two voices, they sound almost like one couldn’t exist without the other, as if their melodies only exist when placed alongside their natural harmonious counterpart. The addition of drums thankfully doesn’t clutter their sound, and they remain every bit as charmingly unique as ever; 123 is simultaneously a welcome return and a tantalising glimpse of what’s to come – thank goodness for Girlpool.
Powerplant is out May 12th via Anti- Records. Click HERE for more information and all upcoming Girlpool live dates.