Five Things We Liked This Week – 17/02/2016

Further Listening: Imaginary Tricks, Kikagaku Moyo, OyamaSan Fermin, Isaac Gracie, Horsebeach, Ali Horn, Bene, DALLANWill Johnson, Jens Lekman, Emmy The Great, Monograms, Petite League, DEADBEAR, Viewfinder, The Asteroid Shop, The SolarsJade Jackson, The Orielles, Outside Your House and a superb Jackson C.Frank cover by Jason McNiff.

5. H.Grimace Call It Out

London quartet H.Grimace are making quiet waves currently with the bristling energy and anxious angularity of their take on post-punk. Their upcoming album, Self Architect is out next month, and this week they’ve shared their latest single, Call It Out.

Built around the twin guitar lines of Hannah Gledhill and Marcus Brown, Call It Out is a tense composition; propelled by skittering drum beats, looming industrial bass-lines, and Hannah’s robust, yelping vocal. Discussing the track the band have suggested it is inspired by a friend being drugged at a party, and morphed into a song, “about naming something you think should be said but are afraid to say”. Political, clever and a little bit angry, H.Grimace are the soundtrack 2017 needs.

Self Architect is out April 7th via Opposite Number. Click HERE for more information.

4. Low Horizons Invite Us To Their Funeral

Houston’s Low Horizon, originally formed back in 2010, but only really got going once two original members retired to become medics, and band-leader John Gottlieb set about re-recording their early material and sourcing new members. Now a quartet, Low Horizon are set to release their debut EP, Four Songs Too Long, next month, and have this week shared the single, Funeral.

Despite the fact John’s recruitment included a bass player who didn’t own a bass, and a clarinet player as a drummer, Low Horizon sound remarkably good. Described by the band as, “an anxious plea for a caring universe in the aftermath of an untimely death”, Funeral builds around driving drum beats, meandering guitar lines and some impressively catchy synths. John’s delicate vocal is reminiscent of Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo or Stephen Malkmus, laced with emotion, but more of a life-affirming yelp than a broken cry. A very promising start, from a band well worth keeping an eye on.

Four Songs Too Long is out April 21st. Click HERE for more information on Low Horzion.

3. Tara Jane O’Neil Delivers The Knockout Blow

While we must admit this is the first time we’ve heard of her, Tara Jane O’Neil is actually something of an old hand at this malarkey we call music. Tara’s debut album came out back in 2000, and since then she has released eight solo-albums, been a member of Rodan, the Sonora Pine and several other bands, as well as collaborating with countless other musicians. Yet somehow listening to Blow, the latest track to be lifted from her upcoming self-titled album, you feel that Tara might just be approaching her most important work to date.

Tara’s latest album was recorded between her home studio in California, and Wilco’s Loft Studio in Chicago, and features collaborations from the likes of Chris Cohen and Jim James, but it is Tara who deserves and captures the focus. Blow washes in on what sounds like distorted, distant horns, before the vocals and lead guitar line wash into view, the whole thing is a hazy wash of warmly melancholic beauty. It’s a track that is arrestingly serene; it pulls you out of the daily grind, and demands for four minutes that you stop and stare wistfully into the dappled, evening sunlight and simply listen. An incredibly promising offering from a rare musical talent, who seventeen years after her debut album, sounds as fresh and exciting as any artist we’ve heard this year.

Tara Jane O’Neil’s self-titled album is out April 21st via Gnomonsong Records. Click HERE for more information and upcoming tour dates.

2. Another World Another Magnetic Field

Magnetic Fields’ main man, Stephin Merritt, is no stranger to a sizeable project, his most famous album is after all a three disc, three-hour long, 69 song opus covering almost every aspect of love you can imagine. So writing an album of fifty songs, one for every year of your life, well that seems a pretty straight forward task in comparison. Started on his 50th birthday, 50 Song Memoir, which was released on Nonesuch last week, is in many ways his musical auto-biography. A treasure trove of non-fiction events; an intimidating but brilliant collection, it’s the sort of record you feel as a listener, you probably won’t truly get your head around for many months, years, even lifetimes to come.

This week to promote the release, The Magnetic Fields have shared videos for a number of tracks from the record, our favourite of which is, ’71 I Think I’ll Make Another World. Set when Stephin was six, it finds him dreaming of starting a new world, and the freedom that would come with his own planet, as he sings, “it may not start very large, but no-one else will be in charge”. Musically it builds around a gently strummed mandolin, and sonorous, soaring strings, a bit like Scott Walker if he ever did anything lo-fi. It’s a fine introduction to the 50 Song Memoir, a record which in time might just go down as Stephin’s finest work.

50 Song Memoir is out now via Nonesuch. Click HERE for more information on The Magnetic Fields.

1. The Dove and The Wolf Get Motion Sickness

Philadelphia based French duo Paloma Gil and Lou Hayat aka The Dove and The Wolf are set to re-release their debut EP, I Don’t Know What To Feel, later this month. Much of the record was inspired by returning to Paris in 2015 to renew their visas, an arduous process lasting two months, the duo were anxious to get back to the US to write, then the terrorist attacks happened. As Lou explains, “In the weeks after, nothing made sense anymore. We were so lost. Thank God we were still in Paris. It was important to be there in those weeks”. On returning to the US, the pair setting about I Don’t Know What To Feel, their response to the atrocity that had struck Paris.

Ahead of the EP’s re-release, The Dove and The Wolf have this week shared the latest offering from the record, Motion Sickness, one of two tracks that did not feature on the records original release. From an uneasy, lurching electronic buzz, emerge gentle, downbeat vocals that lift on the introduction of a frankly perfect vocal harmony. There’s a sense of that feeling of numbness that engulfed their home city, as they repeat the line, “we’re just going through the motions”. This numbness is matched in the production; the whole track seems to exist in a cloud of all-encompassing grief, as if the very instruments on which it is played are muffled, lost and unsure of anything anymore. A fine addition to I Don’t Know What To Feel, Motion Sickness is a raw, honest and beautiful track that comes from a place of hopelessness and loss, and yet somehow manages to lift something wonderful from it.

I Don’t Know What To Feel is out March 24th via Fat Possum. The Dove and The Wolf tour the UK in March with Jens Lekman, click HERE for all dates and more information.

 

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