Or more accurately five things we liked this fortnight…
Further Listening: Sweet Baboo, Kevin Morby, Hod & The Helpers, Tica Douglas, Wesley Gonzalez, Pipsy, James Leonard Hewitson, Wilsen, Canon Club, The Wooden Sky, The Districts, Noga Erez, Brödet, Twin Peaks, Alex G, Mac DeMarco, Harkin, Flasher, Ulrika Spacek, Beach Fossils, Walrus, Patchwork Guilt, Sloan Peterson, Hazel English, Line Gøttsche Dyrholm, Girlpool, Peter Perrett, Songs For Walter, Football, etc, Michael Nau, Joe Innes & The Cavalcade, Darren Hayman, The Americans, Fazerdaze, Tryptamines, EAT FAST, Joshua Burnside, Wy, Duncan Lloyd, Tuffet Bunnies, Low Chimes, PWR BTTM, Reptaliens, Amber Arcades, H.Grimace, Mermaidens, Wooden Wand, Abram Shook, Chloe Foy, Sea Pinks, Wooing, Diet Cig, Dama Scout, Natalie Bouloudis, Seadog and the latest track from H.Hawkline’s upcoming album, I Romanticize.
5. Human Behavior In The Miner Key
As confusing back stories to a song go, the new single from Human Behavior is right up near the top. Karima Walker was a touring member of the Tucson, Arizona drone-folk collective Human Behavior. Karima went on to form a solo project and released an album last year. Human Behavior’s new single is a cover of a Karima Waker song, Miner, featuring, you guessed it, Karima Walker on backing vocals. If you followed all that first time around you’re doing better with it than we are.
Thankfully beyond the back story, there’s plenty to admire in Human Behavior’s version of Miner. A long way removed from the original, Human Behavior’s interpretation builds around a gently meandering lead banjo line, accompanied by the most gorgeously woozy brass section and the back and forth vocals shared between Karima and collective leader Andres Parada – the whole track coming across like a lo-fi take on Dan Bejar’s project, Destroyer. The track is the first taste of Human Behavior’s upcoming release, Cancer: As Seen From The Basement, a record they describe as an accompaniment to last year’s album Kedumim. It’s a record you’ll have to get your hand on quickly, as it’s limited to just 50 blood-red cassettes and out tomorrow.
Cancer: As Seen From The Basement is out April 14th via Keeled Scales. Click HERE for more information on Human Behavior.
4. Breakfast With The Baby Boomers
Rebelling against the generation that came before you is quite possibly pop music’s oldest subject matter. Listening to Babyboomers, the new track from Breakfast Muff, it still seems to be entirely en vogue. The intriguingly named Glaswegian trio, who features members of Joanna Gruesome, Rapid Tan and Hairband, have just finished recording their third LP, Eurgh, a process which took them just four days at The Big Shed Community Centre in the Highlands.
Ahead of that release, Breakfast Muff, are putting out a 7″ single, of which Babyboomers is the first track to see the light of day. Only just over two minutes long, Babyboomers is a clattering assault of exhilarating energy: a rant against the expectations that are put on the youth of today by the previous generations. The lyrics speak of a generation that feel left behind, “this is for the babyboomers that judge us as we say this is all for you and all you took away”, before ending with the trio repeatedly screeching in unison, “be a better you”, mocking the idea that their generation just need to work harder to achieve more. Breakfast Muff sound like a band growing at an impressive rate, improving as songwriters, to a point where their sense of both anger and fun can be channelled into something truly their own, and that’s a very exciting place for any band to be.
Babyboomers/R U A Feminist out May 5th via Amour Foo. Click HERE for more information on Breakfast Muff.
3. The New Shingle from Isobel Anderson
Isobel Anderson may now be based out of Belfast, but it’s her birthplace of Sussex that infuses her latest single, Flint Shingle. The chalk cliffs, the howling winds, the abrasive waves that eroded the land below, they’re all present here in Isobel’s songwriting. As she sings towards the songs conclusion, “the chalk is my skin, the flint is my bones. I came here to set me free”.
Flint Shingle is the first taste of Isobel’s fourth album, which, following crowd funding on Pledge Music, is set for release later this year. The album was written in Sussex, before being recorded at Millbank Studios in Northern Ireland. Flint Shingle is a stunning taste of the album to come, all rhythmically plucked guitar and violins, cleverly layered vocals and gorgeous distant pulses of strings. Isobel describes the track as, “sort of a love song, if only with a nostalgic, almost regretful, sentiment”, and certainly it is infused with a certain wistful melancholy, even if it sounds as much a song about Isobel’s own journey of self discovery, as it is one about romance. It’s a hugely promising start to an album that may well end up being Isobel’s finest record to date.
CHALK/FLINT is out later this year via Pledge Music. Click HERE for more information on Isobel Anderson.
2. Trevor’s Getting Bigger By The Day
Having whetted appetites with not one but two increasingly well received EP’s last year, Illinois’ Trevor Sensor is set to release his debut album later this year. This week Trevor has shared the first single from the album, The Money Gets Bigger, which features Whitney’s Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek as Trevor’s rhythm section.
Discussing the inspiration behind the track, Trevor has suggested it is about, “the yearning to be somebody people admire and adore in a world that seems void of significance”. Set to a backing of choppy piano chords, pulsing organ and an uncharacteristically jaunty drum beat, as ever with Trevor it’s the heartfelt vocal and clever lyricism that shines. As Trevor sings of men who, “beat their wives and wait around to be served a decent meal”, in his trademark unique howl, you can feel his disgust at the injustice of it all. If the rest of the album sounds this good, it could just be one of the year’s finest and most intriguing debuts.
Trevor Sensor will release his debut album later this year via Jagjaguwar. Trevor heads out on tour in May, click HERE for all upcoming tour dates and more information.
1. Kamikaze Girls Enter Their Berlin Years
Kamikaze Girls are the Leeds-based duo of front-woman Lucinda Livingstone and drummer Conor Dawson. The pair have this week announced their signing to Big Scary Monsters, who will put out Seafoam, the band’s debut album, in June. Discussing the record Lucinda has suggested Seafoam was inspired by returning home from tour without a penny to their names and, “being in a hole with nowhere to go, feeling a bit numb to everything”.
As well as detailing their new record, Kamikaze Girls have also shared the first single from it, Berlin, which suggests they’ve channelled that numbness into something considerably more angry. Berlin is ferocious; a vocal shriek the match of former Joanna Gruesome singer Alanna McArdle, the heaviest drums we’ve heard in years and a touch of the more tuneful end of the Riot Grrrl scene. There’s even a delightfully melodic break down thrown in for good measure, all in all it’s really rather special. Already fixtures on the UK’s DIY scene, with output this strong Kamikaze Girls could well be destined for even bigger things.
Seafoam is out June 9th via Big Scary Monsters. Click HERE for more information and all Kamikaze Girls tour dates.