Further Listening: Pega Monstro, Art School Jocks, Deerful, Saudade Sisters, Andy Shauf, ARGRPH, Amber Arcades ft. Bill Ryder Jones, Human Potential, Mt. Doubt, Dang Clēts, Isobel Anderson, Nilüfer Yanya, Fake Laugh, Sister James, Nineteen Fifty Eight, Honeyfitz, Esper Scout, No Vacation, Wholewheat, Broken Social Scene, Beach House, Debbie Downer, Friend Roulette, Trü, Rick Leigh, Courtney Barnett, Mellow Gang, TV Sets, Allen & Douglas, Phillip & The Reindeer, Bad Channels, Maria Kelly, Yonaka, Crescent, Girl Ray, Cigarettes After Sex, James Wyatt Crosby, Miya Folick, ShitKid, Fins Ara, Public Service Broadcasting ft. Haiku Salut, Lo Tom, GospelbeacH, No Joy, Celebration, and the brilliantly angry new one from Breakfast Muff.
5. We’re Rooting For Michael Nau
It was a couple of months back we shared Good Thing, the first single from the upcoming Michael Nau album Some Twist. That album is still the best part of a month away, but this week Michael has shared the latest cut from that record, I Root.
I Root is an aural sway with a loved one; like the sort of old soul song Smokey Robinson would have written, re-imagined by Kevin Morby or Hiss Golden Messenger. Michael’s voice is sweet and gentle, the drums perfectly meander, as organs, prominent bass, and the simplest of guitar lines sing in perfect unison. Even lyrically it’s perfect simplicity, as Michael offers the unwavering support of, “I root for you love”, while questioning whether he’s a help or a hindrance, “everyone’s carrying something, maybe you’re carrying me and I’m carrying you”. It’s a thing of spellbinding, mesmeric beauty and a further suggestion that Some Twist might just be one of this year’s most intriguing offerings.
Some Twist out June 16th via Suicide Squeeze (U.S.) and Full Time Hobby (U.K./Europe). Visit Michael Nau HERE for more information.
4. Whisper It – The Rungs Are Climbing The Ladder
Does the world really need any more bands from Brooklyn? At our best estimate everyone in the whole borough is already in a band, and yet somehow they still manage to produce something new most weeks, and this week, it’s The Rungs.
The alt-pop trio formed back in 2012, and have recently shared their new single, Whispers. From an intro of gentle, twinkling, electronic buzzes, the drums arrive to propel the song along and introduce singer Mandy’s, bright, emotive vocal. Whisper is a stunning blend of the college rock of bands like Karen Meat or Forth Wanderers, huge poppy choruses and unforgettable hooks. Future plans are currently under wraps, but here’s hoping this isn’t the last we hear of The Rungs.
Whisper It is out now. Click HERE for more information on The Rungs.
3. Waking Up Is Near Perfection For NRVS LVRS
NRVS LVRS debut album was one of our favourite records back in 2015. Set in the band’s native San Francisco, The Golden West was a semi-concept album about the dangers of gentrification, all set to a minimal, glacial blend of electronic and analogue instrumentation. The husband and wife duo are set to release their second album, Electric Dread, at the back-end of next month, and have this week shared the first track from it, I Am Almost Perfectly Awake.
I Am Almost Perfectly Awake is based around the life of musicologist Clive Wearing, who suffers from severe amnesia and experiences life anew from moment to moment, as if he is waking from a coma every twenty seconds. The title is a line Clive repeatedly wrote in his diary, as NRVS LVRS put it, “we kept coming back to the phrase and how searching & sad it sounded”. Musically, I Am Almost Perfectly Awake, is instantly arresting; as a jarring bass-synth line is joined by the steady clatter of snare drum; it sounds dense, thrilling and just a little bit scary. Bevin Fernandez takes leads vocals, her voice heavily processed, as if unable to free herself from some electronic overlord, as she sings, “I need to know who I am, this is no kind of life”. The whole thing ends with the vocals dropping out replaced by a honking, muted saxophone outro, as frankly far more songs should. It’s a welcome return from a band who have perfected the trick of infusing electronic music with a much-needed dose of humanity – it’s thrilling.
Electric Dread is out June 30th. Click HERE for more information and live dates from NRVS LVRS.
2. Misty Coast Make A Huge Leap Forward
Misty Coast are the Bergen based duo of Linn Frøkedal and Richard Myklebust. The Norwegian duo, who are both members of Megaphonic Thrift, are set to release their debut album in September, and have this week shared the video to their latest single, Leap Year.
Leap Year is an intriguing track, smooth, steady drums and dream-like, wistful vocals create something serene, and throughout it is punctuated by jarring stabs of synth, that give is a slightly unnerving energy. There’s nods to the likes of Beach House or Hazel English, but while others are happy to let these moments of blissed-out psych-pop drift effortlessly along, Misty Coast are far more willing to keep the listener on their toes. With an album due later this year, expect to hear a lot more about this band.
Leap Year is out now on Club AC30. Click HERE for more information on Misty Coast.
1. The Dears Turn The Clock Back To 1998
If we’re completely honest, we’d almost entirely forgotten about The Dears. Like many people back in 2003 we fell head over heels in love with their classic album, No Cities Left, but by the time of 2008’s Missiles we’d kind of lost touch with Murray Lightburn and co. The band have continued to release music, and are set to release Times Infinty Volume Two, their seventh studio album in the summer, and yes there was a Time Infinity Volume One.
Ahead of that release, the band have announced a UK tour for October, as well as sharing a brand new, and rather brilliant, new track, 1998. Described by front-man Murray Lightburn as, “old school Dears, but wearing a slightly updated outfit”, 1998 is a sprightly, nervous jangle. Building around a simple buzzing synth, and unquestionably danceable drum beats, there’s more than a hint of The Cure about it. The joy as so often with The Dears is in Murray’s impassioned vocal performance. When he repeatedly sings, “this is being alive” in the chorus, it’s the same chest thumping, hairs on the back of your neck raising, thrill it was the first time you heard him sing all those years ago. With our humble apologies for our lack of attention over the years, it’s rather wonderful to have these brilliant Canadian’s back, and we’ll try not to let them out of our sight ever again.
Times Infinity Volume Two is out July 14th. Click HERE for more information and live dates from The Dears.
Header photo courtesy of Richmond Lam – http://www.richmondlam.com/