Further Listening: Juanita Stein, Talus, Bedouine, Mink’s Miracle Medicine, Dove Lady, Young Guv, Jenny & The Scallywags, Sweet Baboo, Muertos, The Sticks, Diamond Thug, REIN, The Nickajack Men, Mammút, Partner, The Young Shaven, Siobhan Wilson, Katie Mac, The War On Drugs, Nathan Xander, Kevin Morby, matt pond PA, Turtle, Wildlife Control, Organised Scum, Laughed The Boy, Ratboys, Will Helms, Bendigo Fletcher, The Cosmic Coronas, Kenny Freq, Seo, Circe’s Diner, Katie Von Schleicher and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy covering Merle Haggard.
5. School Damage Arrive With Great Speed
Self-styled, “wobbly pop”, quartet School Damage have today released their self-titled debut album on the incredibly-hot-right-now Australian label Chapter Music, home to the likes of The Goon Sax and Dick Diver. Ahead of the release earlier this week, the band shared their Simpsons/Speed referencing single, The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down.
Citing influences including the likes of The Vaselines and Young Marble Giant, School Damage’s sound is one of wobbly, casio-like keyboard lines, rapid fire drum beats, weaving bass lines and impassioned yelped vocals. The Australian indie-pop revolution shows little sign of slowing down, and School Damage could just be the most intriguing of the lot.
School Damage’s self-titled album is out now via Chapter Music. Click HERE for more information.
4. Trevor Sensor’s Dreaming Of His Fifteen Minutes Of Fame
Already something of a regular round these parts, Trevor Sensor, the 23-year-old songwriter from the atmospherically named Sterling, Illinois, will later this month release his debut album. Ahead of that release Trevor has this week shared the title track, Andy Warhol’s Dream. The album title is inspired by how Warhol was the original representation of celebrity, but that ideal has now been replaced by a darker, almost worshipful cult focusing around people, that Trevor describes as, “new golden calves”.
The track acts as the album centre piece, in Trevor’s own words, it is, “a mirror – reflecting and highlighting what has already been said and will be said…this mirror shows us who we are – our sober, naked selves. The world has become silver and chrome. Everyone is plastic, everything is broken and everybody wants to dream.” Musically, it might be Trevor’s most ambitious effort to date, rich, heavy-handed piano chords, joined by prominent pulses of bassy noise and Trevor’s uniquely powerful vocal – there’s even a touch of glam-stomp to proceedings, which is an intriguing addition. Trevor Sensor is an artist who seems unafraid of challenging his audience, encouraging us to shine a mirror on the world around us: his debut album promises to be worth far more than a cursory glance.
Andy Warhol’s Dream is out June 16th via Jagjaguwar. Click HERE for more information on Trevor Sensor.
3. Start Loving Molly Jewell
Hailing from the ever productive Nashville scene, Molly Jewell first came to the world’s attention with 2014’s EP, The Veil. That record saw her tour across Europe, and on returning to her native Tennessee, she set to work on the follow-up. That record, I Wish You Loved Me Like You Started To, will be with us later this year, and this week Molly has shared the impressive title track.
There’s a winning sense of theatre about I Wish You Loved Me Like You Started To, as it merges the alt-pop of Magana with the orchestral flourishes of Rufus Wainwright. It’s the dexterity in Molly’s vocal that truly shines though, one moment it’s sweet and melodic, the next a guttural howl, it swoops and soars without ever sounding strained. Lyrically it serves as reminder to keep loving like you did at the beginning, it quietly laments the passing of time, and the passing of feelings that come with being let down time and time again. An intriguing new voice, 2017 is surely going to be a huge year for Molly Jewell.
I Wish You Loved Me Like You Started To is out now. Click HERE for more information on Molly Jewell.
2. The Myth Of Kiran Leonard
When we received news of the upcoming Kiran Leonard single, Living With Your Ailments, it was prefaced with the question “have you read Albert Camus’ 1942 philosophy work The Myth of Sisyphus?” You just don’t get that sort of question with a new Liam Gallagher record. The answer, if you’re wondering, was no, but as ever with the music of Kiran Leonard, it left us wanting to know to a lot more. As Kiran explains, “I read it for the first time as an unhappy, nervous 17-year-old and I found it deeply moving and comforting. It is an essay about taking the cards we are dealt – mortality, nothingness, uncertainty – and doing our best with them, in humour and in optimism and in open-mindedness”.
Living With Your Ailments is the first offering from Kiran’s upcoming album Derevaun Seraun, a piece in five movements, written for voice, piano and string trio. The track dials down some of the more percussive elements of Kiran’s last record, Grapefruit, combining his playful vocal melodies with what is a fairly classical piece of composition. It’s considerably more upbeat and optimistic than you might imagine; there’s a touch of Regina Spektor about the rapid, dancing of fingers on piano keys as they’re joined by bright, energetic strings. As intriguing, challenging and literate as ever, Kiran Leonard might just be this country’s most important current songwriter.
Derevaun Seraun is out September 15th via Moshi Moshi. Click HERE for more information on Kiran Leonard.
1. Big Thief Throw A Hail Mary
After the break out success of last year’s debut album, Masterpiece, Brooklyn’s Big Thief are surely one of 2017’s most hyped bands. Thankfully, on the evidence presented so far that’s completely justified. The quartet are set to release their second album, Capacity, next week, and this week they shared the latest offering from it, the sublime new single, Mary.
While many bands are quick to offer an explanation of the story behind a song, Big Thief simply offer the lyrics and invite us to draw our own meanings. The words of singer Adrianne Lenker seem to be presented in a tinge of sepia, constantly looking back on a friendship, a love affair perhaps, wondering both what that person is doing now, and perhaps tellingly what effects that relationship had on Adrianne herself. As much as there is interpretable meaning in Adrianne’s choice of words, there’s also something delightfully poetic about them, sometimes she seems to pick words as much for their beautiful sound as their meaning. Musically, Mary is a stripped back affair, just a distant buzzing organ and Adrianne alone at a piano, picking out sweet chords with an unmistakable country lilt. The percussive element of the song comes as much as anything from Adrianne’s vocal, full of idiosyncratic emphasis, and dancing between words, there’s even a touch of Mothers’ Kristine Leschper about her tone, which can only be a good thing. Adrianne has described Mary as the apex to Capacity, it’s the moment when the darkness elsewhere starts to fade and the beauty emerges, it’s a fascinating piece of songwriting and one that suggests Capacity could be an incredibly important body of work.
Capacity is out June 9th via Saddle Creek. Click HERE for more information on Big Thief.
Header photo by Shervin Lainez – https://www.shervinfoto.com/