Five Things We Liked This Week 23/06/2017

Further Listening: Ralegh LongXMELTErin Rae, Only A Visitor, Guilt MountainJohn Moose, Nick Ralg, Storm The Palace, Saw Tooth Wave, The Dears, Ruby FrayCirce’s Diner, Shannon LayMermaidens, False Advertising, Aaron EspeCritté, Best Ex, Lili St AnneNanting, HMS Morris, Beach FossilsJen CloherHypoluxoKane Strang, Ruby ForceBreakfast Muff, Simple Man, BeauDavison Turrentine and Katie Von Schleicher.

5. Tugboat Captain Set Sail

All aboard! Tugboat Captain are a six piece band from South London, who all have frankly silly names like Jesus Bigboy, The Captain and Sloppy Giueseppi, but try not to hold that against them. The band have this week shared Don’t Want To Wake Up On My Own, the excellent first single from their upcoming LP.

With a name we speculate is lifted from the Galaxie 500 single, Tugboat Captain deal in a similarly wistful vein of sun-dappled minimal pop. Two vocals chime in perfect unison, as dual guitars, with a touch of Beach Fossils or Boys Forever, meander in and out of one another. Latterly they’re joined by a so laid back it’s barely there keyboard line. The whole thing is just a perfectly blissed out three minutes: we’ve found ourselves putting on constant repeat. All very promising, now someone break the champagne over the hull and let’s get this show on the err, waterway?! We probably should have done some research before we started this new nautical lifestyle.

Don’t Want To Wake Up On My Own is available now via bandcamp. Click HERE for more information on Tugboat Captain.

4. Chad Vangaalen Shows A Wise Old Head

Ever intriguing, Calgary-based songwriter Chad Vangaalen is set to return in September with his sixth album, Light Information, and has this week shared the first single from the record, Old Heads.

In his own words, Old Heads is, “a sci-fi space anthem to technology that constantly replaces itself, proving both necessary and unnecessary at the same time”. Yet beyond that high concept lies a covertly funky slice of indie-pop. Sat atop a bed of prominent bass, clanking electric guitars and subtly energetic drums, Chad’s vocal has the same energetic lilt at Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug. Chad’s music is never short of fascinating, a musical enigma who constantly surprises and delights his fans in equal measure, this might just be his most intriguing moment to date.

Light Information is out September 8th via Sub Pop. Click HERE for more information on Chad Vangaalen.

3. Nadia Schilling’s Kite Takes Flight

We’ve never heard of Caldas da Rainha in Portugal, but apparently it was a hot bed of Portuguese alternative rock in the 1990’s. It was the sounds of that movement that shaped the childhood of Nadia Schilling, and inspired her path into making her own music. Having previously played in a jazz quintet and as part of the band loopooloo, Nadia is now stepping out in a solo style, and this week shared new single, Kite.

Kite is the first taste of Nadia’s upcoming LP, Above The Trees. Building around a naggingly familiar guitar line, (we think it’s a bit Radiohead but can’t place the track, anyone?) Kite is an exercise in subtle musical layering. Beneath Nadia’s understated, country-tinged vocals, piano, drums and waves of strings, drift in and out of prominence with all the orchestral flair of Rufus Wainwright or Meilyr Jones. Citing influences from Nick Cave to Chet Baker and Bill Callahan to Portishead, the debut from this highly promising songwriter promises to be an intriguing and eclectic prospect, and one not to be missed.

Kite is out now on Nadia’s bandcamp. Click HERE for more information on Nadia Schilling.

2. Things Are Looking Grave For ONBC

ONBC, who rose from the ashes of Oliver North Boys Choir, are a Scandinavian four piece consisting of a blonde, a brunette and two bearded blokes, although they are not to our knowledge ABBA. Signed to excellently named Danish label, Crunchy Frog, the Copenhagen quartet have this week shared new single Tombstone, the first taster of their upcoming second album.

Tombstone might be a title that conjures images of goths in graveyards, but the track is anything but doom and gloom. Sweet harmonious vocals chime out resplendent with a luxurious dollop of reverb, as fuzzy bass and bright acoustic guitars provide a perfect back drop. Musically, it nods to the likes of Alvvays or Real Estate, while the twin vocals have a similar ethereal pop quality to Beach House or Melody’s Echo Chamber. An intriguing introduction, which bodes well for wherever their music is headed next.

Tombstone is out now via Crunchy Frog. Click HERE for more information on ONBC.

1. Fresh My Life

Neatly capturing the national spirit after this week’s very sticky heat wave, London-trio Fresh have shared their new single, Fuck My Life. The track is the first to be lifted from the band’s self-titled album, due in August via Specialist Subject Records. The record explores what the band describe as, “genuine teenage angst”, taking in topics including, “trying to pass exams, dealing with depression, confusion about your sexuality and identity, and attending bible camp as an angry young atheist”. 

Fresh deal in short sharp songs that alternate between lo-fi acoustic numbers and charged fuzzy pop-punk: in Fuck My Life’s case it incorporates both into one track. Starting off with Kathryn Woods’ gentle acoustic moment, a minute in it explodes into a furious rush of drums, bass and yelped, angsty backing vocals. The title might sound downbeat, but as Kathryn explains, “there’s something really cathartic about leaning into and exploring that sadness instead of trying to block it out”. Fuck My Life is Fresh’s way of telling us that the anger and despair will pass, that sadness isn’t permanent, and from time to time, that’s something we all need to know.

Fresh’s self-titled album is out August 18th via Specialist Subject Records. Click HERE for more information on Fresh.

Header courtesy of Alex Thornber –

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