Five Things We Liked This Week – 25/08/2017

Further Listening: WeavesThanks Light, CampsDog In The Snow, Hannah Peel, The Weather Station, Karl Blau, Omni, Siv Jakobsen, Mauno, Radiator Hospital, Everyone Is Dirty, Far Lands, Chew MagnaLost Horizons ft. Tim Smith, Faith Healer, Diet CigSam Vance-Law, Jack Cooper, Psychic Markers, The War On Drugs, The Zephyr Bones, WolfyYou, The WolfSarah Cripps, Gill Landry, Nic Evennett, Aaron Roche, The Washboard Abs, Graceland, Pinkshinyultrablast, Charlotte CarpenterFreedom Baby, Melody Conor, Party Of The Sun, Steevn, Raindrop and the new track from Rose Hotel.

5. Soft Fangs Are In A Fractured Colony

Soft Fangs is the musical project of Brooklyn-based songwriter, John Lutkevich. John is set to release his second album, Fractures, next month and has this week shared the latest track from it, Honey Colony.

Citing influences including the likes of The Beach Boys and Pavement, Soft Fangs sounds nothing much like either, dealing more in the melancholic dark-folk perfected by acts like Sparklehorse or Elliot Smith. Set to a backing of twanging Beach Fossils-like guitars, and steady pulsing drum beats, Honey Colony is a melding of the stories of a bee and a workaholic. Traditionally strong it isn’t, but John’s languid, cracked vocal is the star, carrying all the emotion and depth you could hope for. Hugely promising from one of the year’s most intriguing new voices.

Fractures is out September 1st via Disposable America. Click HERE for more information on Soft Fangs.

4. Pet Deaths Start At The Bottom Of The Hill

As places to form a band go, the doorstep of JG Ballard’s former house in Ladbroke Grove has to be one of the more intriguing ones. It was there that former Hey Sholay front-man Liam Karima first met ex-Let’s Buy Happiness guitarist Graeme Martin. The pair have recorded a debut EP, out later this year, and have recently shared the first track from it, At The Bottom Of The Hill.

At The Bottom Of The Hill is beautifully minimal, nodding to Grizzly Bear, as gentle almost Spanish-sounding guitars flutter beneath Liam’s soaring, ethereal vocals. Pet Deaths sounds like a departure for both men, but also an exciting new musical chapter, their old bands remain much missed, but their future looks very bright indeed.

At The Bottom Of The Hill is out now via Silver Mind Records. Click HERE for more information on Pet Deaths.

3. Come And See What A Lean Year Looks Like

Lean Year is the new project from Virginia-based singer Emilie Rex and filmmaker/musician Rick Alverson. The project exists at very different stages of the two musicians careers; for Emilie it is her first forray into a world outside of academia, for Rick, formerly a member of Spokane, it is a return after ten years spent making films. The pair are set to release their self-titeld debut album, recorded in Chicago with Erik Hall, later this year, and have this week shared the first taste of it, new single, Come and See.

Come & See is a gorgeously minimal slice of modern-folk; Emilie’s voice is to the fore, double-tracked and soaked in a tasteful amount of reverb, it’s just a wonderfully sad, wistful sound. Musically, it’s subtle and minimal, but never simplistic. Gentle electric guitars are accompanied by prominent fluttering percussion and latterly pulses of brass and warm distant-synth. Lean Year may cite an eclectic array of influences from Bessie Smith to John Cale and Karen Dalton to Brian Eno, but on Come & See they seem to sound like nobody but themselves – and that remains just about the most exciting place a band can ever hope to be.

Lean Year’s self-titled debut album is out October 20th via Western Vinyl. Click HERE for more information on Lean Year.

2. Girl Ray Don’t Go Back

London-trio Girl Ray’s rise has been pretty much stratospheric. The band only formed two years ago, but now signed to Moshi Moshi, they’ve recently put out their debut album Earl Grey, to massed critical acclaim. Following that release, the band have taken a brief break from playing basically every music festival going, and shared the video to new single, Don’t Go Back At Ten.

The video is a nostalgic blast of early 00’s inspiration, that will either be a throwback to your formative years, or make you feel very old that anyone can feel nostalgic for such recent days. Musically, Don’t Go Back At Ten is one of the album’s highlights, scratchy electric guitars, steady drums and pulsing bass making for a winning backing to Poppy’s creative vocal melodies. Already one of the year’s break-out indie-pop acts, Girl Ray are showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Earl Grey is out now via Moshi Moshi. Click HERE for more information on Girl Ray.

1. Bridgers Lead To Motion Sickness

Phoebe Bridgers might be a new artist, but she already has an impeccable CV. Her debut three-song single, Killer, was produced and released by Ryan Adams, she’s toured with Conor Oberst and Julien Barker, and is set to release her debut album on the excellent Dead Oceans label. That album, Strangers In The Alps, is out next month, and ahead of the release this week Phoebe has shared the video to her latest single, Motion Sickness.

Building around reverberating guitars and driving drum beats, Motion Sickness has a touch of The War On Drugs, if they were fronted by Mackenzie Scott or Hazel English. Lyrically it seems to deal with trying to escape the ups and downs of a struggling relationship, as Phoebe sings, “there are no words in English I can sing to drown you out”. The video, directed by Justin Miller, was apparently inspired by Phoebe’s, “brother Jackson singing “Down With the Sickness” to me in karaoke with 100% commitment in an orange jumpsuit”, it is predictably excellent. Phoebe Bridgers is a musician with a hugely bright future and more importantly if it all sounds good it’ll be thoroughly deserved.

Stranger In The Alps is out September 22nd via Dead Oceans. Click HERE for more information on Phoebe Bridgers.

Header photo by Frank Ockenfels –


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