Five Things We Liked This Week – 15/09/17

Further Listening: Jonnie CommonParty Of The SunONBC, Josiah and the BonnevillesSumieTom Brosseau, Velvet Volume, Lunch Ladies, Bruiser Queen, Jessica Lee Mayfield, The Philistines Jr, Pale Honey, Swimming Tapes, Insecure Men, TYGAPUSS, J.Roddy Walston & The Business, Japandroids, Timber TimbreChastity Belt, Phoebe Bridgers, Tandem Felix, Versing, Everyone Is Dirty, Destroyer, Good Morning, thanks., Sitting In Cars, Sixty-Two Tresh, Church Girls, Caroline Reese, M.A.G.S., Hanreti, Lynette Williams, The Weather Station, Wild Ones and Raised on TV.

5. Alvvays Are The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

Alvvays are a band who no longer require much in the way of an introduction. The Canadian-quintet just put out their hotly anticipated, and frankly brilliant, second album, Antisocialites, and have this week shared the video to new single, Dream Tonite.

The track is accompanied by a beautiful video where director Matt Johnson inserts Alvvays into footage of the Montreal Expo back in 1967, the perfectly retro video serving as an expert accompaniment to the band’s timeless take on pop. A clear stand out from Antisocialites, Dream Tonite is Alvvays at their most downbeat and wistful, as lyrically, singer Molly Rankin seems to grapple with a fading memory of a failed relationship. Alvvays have never sounded better and increasingly the cliché of difficult second albums seem entirely redundant.

Antisocialites is out now via Transgressive Records. Click HERE for more information on Alvvays.

4. Yumi Zouma Cut Expectations In Half

They might be the latest exciting act emerging from New Zealand, but before they embarked on their new record, Willowbank, Yumi Zouma never really felt like a band from New Zealand. It was only during what band-member Josh Burgess describes as, “a brief pause in all of our lives”, that the band settled on a plan to go home to Christchurch and record their first release put together entirely in their home country. The fruits of that homecoming will become evident with Willowbank’s release next month, but ahead of that, the band have shared a video to new single, Half Hour.

Half Hour is inspired by Josh’s grandfather’s death back when he was just seven, as he explains, “the first time I experienced death in any significant way was when I was seven. My granddad died, and I still remember this feeling knowing that now he was no longer on the planet, and no matter how hard I searched, he could not be found”. It is perhaps no surprise that the song mirrors that sense of confusion, loss and longing for the past. Musically, it’s sad certainly but also strong, as singer Christie’s vocal entwines with Josh’s atop a backing of complex rhythms and pulses of bassy synth. A rush of electronics and gorgeous pop-tinged melodies, Yumi Zouma have never sounded more ready for the success that looks set to come their way.

Willowbank is out October 6th via Cascine. Click HERE for more information on Yumi Zouma.

3. Cut Worms Are Going Down Sideways

Based out of New York, where he relocated to two years back from his native Chicago, Cut Worms is the pseudonym of songwriter Max Clarke. Signed to the ever reliable Jagjaguwar imprint, Cut Worms are hotly tipped as one of the most exciting new acts on the planet, and have this week detailed the release of their debut EP, Alien Sunset. The record showcases a collection of what could loosely be termed demos, recorded over the last few years with side A focusing on his time in Chicago and side B being his New York recordings.

Ahead of that release, Cut Worms have also shared the video to their new single, Like Going Down Sideways. The track is a beautifully lo-fi offering, Max’s multi-tracked vocals accompanied by walls of fuzzy guitars and twanging lead-lines. It’s the vocal though that is consciously pushed front and centre, like Harry Nilsson or Scott Walker before him, there’s the flourish of an old-time crooner, but lurking beneath the surface is the raw, melodic equivalent of a mischievous glint in his eye. With the debut album, “proper and polished”, due next year, Alien Sunset is a thrilling insight into the world of Cut Worms, that serves as both an introduction and a water mark for wherever Max’s music goes next.

Alien Sunset EP is out October 20tth via Jagjaguway. Click HERE for more information on Cut Worms.

2. Julia’s Caller Leaves Her Cold

With her debut album, Don’t Let The Kids Win, still fresh in the memory, Australian songwriter Julia Jacklin is wasting no time in putting new material out into the world. Today see’s the release of her new AA-single, featuring the previously shared Eastwick, and brand new offering, Cold Caller.

Cold Caller was written as a tribute to Julia’s pregnant sister Emma, as Julia explains, “I know people get pregnant all the time but this was different, this was my sister. The one who explained tampons to me, told me what kissing felt like, convinced mum to let me shave my legs, sung “Boys of Summer” acapella at the school talent quest”. Cold Caller is a classic slice of alt-country, gently strummed guitars accompanied by twanging slide guitars and the gentlest of ticking drum beats, as Julia’s emotive-vocals comes across all Nasvhille, with a touch of Caitlin Rose or Angel Olsen. Heartfelt and beautiful, if Julia’s got songs this good to throw out as half a stand-alone single, just imagine how good her next album is going to be.

Eastwick/Cold Caller is out today via Transgressive Records (UK)/ Polyvinyl (US). Click HERE for more information on Julia Jacklin.


1. Joseph Make A Break For World Domination

While the most famous Joseph is probably still Jesus’ step-dad,  soon to be hot on his heels are the Portland-trio consisting of sisters, Natalie Schepman, Allison Closner and Meegan Closner. Joseph recently released their new EP, Stay Awake, and have this week shared a new track from it, their cover of Everybody Wants To Rule The World, originally by Tears For Fears.

Discussing their decision to take on this classic track, Natalie recollects the band listening to the track, and how, “it hit us how pertinent it is today even though it was written in the 80’s. Today, maybe more than ever”. Joseph’s take is a sparse and beautiful interpretation; rhythmic stabs of guitar are accompanied by rich piano chords and gorgeous rushes of lead guitar. The production of the vocals is never short of stunning, the band’s naturally beautiful tones, slip in and out of perfectly judged two and three-part harmonies. The voices build to a stunning vocal crescendo as the band sing in unison, “make the most of freedom and pleasure, all I know is take care of each other, an open door, a seat at the table, there’s enough to go around”. It’s haunting how that message still resonates, and in Joseph’s perfectly judged hands the track has never sounded better.

Stay Awake is out now via ATO Records. Click HERE for more information on Joseph.

Header photo by Chloe Horseman

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