Five Things We Liked This Week – 27/10/2017

5. Get Lost In The New Track From NRVS LVRS

San Franciscan, dark-synth duo NRVS LVRS are long-term favourites around here, winning us over with their winning blend of 1980’s guitar-pop and brutal, minimalist electronica. The band recently released their excellent sophomore album, Electric Dread, and have this week shared the video to stand-out moment, Lost To The Max.

Lost To The Max brings Bethan Fernandez’s, effortless, soaring vocals to the fore, recalling Kate Bush or Beach House’s Victoria Legrand. Beneath the stunning vocal exists a twitching palette of glitchy Fever Ray like beats and pulsatingly, gloomy synths. It’s not the soundtrack to Blade Runner 2049, but it really should be. The accompanying video is superb; working with director Lauren Tabak, the film taps into the songs feelings of the alienation and victimisation of women. As the chorus of female characters come together to sing en-masse, “I have always been a target”, the video builds to a justifiably vengeful finale. Stirring and inspiring, NRVS LVRS have never sounded more important.

Electric Dread is out now. Click HERE for more information on NRVS LVRS.

4. Doctors Recommend Listening To Juan De Fuca All The Time

Lifting their name from a Greek maritime explorer in the service of King Philip II of Spain was a pretty boldly high-brow move for Athens, the one in Georgia not Greece, band Juan De Fuca. The band, which began life as the solo project of Jack Cherry, have now morphed into a five-piece band, and will release their debut LP, Solve/Resolve early next year on Arrowhawk Records.

Ahead of that release, this week has seen the band share their sprightly new single, All The Time. The track is a winningly shambolic affair, recalling the precise yet jagged guitar work of The Walkmen and the densely, layered experimentation of Cheatahs. The track seems to always teeter on the edge of collapse, an idea that ties into the lyricism, as Jack half sings/half yells, “I can’t escape, everything all the time, I can’t all deal with, or raise a fist at everything, all of the time”. There’s a real feel of cathartic anguish here; much of the record was inspired by a close friend’s suicide, and Jack has suggested Solve/Resolve is a record about not overcoming grief, but simply learning to live with it, as he explains,“it’s about trying to overcome something that you are just absolutely living with for the rest of your life”. In this blissful musical chaos, Juan De Fuca offer no resolution, just a helping hand that says we are not alone.

Solve/Resolve is out January 12th via Arrowhawk Records. Click HERE for more information on Juan De Fuca.

3. Ski Saigon Head For The Middle East

London-based dream-poppers Ski Saigon have this week returned with their new single, Iran Tourist Dream. It’s the first material Ski Saigon – which started out as the solo project of lead-songwriter Rhys Griffiths – have released with their new line-up, which features members of Mooncreatures, Tigercats and Grubs.

The track was inspired by two contrasting ideas, as Rhys explains, “If I could travel back to one place and time in history, I’d visit the Levant, Persia and the Arabian Gulf in the years before the First World War, Iran Tourist Dream is vaguely about this, whilst also being my attempt at writing a fairly straightforward three minute pop song.” Whilst not qualified to comment on the first point, in terms of a three minute pop song, beyond the fact it’s barely two minutes long, mission accomplished. Iran Tourist Dream is a world of bright guitars, burbling dreamy-synths and muffled, muted vocals; it’s a wash of sound that draws you in and engulfs you in its beautiful haze. The track is lifted from the upcoming compilation from Havana Tapes, which also features the likes of Dream Wife, Alex Chilltown and KEEL HER, so is obviously entirely worth checking out.

Havana Tapes’ Babyquake Compilation is out November 3rd. Click HERE for more information on Ski Saigon.

2. Halo Maud Arrives With A Baptism Of Fire

Halo Maud first came to the world’s attention back in 2015 courtesy of La Souterraine, a collective determined to uncover and promote French talent. The promotion worked, with this week’s announcement that Halo Maud has signed to Heavenly Recordings, as well as sharing the video to new single, Baptism.

Halo Maud deals in high-brow literate pop-music, music that constantly seems to be searching; flitting between traditional song structure and more abstract soundscapes, French and English, hazy washes of reverb and close, intimate vocals. Baptism deals not with any religious intervention, but with rebirth; Halo Maud emerging as some many faced, savage vision of femininity. The track builds from child-like, playground sing-song, multiplying and building to a crescendo of choral voices for the thrillingly energetic finale. Baptism is a fascinating and challenging introduction, pop music reborn as something all-together more interesting.

Baptism is out now via Heavenly Recordings. Click HERE for more information on Halo Maud.

1. There’s No Need To Blush With A Song This Good

Blush is the new project from Maura Lynch, formerly of cult New York-favourites Darlings. Inspired by a stint touring with Beverley, Maura was inspired to revisit the bedroom demos she’s been stashing away under the pseudonym Blush. Maura went into the studio with members of Pop 1280 and Pill and the first Blush album was born.

That self-titled debut will be out in December, and ahead of its release, this week has seen Blush share their debut single, Daisy Chain. A wash of fuzzy bass, gentle ringing guitars, and perfectly hushed, intimate vocals, it’s a track that seems to exist as two minutes of escapism, a flash of wistful summer sunshine breaking through an overcast skyline. As Maura repeats the line, “good morning baby, let the sun shine to your toes”, you can hear her genuine support, her desire for this person to not just have a good day, but to fulfil their wildest hopes and dreams. It’s a magical introduction, to a record Maura describes as “a diary of my late 20s”, a special record that simply can’t come quick enough.

Blush is out December 8th via ArrowHawk Records. Click HERE for more information on Blush.

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