5. PINS Are Only Here To Serve The Rich
2017 has been another great year for the hard-working Manchester-quintet PINS. Following on from their well received Bad Things EP, which featured Iggy Pop no-less, the band have just shared the video to their new, Jamie Hince-produced single, Serve The Rich.
The video was filmed at the Anti-Conservative March that took place in Manchester in March. It ties into the songs anti-capitalist message; as the band put it, “the track is about how sometimes we feel like we only exist to make money for other people, it’s a swizz. We are promised things by saviours, these people who have come to rescue us, but it’s not true”. Musically, it is PINS at their foreboding best, slinky bass-lines, dead-eyed, snarling vocals and wonderfully filthy sounding guitars. As ever PINS sound like the coolest gang in town, and when it comes to Serve The Rich, you’re either with them, or you’re in their way.
Serve The Rich is out now via Haus Of Pins. Click HERE for more information on PINS.
4. We’re None The Wiser About Bodies Be Rivers
In the press release for their upcoming album, the music of Bodies Be Rivers is described as, “much like lavender-flavored soft serve ice cream”, which deserves praise for being possibly the most creative description we’ve seen all year. That album, Things I’ll Tell You When I’m Older, is due out early next year, and ahead of its release the Brooklyn quintet have shared new single, None The Wiser.
None The Wiser showcases a wonderful mastery of the slow musical-build, from a gentle intro, Lauren Smith’s stunning vocal accompanied by just a lone guitar line, the track gradually swells to a crescendo of noise and heartfelt angst. Lyrically, it seems to hint at struggling to communicate to someone it is truly over, “you are not mine, I am not yours, I have cut the wires, you are none the wiser”. The whole thing sounds, well, a bit like the musical equivalent of lavender flavoured ice-cream, possibly, actually does that even sound nice? Or too much like perfume? This sounds probably better than lavender flavoured ice-cream would taste, high praise indeed, we think.
Things I’ll Tell You When You’re Older is due out in 2018. Click HERE for more information on Bodies Be Rivers.
3. Hookworms Turn A Negative Into A Positive
It’s been three years since we heard from Leeds’ Hookworms, with their critically acclaimed second album The Hum. This week they have announced their upcoming third album Microshift, due next year on Domino Records. After two albums inspired heavily by their live performance, the band have suggested this records marks a seismic shift, and in some ways, their first real studio album. Ahead of that release, the band have this week shared their new single, Negative Space.
Musically, Negative Space is a huge departure, largely absent, or at least unrecognisable, are the dense psych-influenced guitars of earlier recordings, replaced by layers of intricate electronics, swells of bright organs and drum machines. Even the vocal style seems a long way removed from previous recordings, here it’s produced cleaner and more energetic than ever before, bringing to mind acts like Everything Everything or Delphic. The band have suggested the more upbeat, and bright sound is a deliberate counter-point to a darker and more difficult lyrical record than they’ve previously produced, dealing with themes of loss, struggling with mental health problems and even natural disasters, with the band’s central Leeds studio being destroyed by flooding. Hookworms have emerged from a period of radio silence sounding brighter and more confident than ever before; this already fascinating band might just have got even more interesting, if that’s possible.
Microshift is out February 2nd via Domino Records. Click HERE for more information on Hookworms.
2. Ain’t Nothing Blue About Penguins
Flash back to the South of France in 1972, Simon Jeffes was hauled up with a bout food poisoning, in his delirious state a vivid dream came to him of a strange dystopian future. It was then he dreamt up the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, “a charming place where solace, harmony, and the orchestra’s unique music could be found amidst brutal concrete structures and darkness”. Simon spent the next twenty-five years, prior to his untimely death, creating some of the most uniquely, beautiful and inspiring music the world has ever seen.
Marking twenty years since Simon’s passing, next month will see Erased Tapes re-release the final Penguin Cafe Orchestra record, Union Cafe. Discussing the record, Simon’s son, Arthur, now running the Penguin Cafe himself, notes, “with this last album they got even closer to the PCO idea of squaring the circle of intellectually challenging modern music that is still actually beautiful”. Ahead of the release, Erased Tapes have streamed one of the record’s stand-out moments, Nothing Really Blue. The track, that builds around a fluttering lead-piano line, is in many ways classic Penguin Cafe Orchestra; a masterclass in repetition, subtle changes of tempo and tone and making the very most of a seemingly simplistic idea. A welcome reminder of the talent of one of Britain’s greatest modern composers, a talent that is still sadly missed to this day.
Union Cafe is re-issued December 1st via Erased Tapes. Click HERE for more information on Penguin Cafe.
1. I Can Totally Remember That Moonlight
Pretty much unclassifiable Londoners, Totally are old favourites around this site; their 2016 debut single Falling Apart was brilliant, and we confidently tipped them to be one of 2017’s break-out acts, and then, well they kind of disappeared on us. Thankfully, we don’t have to keep asking what exactly happened to them on a near daily basis any longer, as they’re back with a brand new double-A single, Moonlit Memory/Ghost Away, coming out next month on Wild Horse Records.
Ahead of the release, this week has seen Totally share the first half of that single, Moonlit Memory. The track is the result of fruitful, fully analogue, recording sessions with Younghusband’s Euan Hinshelwood’s at his 24-track tape studio, Vacant TV. Musically, Moonlit Memory continues to fuse a collection of seemingly disparate styles into a stunning whole; singer Jades’ smooth, R&B flecked vocal, accompanied by rich, soaring harmonies and a musical accompaniment equal parts pastoral folk and garage-rock. In the best way imaginable, Totally sound like the result of taking four sets of influences and throwing them all at the tape, that it comes out sounding this good is just one of life’s wonderful mysteries.
Moonlit Memory / Ghost Away out December 1st via Wild Horse Records. Click HERE for more information on Totally.
Header photo by Jonny Davies – www.jonnyldavies.com