Five Things We Liked This Week – 24/11/17

Further Listening:

5. Passing Over A Grave With No Name

A Grave With No Name, the pseudonym of London-based songwriter Alexander Shields, has been walking a unique musical path for a number of years now, and on his upcoming sixth album, Passover, he promises his most, “vital and poetic release to date”. That record won’t be with us until the new year but whetting appetites ahead of its release, A Grave With No Name have shared the latest taster of it, When I Pass Through Here.

Discussing the inspiration behind When I Pass Through Here, Alexander suggests the track is about, “confronting and shedding our regrets, in order to become a better person and make a positive mark on the world – however small that may be”. Musically, the track is a slice of atmospheric, doom-Americana, that would probably sound more at home in Alabama than London. Alexander’s whispy vocals accompanied by twanging, reverberating guitars and the steady tick of drums, bringing to mind acts like Micah P. Hinson or Marissa Nadler. A hugely promising introduction to where A Grave With No Name’s music is headed, Passover looks set to be his finest release yet.

Passover is out January 19th via Forged Artifacts. Click HERE for more information on A Grave With No Name.

4. Crake Make A Pit Stop At Little Chef

Through their singles club, Come Play With Me label has already been showcasing the brightest and best new talent coming out of West Yorkshire. Now, stepping up with a two CD compilation featuring the likes of Deadwall, Napoleon IIIrd and The Wedding Present, the future looks very bright for the label. Ahead of the compilations release next month, the label has shared the new single from Leeds/Wakefield four-piece Crake.

For Crake, the songwriting vehicle of Rowan Sandle, alongside members of Esper Scout and Mi Mye, Little Chef marks their first new material since the  release of their debut EP earlier this year. Described by Rowan as, “songs about flora, fauna and the tough stuff”, Crake’s sound is one of burbling atmospheric synths, rumbling bass and steady precise drum beats, all topped off with Rowan’s intoxicating and idiosyncratic vocals. Little Chef takes its inspiration from The Weakerthans song Hospital Vespers, and the probably fictional book from it, The Politics Of The Lonely, as Rowna explains, “for me, ‘The Politics of Lonely’ describes how the possibilities of our social relationships are deeply affected by the dominant politics of our time. We need to find new ways to look after each other. We need a new politics of care”. Amen to that, comfort in the face of capitalism, Crake want, even demand, a new way of doing life, and equally important, they sound wonderful.

Come Play is out December 1st via CPWM Records. Click HERE for more information on Crake.

3. Alex Bloom Gives Us One More Shot

It was during his final year at USC Thornton School of Music that LA-native Alex Bloom decided to make a record, perhaps not the obvious decision for a busy student, but Alex Bloom’s music is anything but obvious. That album Blue Moon is out next month, and this week he has shared the latest taste of it, One More Shot.

Recorded in New Monkey, the studio formerly owned by Elliot Smith, Alex Bloom’s sound is one inspired by years immersed in the sounds of The Beatles and The Beach Boys; it’s also, like so many, an album influenced by his first heartbreak. One More Shot is a track that seems to fuse the old and the new, the low-key songwriting recalls the likes of Andy Shauf or Whitney, but there’s an ambition and warmth to the production that is distinctly retro-leaning. Sure he probably should have been focusing on finishing his degree at the time, but if you’re going to take some time out to write an album, at least make it as good as Blue Room is shaping up to be.

Blue Room is out December 8th. Click HERE for more information on Alex Bloom.

2. Martha Bed Down For Winter

From contractual obligation rarely emerges anything interesting, but you can rely on Fortuna POP! to break the mould. The zombie label has been releasing a series of intriguing releases to complete their final singles club, and the latest, and final, offering is the new 7″ from Durham’s DIY-punk’s Martha.

The release comprises of The Winter Fuel Allowance Ineligibility Blues, previously released on the sold-out, It Came From Plan-It-X compilation, alongside the brand-new B-side, a cover of The Marked Men’s track, Fix My Brain. The Marked Men were one of the band’s that first inspired Martha; now stablemates on the US-label Dirtnap. Martha’s version of Fix My Brain retains all the energy of the original, but infuses it with their own brand of hook-laden charm. One last fitting farewell to one of the nation’s finest labels, Fortuna POP, it has truly been wonderful!

The Winter Fuel Allowance Ineligibility Blues is out now via Fortuna POP! Click HERE for more information on Martha.

1. Loma Slide Into The Black

Loma is a new project comprised of Shearwater singer Jonathan Meiburg, and Cross Record’s Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski. The project came together after what Loma describe as, “a joint pilgrimage around the world”, when the two bands toured extensively together. If Loma started as a coming together, it was equally shaped by a falling apart, Emily and Dan started recording the album as a married couple, but finished it separated. Jonathan admits the experience of recording an album through that much upheaval, was both challenging and inspiring. He took the isolated and atmospheric house as his muse, and around that the record was built.

Loma’s self-titled debut album will emerge in February next year, and ahead of its release this week they’ve shared the first single from it, Black Willow. The track is a breathtaking introduction; Emily’s stunning, diaphanous vocals weave delicate melodies atop a backing of steady drum-beats, hypnotic bass and the steady pulse of drums. For all it’s willowy beauty, this is a track that none the less stands tall, strong and seemingly unphased by whatever demons come its way. Their debut album is a true collaboration with no member taking on a fixed role or instrument, Loma is the sound of freshly flourishing creativity emerging in the face of adversity, and music rarely gets more exciting than that.

Loma is out February 16th via Sub Pop. Click HERE for more information on Loma.

Header photo by Bryan C Parker – http://bryancparker.com/

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