5. The Wrath Of Borman
Wrath is the debut single from 25-year-old, LA-based songwriter Dorvin Borman, and what an introduction to new talent it is. Apparently the first taste of an upcoming EP, Wrath is, in Dorvin’s own words, “a meditation on overcoming anxiety in the centre of a city as neurotic as Los Angeles.”
Musically, the track builds around a beautifully battered sounding drum-machine and reverb drenched guitar line, as the multiple layers of Dorvin’s cracked vocal float and fall around the musical backing, coating the whole thing in a sweet, hazy melancholy. On Wrath, Dorvin Borman shows a touch of Sparklehorse in the songwriting, a bit of Tom Vek in the production and an awful lot to suggest he’s going to be an artist well worth keeping an eye on.
Wrath is out now. Click HERE for more information on Dorvin Borman.
4. Spinning In The Stars
Spinning Coin’s debut album, Permo, came out to not nearly enough fanfare in November last year, but since then it feels like a record that is slowly seeping into the alternative conscious. Recorded with the production skills of both Edwyn Collins and Stu Evans, Permo was an album built around the twin talents of songwriters Sean Armstrong and Jack Mellin.
This week, ahead of a headline tour in February, the band have shared the video to their new single, Starry Eyes. One of Permo’s finest moments, Starry Eyes is a beautifully laid-back piece of songwriting, with a similarly drifting, shuffling outer coating to Ultimate Painting. Beneath the breezy melodies though, there’s a lingering unease about Starry Eyes. The guitars are just a little off-key, the drums have a subtle urgency and the vocals bite just a little more than they first appear to, as they sing, “you say things will never change, well they won’t if you don’t even try”. The track nags away and gently embeds itself in your skull; like so much of Spinning Coin’s output, there’s much more to Starry Eyes than you’d initially think, and on repeat listens it’s rather wonderful.
Permo is out now via Geographic Records (Domino). Click HERE for more information on Spinning Coin.
3. There’s Love (In Paul Bergmann)
Since he first came to our attention with 2015’s excellent album, Romantic Thoughts, Paul Bergmann has barely stopped releasing music. Two more albums have since followed, and with 2018 barely begun, Paul’s already plotting his next release, with a new EP, Night, Unfold, due at the start of February.
The first taste of that record was shared this week, in the shape of new single, There’s Love (In Almost Everything). Recalling the likes of Adem or Micah P. Hinson, the track builds around a simplistic piano line, surely lifted straight from a lullaby. Around the arpeggiated piano chords, gurgling synths buzz, before wheezy harmonicas and a quietly bombastic burst of electric guitar build to a delightfully odd crescendo. Paul’s vocal is mixed low throughout, drawing the listener in, trying to make out his every word, as he repeats the line, “don’t you worry about a thing, there’s love in almost everything.” The whole track is a delightfully understated affair, and despite its lo-fi and almost simplistic production, in many ways it’s the most unusual and interesting Paul Bergmann thing has done to date.
Night,Unfold is out February 2nd. Click HERE for more information on Paul Bergmann.
2. Totally Mild Thank Their Lucky Stars
Totally Mild are a, “lush pop”, quartet based out of Melbourne. Signed to Chapter Music, home of The Goon Sax among others, Totally Mild are set to release their second album, Her, at the end of next month. This week the band have shared the video to new single, Lucky Stars, a video described by front-woman, Elizabeth Mitchell, as, “a momentary glimpse into the world of this woman as she plays a love song and hopes someone will hear it.”
The track is the stand out moment on Her, carried along with nothing more than a plaintive piano and Elizabeth’s stunning vocal; it cracks and fizzes with emotion throughout, soaring up to high notes before cartwheeling down to low, without ever sounding showy or forced. Discussing the new album, Her, Elizabeth has suggested it’s, “a record of failure and victory”, an album that seems to fluctuate between settling down and carrying on partying, finding new love and escaping stale relationships. More than anything though it is a record about being brilliantly, brittley, beautifully human, and we can all relate to that.
Her is out February 23rd via Chapter Music. Click HERE for more information on Totally Mild.
1. Gwenno Taps Into A Memory
Cornish is a language that has existed for at least 15 centuries, yet it is also one that has almost entirely faded from public view. As one of just a few fluent speakers in the country, it was perhaps an obvious decision, at least in her own head, for Gwenno to make her second album entirely in Cornish. That record, Le Kov, translating roughly as a place of memory, will be released later this year on Heavenly Recordings.
This week Gwenno has shared the first taste of that upcoming record, Tir Ha Mor, that’s Land And Sea for the non-Cornish speakers out there. The track is a tribute to St. Ives painter, Peter Lanyon, a man so dedicated to his home county that he learnt to fly a glider to get a better picture of it, before in 1964 dying when he crashed his plane. Musically, the song sounds like a glorious, technicolor dystopia, all buzzing synths, rumbling bass, reverb-soaked vocals and mysterious electronic noises, like the soundtrack to a lost 1980’s documentary about mechanisation in the light-haulage industry. While making a Cornish-language pop record in an age of much hand-wringing and political uncertainty, might not be an obvious decision, Gwenno discovered writing it, that in our history, we’ve always marginalised those who appear different to us. As she explains, as much as anything, Le Kov is an album, “about having to accept and respect the nuances that make us all different and discovering that all of our stories share the same truth”. Long may Gwenno remain as nuanced, different and wonderful; a one of a kind, inspirational songwriter, Gwenno makes us look at the world differently with every turn.
Le Kov is out March 2nd on Heavenly Recordings. Click HERE for more information on Gwenno.