5. The Saxophones Take A Look At The Big Picture
It was over a decade ago that a young Alexi Erenkov started making music under the name of The Saxophones. A student of jazz, he initially became disenchanted by what he describes as, “the lack of emotion I perceived in much of the music”. It was only after drafting in his wife, Alison Alderdice, on, “primitive”, drums and percussion that the music came alive. The results will soon see the light of day with the release of their debut album, Songs Of The Saxophones, in June on the Full Time Hobby Label.
Ahead of the album’s release, this week the band have shared the first taste of the record, new single, Picture. Discussing the track, Alexi suggests, “to my ears, and I suspect mine alone, the opening verse sounds like a post-modern “Riding Around in My Automobile.” Which does kind of make you wonder if he was accidentally playing Chuck Berry instead of his own record, because, with all due respect Alexi, it doesn’t – it does sound equally good though. Citing influences from 1970’s outsider Italian songwriter Vittorio Impiglia to 1950’s exotica, The Saxophones sound is, to our ears, akin to bands like Timber Timbre or Bill Callahan. Picture is an aural masterpiece, all slow-moving sonic textures; menacing bassy vocals playing off against fluttering flutes, pulsing percussion and eerie, reverberating guitars. Not just wonderful music, but a testament to being in a band with your favourite people, The Saxophones serve as an inspiration to us all.
Songs Of The Saxophones is out June 8th via Full Time Hobby. Click HERE for more information on The Saxophones.
4. Six Degrees Of Stef Churaration
Stef Chura is quite possibly one of the fastest rising alternative musicians on the planet. It was only last year she released her debut album, Messes, on Detroit indie-label, Urinal Cake Records, a record so good Sub Pop recently opted to re-release it. This week Stef takes her next step towards world domination, announcing a new single, Degrees/Sour Honey, out on Record Store Day, recorded with Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo.
Ahead of the release Stef has shared the A-side, Degrees, with the world; the result of turning up to see Will in the studio, realising they both had a spare afternoon, and making some frankly stunning music together. Presented as an off-cut from the recording of Messes, Degrees might just be Stef’s most sonically interesting release to date. There are little touches here that are intriguing and effective in equal measures; the way the snare drum is mixed really high to cut through, the bright stabs of organ in the noisy, grungy chorus, the gentle, slightly off-kilter, emotionally jarring vocal delivery. A lot of it shouldn’t really work, yet somehow it does; one minute a wall of pure noise, the next, stripped almost bare. It feels like the start of a fascinating new collaboration, and thankfully it is one that’s set to continue as the pair are already working on Stef’s upcoming second record.
Degrees b/w Sour Honey is out April 20th via Sub Pop. Click HERE for more information on Stef Chura.
3. Jess Williamson Fades Into The White
Following the release of her sublime second album, Heart Song, Jess Williamson went through something of a personal transition. She left Texas for California, fell in love, and watched her dog Frankie start to grey with old age. The result of this shift, is her upcoming record, and first for Mexican Summer, Cosmic Wink. A record that emerges from soul-searching, and challenging the notion that, “heartache, depression, and sadness” were “the only way to make interesting music.”
The first example of this new way of working appeared this week with new single, I See The White. A track described by Jess, as the middle ground of a love song and a tantrum, as she simultaneously rides the, “crest of a wave”, of happiness, but fears that there just won’t be enough time to enjoy it all. Musically, I See The White is pitched somewhere between Stories From The City-era PJ Harvey and The Beta Band; drifting hazy synths, are cut through by angular stabs of guitar and Jess’s vocal, which, somehow, sounds even better that it did on previous records. Jess’s music has never sounded more alive, more accessible, more happy and paradoxically more aware of just how unfair that happiness having a time limit on it is: essentially it has never sounded more human.
Cosmic Wink is out May 11th via Mexican Summer. Click HERE for more information on Jess Williamson.
2. Deanna Petcoff: True But Definitely Not Terrible
After five year’s spent playing alongside her first band, Pins & Needles, Toronto’s Deanna Petcoff has wasted no time embarking on a solo career. The band only announced their split last month, but Deanna has this week put out her debut single, Terribly True.
Discussing the track, Deanna has suggested Terribly True, “was inspired when I realized that it wasn’t the person I was seeing who I was in love with – it was the idea of being in love itself.” As such, it inhabits a very vulnerable and painful place, what Deanna calls, “my favourite place to write from”. Musically, the track blends the emotionally raw sound of acts like Sharon Van Etten or Martha Ffion, with Deanna’s leaning towards the classic, “I’m always thinking “what would a 1960’s soul singer do?” Poignant and beautiful, Deanna’s music has an honesty to it that instantly resonates: surely one of the year’s most exciting debut singles.
Terribly True is out now. Click HERE for more information on Deanna Petcoff.
1. Margaret’s Glaspy Wasn’t Born Yesterday
What does a musician do when spending their life on the road? If you’re Margaret Glaspy, you do what got you there in the first place and write songs. The result is a new three track EP, Born Yesterday, serving as the full stop on her break-out debut record, 2016’s Emotions & Math, “the end of this chapter and mark a new beginning.”
The record looks at three different aspects of love, “love gone wrong, love gone right, and love at a distance”. Listening to the record’s lead track, Before We Were Together, we’re going to take a wild stab, it might be the one where love went wrong. From the opening line, it is a brutal dissection of a failed relationship, “shut my eyes, I don’t want to be privy to the look you’re giving me, when I tell you that I’m never going to be the way you said I would, shut my mouth, I don’t want to say words that will make you go away, but I also want to make you go away for good.” Musically, the track picks up where Emotions & Math left off; Margaret’s raspy, howl and superb guitar work creating a blurring of raw punk instrumentation and complex jazzy licks. Farewell to the old Margaret Glaspy, hello to the new one, we can’t wait to see where she goes next.
Born Yesterday is out now via ATO Records, with a vinyl release to follow in May. Click HERE for more information on Margaret Glaspy.
Header photo by Ebru Yildiz – http://www.ebruyildiz.net/