Five Things We Liked This Week – 23/03/2018

Further Listening:

5. Faeland Aren’t Staying Silent

Faeland are the Bristol-based alt-folk duo of Jacob Morrison and Rebecca Nelson. The pair recently released their debut album, All My Swim, and have this week shared the video to new single, Silent Story.

With its lush instrumentation (a prominent Rhodes-like piano is particularly wonderful) and gentle easy rhythms, there’s more than a touch of fellow Bristolians, This Is The Kit about Silent Story. There’s a quiet steeliness to the track, as Rebecca sings of starting a new life, leaving the past where it belongs and no matter how far you run, your problems often come with you. A reminder there’s life in this folk thing yet, Faeland’s intriguing slant sounds fresh, energetic and very exciting.

All My Swim is out now via Green Sage Records. Click HERE for more information on Faeland.

4. The Premise Of Vitality

A self-described, “conglomerate of art outsiders and aesthetes”, Glasgow quartet Vital Idles are prominent members, and tireless supporters, of the city’s DIY scene. After a handful of self-released singles and EPs, the band have signed to the ever reliable Upset The Rhythm imprint, and will release their debut album, Left Hand, in the summer. Ahead of that release, this week they’ve shared the excellent new single, A Premise.

A Premise is a tense and skeletal piece of recording, its music stripped back to the bare bones of rapid pulsing rhythms and jagged, scuzzy guitars, the whole thing is wrapped up in well under two minutes. Like Drinks or The Ramones, this is clever music playing at being dumb; revelling in the primal and awkward, it’s delightfully odd without being in any way inaccessible. At the forefront of their sound is the indirect vocal style of singer Jessica Higgins, with her intriguing use of phrases and imagery, she conjures up fascinating snapshots without ever getting directly to any sort of point. With upcoming dates with both Jeffrey Lewis and No Age, the bands profile is on the rise, these masters of the underground are unlikely to stay subterranean for long.

Left Hand is out June 1st via Upset The Rhythm. Click HERE for more information on Vital Idles.

3. Everything’s Better With Jessica’s Brother

Recently described by The Guardian as, “a passion project intended to please only themselves”, with their debut single, Overnight Horror, Jessica’s Brother nevertheless pleased plenty outside the band. With a debut album due late in the year on Fika Recordings, this week the trio have shared their second single, All The Better.

All The Better is a slightly different beast to their first offering; here the maudlin, eerie-folk influence is emphasised, as Tom Charleston’s croaked croon is accompanied by prominent rolling bass, complex, quietly driving drum beats and darkly melancholic violin, courtesy of Enderby’s Room’s Dan Mayfield. What truly lifts this track though is the way it takes a haunting folk song and shifts it into an expansive rock number, the vocal drifting away as the distorted lead guitar comes to the fore and the drums slip into a thrilling double time. Lyrically, Tom has suggested the song is an exploration of, “the melancholy and optimism of breaching adolescence and the limbo before adulthood.” It may never be easy growing up, but two songs in, Jessica’s Brother are progressing nicely into a truly intriguing prospect.

All The Better is out now via Fika Recordings. Click HERE for more information on Jessica’s Brother. 

2. Gabriella Cohen Is Back In The Pink

After the huge success of her 2016 debut album, Full Closure and No Details, Gabriella Cohen went from being a relative unknown to one of Australia’s most loved musicians. Produced with new found expectations, Gabriella describes her second record as, “a homage to her musical influences”, promising everything from bossa nova grooves to lilting strings and sprawling rock’n’roll. That record, intriguingly entitled, Pink is the Colour of Unconditional Love, won’t arrive until June, but this week Gabriella has shared the first single from it, Baby.

Baby introduces the album with a strutting, shuffling, swagger. Jaunty guitars and energetic, ticking drum beats, contrast a tale of unrequited love as Gabriella sings, “when you walk by, head in the sky, I’m lost and confused, I feel overused.” Somehow this painful rejection seems to emerge as something upbeat, positive, even feel good. The highlight throughout is the gorgeous and complex backing vocals, provided, allegedly, by a choir of imaginary dolls that exist in her head. The best song Gabriella has released to date, Baby feels like the start of something hugely exciting.

Pink Is The Colour Of Unconditional Love is out June 1st on Captured Tracks. Click HERE for more information on Gabriella Cohen.

1. Neighbor Lady Don’t Want To Stop The Bloodshed

Atlanta’s Neighbor Lady are a quarter based around the songwriting, and stunning vocal, of front-woman, Emily Braden. With a sound described as, “the missing link between indie-rock and classic country and western.” Neighbor Lady are set to release their debut album later in the Spring on Friendship Fever, and have this week shared their searing new single, Let It Bleed.

While some Neighbor Lady tracks strip back to the country basics of just Emily and a guitar, Let It Bleed shows the intensity, and noise, the band can concoct around her. Reverberating strums of over-driven electric guitars propel the whole song along, as lead guitars dance through the mix, and the distant sounding drums are left to their own clattering brilliance. As good as the music is, Neighbor Lady’s trump card is unquestionably, Emily’s vocal; like Jessica Lea-Mayfield or Kristine Leschper, she manages to find a huge emotional intensity even in the track’s quietest moments. A stunning track that suggests the band could break-out in the same way Big Thief or Angel Olsen have, forget Maybe Later, Neighbor Lady’s time is unquestionably now.

Maybe Later is out May 11th via Friendship Fever. Click HERE for more information on Neighbor Lady.

Header photo by Ryan Myers – http://ryanmyerscaptures.com

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