Five Things We Liked This Week – 25/05/18

Further Listening:

5. Mandy Takes Her Journals To A New Town

Mandy Gurung is probably best known as front-woman of Brooklyn-trio The Rungs, who formed back in 2012, and have so far released, well, not a great deal. This week Mandy has stepped out in a, sort of, solo style, with a new project, Song Journal. As Mandy herself explains, it is, “a place for me to share raw demos, continuous and open like a journal.” A place for Mandy to explore the rougher, less produced sound that previously she found too raw to release.

Mandy has also this week shared the first offering from the project, New Town. The track explores the idea of fleeing your problems and heading to a new life in a new town, as Mandy sings, “all my mistakes I’ve left them behind in a place you won’t find them, every sidewalk is a new step.” This fantasy new life is tempting, a chance to be a whole new you, even if ultimately you can’t change the person inside. Musically, it’s a raw slice of grungy power-pop, nodding to the likes of Diet Cig or Frankie Cosmos. As Mandy says of this new project, “I want to let these songs exist with all the errors and nuances that make them special to me.” Honest, raw, and very exciting, Mandy’s Song Journal might be something special to a lot more people than just herself.

New Town is out now. Click HERE for more information on Mandy’s Song Journal.

4. The Wave Pictures Burn The Match At Both Ends

The Wave Pictures have never been a band held back by a lack of productivity. There can be few more prolific acts currently operating, even so their upcoming offering, Brushes With Happiness, might just be their most rapid yet. Recorded in a single night, the record is almost entirely improvised, an album essentially pulled out of thin air and written direct to tape. It should be awful, yet this being The Wave Pictures, inevitably it isn’t.

This week the band have shared the latest offering from it, The Burnt Match. In some ways it’s a tribute to not over-thinking it, as David explains, “everything about the music business is designed to make you second-guess yourself constantly, and this is part of the reason why all the music they have now is a load of rubbish. You have to fight against that every day.” It’s fighting talk sure, yet there’s something honest about the freedom that the band find on The Burnt Match that backs up their claims. The languid guitar lines, the cracked harmonies, the fluttering drum beat; they all have a sense of energy, of capturing a moment, of making music without any end goal, and of creativity for the simple joy of it, and there’s something rather wonderful about that.

Brushes With Happiness is out June 22nd via Moshi Moshi. Click HERE for more information on The Wave Pictures.

3. BC Lamplight Got The Deportation Blues

Rewind to 2015, Brian ‘BC Camplight’ Christinzio is on top of the world. After years of battling addiction and mental illness, he’s relocated to Manchester from the US, and he’s about to release a critically acclaimed new album. Then his plans fell apart, “the next thing I know, I’m playing Pac Man in my parents’ basement in New Jersey, thinking, this is my life now.” After falling foul of the home office pen pushers, Brian was deported, all touring was cancelled, all plans on hold, as he puts it, “the past few years have been a fucking nightmare.”

Thankfully the story doesn’t end there and then, courtesy of his Italian grandparents and an EU passport, BC was back (and we’ll brush over the fact Brexit happened, “the day after I got back”). The dust of Brian’s ordeal settled, and he realised he didn’t actually feel any better, he was angry, he was drinking too much and he felt, “destroyed.” BC locked himself up in a Liverpool studio, recorded only at night, and just let the dark thoughts flow out; the result is his upcoming album, Deportation Blues. That album won’t arrive until August, for now though there’s the title track to dissect. Instantly you know the music of BC Camplight is in a darker territory than ever before; brutal thuds of guitar, ice-pick like synth pulses and a vocal equal parts howling falsetto and slow-motion barber-shop. Lyrically as he screams, “let me in” and invites us to “welcome a stranger into your world and give the boy the key”, it is anything but subtle, also though it is unquestionably both brilliant and bonkers. Now if anyone from the government is reading this, don’t you dare try to kick this man out again, the fate of the nation’s musical future could depend on him!

Deportation Blues is out August 24th via Bella Union. Click HERE for more information on BC Camplight.

2. Lazaring In On Georgia

We’ve been fans of Caroline Lazar’s around these parts since her stunning debut single, Nevermine, arrived a year ago on My Little Empire Records. With the small matter of a degree to finish we weren’t sure when we’d next hear from the sometimes Florida, sometimes Miami, based songwriter, thankfully this week the wait was over with the surprise release of her new single Georgia.

The first taste of an upcoming EP, Georgia might just be the most mature and nuanced song Caroline has released to date. Described by Caroline as, “a nostalgic song”, the track floats by with an undeniably wistful edge, chirping insects croak in the distance, as Caroline offers vague snapshots of “cracked lips soaked in red wine” and seems to question her own minds workings as she asks, “why am I thinking of you thinking of someone else?” Musically, Georgia is pitched somewhere between the bedroom pop of Soccer Mommy and 29-era Ryan Adams, as gentle drums, echoing electric guitars and buzzing organs create a sophisticated musical backdrop. A perfectly judged next step from a songwriter so clearly on the rise.

Georgia is out now. Click HERE for more information on Caroline Lazar.

1. Juliana Daugherty Shows Her Teeth

It would be easy to look at any musician coming out Charlottesville, Virginia through a political lens, to analyse their every word for some hint of the planet altering political turmoil that engulfed the city during last year’s riots. Listening to Juliana Daugherty though, you’re reminded of something arguably more important, reminded that as world events occur, the everyday lives of people must carry on. Juliana’s debut album, Light, is a reminder that the private struggle remains. That album will arrive at the start of next month, and ahead of its release, this week Juliana has shared the latest offering from it, new single, Baby Teeth.

Discussing the track Juliana has suggested it is, “essentially a breakup song”, only presented with the clarity of time and distance, it serves largely as a chance to, “get the final word in”. Juliana’s background may be classical music, on Baby Teeth though, any sense of layering and complexity is stripped back, to the rawest, most vital bones. Juliana is, for the most part, accompanied by just a muted, rhythmic guitar, allowing her dancing, pirouetting vocal melodies to shine brightly and beautifully. The wonderful vocal tone is easy to get lost in, yet make no mistake, in the lyrics are some painfully barbed words, as she sings, “when it’s just us two, you fill the room making your righteous pronouncements like someone is counting.” Brutal, beautiful music, a winning combo in our book, Juliana Daughtery is shaping up as one of the year’s most intriguing newcomers.

Light is out June 1st via Western Vinyl. Click HERE for more information on Juliana Daugherty.

Header photo is Juliana Daugherty by Tom Daly – http://www.tomdalyphotography.com

2 thoughts on “Five Things We Liked This Week – 25/05/18

  1. Gurr, Mandy G, Caroline L and Juliana D – aces all, some we’d never heard (of). FRidays are so brilliant, this roundup blog is such a highlight.

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