Five Things We Liked This Week – 22/06/18

Further Listening:

5. Alex Dingley Is Leaving The Lovely Life

It was only back in April that we were championing Alex Dingley’s previous single, Not Alone In The Dark; yet with the UK-release this week of his excellent third album, Beat The Babble, it seemed an appropriate time to re-vist this wonderfully talented Welshman. The album, previously only available in the US, was recorded in Los Angeles alongside Tim Presley, Cate Le Bon and engineer Samur Khouja.

To celebrate the record’s release, Alex has this week shared the latest single from it, Lovely Life To Leave. The piano-led track is a tumble of emotions, words practically falling out of Alex, as he laments missed opportunities with a departed friend, “I wish that I could spend just one more day, waste away, one more hour with you.” Atop a backing of choppy chords and delightfully shambolic drums, it is always Alex’s cracked vocal and beautifully poetic lyrics at the forefront, “I dreamt that you were well and free from pain, you were you again, as we swam up through the flooded town, the houses cracked and crumbled, you talked so much you almost drowned, you were my friend, you were my lighthouse, oh what a lovely life, oh what a lovely life to leave.” Sure Alex Dingley’s music is probably not going to bother the pop charts, probably won’t even reach the same heights as his illustrious producers on the alternative scene, yet with little fuss and an awful lot of wonderful songwriting, he might just have made one of our favourite album’s of the year so far.

Beat The Babble is out now via Libertino Records. Click HERE for more information on Alex Dingley.

4. Rebecca Reinhard Makes Perfect Sense

Stockholm songwriter Rebecca Reinhard is the latest product of a fruitful relationship between Sweden and London. After coming over here to study around four years ago, Rebecka not only found a backing band for her own songwriting, she also joined the excellent Blackaby. Now back in her homeland, Rebecka has this week shared her new single, Nonsense In Your Sleep, the first track to be lifted from her upcoming EP, Valentine Road.

The track is inspired by a combination of Facebook stalking, accidental or otherwise, and one particular run in with an ex, “I was scrolling past a Facebook post proclaiming the 1-year-anniversary of my ex’s new relationship. A relationship that I then learned had started not even a week after ours had ended, which stirred suspicions that it might have started earlier still, while I was trying so desperately to hold on to what I thought was the love of my life. Huh. Guess not.” While in many people’s hands this would sound downbeat and heartbroken, thanks to Rebecka’s easy, Kurt-Vile like guitar playing and ability to see the black-comedy in anything it’s anything but, as she sings, “I don’t think break-ups were as hard before they came up with internet stalking. It worked out fine when you unfriended me, so why change a working thing?” In equally great news alongside her new single, we’ve just discovered Rebecka is playing at Indietracks this summer as well, so forget your ex and just embrace the wonders that music can bring your way.

Valentine Road is out later this year. Click HERE for more information on Rebecka Reinhard.

3. Dead Naked Hippies Are Ready For The Guillotine

Some music is just meant to sound noisy, take Guillotine, the new single from Dead Naked Hippies; no matter how quiet you play it, the energy, the fizzing, noise of the piece is inescapable. The track is the Leeds-trios first release of 2018, and their finest track to date.

Walking the intense middle-ground of post-punk and grunge, Guillotine is both musically and lyrically brutal. The heavy drums, the cathartic clattering guitar-lines, the honest, vocal howl, even in the slowest, quietest section, it’s never short of full throttle intensity. Discussing the track, vocalist Lucy Jowett has suggested it is an exploration of grief, “the fine line between wanting to retaliate to someone who has caused you hurt, versus choosing to cut out the dead weight they have created in your life.” Dead Naked Hippies are a band unafraid of tackling the world’s more difficult topics, whether it’s grief, mental health or just trying to find your place in the world, they’re the sort of band who are ready to inspire another hundred people to pick up an instrument and let their music and emotions flow freely into the world.

Guillotine is out now. Click HERE for more information on Dead Naked Hippies

2. Irma Vep Gets In The Holiday Mood

With any songwriting pseudonym comes the question of where does the person end and the character begin; that is certainly the case with Irma Vep. Born, Edwin Stevens in Llanfairfechan, North Wales, he cites a four-track recorder bought by his mother as the day Irma Vep was born, “recording for the cathartic process rather than the outcome.” This week Irma Vep has shared the video to upcoming b-side Holiday, directed by Vital Idles’ Jessica Higgins.

Holiday might be the title of a summer banger, yet in Irma’s hands it becomes anything but sunny. This expansive, gloomy music recalls acts like Timber Timbre or B.C. Camplight; merging classic 1960’s-pop into a darker, dingier corner of the world. The track begins with a gentle tick of a drum, a slowly-meandering twang of guitar, before Irma’s croaked, bruised vocal enters, “let me stay here in this position, my legs pulled up by arms by my sides, I want to be punted like a football.” The track was inspired by Edwin’s friends’ death, “it’s two people in my head arguing about it – both of them cowards.” Anxious, melancholic and entirely honest, as he concludes at the end,  “there’s no such thing as a holiday”, the tears roll as the curtains close, on another wonderful Irma Vep track.

Evil b/w Holiday is out today via Handsome Dad Records. Click HERE for more information on Irma Vep.

1. Mothers Are To Blame

Call us psychic if you like, because earlier this week we were walking on an inappropriately sunny morning, listening to Mothers’ 2016 debut, When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired, and wondering when we’d hear more from probably our favourite band this century. Well good news everybody, come September 7th that wait will be over with the release of their second album, Render Another Ugly Method, their first for new home ANTI-Records. On top of that great news, the Athens band, now based out of Philadelphia, have also shared the first taste of that record, in the shape of new single, Blame Kit.

The next step for Mothers, and their chief songwriter Kristine Leschper, was, for anyone who’s seen their live show, always going to be an intriguing leap. While WYWALDYAT was a sprawling, emotional, sometimes muted affair, live Mothers became a sprawling, angular, maths-rock power-house. Even expecting something different though, Blame Kit still feels like a fresh new direction; the vocal production of the sprightly intro initially had us wondering if this was even the same band, it was only in the bass-heavy break-down one minute in as, Kristine sings, “not the first time I’ve seen it, I watched her body expand a hundred times its size to contain it”, that the hair-raising vocal tone meant this could be no other band. Lyrically the track aims to explore the idea of the titular Blame Kit, “a social mechanism that aims to shift or imply guilt onto a particular person, group, or idea”, the track was inspired by a case study Kristine read on children with Autism and Schizophrenia, as she explains, “‘his body will at one moment expand to contain things and events that are outside of it, and at the next shrink to near-nothingness…Uncertain of the boundaries of his body, things on the outside become terribly important.’ I couldn’t stop thinking about that.” The return of one of the most important, intriguing bands in the world, embrace this progress, this brave new musical world.

Render Another Ugly Method is out September 7th via ANTI- Records. Click HERE for more information on Mothers.

Header photo is Mothers by Tonje Thilesen – http://www.tonjethilesen.com

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