5. It’s Always A Laugh A Minute With Say Sue Me
It’s probably fair to say the first place you’d go looking for a surf-inspired indie-pop band isn’t Busan in South Korea, yet thanks to the wonders of globalisation, that’s exactly where you’ll find one of the most interesting examples on the planet, Say Sue Me. The quartet released their second album, Where We Were Together, earlier this year and returned this week with their new single, Just Joking Around.
Although not on When We Were Together, Just Joking Around is actually where the album’s title comes from. Taking inspiration from acts as diverse as The Venture and Yo La Tengo, Say Sue Me make dreamy-pop versions of raucous garage tracks, and the nearly six minute long, Just Joking Around is no different. The guitar work flips from gently textural, to bombastic full blown rock riffing, as the rhythm section seem to try and fit every possible idea into a single track. The one constant that ties the track together is vocalist Sumi Choi, originally signed up purely on the basis of having a charming speaking voice, she provides the calm anchor around which the music flows and thrashes. After a difficult year for the band; drummer Kang Semin was badly injured in a fall and is still working towards recovery, the band seem to be emerging sounding as exciting, and unique as ever.
Just Joking Around / B Love is out now via Damnably and Electric Muse. Click HERE for more information on Say Sue Me.
4. The Pieces Of Julia Meijer Fall Into Place
The latest example of a hugely talented Swedish-musician setting up camp on British soil, Julia Meijer, is a songwriter based out of Oxford. Currently working towards her debut album, this week Julia has shared a brand new single from it, Fall Into Place.
The track is something of an aspirational offering, dealing with taking personal responsibility for your own life, and not focusing your time on what is important to you, as Julia explains, “I wanted the words ‘let everything fall into place’ to be like a mantra to repeat every morning to get your priorities right and focus on the things that really matter”. Musically, the track is an intriguing fusion of glittering dream-pop and the hazier side of 1970’s folk; rich layers of vocal melodies entwine and then part, atop a backing of driving rhythms and twanging, psych-tinged guitars. Brexit might be on the way, but on this evidence Anglo-Swedish musical relations remain as wonderful as ever: long may that continue.
Fall Into Place is out now. Click HERE for more information on Julia Meijer
3. Wild Powwers Are Getting Into The Buff Stuff
Seattle’s, “grunge-babies”, Wild Powwers are nothing if not productive. As well as gigging and touring almost constantly in the US, the band have found time to release three albums in four years, with their latest offering, Skin, due out in October. Ahead of the release the band have this week shared the first single from it, Buff Stuff.
On the evidence of Buff Stuff, none of the band’s energy has diminished and they are taking their music into new, perhaps darker, directions. The sludgy-rock sound, drifts towards noise-rock acts like Flesh World or Witching Waves, as guitars and heavy-drum hits create walls of brutal sound, engulfing vocalist Lara Hilgemann’s howling, yet tuneful, take on screaming. The track starts off as a relatively poppy affair, then takes a dive towards the gutter around the three minute mark, collapsing into a crescendo of visceral noise from which is never escapes. Raw, ragged and very, very exciting.
Skin is out October 12th via Nadine Records. Click HERE for more information on Wild Powwers.
2. Viva Vera Sola
We’d never heard of Vera Sola before this week, although we had heard her. Up until now, best known as a member of Elvis Perkins’ band, this week Vera has announced the November release of her debut album, Shades, as well as sharing the first single from it, Small Minds.
A literary graduate from Harvard, Vera’s life has been immersed in music since a young age, when, as the daughter of artists and writers, she split her time between New York City and a rural farm in Canada. As a child she was a dancer, a pianist and latterly a self-taught guitarist and bass-player. Discussing her debut album, Vera has suggested it is an attempt to explore, “the generalities and subtleties of the nature of femininity”. With Small Minds, Vera seems to muse on the role of a jilted lover, as she sings, “I don’t want to tiptoe on your heart, when you come crashing down on mine.” Musically, it’s a classic pop song; the prominent bass-line reminiscent of Cass McCombs, and the strutting rhythms and twangy guitars provide melodic counter-points to Vera’s rich, crystal clear vocals. “Would you care at all”, Vera repeats regularly throughout the song, with tracks this good, a lot of people are going to care about Vera Sola in the not-to-distant future.
Shades is out November 9th. Click HERE for more information on Vera Sola.
1. Get Ghum Stuck In Your Head
A fine example of the joys of multi-culturalism, Ghum (we’re reliably informed pronounced, Gum) came together after previously exploring musical projects in places as far-and-wide as Brazil, Spain and Brighton. Their somewhat old-fashioned sounding band-origin, go back to when bassist Marina MJ posted a musicians wanted advert on Gumtree, and from a mutual love of The Cure, Warpaint and PJ Harvey, Ghum was born.
This week, the band have shared their latest single, I’m The Storm, their first new material since their self-titled EP last year. Discussing the song, guitarist Jojo Khor has suggested it’s a track, “about the silent internal suffering you experience before breaking up with someone, the calm before the storm”. With nods to acts like Exploded View, and undeniably The Cure, I’m The Storm walks the fine-line between post-punk and full on 1980’s goth; a throbbing bassy-pulse, cut through by jagged drum beats and wiry guitar work. It’s laced with intensity and intent; a band belying their DIY routes with a record that’s wonderfully produced and very exciting, Ghum are a band on the rise.
I’m The Storm is out now via Everything Sucks. Click HERE for more information on Ghum.