Five Things We Liked This Week – 07/09/18

Further Listening:

5. Insecure Men Hit A Karaoke Bar In Soho

Listening to Fat White Family, it’s quite hard to hear many of the same influences as Insecure Men, the side project of Fat White’s guitarist Saul Adamczewski. The self-styled, “saddest man in Penge”, Saul, who alongside school-mate Ben Romans-Hopcraft make up Insecure Men, gained plenty of acclaim for their debut record earlier this year, and have this week announced the release of the follow-up, Karaoke For One: Vol 1, featuring a host of cover versions, songs written by artists as diverse as Dr.Feelgood and Peter Andre.

Ahead of the limited release in October, Insecure Men have this week shared their take on The Pogues track, A Rainy Night in Soho. Set to a backing of retro-sounding bontempi-style organs, and what sounds suspiciously like a kazoo, it’s as brilliant and bonkers as that sounds: like the middle ground of Harry Nilsson and John Shuttleworth. Discussing the record, Saul has set pretty strict rules for listening to it, “this album should only be listened to poolside, whilst weeping into a shandy. I can only apologise for ‘Mysterious Girl’. The struggle continues…” Now someone pass us a shandy, we’ve got some brilliantly odd music to listen to.

Karaoke For One: Vol 1 is out October 19th via Fat Possum Records. Click HERE for more information on Insecure Men.

4. Sea Lion Goes Moonlighting

It was all the way back in 2015 that we last thought about Sea Lion. Not the flappy-eared seal-alike creature, we obviously think about them all the time, but the songwriting pseudonym of Gothenburg’s Linn Osterberg. That was around the release of her excellent record, Desolate Stars, and we haven’t heard a whole lot since then. That made the surprise news earlier this week that there was a new EP,  Moonlight, not only on the way, but actually already out as of last Friday, all the the sweeter.

The EP’s lead-off track is the frankly sublime, Suburban Skies. Featuring just Linn, a healthy dose of tape hiss and a pair of meandering guitars, it’s an instant reminder of what a remarkable vocal this Swedish sensation possess. There’s a warmth and a depth to Linn’s vocal tone, that even when, as here, pitched relatively low, is instantly arresting, demanding you to stop what you’re doing and just listen to her every word. Here the track asks the same question The Clash did so many years back, should I stay or should I go, “so you’re leaving suburban skies, you say you want to be free but baby so do I”. Like so much of Sea Lion’s music there’s a simplicity and honesty to her message. A fabulous reminder of what a hugely talented songwriter Linn Osterberg is, it’s a pleasure to have Sea Lion back.

Moonlight is out now, with a limited physical run available via Discogs. Click HERE for more information on Sea Lion.

3. Pip Hall Invites Us To Get To Know Mary

Preston’s finest musical daughter, Pip Hall, has long been a favourite on this page, with her take on emotive, visceral pop, drawing comparisons with the likes of Cat Power and Mitski. This week Pip’s shared her latest offering, stand-alone single, Mary.

Described as, “a brilliantly triumphant ode to the scrappy nature of being broke and young”, Mary is a brilliant musing on the teenage condition, from someone still living firmly in the middle of it all, as Pip says, it is about, “being a teenager and not really giving a shit”. To a backing of fuzzy guitars and meandering organs, Pip’s stunning vocal, here taking on a touch of Night Flowers’ Sophia Pettit, drips with both the emotion and mundanity of teenage living, recounting tales of first love, friendships, and discovering your place in the world. Lyrics like, “ripped jeans and shit hair, no money but you don’t care, you took me to the broken house where I fell in love for the first time”, offer a perfect distillation of the most universal of emotions. Pip is a songwriter who revels in not being the cool kid, pitching herself always as the underdog, a hero for the awkward and uncomfortable, an outsider in a world where we can feel like one.

Mary is out now via My Little Empire Records. Click HERE for more information on Pip Hall.

2. Value Void Aim For The Teen Market

Now based out of London, Value Void are based around Argentinian duo, Paz and Marta, who grew up together in Azul, a small town located to the South of Buenos Aires. The band, who split songwriting down the middle into lyrics by Marta and music by Paz, are set to release their debut album Sentimental in October, and have this week shared the latest single from it, Teen For Him.

Recalling acts like Poppies or Grouper, Value Void’s sound is equal parts charmingly minimal and impressively arresting. On Teen For Him, there’s a hint of Velvet Underground at their most poppy mixed with the charmingly melodic side of The Raincoats. Discussing the inspiration behind the track, Marta suggests it is about, “those moments when someone is having a personal crisis and are overcome by some weird infatuation, where the object of their desire has nothing to do with them”. Sentimental sure, but with a sound this exciting Value Void are a prospect to be excited about.

Sentimental is out October 26th via Tough Love. Click HERE for more information on Value Void.

1. David Allred Gets Out Into The Garden

Like, we’d imagine, most people our knowledge of David Allred pretty much stretches to him being, the one who’s not Peter Broderick, in Allred and Broderick. That could all be about to change for the Californian singer and multi-instrumentalist though, with the November release of his first album for Erased Tapes, The Transition. Ahead of the release David has this week shared the first taste of the record, The Garden.

Entirely acapella, The Garden was written at a time when David was working in a residential care home, which perhaps explains its hymnal qualities and its musings on the nature of humanity. As David explains, “The Garden represents my mental health as I strive to develop a better relationship with the way we live, learn, and communicate through the internet”. The track might only use the human voice, yet it’s anything but simplistic, dense layers of David are present throughout, the track ebbing and flowing beautifully. The result is a track which in some ways sounds quite classic, the vocal style and use of melody are surely as old as the human voice itself, yet it sounds fresh, exciting, and unlike anything you’ll hear in 2018, and all the better for it. If, as his album title suggests, David Allred is a songwriter in a phase of transition, just imagine how exciting his final destination might be.

The Transition is out November 2nd via Erased Tapes. Click HERE for more information on David Allred.

Header is David Allred by Michael O’Neal – https://www.moneal.com

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