Five Things We Liked This Week – 14/09/18

Further Listening:

5. Globelamp Emerges From The Black

We haven’t heard any music from Globelamp, the musical moniker of Elizabeth Le Fey, since her 2015 album The Orange Glow.  That album was an honest and impressive record, detailing Elizabeth’s abusive relationship and the complex fall out from it, involving court cases, restraining orders and a host of very public exchanges. This week marked the announcement of the third Globelamp record, Romantic Cancer, due for release on her new home Nefarious Industries, as well as the release of a new single, Black Tar.

While The Orange Glow bathed in technicolor psych-folk, Black Tar is instantly a more restrained affair. Elizabeth’s vocal is largely unadorned, left to all it’s idiosyncratic flair, accompanied by a just gentle acoustic guitar rhythm and an accordion, courtesy of James Felice, which adds a certain Parisian feel to proceedings. Discussing Romantic Cancer, Elizabeth has suggested it is a record about how we perceive relationships, how, “we start believing Love equals Pain. As though Love is a type of cancer that must be avoided at all costs”. As intriguing and challenging as ever, the return of Globelamp is an occasion to be celebrated.

Romantic Cancer is out October 12th via Nefarious Records. Click HERE for more information on Globelamp.

4. Nadine Khouri’s Spirited New Cover

Mark Linkous, the man behind Sparklehorse, died over eight years ago, aged just 47, yet somehow his influence seems to have remained entirely undiminished. Perhaps his greatest talent as a songwriter was the way he made you feel like you were one of a privileged few, in an exclusive club that had the absolute pleasure of absorbing his music in all its beautiful, pained glory. With a new EP, A New Dawn, out next month, this week Nadine Khouri has shared her own tribute to the genius of Mark Linkous in the shape of a cover of Spirit Ditch.

The cover came about when Nadine was touring with regular collaborator, Adrian Crowley, they had a mellotron with them on the road, and after discussing their shared love of all things Sparklehorse, they began to pick out the chords to Spirit Ditch. As Nadine explains, “for me, it was a reminder of how much beauty and power a song can carry, and how indebted we are to Mark Linkous to what he gave us musically”. For the most part Nadine’s cover flies closely to the original, the arrangement a little richer, the production a little more polished, however the triumph is the vocal; Nadine’s voice may be almost a polar-opposite to Mark’s croaked delivery, yet it is a perfect fit. A fitting tribute from one wonderful musician to another, you can ask little more from a cover version.

A New Dawn is out October 26th. Click HERE for more information on Nadine Khouri.

3. We’re Coming Around To Lauren Balthrop

After time spent in bands, as a member of doo-wop trio the Bandana Splits, under the pseudonym of Dear Georgina, and as a backing vocalist for the likes of Kevin Morby and Benjamin Booker, Lauren Balthrop is now stepping out on her own. Today marks the release of her debut album, This Time Around, and ahead of that Lauren shared her new video to Come Around.

To a backing of pulsing piano chords, smoky brass and rumbling bass, Come Around exists in a similarly intriguing retro-pop universe as acts like Natalie Prass and Caitlin Rose. At the forefront, as perhaps you’d expect for such an experienced vocalist, is Lauren’s stunning delivery, shifting effortlessly from wistful and easy to powerful and soaring. Beautifully produced with just the right level of originality and intrigue, Lauren Balthrop’s moment in the spotlight is now, and it’s long overdue.

This Time Around is out today. Click HERE for more information on Lauren Balthrop.

2. Wolf Girls’ New Material All Adds Up

These are exciting times for South-London indie-poppers, Wolf Girl. Next month will see the release of their second album, Every Now And Then, and they’ll be at this weekends excellent looking Loud Women Fest. This week they’ve shared the record’s second single, Maths In The Real World,

Discussing the track, principle songwriter Healey has suggested it’s a song about, “this idea that if you don’t keep putting effort into something you care about (i.e art, friendships or relationships), it could potentially fade”, like the Maths you knew at school and have long since forgotten, replaced by considerably less useful stuff. Musically, it maintains their breezy indie-punk, yet there’s a great focus now, partly the crisp production, courtesy of Mark Jasper, and partly a more streamlined and driving approach to their songwriting. Hook-laden tales of queer feelings, social burnout and finding your place on the planet, Every Now And Then could be spectacular.

Every Now And Then is out October 19th via Everything Sucks Music. Click HERE for more information on Wolf Girl.

1. Don’t Wave Chorusgirl Goodbye

Rewind to 2015 and things were going swimmingly for Chorusgirl; they’d just released their debut album on indie-pop behemoth, Fortuna Pop, their debut single, Oh To Be A Defector was riding high on the 6Music playlist and critics were queuing up to throw praise in their direction. Then as they returned to the studio, things didn’t go quite as easily as they hoped, as songwriter Silvi Wersing puts it, “there was barely a month without bad news on a personal and wider level”. Despite those difficulties (label ending, personal struggles, political uncertainty), the second Chorusgirl album got made, and as anxieties spiked, perhaps it was the album that pulled Silvi through, “we were hacking and honing away at the songs for months, trying to craft some sort of sculpture of our state of mind”.

The second Chorusgirl album, Shimmer And Spin, will arrive on new label home Reckless Yes later this year, and ahead of its release, the band have this week shared the first track from it, No Goodbye. As is the case with much of the finest music, No Goodbye is not a track that wears its difficulties obviously. There’s a fizz and a playfulness to the music, that fans of the bands will be pleased to hear intact. From the opening salvo of snare drums and jangling guitar chords, it rattles along at impressive pace, even the the more sparse sections are punctuated by prominent bass-notes that maintain the songs impressive flow. There’s even room for a just short of ludicrous guitar solo towards the end, with a slight nod to The Wave Pictures, adding to the whole, frankly joyous experience. The track’s lyrics seem to be at odds with the sprightly music, there’s a personal quality to the words, a puzzle with some pieces missing, yet there’s a sense of wanting to escape from both your own expectations and those of others. Throughout Silvi seems to be trying to slip out the door, as she repeats regularly, “you know that I’ll leave no goodbye”. By all accounts, Shimmer And Spin, was a difficult record to make, from the sound of No Goodbye it was well worth the effort.

Shimmed And Spin is out November 16th via Reckless Yes. Click HERE for more information on Chorusgirl.

Header photo is Chorusgirl by Dean Street Designs – https://www.deanstreetdesigns.com/

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