5. Tiny Ruins Are Going For Gold
Hollie Fullbrook, the songwriter behind the Tiny Ruins moniker, is a songwriter who has for a long time seemed to be on the verge of break-through. Her early, almost entirely solo material has given way to a fuller sound, with a four-piece band, which is set to be showcased on upcoming third album, Olympic Girls, when it’s released early next year.
This week Hollie has shared her new single, and the album’s title track, Olympic Girls. It is a delightfully intimate performance, intricate guitar work, textural percussion and gorgeously simple vocal lines all draw your ear, revealing all their charms only on repeat listens. Like the video that accompanies, it’s a track that offers nowhere to hide; there’s an element of exposure, and an honesty to the songwriting that’s utterly refreshing. Tiny Ruins have never sounded better.
Olympics Girls is out February 1st via Ba Da Bing Records. Click HERE for more information on Tiny Ruins.
4. J Fernandez Takes A Common Sense Approach
Although unlike to topple Bill Clinton as Arkansas’ most famous musician, J Fernandez is probably more likely to play something you want to listen to. It’s been three years since J’s well received debut album, Many Levels of Laughter, and he’s set to return next month with a brand new collection, Occasional Din. Ahead of the release, J has this week shared the video to new single, Common Sense.
Rather intriguingly, Common Sense is described by J as, “a song about examining every word of every sentence you’ve ever said”. Both lyrically and musically it seems to be a cascading assortment of ideas. Musically, there’s a touch of Field Music to the angular rhythms, as drums tumble from all directions and the whole thing is held together by a clavinet, “recorded in the basement of a stranger I met on Craigslist”. J Fernandez is a fascinating artist, someone who makes music that’s not brash or showy, yet it’s quietly entirely unlike anyone else, wonderful and weird in the best way possible.
Occasional Din is out November 9th via Joyful Noise Recordings. Click HERE for more information on J Fernandez.
3. The Chorusgirl Of Your Dreams
Next month will see the release of Shimmer and Spin, the second album by London-based janglers Chorusgirl. A record that chronicled a particularly difficult year in the life of chief songwriter Silvi Wersing, and in some ways served as an anchor, through which she was able to pull herself through.
Ahead of the album’s release, the band have this week shared the video to new single, In Dreams. The track is musically something of a departure for the band, the underrated rhythm section are to the fore, with prominent bass and a frankly brilliant drum beat creating a base around which skeletal guitar lines and vocal melodies flourish and bloom. If musically it’s Chorusgirl as you’ve never heard them before, lyrically it’s something of a companion piece to an older track, This Town Kills. It deal with small town anxieties and the power of dreaming to inspire you to escape a place you never fit in. As Silvi sings, “Sunday afternoon forever, waiting for the brighter weather, rainy doom and gloom forever inside this small town torment”, it’s the sound of staring out the window, lost in your own thoughts, knowing one day you’ll find a way to belong. It’s accompanied by an excellent handmade video courtesy of animator Ruth Barrett, created using over 2500 manually cut out paper prints. More challenging, more intriguing, more themselves than ever, Chorusgirl might just be turning a tumultuous year into a musical triumph.
Shimmer and Spin is out 16 November via Reckless Yes. Click HERE for more information on Chorusgirl.
2. We Could Have Been Wooed
Model, solo artist and singer, Rachel Trachtenburg, has been performing live since the age of just 6. Originally with The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, best known for that song about Eggs, and then in Supercute!, her music has always felt on the verge of a breakthrough. Perhaps that will come with her latest project Wooing, who have this week shared one half of their new 7″ single, Could Have Been.
Could Have Been is the first track that Wooing have worked on collaboratively, guitarist JR Thomason, and drummer Rosie Slater contributing to what is their most exciting single to date. Could Have Been is a track of beautiful contrasts; there’s an intensity to the insistent guitar line and pounding tom-heavy rhythms, that perfectly juxtaposes the lightness of the vocals and the swirling, hazy quality of the production. It’s a trick equally matched in Rachel’s vocal, one second it’s bassy and mellow, the next it leaps to yelped shrieks, as she dissects, “the disappointment of shallow friendships and the need to move on from them”. It’s a song as good as their band name, and where Wooing are concerned, consider us wooed.
The Clouds 7″ is out November 9th via Kanine Records. Click HERE for more information on Wooing.
1. Angelo De Augustine Takes His Time
Angelo De Augustin burst onto the scene at the back end of last year with his excellent second album, Swim Inside The Moon, a charmingly lo-fi record that was quite literally recorded in a bathtub. This week Angelo has announced details of his upcoming third album, Tomb, released again on Sufjan Stevens’ Asthmatic Kitty Records, as well as sharing the first single from it, Time.
Tomb is the first time Angelo has worked in a proper studio, collaborating with renowned producer, Thomas Bartlett aka Doveman, and listening to Time, it seems to suit him. Time loses none of the gorgeous simplicity and minimalism of Angelo’s previous work, but in Thomas Bartlett’s hands this sounds lusher and more ambitious than ever before. Described by Angelo as, “a lovelorn examination of heartbreak and moving on”, the addition of muted piano, gentle electronics, and even whistling (!) all just work to highlight his enviable songwriting instinct. Equally good as the recorded version is live version, where Sufjan Stevens joins Angelo on Grand Piano. An album about heartbreak that ends up as a prayer for love, Angelo might sound broken, but he’s still dreaming, still open, still ready for love.
Tomb is out January 18th via Asthmatic Kitty. Click HERE for more information on Angelo De Augustine.
Header photo is Angelo De Augustine by Jess Collins