5. A Picture Of Shelly
The Wave Pictures are a band who are sometimes a victim of their own productivity. Even when trying to keep up with their album releases, the odd one is bound to slip through the gaps. If we’re honest, in our case that was true of the excellent Look Inside Your Heart, released last year on Moshi Moshi. Listening back to it recently, what fools we were, what silly foolish fools to not have taken this record to our hearts and embraced it with the tender loving it so richly deserves.
This week, ahead of a series of UK dates later this month, the band have shared a new video to the album’s understated highlight, Shelly. The track is a gentle shuffle of a track, frontman David Tattersall describes as, “a love song in the laid back style of late 70s Grateful Dead only with even better lyrics” – and we wouldn’t argue with that. It’s a track that is musically a lot more complex than a cursory listen would suggest; the complex fluttering drums, the propulsive hum of soothing bass, they even, quite rarely for The Wave Pictures, throw in some delightfully lush harmonies. The addition of backing-vocals from Holly Holden, adding an almost French-pop feel to the blissed-out outro. Don’t make the same mistake we did, don’t ever let a record by The Wave Pictures pass you by, they’re far too special for that.
Look Inside Your Heart is out now via Moshi Moshi. Click HERE for more information on The Wave Pictures.
4. Go Westkust
Four years on from their promising 2015 debut, Last Forever, Swedish quartet Westkust are back. This week they’ve announced details of their self-titled second album, arriving at the start of March, as well as sharing a brand new single, Swebeach. The album’s release comes after a somewhat turbulent period of the band, where three of the band’s original line-up left.
While they may have lost some of their members, Westkust seem to have lost none of their effortless cool. Swebeach arrives like a blast of sunshine and swagger, walls of distorted guitars are cut through with razor-sharp snare hits and vocalist Julia Bjernelind’s perfect soaring croon. Like the middle ground of Alvvays and Japandroids, Westkust are breathing new life into the shoe-gaze revival, finding something new to say just when you thought the genre has reached saturation point; more than anything though they simply sound great.
Westkust is out March 1st via Run For Cover & Luxury. Click HERE for more information on Westkust.
3. Feather Weight’s Volcanic New Single
Not actually entirely new, but entirely new to us, this week we’ve fallen for the storming new single from Toronto quartet Feather Weight. The second of a pair of singles written shortly after thir formation, it is the latest introduction to the band, who are currently working on a debut EP, due out this summer.
Discussing the track, Feather Weight have suggested Volcano is about, “human repression in the psyche and an exploration of emotional expression”, the lyrical heaviness set against a surprisingly danceable rhythm and early 2000’s indie-vibe. There’s a touch of Clap Your Hand Say Yeah or Wolf Parade, in the tumbling guitar lines, rapid-fire vocal yelps and steady snare-driven rhythms. Bright, breezy and rather intoxicating, Feather Weight are a band well worth getting excited about.
Volcano is out now. Click HERE for more information on Feather Weight.
2. Sharon Makes Us Feel Seventeen Again
If you’ve not been living under a rock, you’re probably well aware that Sharon Van Etten has a new album, Remind Me Tomorrow, coming out next week. Ahead of that release, this week Sharon has shared the video to new track, Seventeen; the video mirroring the songs themes of a city as an ever shifting organism, gentrifying, going through periods of boom and bust, constantly evolving, for better or for worse.
Discussing the track, Sharon has suggested it is about, “moving to a city bright-eyed and hearing the elders complain about the city changing, and then being around long enough to know what they were talking about”. Musically, the track apparently started out, “Lucinda Williams-esque”, yet arrives now a glistening, yet quietly unnerving stadium rocker. It’s the latest phase in the re-invention of Sharon Van Etten, from minimal heartbreak to soaring heart-on-the-sleeve superstar, Remind Me Tomorrow, feels like step into the unknown, with Sharon’s voice, an old friend guiding your path to musical enlightenment.
Remind Me Tomorrow is out January 18th via Jagjaguwar. Click HERE for more information on Sharon Van Etten.
1. Never Give Up On Abjects
Abjects are a London-based trio, who are a walking celebration of the cities multi-cultural wonders. Composed of singer/guitarist Noemi from Spain, bassist Yuki from Japan and drummer Alice from Italy, the band are three citizens of the world, making joyous pop-songs with the arty edge you’d expect from a band who met while studying at Goldsmiths. This week the band have announced details of their debut album, Never Give Up, as well as sharing the rambunctious title track.
The track is a response to the complications thrown up by the rise of nationalistic, populist politics, and how sometimes, you just have to ignore them, “life is full of problems and obstacles, but we’re never going to give up having fun and living our lives the way we want”. The track bounds in on a snare drum, so energetic that it seems to almost be jumping out of its stand, as Sleater Kinney-like guitar riffing, and shout-along Hinds-like vocals add some melodic to flare to the mix. Abjects are a band who look at the world’s problems and seem to refuse to be broken by them, their own kind of joyous, celebratory, revolution; if you can’t beat them, dance at them!
Never Give Up is out February 15th on Yipee Ki Yay. Click HERE for more information on Abjects.
Header photo is Abjects as shot by Alex Charilaou – https://www.ever.photography/