5. The Tallest Man On Earth Is The Stranger In Your Dreams
The Tallest Man On Earth, aka Swedish songwriter Kristian Matsson, is something of a musical treasure now; ten years on from his acclaimed debut album Shallow Grave, he is thoroughly established as one of the alternative scenes big hitters. It’s been four years since we last heard an album from Kristian, as he’s focused on various other projects, all that’s set to change in June with the release of a new album, I Love You. It’s A Fever Dream.
Ahead of that release, this week saw a brand new The Tallest Man On Earth single, I’m A Stranger Now, and it is every bit as charming as we’ve come to expect. For the most part it’s just Kristian’s passionate vocal delivery and rapid fire acoustic guitar work, the devil though is in the detail. I’m A Stranger Now is a beautifully textural piece, it swells and woozes on gorgeous pulses of piano, and lifts with additional guitars and other stringed instruments, then as it draws to a close the whole thing drops to the most intimate moment of serene calmness, “now so deep into the forest with my Swedish little heart I am nowhere near your sunset it’s so quiet after all and I’m a stranger now, I’m a stranger now”. Beguiling, beautiful and quietly pushing boundaries, it’s everything you could want from the return of The Tallest Man On Earth.
I Love You. It’s A Fever Dream is out June 28th. Click HERE for more information on The Tallest Man On Earth.
4. Listen To This And You’ll Want To Marry Pozi
Self-identifying, “weirdo British indie pop”, act Pozi are quickly making a huge impact. They’ve only put a couple of tracks into the world and have already caught the ear of Marc Riley, for whom they were in session this week, as well as PRAH Recordings, who will put out their debut album, PZ1, next month. This week ahead of the album’s release the band have shared their new single, Engaged.
While it might sound like a pretty straight up love song on the surface, it’s actually something of controlling, obsessive relationship, as Toby Burroughs finds himself increasingly enticed by his one true love, his mobile phone. The track taps into a feeling many of us have experienced, where our phones become not an enhancement to life but a hindrance, a constant distraction from reality, whether that’s the beauty of blossom on a tree or the attention of a child who needs us. Musically, it’s in the lineage of angular indie-pop that runs through acts like Devo or Teleman; Toby’s clipped vocal accompanied by pulses of violin and the steady bouncing of bass and snare. With their to the point interpretations of life in the modern world, Pozi seem to be sounding more and more impressive with every track, their album could just be one of the year’s most intriguing debuts.
PZ1 is out April 5th via PRAH Recordings. Click HERE for more information on Pozi.
3. Stacey Randol Gets In Touch With Her Roots
Although hailing from the country hotbed of Nashville, Stacey Randol’s music seems to exist on a completely different plain. Stacey recently shared her third album, Songs In The Soil, a collection of psych-folk explorations, combining Fleetwood Mac-like grandeur with the retro exploration of The Beatles or The Band. This week Stacey has shared the sepia tinged video to the album’s title track.
The whole track is built around an almost metronomic rhythmical pulse, the steady drums and intricate bass locking together to form a sturdy structure for the lighter, more melodic instruments to show off their skills. Sultry electric guitars and retro-keyboards play out in almost proggy experimentation around which Stacey’s pop-tinged vocal drifts in and out of centre stage. The whole thing is delightfully out of step with musical trends; when everything is modern and polished this feels wonderfully warm and creative, an old sound given a modern makeover, and sounding all the better for it.
Songs In The Soil is out now. Click HERE for more information on Stacey Randol
2. Everyone’s Cottoning On To Olden Yolk
It was only last year that Olden Yolk shared their excellent self-titled debut album, thankfully the New York duo are wasting no time in moving on to their next chapter. The band have this week announced the release of a new album, Living Theatre, named after an experimental movement on the New York theatre scene, as well as sharing a brand new single, Cotton & Cane.
The Living Theatre is the result of an intense creative period, the duo spent three months in a windowless room and thrashed out private conversations and snippets of creativity into what would become their new album. Olden Yolk are a band with a multitude of influences from avant-garde punk to psychedelic folk, and on Cotton & Cane, they’ve arguable never harnessed them better. A lyrical journey into self-reflection, musically Cotton & Cane seems to streamline Olden Yolk’s sound; it feels more focused, the rhythms more driving, the melodies crisper and more pronounced. This doesn’t feel like a band rushing out a second record so the world doesn’t forget them, this feels like Olden Yolk taking a giant step forward and sounding better than ever.
Living Theatre is out May 17th via Trouble In Mind. Click HERE for more information on Olden Yolk.
1. Tacocat’s Holo New Single
The rise of Tacocat might just be one of the year’s most surprising success stories. We knew we liked the band the minute we heard their 2016 album, Lost Time, we just didn’t know they had the sort of slick-pop that would propel them to the cusp of alternative mega-stardom. The band are set to release their latest album, This Mess Is a Place, their first for Sub Pop, in May, and have this week shared the latest single from it, Hologram.
This Mess Is A Place is the band’s fourth album, and from what we’ve heard seems to be a giant leap forward, the scratchy punkier sound of earlier material giving way to an ebullient pop sound reminiscent of Diet Cig or Rilo Kiley. Hologram is the latest example, beneath a shimmering exterior the track details a discussion on power dynamics and how perceptions and reality aren’t always the same thing. At its heart it’s a song about stepping outside of the box the world tried to put you in, advising us all to not be held back by the limitations we think we possess, “just close your eyes and think about the Milky Way. Just remember if you can, power is a hologram”. Tacocat are a band who seem to exist in potentially contradictory worlds, on the one hand there’s a bubble-gum punk band, four friends making music for the joy of doing it, on the other is a band facing up to the difficult world they seen in front of them, as vocalist Emily Noakes puts it, “we can examine some hard stuff, make fun of some evil stuff, feel some soft feelings, feel some rage feelings, feel some bitter-ass feelings, sift through memories, feel wavy-existential, and still go get a banana daiquiri at the end.” Banana Daiquari’s all round, we’ve got the upcoming release of a brilliant new album to toast!
This Mess Is A Place is out May 3rd via Sub Pop. Click HERE for more information on Tacocat.