Five Things We Liked This Week – 18/04/2019

Further Listening:

5. A Friend To The Bees

We last heard from She Keeps Bees, the duo of Jessica Larrabee and Andy LaPlant, back in 2014, when they shared the critically acclaimed record, Eight Houses. The subsequent five years have been something of a personal journey, Jessica losing her father, before the pair moved to upstate New York and began a family of their own. The result of all that change is their new record, Kinship; a record full of death, birth and the endless cycles of nature as we know it.

This week the band have shared the latest offering from Kinship, in the shape of the striking title track. Built around a primal, pounding drum beat and Jessica’s prominent vocal, it’s only on repeat listens that all of the intricate musical details reveal themselves, whether that’s the twitching keys or the subtle percussive flourishes that counter the main driving beat. Lyrically, as you’d perhaps expect it’s a song of togetherness and connectivity, in particular it focuses on the idea of water as the binding force of all nature, the one constant that links us to all life and the planet around us, “living water mother of all, visible manifestation of chaos”. Hypnotic and never hopeless, Kinship seems to be a record that sits on the cusp of an environmental, and very human, crisis, yet it refuses to go meekly, it is a record ready to fight for a better future, for ourselves, our children and our planet as we know it.

Kinship is out May 10th via Ba Da Bing Records (US) and BB*ISLAND (UK). Click HERE for more information on She Keeps Bees.

4. Fanclubs New Single Is A Guaranteed Hit

One of the stand-out acts on the Austin dream-pop scene, Fanclub burst onto the scene back in January with their exquisite debut EP, Stranger. The record’s five slices of nostalgic indie established Fanclub as a thrilling prospect, this week we can add prolific to the list of qualities, as they’re already back with a brand-new single, Uppercut.

Fusing glistening guitar lines with wonderfully crunchy percussion, Uppercut is, on first listen at least, exactly what we’ve come to expect from Fanclub and their wistful, melancholic loveliness. Yet, on repeat listens you start to realise just how brilliantly odd this track is; synths burble constantly in and out of ear-shot, the processed beats seem to almost stutter and skip, falling in and out of time with the more analogue sounding drum beat, even the vocal is processed to be subtly disorienting. On this skittering evidence, Fanclub feel like natural heirs to the Postal Service’s crown, and we’ll sure you’ll agree that’s a very good thing.

Uppercut is out now. Click HERE for more information on Fanclub.

3. Bleached Keep On Dancing

LA-based sister duo, Jessica and Jennifer Clavin, Bleached to their fans, have been pretty quiet since their well received 2016 album Welcome the Worms, so this week’s release of a brand new single, Shitty Ballet, came as a welcome surprise.

Shitty Ballet was written in just a couple of hours, of what Bleached describe as, “a deluge of heartbreak”; the duo were taken aback by the emotional quality of the demo, and for the most part tried to keep that intact in the finished track, as Jennifer explains,“Bleached has always been a pretty loud rock band so we felt it was time to explore a more stripped down style of playing”. The result is a track, that with the exception of its arrestingly loud finale, relies on little more than acoustic guitar and vocal. It’s a real departure from the grungy style we’ve come to expect, and the band have suggested this, “sonic change is important to us right now”. If all the change sounds this good, then it’s time to get excited about Bleached, roll on more new material!

Shitty Ballet is out now. Click HERE for more information on Bleached.

2. Ynys Sing A Song For You

Ynys is the latest project from Aberystwyth exile, Dylan Hughes, best known as a member of Race Horses/Radio Luxembourg, where he performed with the utterly wonderful Meilyr Jones. Dylan went on to perform with Endaf Gremlin, before launching this week into the intriguing new direction that is Ynys. This week, Libertino Records have shared Caneuon (Songs), the debut Ynys single.

Caneuon is the sort of songs that has you instantly wanting more; a world of easy rhythmic guitars, soaring choruses and easy-going psychedelic flourishes. Even if it wasn’t sung in Welsh it surely couldn’t have come from any other country, slipping easily into a lineage of songwriters from Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci through to H Hawkline and Cate Le Bon (see below!). Lyrically, courtesy of a handy translation we were given, it’s a song about the power of songs, if that’s not too meta for you; a celebration of the power of an old favourite to instantly bring you back to a place, “the voice I’ve heard a thousand times. Sometimes when you’re lost, and no one understands”. More of this please Ynys, we haven’t heard a debut single this exciting in quite some times.

Caneuon (Songs) is out April 26th via Libertino Records. Click HERE for more information on Ynys.

1. Cate Le Bon Heads Home

It was only a few weeks back we were falling head-over-heels in love with Daylight Matters, the first single from Cate Le Bon’s upcoming album Reward, and this week Cate might just have gone and released an even better track! Reward’s second single, Home To You, is a stunning exploration of the idea of home, and how subjective a concept that can be.

Clocking in at nearly seven dreamy minutes, Home To You, is something of a low-key epic; the drums shuffle, the guitars pluck out easy runs and burbling, as the year’s finest bass-line adds much of the propulsion. Only the marimba like keys seem to step out of the dreamy gorgeousness, adding a gently tropical feel, like a cocktail umbrella adorned drink in a working men’s club. In its own subtle way, Home To You, is a reflection on the modern world, questioning how we are so quick to judge whether someone belongs, and where they should call home; “home to you, is atrocity in the town”. In that unique way she possesses, Cate seems to fuse her abstract lyricism into something moving and relatable. Without seeing the scene, you still feel the painting her words her create, instinctively you relate, instinctively you know this is the kind of song that can change your life.

Weward is out May 24th via Mexican Summer. Click HERE for more information on Cate Le Bon.

Header photo is Cate Le Bon by Ivana Kličković – http://ivanaklickovic.com

 

 

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