Five Things We Liked This Week – 14/06/2019

Further Listening:

5. No Rest No (Cult)Dreams

We previously covered Cultdreams back when they went under the name Kamikaze Girls and released one of favourite albums of 2017. This week the band have announced their long awaited return, with their new album, Things That Hurt, coming in August. The band also shared the first new material from it, We Never Rest, which features Katie Dvorak and David F. Bello of The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die.

Discussing the upcoming record, vocalist and guitarist, Lucinda Livingstone has suggested it’s a record that is more political than it’s predecessor, a look at modern Britain, and how it can be hard to find a place in it. We Never Rest, in particular, looks at the difficulty of balancing life in a bubble, and the reality of the world outside it. As Lucinda explains, “I very much live in a bubble—people couldn’t care less about how I live, who I live with, how much money I do or don’t earn, what I look like, or how I choose to spend my time, but then it’s so easy to get used to the bubble, and once you’re out it’s not like that anymore.” If the record is taking on less personal themes, musically it’s as affecting as ever, drummer Conor still hits the drums harder than anyone we’ve ever heard, Lucinda’s guitar work and passionate vocal howl remain very much in place. A bold next step, from a band who remain one of the most exciting bands the UK has to offer.

Things That Hurt is out August 16th via Big Scary Monsters. Click HERE for more information on Cultdreams.

4. Outer Spaces Initially Wonderful New Single

One of our most anticipated releases of the year, Outer Space’s second record, Gazing Globe, is just a fortnight away from arriving into the world. This week the Baltimore-based project of Cara Beth Satalino have shared the latest taste of the album, in the shape of acronymically titled single, YWLGOML.

Discussing the track, Cara has suggested it’s about always trying to move forward in your life, a song, “about the undeniable gut feelings that you must follow, even when it’s the more difficult choice”. The track starts with a chugging, muted electric guitar, before coming in with the sort of swaggering, indie-rock that has won Julia Jacklin so many fans. The joy here though is that just when you think it’s settling into a steady rhythm, with the repeated refrain, “you won’t let go of my life”, a Roxy Music-like saxophone interlude brings the track clattering to a halt, before Cara’s vocals roar back in with renewed intent. Further reasons to be very excited about a record that might just take Outer Spaces to places they’ve never been before.

Gazing Globe is out June 28th via Western Vinyl. Click HERE for more information on Outer Spaces.

3. V.V. Lightbody Sounds The Alarm

We’re just a few weeks on from when we last raved about Chicago’s V.V. Lightbody, yet with the release of her new single this week, we’re more than willing to do so again. The track, Car Alarm, is the latest taste of where V.V.’s music is going following last year’s Bathing Peach.

Car Alarm is a somewhat darker affair than the bossa nova shuffle of V.V.’s last single, Baby, Honestly. Discussing the track, V.V. has suggested it came to her in around 10 minutes, combining her, “humid nap rock”, with a more driving quality. There’s a nod to the more 1970’s leaning moments of Angel Olsen’s My Woman, as Car Alarm bounces on a chunky lead guitar riff, even finding room later for a twanging, beast of a solo. Lyrically, it finds V.V. pondering death, yet finding a quiet humour in it, “the thought of me hypothetically trying to contact everyone in my life to let them know that I’m dying made me laugh. The chorus pokes fun at being a selfishly dark artist, taking small human moments and exaggerating them into song”. Another thrilling trip into this songwriting mind, V.V. Light body is a musician on a roll.

Car Alarm is out now via Acrophase Records. Click HERE for more information on V.V. Lightbody.

2. Come To The Black Belt Eagle Scout Party

Black Belt Eagle Scout, the Portland based project of multi-instrumentalist Katherine Paul, burst into the world’s conscience last year with their sublime debut album, Mother Of My Children. A reflection on personal grief and the wider struggles the native population face in the United States today. This week saw the announcement of the second Black Belt Eagle Scout record, the excellently titled second album, At The Party With My Brown Friends, set for an August release on Saddle Creek. The title is inspired by the community of people who support and inspire Katherine, “we are all at the party (the world), trying to navigate ourselves within a good or bad situation. I happen to be at the party with my brown friends- Indigenous, Black, POC who always have my back while we walk throughout this event called life.”

As well as announcing the record, Black Belt Eagle Scout have also shared the first track from it, the de facto title track, At The Party. From a lilting guitar line, the track builds on wordless vocals and a rolling, cyclical rhythm, Katherine only offering words after the best part of a minute, “how is it real, when you don’t even notice it?”. The vocal is particularly remarkable here; delightfully dextrous, and almost skeletal, yet, like Emily Cross or Kristine Leschper, there’s an undeniable strength to it, an unwavering quality. This is never more clear than when, before the songs wordless goodbye, Katherine repeats, “we will always sing, we will always sing”, a reminder of the power of the collective to overcome whatever life throws at them. Wonderful, mesmerising stuff, keep this up and we’ll run out of superlatives for the music of Black Belt Eagle Scout before the album even arrives.

At The Party With My Brown Friends is out August 30th via Saddle Creek. Click HERE for more information on Black Belt Eagle Scout.

1. Bonniesongs Is The Cream Of The Crop

Bonniesongs is the musical project of Irish-Australian songwriter, Bonnie Stewart. After spending the last few years catching the ear of an ever growing Australian audience, Bonnie is set to go global, with the September release of a brand new EP, Energetic Mind. Discussing the record, Bonnie has suggested it combines the folk-leaning of her previous material, with a, “a lot of darker grungy undertones”, as evidenced by the release, this week, of her new single, Ice Cream.

Discussing the inspiration, it’s perhaps unsurprisingly about the joys of summer, “it’s about fun, summer, friends, ice cream, being silly and not taking yourself too seriously”. The apparent joyful lyrical content, is somewhat contrasted by the musical content, which through pounding drums, clattering guitars and layered vocal howls, feels all together more serious and chilly. The whole track ends with the repeated cry of, “I’ll have vanilla”, although if you plan on buying Bonnie an ice-cream she advises, like most sensible people, she actually prefers the delights of Mint Choc Chip. Whatever flavour you fancy, Bonniesongs has got your gelato soundtrack covered.

Energetic Mind is out September 6th via Small Pond Recordings. Click HERE for more information on Bonniesongs.

Header photo is Bonniesongs by Nick Mckinlay – https://www.nickmckk.com/

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