Five Things We Liked This Week – 05/07/19

Further Listening:

5. Join Jimmy Dean At The Kissing Party

Denver’s self-described, “trash pop princesses”, Kissing Party, like so many great bands formed in a hurry. Gregg Dolan booked a show without a band and recruited members on the basis of the guitarist, “owning a guitar” and the singer brought in because, “her name sounded cool”. Thankfully the results are lot more promising than you might expect from those rushed beginnings. The band’s, “slop-pop”, sound was most recently detailed on their excellent Mom & Dad album, released through the band’s own BBYV label.

This week the band have shared the video to the latest track from the record, Jimmy Dean, a track vocalist Deirdre Sage explains is about, “being stalked around the neighborhood by creeps, feeling unsafe in ‘safe spaces’ & what it’s like being ‘the girl in the band’ in 2019 when it feels like women’s rights are stuck in 1819”. Musically, slop-pop turns out to be an excellent description of Kissing Party’s sound; an amalgam of rumbling bass-lines, simultaneously crushing and jangling guitars, and Deirdre’s dead-pan vocal delivery, reminiscent of the much missed Shrag. Messy and rather marvellous, the DIY-world might just have found your brand new favourite band.

Mom & Dad is out now via BBYV. Click HERE for more information on Kissing Party.

4. Somehow You’ll See

Somehow, the musical moniker of Paris-based DIY multi-instrumentalist Erwan Pépiot, first jumped out from the crowd with his 2017 debut, Hidden Memories, drawing a raft of acclaim for it’s breezy take on indie-pop. Somehow are set to return in October, with their new album Low Tide, and have this week shared the first taste of it, Shut Your Eyes And See.

Somehow is a songwriter steeped in the lineage of indie music, as we have come to know it; the prominent bass could be lifted straight from The Cure or Joy Division, the bold romanticism of the vocals channels Neil Hannon or The Magnetic Fields, while the variety of instruments and positive belief that love conquers all makes Belle & Sebastian and Fanfarlo seem a bit grumpy in comparison. An indie-fans indie-band, Somehow tap into a musical sweet spot and resonate with the deepest set memories of anyone who ever sat in their bedroom feeling like music could just save the world.

Low Tide is out in October via Toolong Records and Differ-Ant. Click HERE for more information on Somehow.

3. October Comes Early For Lightning Bug

Lightning Bug is the recording project of long time New Yorker, Audrey Kang, alongside frequent collaborators Kevin Copeland and Logan Miley. They emerged back in 2015 with the slow-burning acclaim of their debut album, Floaters, followed by a 4-track EP, the torment of love, in 2017. Proving themselves not to be a band in a great rush, this week we finally have some long awaited new material in the shape of October Song pt. ii, the sort-of title track to their upcoming second album, October Song.

October Song pt. ii, is a delightfully muted return, no crashing fanfare, just well under two minutes of breathy reverberating vocals, quietly burbling electronics and the heartbeat like metronome of a processed bass-drum. If this sounds like an underwhelming return, it’s anything but, this is Lightning Bug at their perfectly minimal; no wasted notes, no pomp, just pure aural gold. Discussing the track, Audrey has suggested it came from being, “caught beneath a storm of doubt. My idea of what was right morphed as I asked question after question, like a child”. It is a track that evokes the upcoming record’s key theme of self-discovery,  about pushing through the noise to get a sense of, “who one is and ought to be in this world”. With an eclectic approach to sound and songwriting promised, October Song is shaping up to be a new high for Lightning Bug, a bold leap not into the wider world, but into the very essence of the humanity within.

October Song is out September 6th via Marbled Arm Records. Click HERE for more information on Lightning Bug.

2. Gulp Down The New Black Sea Dahu Single

Black Sea Dahu is the urban folk project of Zurich-based songwriter, Janine Cathrein, alongside a rotating cast of, “motely, merry pranksters”. The debut Black Sea Dahu album, White Creatures, came out last year and this week they’ve shared the first new material since that record, How You Swallowed your Anger, lifted from an upcoming EP, No Fire In The Sand.

A stripped back affair, How You Swallowed your Anger, is a deep dive into the complexity of a relationship, and how that only becomes clear following a break-up. A break-up song is so often presented from a place of what is lost, yet here Janine focuses on the cause, the bits of herself she could never bring herself to share, “I can’t give anything back, I’m so sorry but I swore by my mother that I wouldn’t believe in love”.  If it’s lyrically devastating, musically it’s every bit as moving, Janine’s vocals seem to linger in your ear, stealing focus from anything else, before fleeing the scene and allowing the double-bass and simple guitar strum room to soar and entwine, with a perfectly judged nod in the direction of early Bon Iver. A spellbinding four minutes, as a wash of beautiful, heartbreaking sound accompanies an intimate, lyrical outpouring, it might just be one of the year’s most compelling recordings.

No Fire In The Sand is out September 27th via Mouthwatering Records. Click HERE for more information on Black Sea Dahu.

1. Esther Rose Brings A Touch Of Magic

Esther Rose caught our ears back in April with her excellent Handyman single; the first taster of her upcoming second album, You Made It This Far, out next month on Father/Daughter. This week, Esther has shared the latest taster of the album, the beautifully woozy, Sex and Magic, a song inspired by being, “fresh out of a long time relationship and lonely as hell”.

Sex And Magic is a spectacularly atmospheric affair, as a simple tick of drums is enunciated with the prominent pulse of a double-bass and wheezy bar-room strings. As a listener you’re instantly transported somewhere else; part Belle Époque Paris, part winding Mississippi river basin. Wherever your mind wanders, you’re accompanied by Esther’s beautifully toned vocals, laced with some unidentified longing, “you know you took the best from me, so why not take the rest of me? I cast my spell, I hope it sticks, it’s only sex and magic”. Esther has suggested the track has brought out a brought out a sense of nostalgia from many who have listened to it, as she explains, “We don’t have a great English equivalent, but in Portuguese they say “saudade” — a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves”. While we wouldn’t wish that heartache on anyone, Esther Rose at least seems to have channeled it into something relatable, beautiful and really rather special.

You Made It This Far is out August 23rd via Father/Daughter Records. Click HERE for more information on Esther Rose.

Header photo is Esther Rose by Akash Rabut – http://www.akasharabut.com

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