5. Josienne Clarke Is Alliteratively Wonderful
We last feature Josienne Clarke back in September around the release of her excellent single, If I Didn’t Mind, the first taste of her debut album, In All Weather. With the album set to land next week, this week Josienne has shared the latest taste of it, the pleasingly titled, Slender, Sad and Sentimental.
Discussing the track, Josienne has suggested it’s a somewhat cerebral affair, “I was writing about writing a catchy single in the style of a catchy single. I’ve possibly hit peak self-reference!” Self-referential or not, there’s an undeniable catchiness to elements of the track, the chorus combining Josienne’s impressive, Martha Ffion-like vocal style, with a bass-line Girl Ray would be proud of. Yet there’s a restraint to the song’s pop tendencies too, just as it threatens to slip into purest-pop, it makes a detour into a melancholic folk breakdown or a minimal keyboard line. Slender, Sad And Sentimental never quite commits to being a full blown pop song, and is all the more intriguing for it.
In All Weather is out November 8th via Rough Trade Records. Click HERE for more information on Josienne Clarke.
4. Margaux Make The Walls Fall Down
Hot of the presses Brooklynite, Margaux Bouchegnies, simply Margaux to the record buying public, is set to release her lengthily titled debut EP, More Brilliant Is The Hand that Throws the Coin, next week. Ahead of that release, this week Margaux has shared her latest offering, Cave In.
Cave In a fascinating game of two halves, starting life all airy and intricate, like those lo-fi early Angel Olsen recordings, before suddenly exploding into life at the fifty second mark when a rumble of claustrophobic bass slams into view. From there the track, starts to gently distort and warp, reinventing itself as a slice of emotive 90’s rock nodding to Julia Jacklin or Snail Mail. Lyrically, the track seems to deal with a futile attempt to reinvent yourself in the eyes of another, one second, “climbing out of somebody’s memory”, the next, “haunted by the same old, same thing, everything”. A track that’s got more intriguing ideas going on than many people’s whole albums, Margaux is arriving in style and doesn’t look like going anywhere.
More Brilliant Is The Hand that Throws the Coin is out November 15th via Massif Records. Click HERE for more information on Margaux.
3. There’s Only One Ex-Vöid
Former Joanna Gruesome bandmates, Owen “O’ Williams and Alanna McArdle making music together again might seem an obvious move, yet it was apparently only a chance encounter at a contemporary dance class that made their new band Ex-Vöid happen. While there’s only a handful of tunes as evidence so far, the pair seem to have picked up where they left off, with their winning blend of jangling indie-pop and crushing noise-punk. Following on from last year’s self-titled EP, the band have returned this week their new single Only One, out now via their new label Prefect Records.
Described by the band as, “a perverted, obscene, ultra melodic love song”, Only One is a song about falling in love with a hippy: the band have admitted this might see them ex-communicated from the punk scene all together. Forgive them this slide into the saccharine though, because firstly there’s still a delightful break-neck intensity to the clattering jangle-pop and secondly because it might just be the most perfect slice of late 1980’s indie-pop you’ve heard for 30 years. Plus if you’re not convinced, the b-side is fifty seconds of pure adrenaline and noise, so there’s something for everyone!
Only One is out now via Prefect Records/Don Giovanni Records. Click HERE for more information on Ex-Vöid.
2. Jeanines Are The Sound Of The Season
Hailing from Brooklyn, Jeanines are the indie-pop duo of Alicia and Jed. After catching the ear of many with their recent self-titled LP, released via the legendary Slumberland Records, the band are currently plotting touring plans for 2020. This week the band have shared their first ever, “proper”, music video, for their seasonally titled, album stand-out, Winter In The Dark.
Winter In The Dark is a fine example of Jeanines’ sound, a style pitched between 60’s pysch-folk and C-86 jangle-pop, like Veronica Falls covering Jefferson Airplane. Here, Alicia spits out her words like a stream of consciousness, as bright airy guitars sit beneath contrasting the sublime bass-runs and urgent rhythms. With Slumberland turning thirty in December, you’d forgive them a little nostalgic naval gazing, instead with bands like Jeanines, they remain as exciting and forward thinking as ever, here’s to another thirty!
Jeanines’ self-titled LP is out now via Slumberland Records. Click HERE for more information on Jeanines.
1. Torres Gives The World A Good Scare
We last heard from Torres, the musical moniker of Mackenzie Scott, back in 2017 around the release of her sublime third album, Three Futures. That album was in many ways an exploration of physicality, a lusty collection in contrast to the more cerebral tones of her break-out record, Sprinter. Some two years later, after finding a new home on Merge Records, Torres is set to make her next artistic statement with the January release of her fourth album, Silver Tongue, which was previewed this week in the shape of new single, Good Scare.
If Torres’ music up until now has existed largely inside Mackenzie, whether that be body or brain, perhaps Silver Tongue is a step into the wider world of connections, desires and other people. Take Good Scare, this is a track about embracing the fears, and resultant bravery, that come with infatuation, as Torres explains, using a caving analogy, the superman crawl: “when certain passages are too narrow, a person has to hold one arm against the body and the other above the head, all while trying to crawl forward. When you fall in love with someone, it’s scary like the Superman’s crawl, but you have no choice but to keep moving forward even though you have no idea what’s ahead of you”. Good Scare is Silver Tongue’s opening track, a sort of leap into the unknown, chasing your dreams, without any sort of back-up plan in place, “you might give me a good scare for a minute there, but I’ll say “Well, I’ve seen that look from you before”, when you start eyeing all the exits”. Musically too, this is a fine return; the dense primal pound of drums rattles around the headphones, contrasted with bright guitars, warm electronic tones and Mackenzie’s prominent, gently distorted vocal, as arrestingly wonderful as ever. A welcome return from one of the world’s most fascinating musical voices, Torres might just be the sound of 2020.
Silver Tongue is out January 21st via Merge Records. Click HERE for more information on Torres.
Header photo is Torres by Michael Lavine – https://www.michaellavine.com/