5. Even The Most Basic Plumbing Requires Constant Attention
Back in 2016, Patrick Doyle, best known as a member of Veronica Falls, moved to Los Angeles to work on the follow-up to the debut album from his well-received new project, Boys Forever. The result was a new album, Keeping Up Appearancea, under a new name, Basic Plumbing. Tragically, shortly after sharing the record’s first single, As You Disappear, Patrick passed away. Keen to realise Patrick’s plans for the records, both his family and bass-playing collaborator, Helen Skinner, have worked together to bring the record into the world, with all profits going to charities chosen by Patrick’s family – LA’s LGBT Centre and CALM.
The record will arrive in January next year, and ahead of its release this week a new Basic Plumbing single, Constant Attention, has been shared. The track is a fine reminder of Patrick’s ability to write a charming lo-fi pop track, as easy half-spoken vocals, in the mold of The Goon Sax, chime atop propulsive guitar riffs and the primal charms of the rhythm section. Patrick’s aim on this record was to capture the punchiness of the band’s live performance, which Patrick was apparently delighted to have compared to, “a gay indie Nirvana”, on the evidence of Constant Attention it’s captured that spirit perfectly; a fitting farewell to a one of a kind songwriter.
Keeping Up Appearances is out January 24th. Click HERE for more information on Basic Plumbing.
4. Annie Hart Gets Lost In The Wilderness
Although possibly still best known as one-third of Au Revoir Simone, Annie Hart has been carving out an impressive songwriting niche all of her own. After emerging as a solo artist back in 2017 with her sparkling synth-led debut, Impossible Accomplice, Annie toured across most of the planet with the likes of Torres, Girl Ray and Slow Club, scored two full-length film soundtracks, and still found time to write a second album. That album, A Softer Offering, will arrive in December, and this week Annie has shared the first taste of it, new single Wilderness Hill.
Although a native New Yorker, Wilderness Hill actually written on this side of the Atlantic, in the somewhat different environs of Margate. Annie recalls the morning that inspired it, “everything was grey and filled with that particular brand of English winter cold, the damp chill that really sinks into your bones”. The title was lifted from a street sign for Wilderness Hill, which invoked feelings of solitude and, “missing love across the Atlantic”. If lyrically inspired by the coldest season, that particular winter feeling is also present in the music, a sort of hushed calm with a subtle melancholic grey filter. Yet within that is Annie’s voice, warm like a crackling fire, a beacon guiding you out of the harsh coastal winds and into the warmth of a seaside pub, a place to shelter from the elements for a moment and rest your weary bones. Here, Annie’s music feels like an escape, an opportunity to seek a little peace from the ever spinning world, a spacious record for the thought and contemplation that so many of us crave.
A Softer Offering is out December 13th. Click HERE for more information on Annie Hart.
3. Beach Bunny Plan A Honeymoon With Their Dream Boy
Starting life as the bedroom solo project of Lili Trifilio back in 2015, Beach Bunny have gradually made a name of themselves through a string of self-releases EPs, culminating in their 2018 break out single, Prom Queen. Now teaming up with the Mom+Pop label, the band are set to release their hotly anticipated debut album Honeymoon in February, and have this week shared the latest track from it, Dream Boy.
While the title might not scream cynicism, Dream Boy isn’t actually quite the loved up anthem you might imagine. Instead the track finds Lili grappling with the difficulty of moving on, “it’s a song about being jaded to the idea of falling for someone again after being heartbroken in the past”. Throughout the track, Lili seems to struggle with accepting this new romantic future, still scarred by previous trysts, “I tend to keep my heart locked water-tight All you gotta do is meet me after midnight.” With a video that is distinctly John Hughes in feel, the music too seems to go back to an almost nostalgic teen fantasy, blending grungy lead vocals with swooning harmonies and the sort of jaunty guitar lines Sacred Paws would be proud of. Fitting neatly into Honeymoon’s key theme of fighting for optimism and love over self-doubt and fear, Dream Boy is ultimately a celebrating of thrusting your heart out into the world and believing that one way or another, everything will work out for the best.
Honeymoon is out February 14th via Mom + Pop. Click HERE for more information on Beach Bunny.
2. Hazel English Shake’s Off The Cobwebs
Believe it or not we haven’t heard any new music from Hazel English since way back in 2017, when Hazel emerged with her frankly stunning pair of EP’s Just Give In and Never Going Home. With the promise of more to come in the none-too-distant future, Hazel has this week shared a brand new single, Shaking, alongside it’s suitably hazy video.
While Hazel’s previous material tended towards the glistening chill of dream-pop, on Shaking everything seems to have taken a good spell out in the sunshine. With layered percussion, slinky guitar-lines and warm, multi-tracked vocals, this is the sound of California in the 1960’s, delivered in glorious technicolor. Lyrically, as the lyrics themselves state, “this is an awakening”, as Hazel explains, “I feel like I’m on this continual journey of figuring out what I truly believe and separating it from the false and toxic ideas I was taught about myself and the world throughout my life”. A voyage of self-discovery for Hazel, and one we can’t wait to take with her, leave everything you know at the door and follow the music wherever it takes you.
Shaking is out now. Click HERE for more information on Hazel English.
1. We’re listening to Laulia 13 Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week
Hailing from the South East of England, indie-rock quartet Laulia recently released their new double-A single through Rose Coloured Records. The track is the latest sample of what’s to come from the band, following on from their well-received debut single, Burning Out/Machines, and a starring sport on the excellent ‘Girls Against’ Compilation, featuring alongside the likes of Dream Wife and Hinds. This week the band have shared the video to one-half of the single, 13/7.
Written just days before Laulia were meant to go in and record a completely different track, 13/7 is an impassioned indie-epic, combining soaring guitar lines with howling vocals and pounding drum hits, coming across like Sleater Kinney covering The Twilight Sad. Discussing the inspiration behind the track, vocalist Lauren Holmes has suggested it’s about, “the choice of loving yourself or loving someone else” and how in the end, “we must accept that we can’t help those who don’t want to be helped”. Bruising and beautiful in equal measures, Laulia just penciled themselves in for an awful lot of, “Bands to Watch in 2020” lists.
13/7 / Outcast Kids is out now via Rose Coloured Records. Click HERE for more information on Laulia.
Header photo is Laulia by Fraser H-N – https://www.instagram.com/fraserhn/