Five Things We Liked This Week – 15/05/20

Further Listening:

5. This Would Be Number One In The All Time List Of Laziest Days

Lazy Day, the brainchild of London-based songwriter Tilly Scantlebury, caught the ear of many last year with both their excellent EP, Letters, and the acclaimed single, Real Feel. With their live plans currently on hold, this week the band have shared their splendidly fiery new single, All The Time, their first new material of a year where the band are promising listeners there is much more to come.

All The Time is a track that’s been in Lazy Day’s live show for a number of years, written at a time in Tilly’s life where she, “was finding it hard to shake off all the things that were getting me down”. Throughout, the track flits between feelings of defeat and defiance, as Tilly explains the track, “allowed me to regain some sort of control over what was happening in my life, instead of freaking out about all the things I felt like I was losing”. Tracked with a women-led recording crew at Church Studios, the recorded version of All The Time is a beautiful reflection on the give and take of the lyrics, moments of serenity colliding into bombastic guitar thrashing and strutting vocal delivery, Tilly channelling Savage’s Jehnny Beth and glam-era Bowie in equal measure. With each release, Lazy Day seem to take another step-forward, and increasingly their rise to the top looks like an inevitability.

All The Time is out now via Weird Cool Records. Click HERE for more information on Lazy Day.

4. Rebecka Reinhard Has A Whale Of A Time

We’re long term admirers of Swedish dream-pop sensation Rebecka Reinhard. Through a series of singles and EPs, Rebecka has charted her changing life; leaving her home country, moving between major European cities and discovering her place in the world along the way. Rebecka’s latest offering will be a new EP, out later this summer through Crowds & Power, and this week she has shared the record’s excellent title track, Whale.

On first listen, Whale feels like a breezy, upbeat piece, a world of bouncing drumbeats, easy indie-pop tinged vocals and crunchy distorted guitars. Like so many of the best tracks though, there’s a certain darkness lurking, as Rebecka explains, “Whale sounds happy but is quite sad and cynical and has a deep, hidden melancholy, a bit like old soul songs like Tracks of My Tears”. The track seems to slide between optimism and crushing reality, initially noting, “there’s nothing wrong with me, check my medical history, better yet just wait and see if I’m alright”, yet as it progresses that feeling of fighting for something fades into the repeated refrain, “I never loved you, I think only your mother knew, the way that mothers always do”. Further evidence for the growing prowess of Rebecka Reinhard, a songwriter capable of dissecting the minutiae of life into perfect pop songs like few others can.

Whale is out later this year via Crowds & Power. Click HERE for more information on Rebecka Reinhard. 

3. Katie Von Schleicher’s Brute Of A Single

One of our favourite break-out stars of the last few years, Katie Von Schleicher has come a long way since she was an intern at Ba Da Bing Records. Now with records deals across the globe, an acclaimed debut album, Shitty Hits, and a burgeoning reputation as one of the world’s most exciting songwriters, Katie is set to return next week with her latest offering, Consummation. Ahead of that release, this week Katie has shared her new single, Brutality.

Like much of Consummation, Brutality is a reflection on the sometimes destructive tendencies of love, or at least what some have perhaps mistakenly interpreted as love. Here that message is delivered via a medium of crunching, minimalistic noise, the whole track has a lurking quality courtesy of the processed beats and constant buzz of engulfing bass. From the fog of sound Katie’s voice emerges, “fatalistic tendencies, what we might do to ourselves, you do to you what you’ve done to me”. There’s a visceral quality here, nodding to the likes of Perfume Genius or Anna Calvi as Katie explores the darker recesses of the human spirit both with her music and her words. Consummation already feels like a different world for Katie Von Schleicher, or at least a re-interpretation of her place within it, this feels an artist stepping out of their comfort zone in the best way possible and dragging the listener along for a thrilling ride.

Consummation is out May 22nd via Full Time Hobby/Ba Da Bing Records. Click HERE for more information on Katie Von Schleicher.

2. Get Lost In The Sound Of Little Kid

The latest signings to the excellent Solitaire Recordings, home to Kate Davis and Common Holly, Little Kid is the musical project of Toronto-based songwriter, Kenny Boothby. Having built something of a cult following through touring with the likes of Car Seat Headrest, Half Waif and Fog Lake, as well as a prolific collection of home recordings, their upcoming album, Transfiguration Highway, out in July, marks their debut release for their new musical home. Ahead of that album, this week the band have shared the latest single from it, Losing.

Losing is the latest sign of the refinement of the Little Kid sound, channelling their songwriting into lustrous slices of melodic-Americana that Whitney, Lionlimb or Midlake would be proud of. Discussing the track, Kenny has stated, “this song tells two fictional stories about characters experiencing some kind of loss”, the first loses his money on a bad-bet at the dog track, while the latter finds himself ruing letting a partner drift away, only realising too late he was still in love with them. There’s a detail to the way Kenny crafts a song, a similar intricacy to contemporaries like Andy Shauff or Friendship, both masters of story-telling as much as songwriting. This feels like an introduction to something exciting, a single piece of a bigger puzzle that will only really come together when Transfiguration Highway arrives and shows its full charms to the world at large.

Transfiguration Highway is out July 3rd via Solitaire Recordings. Click HERE for more information on Little Kid.

1. Le Ren Is The Only Reason To Say

Le Ren is the musical project of Lauren Spear, a folk-artist based out of Montreal. Le Ren caught the ear of many on a high-profile US tour supporting Orville Peck, her new fans including the Secretly Canadian label, who moved quickly to secure her signature. This week, alongside that announcement, Le Ren has shared her wonderful new single, Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Stay.

Arriving not so much with a bang as with a gentle sigh, Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Say is a song that’s knowingly sedate; Lauren’s fingers gently float between guitar strings, her voice is timeless, never rushed, inviting you to really listen to her perfectly crafted words. This is a track that could have come out anytime in the last 60 years, it had us thinking of so many musicians; Joan Baez, Leo Kottke, Leonard Cohen, the great and good of folk music’s past from both sides of the Atlantic. Lyrically too, it’s a story as old as time, a relationship that promised so much, turning sour and oppressive, until there’s nothing left but that initial flash of love, “I loved you, my darling. You know that it’s true, I loved you till you beat my heart black and blue, but I just can’t stand to be treated that way”. Alongside the undeniably painful side of the song, a certain strength emerges, a sense of moving on, of casting off the past and stepping forward, discovering there’s more life to be led and better times to come – for Le Ren, musicallly at least, those good times are surely just around the corner.

Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Stay is out now via Secretly Canadian. Click HERE for more information on Le Ren.

Header photo is Le Ren by Mariah Hamilton – https://www.mariahdontcarey.com

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