Five Things We Liked This Week – 15/07/20

Further Listening:

5. Dana Gavanski Can Set You Free

Dana Gavanski has had something of a break-out year in 2020, her debut, YDana Gavanski has had something of a break-out year in 2020, her debut, Yesterday Is Gone, drew widespread acclaim following its release back in March. By all rights, Dana should currently be touring the album far and wide, however with those plans now on hold until 2021, she is finding new ways to share her music with the world. Her latest project is a brand new covers EP, Wind Songs, due out next month, and this week Dana has shared the latest single from it, her cover of Chic’s track, At Last I Am Free.

This period of enforced isolation came at a particularly odd time for Dana, not only was it meant to be a triumphant moment, marking her album’s release, it also came shortly after relocating to London. Channelling this isolation into something positive, Wind Songs arrives as a comforting draft of familiarity, by tapping into some of her favourite songs, Dana taps into a wider love of music, and its ability to root us. Take, At Last I Am Free, it is a track Dana only discovered in the last year, yet takes a special place with her, not least for Robert Wyatt’s beautifully odd rendition of the song which, “blows my mind, with his bizarre but amazing vocals and arrangement: that soft and gentle mellotron flute that pushes the song along coupled with his shrill wizardly voice“. Dana’s own take is led by her crystalline vocal, shimmering atop a warble of electronic keys and pulses of rhythmic piano. Wind Songs feels like a beautiful aside, a look at the songs that made Dana Gavanski the fascinating musician she is, and hint at just how much more there is still to come from her.

Wind Songs is out August 14th via Full Time Hobby /Flemish Eye / Ba Da Bing Records. Click HERE for more information on Dana Gavanski.

4. Siân Alex Finds A Home In Henry

While the name Siân Alex might not ring any bells with you yet, regular readers of this site will know her already as the vocalist in grunge-pop While the name Siân Alex might not ring any bells with you yet, regular readers of this site will know her already as the vocalist in grunge-pop purveyors, Goldbaby. Back in 2018, Siân had written most of what was planned to be a solo album, however balancing the priorities of Goldbaby, and making enough money to stay alive, the project was temporarily shelved. Recently Siân has returned to these songs, and has decided to self-produce and release versions of them into the world. Siân’s latest offering arrived this week in the shape of Henry.

Henry is named not after a person as you might expect, instead it is a Henry is named not after a person as you might expect, instead it is a tribute to Henry Road, the street Siân grew up on in West Bridgford, Nottingham. Discussing the track, Siân has suggested Henry is a musing on places, “how they can change with the people who inhibit them, how the way we see them can say more about what’s going on inside us than anything else and how we can rally against them when really we’re fighting ourselves”. Set to a backing of easy guitars and distant home movie-style recordings, Siân dips into troubled times from her parents’ divorce to drunken teenage misdemeanours, and recalls how Henry played a role in them all. Here’s to Henry the personification of a childhood home, we might move on yet those experiences will always shape the people we are.

Henry is out now. Click HERE for more information on Siân Alex.

3. Suzie True Are So Sweet They’ll Give You Toothache

Suzie True are a self-described, “cry baby pop punk band” from Los Angeles, Suzie true are a self-described, “cry baby pop punk band” from Los Angeles, that started life as the bedroom pop project of Lexi McCoy (drummer in the excellent Bearcats) and have since expanded to their current power-trio line-up. Following up on 2018’s well-received Nothing To You EP, the band have this week announced their upcoming debut album, Saddest Girl At The Party, which they enigmatically describe as, sounding like “if The Powerpuff Girls started a Blink 182 cover band”. Ahead of the album arriving next month Suzie True have shared the first single from it, Toothache.

Toothache is a proper alt pop-song, three minutes of bubblegum brilliance, with galloping guitar-lines, steady Strokes-like guitars and a vocal that goes from charming to snarling in a matter of a few perfect seconds. The band cite the twin influences of Hole and Britney Spears and the result makes more sense than they really should have any right to. Lyrically, it’s a typically heartbroken, sexually frustrated affair, “my crush has a crush that’s not on me, but he’s just so heavenly”, Lexi sings at the start of proceedings like a young Buddy Holly, before sliding into a debauched world of whisky, falling in love with everyone who’s nice to you and cavities, “is this what love feels like because I feel seasick, is this what love feels like, I think I hate it”. With the promise that this album, “will have you crying about your crush in the mosh pit”, Saddest Girl at The Party might just show how much fun you can have while still being one of the sad kids.

Saddest Girl at the Party is out August 21st via Buzz Records. Click HERE for more information on Suzie True.

2. It’s Not The Time To Sever Ties With Es

Back in April, London synth-punks Es shared their excellent debut album, Less of Everything, through the renowned Upset The Rhythm label. A series of snapshots of the chaotic state of the world, it was a snarling, angular offering that refused to pull any punches. That it arrived in the heart of the UK’s lockdown perhaps saw it fly a little under the radar, however they’re setting about righting that wrong, with the release this week of a brand new video, to their track Severed.

Discussing the track, Es have suggested it’s taken a new meaning now, “it has been some months since we’ve been all together and able to play”, while it was already a song about distance, it was more psychological than physical. As the band explain, the lyrics touch on, “that distance between what we desire from our relationships versus how they actually are, and the powerlessness that you can feel in trying to make your desires understood”. Musically, this is Es at there most swampy and stompy, the vocals a rich, guttural yelp atop a backing that’s all filthy grumbling bass and jagged dDiscussing the track, Es have suggested it’s taken a new meaning now, “it has been some months since we’ve been all together and able to play”, while it was already a song about distance, it was most psychological than physical. As the band explain the lyrics touch on, “that distance between what we desire from our relationships versus how they actually are, and the powerlessness that you can feel in trying to make your desires understood”. Musically, this is Es at their most swampy and stompy, the vocals a rich, guttural yelp atop a backing that’s all filthy grumbling bass and jagged distorted synths. The accompanying video seems to almost poke fun at the idea of carrying on as normal, highlighting the impossibility of any kind of normal as we once knew it, and like everything Es do it’s delightfully chaotic, and very exciting, a band who, despite the current difficulties, deserve to be heard.

Less Of Everything is out now via Upset The Rhythm. Click HERE for more information on ES.

1. Big News For Anyone Wondering What Lomelda Is Up To

Based out of, “swamping, sweaty, Silsbee, TX”, Lomelda is the musical project Based out of, “swamping, sweaty, Silsbee, TX”, Lomelda is the musical project of Hannah Read, which first formed as an expressive outlet for a teenage Hannah and her high school friends. Over the past decade the line-up has expanded and contracted, yet the profile has just kept growing, culminating in last year’s acclaimed EP, M for Empathy. This week Lomelda have confirmed the September release of their latest album, Hannah, as well as sharing the first single from it, Wonder.

Described by Hannah as, “my favorite Lom song forever”, largely because she got to play drums on it, Wonder is a song about, “working hard”, and throwing yourself into whatever opportunity comes your way. Where previous Lomelda releases have been notable for their musical fragility, here on Wonder we see a distinctly more intense affair, full of delightfully clattering drums, jagged guitar chords and Hannah’s howled vocal sounding like a rather wonderful middle ground of Sigur Rós and Neutral Milk Hotel. This feels like a hugely exciting next step for Lomelda, a songwriter who has never been easy to pigeon-hole, finding a way to stride ever more confidently outside of the box, Hannah might just be Lomelda’s most compelling record yet.

Hannah is out September 4th via Double Double Whammy. Click HERE for more information on Lomelda.

Header photo is Lomelda by Tonje Thilesen – http://www.tonjethilesen.com/

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