Five Things We Liked This Week – 14/08/20

Further Listening:

5. Slow Pulp Are Falling To Bits

Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, although now based out of Chicago, dreamy-quartet Slow Pulp are currently building up to the October release of their debut album, Moveys, coming out via Winspear. This week ahead of that release they’ve shared their new single, Falling Apart.

Falling Apart is a song written about the collective oddness of the Covid-19 pandemic, as Emily from the band explains, “life felt completely surreal, everything had drastically changed and at such a rapid pace. It was especially strange because everyone was experiencing the same thing at the same time, but couldn’t be physically with each other to support”. Musically, Falling Apart is a beautifully gentle-slice of bedroom-pop in the mould of acts like Living Hour or Wished Bone, the whole thing is brought to life by the meandering violin that punctuates the easy-hum. A record of personal exploration and discovering your place in the world, Moveys might be charting strange times for humanity, yet in doing so they’ve created something that’s instantly relatable to us all.

Moveys is out October 9th via Winspear. Click HERE for more information on Slow Pulp.

4. Oceanator Has Her Finger On The Pulse

We last featured Oceanator, the project of NYC multi-instrumentalist Elise Okusami, back at the start of July around the release of A Crack In The World, the first single from her upcoming album, Things I Never Said. Since then Elise has signed to Big Scary Monsters, and with the album release a fortnight away has this week shared the latest single from it, Heartbeat.

Heartbeat is Oceanator at their most ebullient, channelling all the break-neck thrill of being in lust into a mile-a-minute indie-pop thrill ride. Discussing the track Elise has suggested it is about, “having a crush, and both the grounding feeling and the anxiety that feeling brings”, evidenced in the one moment where the song pauses for breath and she sings, “we’ll be fine, because I can’t help but feel alright when you’re by my side”. From there the track sets off once more, a rush of slapped snare-drum, rapid, tumbling guitar lines and breathless vocal tones, nodding to the likes of Literature or new label mates Martha. This feels like a real moment for Oceanator, a coming together of both great song-writing and momentum that might just be the making of a real musical star.

Things I Never Said is out August 28th via Big Scary Monsters (UK) / Plastic Miracles (ROW). Click HERE for more information on Oceanator.

3. Anne Malin Is Running On Empty

The world last heard from songwriter Anne Malin back in 2018, that was around the release of her well-received album, Fog Area. Having recently relocated to Nashville, from South Bend, Indiana, Anne Malin is set to return in October with her new album, Waiting Song, “an album about what it means for everything to stop”, produced with long term collaborator, William Johnson. Ahead of the release Anne has recently shared the latest track from the record, Empty Is The Day.

As an introduction to the album, Empty Is The Day is a thrilling one, an ominous world of twinkling glockenspiel, looping guitar lines and Anne Malin’s vocal, nodding to Vera Sola or Eerie Wanda, with a timeless blend of strength and sadness. Anne Malin’s lyrics seem to flutter through images, dreams, and insecurities, sometimes the lines seem to almost fade away, as she sings, “it was your look to me, it was something, something, something”, you can feel the unsure quality in the voice, laced with some unspoken doubt as to the blurred lines between reality and our minds. What Anne Malin really achieves is conjuring up a world for her listeners to get lost in, you can hear the creaky step, the cobwebbed windows, the unloved old house with a thousand stories to tell, already we can’t wait to really explore the place, Waiting Song will surely be more than worth the wait.

Waiting Song is out October 2nd. Click HERE for more information on Anne Malin.

2. We Can See Right Through Elvis Perkins

There’s a special place in our musical heart for the artist we forgot, the one we loved, and yet somewhere our paths parted, and we went our separate ways. Elvia Perkins was one such artist, back in the day, long before this blog was even a thing, Elvis released the magnificent album, Ash Wednesday, and our youthful heart went all a-flutter, it barely left the CD player (ask your parents if you don’t remember those kids), and then somewhere it went awry. Elvis hasn’t really stopped making music, yet somehow we never stumbled back across it, all that changed this week when his new single, See Through, came our way, the magical new offering from Elvis’ upcoming album, Creation Myths.

Discussing the track, Elvis has suggested See Through is a tale of, “two conflicted people in a shared space happily enough disappearing down the forking paths of their respective headphones“. The music, produced by Sam Cohen, adds a certain timeless sheen, reminiscent of Cass McCombs or Le Ren, as a prominent bass-line is accompanied by steady percussion and warm waves of brass; the perfect accompaniment to Elvis’ easy croon. As ever though with Elvis, it’s his lyrics that really stick in your ears, his beautiful way with the English language conjuring up relatable images of modern life being lead, “I’ll leave you alone with your headphones, we’ll be just fine hearing what we want”. Here’s to finding old friends, to reacquainting yourself with a long lost sound, and to forging a new chapter together, Elvis Perkins’ return is a moment to truly cherish.

Creation Myths is out October 2nd via MIR/Petaluma Records. Click HERE for more information on Elvis Perkins.

1. Saddle Crake

Hailing from the city of Leeds, Crake are an alt-folk quartet who, in their own words, “write songs about flora, fauna, anxiety and the tough stuff”. The band formed back at the very start of 2017, the result of a New Years pact, and have gone on to release a series of increasingly well-received EPs, culminating in last year’s Dear Natalie, which was released at the time of the band’s Europe wide dates supporting Big Thief. This week the band have detailed their next move, releasing Enough Salt (For All Dogs), a 7″ single, on the legendary Saddle Creek label as part of their Documents Series.

Enough Salt (For All Dogs), marks a new creative chapter for Crake, arriving as their first self-produced offering, the result of a new found confidence discovered through the hard work and time they’ve dedicated to honing their sound. This new found ambition is mirrored in the musicality of Enough Salt (For All Dogs), atop a driving hum of bass and drums, the listener is treated to an array of meandering guitar-lines and warm beds of electronics. Despite committing the crime of mentioning Christmas in August, vocalist Rowan’s words more than make up for it, as they dissect a relationship with a flair for the minute details, “there is this flower I forget its name, it opens just once for only an hour and won’t open again”. Crake are the sort of band you want to believe in, the little guy toughing it out and somehow coming out on top, in a world of cynics, they make you believe anything might still be possible.

Enough Salt (For All Dogs) is out September 18th via Saddle Creek. Click HERE for more information on Crake.

Header photo is Crake by Shaun Page

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