5. Welcome To The Postmouse World Of Tomorrow
Whether it refers to a world without cute and cuddly cheese munching rodents or tech companies ongoing flirtation with slowly removing the classic point-and-click input, the name postmouse is a quietly intriguing one. Add in the fact postmouse is also the new project from Sox of Tugboat Captain and Ollie from Living Island, and you can sign me up as intrigued. While the future of the project remain very much in the planning stages, they have recently shared their first track, topically entitled New Year’s Day.
The track begins with a strutting guitar and yelped vocals, channeling the same primal rock’n’roll feeling as Wild Billy Childish or Holiday Ghosts, before the twin vocals chime in, “god this year feels like a waste”, dragging us kicking and screaming back into modern pandemic times. From there, set to a contrastingly jaunty jangle of guitars and clatter of drums, they dictate a vision of the gig economy, twenty-something-angst and just a little bit of hope, “next year I doubt I’ll feel regret, fingers crossed I’ll be more content when the nights start to get colder”. Fans of the duo’s previous output will probably find plenty to love here, and on this evidence, this might just be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
New Year’s Day is out now. Click HERE for more information on postmouse
4. It Is Good Timing For The Return Of Adeline Hotel
Adeline Hotel is the New York-based psych-folk project led by Dan Knishkowy. Sharing his music with the world since back in 2014, Dan has this week announced his latest album, Good Timing, as well as sharing the first two pieces from it, Photographic Memory and I Have Found It. In many ways Good Timing is like an origin story for Adeline Hotel’s music, returning to the roots of Dan’s songwriting by recording, “ostensibly aimless music”. This is a world of improvisation and layering, just Dan at his guitar producing work that seems to tap into the middle ground of instrumental ambience and the American Primitive influence we’ve come to expect on his music.
Nodding to artists like Jim O’Rourke or William Tyler, on these first two tracks, without even uttering a word, Dan seems to have hit on something deeply personal, this music feels like an extension of himself, songs woven from the strings, delicate and beautiful spiders-webs of guitar. While beautiful, these are also deceptively simple, unadorned, never knowingly over-thought, the records are free from studio-trickery or any danger of overworking, tracks that are at once raw and fragile, a reminder that the roots of punk, folk and neo-classical composition all lie with a human at their core. Dan has suggested his process for Good Timing is, “the closest I’ve ever gotten to the source”, and as a result this feels like the most open, honest and quite possibly exciting he has ever sounded.
Good Timing is out February 19th via Ruination Records. Click HERE for more information on Adeline Hotel.
3. I Am Fully In A Sarah Mary Chadwick Mood
We’re increasingly told that the days of the album are numbered, in a time of playlists and streaming, is the idea of an artist stitching tracks together even worthwhile anymore? Don’t tell that to Melbourne-based, New Zealand born songwriter Sarah Mary Chadwick, whose upcoming album, Me And Ennui Are Friends, Baby isn’t just an album, it’s the final part of an interconnected trilogy that began with 2019’s The Queen Who Stole The Sky. The three records each chart her, “internal processing after a traumatic event”, in the case of Me And Ennui Are Friends, Baby, Sarah focuses in on an attempt she made on her life following the dissolution of a long-term relationship. Ahead of the album’s release next month, this week Sarah has shared the latest track from the record, Full Mood.
On Full Mood, as with all of the album, Sarah strips things back to just piano and voice, creating both an intimacy and an intensity, placing Sarah’s words in the limelight, allowing her story the space to worm it’s way into your mind. Discussing the track, Sarah has suggested it is about a memorable Valentine’s day date walking the streets at 3am, when, “everything felt great and shining“, only to have that feeling tinged with sadness that her father never got the chance to live his life with such abandon. Ultimately despite that tinge of sadness, this is a song about the joys of life, of finding someone who makes you, “wanna colour in the world”, as you casually get drunk together, and the world just seems to make a little more sense. Seven albums into her musical journey, Sarah Mary Chadwick seems to be getting better with each release, gradually showing more of herself and reaching into the corners of everything that makes us human, it might not be an easy story to tell, yet on this evidence Me And Ennui Are Friends, Baby is a record that needs to be heard.
Me And Ennui Are Friends, Baby is out February 5th via Ba Da Bing / Rice Is Nice. Click HERE for more information on Sarah Mary Chadwick.
2. Black Country, New Road Have The X-Factor
Black Country, New Road are a band who seem to have been tipped for the top ever since they first emerged from a recording studio, pedalling their musical wares. Since first stumbling on their track Athen’s, France back at the start of 2019, I’ve been following their releases with admiration, although nothing has quite sparked my interest in the same way as that first track; that was until this week when the band shared their new single, Track X.
The latest track to be shared from the band’s upcoming album, For the first time, out next month on Ninja Tune, Track X was originally written back in 2018, before being shelved in favour of more immediate thrills suited to the live arena. During the sessions for their new album, the band resurrected the track, embracing the possibilities of the studio to create something expansive and ambitious, as the half-spoken vocals combine with flutters of guitar, stabs of saxophone and violin flourishes. This is a track that never seems to stand-still, always shape-shifting across its five minutes, whether its mellowing into the Fanfarlo-like chorus, or embracing their more idiosyncratic side in the almost jazzy flourishes of the slowly unwinding outro. Sometimes brilliant, always intriguing and destined for huge success in the year ahead, one thing is for certain; this isn’t the last you’ll hear of Black Country, New Road.
For the first time is out February 5th via Ninja Tune. Click HERE for more information on Black Country, New Road.
1. Light A Candle For The Brilliance Of Buck Meek
Today marks the release of Buck Meek’s new album, Two Saviors, one of the first records released this year, and I wouldn’t bet against it being one of the best. Recorded by Buck, alongside producer and engineer Andrew Sarlo, who also worked with Buck on a number of Big Thief records, Two Saviors marks a change of tone for Buck’s solo material. While his self-titled debut was a character driven snapshot of the American Dream, here Buck seems to tap into something more personal, with these almost cathartic confessions spilling out of him.
Ahead of the record’s release, Buck this week shared the latest track from the album, Candle, co-written with Big Thief bandmate Adrianne Lenker. Lyrically, the track is a somewhat troubling affair, a song that seems to always be attempting to run, yet keeps getting drawn back; the sweetness of, “the same love I always knew” contrasted with the sighing inevitability of, “I guess you’re still the first place I go”. The lyrical juxtaposition is set against a musical backing that seems to murmur along with the words, the slide-guitar that seems to exist like an exhale of sadness atop the warmth of the Rhodes-piano, as Buck’s vocal is at times joined by bandmate Mat Davidson, before he leaves again to let Buck travel on alone. This really feels like a master-craftsman at work, a songwriter who knows exactly how to ring every drop of magic out of a track: this is something truly special.
Two Saviors is out today via Keeled Scales. Click HERE for more information on Buck Meek
Header Photo is Buck Meek by Robbie Jeffers.