5. Peaness Will Give You All The Feelings
It was all the way back in 2016 that I first featured Peaness on this site, and it would be fair to say they’ve come a long way since then. The cheekily named Chester-trio have gone on to become 6Music regulars, share stages with the likes of We Are Scientists, Maximo Park and BC Camplight and produce a vast array of excellent pea-themed merchandise. Whisperings regarding their debut album have been the subject of much excitement, and much unavoidable delay, however that all changed this week with the news World Full Of Worry will arrive in May on the band’s own Totally Snick imprint, with the band also sharing a brand-new song, How I’m Feeling.
How I’m Feeling is in many ways classic Peaness, a hook-laden sugary-pop exterior belying a melancholic underbelly of frustrations at growing into your mid-twenties and finding the world isn’t quite what you’d hoped it might be. The band have suggested it’s about dead-end jobs and not being able to ignore it anymore, “amongst self loathing and melancholy there are sparks of determination and a belief that you deserve more. I hope it works out”. The track builds around a particularly excellent drum-beat, as lightly fuzzy guitars and lush layers of vocals send it soaring skyward, there’s even an almost Afro-beat breakdown that Shopping or Vampire Weekend would be proud of, which arrives just before a harmony-laden bass-breakdown. World Full Of Worry is shaping up to be a record that’s well worth the wait.
4. Babehoven Channel Their Inner Post-Hardcore
Superstars of the EP format, Portland’s Babehoven released one of my favourite records of 2021 in the shape of the explorative offering, Nastavi, Calliope. This week the band announced their signing to the much-adored Double Double Whammy imprint, as well as sharing details of, yet another, EP, Sunk, which will see the light of day in March. Ahead of that release, the band shared the first track to be lifted from the EP, Fugazi.
Babehoven have spoken of Sunk as a new approach for the band, heavily influenced by the minimalist sound of Elliott Smiths’ Either/Or. Listening to Fugazi, it certainly seems to strip things back, with only the gorgeous economical guitar-work serving to adorn Maya Bon’s rich, crisp vocals, it has a similar quality to the hushed majesty of early Iron & Wine, drawing the listener close to hear every crackling emotion. Lyrically the track is a reflection on the everyday sexism present in so many local indie scenes, as Maya quietly seethes at the assumptions of others, “he thought that he showed me Fugazi, I don’t know how to explain how that feels. It doesn’t make sense why it hurt me, an idea, will leave me breathless”. While this feels like a musical departure, it’s a side-step that suits Babehoven, tapping into the raw songwriting skills of one of music’s most intriguing new voices, their new record might be sunk, but they’re a band entirely on the rise.
3. Georgia Harmer Is Austin Bound
Based out of Toronto, Canada, Georgia Harmer grew up surrounded by music. Following her recent signing to Arts & Carfts, her aunt, Sarah Harmer, is also her labelmate, and her parents met while performing together in Sarah’s band. Georgia started recording her own songs aged just ten and was touring as a backing vocalist for Alessia Cara while still a teenager. Life on the road was a major influence on Georgia’s latest single, Austin, which she shared with the world this week.
Austin is a recollection of a day during Georgia’s tour with Alessia Cara, when she was feeling particularly homesick, an experience that had her feeling particularly connected to her father and a BBQ joint that he recommended she check out, “I thought of my dad while I was there… I wrote this song to articulate the significance and importance of our relationship, how much I love and admire him, and our many parallels“. Despite her roots considerably further North, Austin seems to buzz with some of the energy of the Southern States that inspired it, the guitar, in particular, seems to rage like the desert sun, fizzing with a dusty grungy quality reminiscent of Big Thief or early Midlake. Lyrically, the track is a beautiful reflection on the bond between child and father, “I’ll go back to Austin soon I hope, I’ll see you in the heat and in the smoke. On the road and playing just like you, I’ll bring you back some Texas BBQ”. Georgia’s route to music might have been written in her DNA, yet that she’s doing it this well is a testament to both herself and the musical family that showed her the way: a talented family might just have found its brightest star.
2. Kristine Leschper Paints A Picture
After releasing two of my favourite records this century, Kristine Leschper has recently made the bold decision to move away from performing as Mothers and embrace her solo side. After a pair of intriguing singles, Kristine recently confirmed details of her new album, The Opening, Or Closing Of A Door, due out in March via Anti- Records. This week Kristine shared the latest offering from it, Picture Window.
Listening to the new Kristine Leschper material it’s clear that it’s not just a name change, but an entirely different approach to music. While previously recordings were snapshots of songs already rehearsed and written, here Kristine seems to tap into the thrills of home-recording, exploring new sonic territory as part of the songwriting process. Where Mothers wrote wiry, urgent music, this feels practically luxurious by comparison, like promenading through the garden of a stately home, a record that doesn’t seek to document the world so much as connect with it, or perhaps I should say reconnect. Discussing Picture Window, Kristine suggests, ““I was thinking about how effortless it felt to commune with the mysterious as a child, especially in the ‘natural world’ as we call it…I wanted to create a sonic environment that felt like that”. It’s always a complicated occurrence when a musician you adore moves into an entirely different musical sphere, it takes a second to readjust, to accept that the fact things aren’t the same doesn’t mean they’re worse, and in the hands of a songwriter as talented as Kristine Leschper, things will never be bad.
1. Kindsight Put The Danish Into Swedish Punk
A quartet from Copenhagen, Kindsight have been on my radar for a while, a flurry of excellent singles seeing them named one of my top tips for last year. Although a little later than I’d initially anticipated, this week the band have been blurring the lines of Scandinavian geography with the announcement of their debut album, Swedish Punks, set for release in March via the fantastic Rama Lama Records. Ahead of the release the indie-poppers also shared a brand-new single, Sun Is Always In My Eyes.
Despite being pretty much brand-new, somehow listening to Kindsight is always an experience dosed in nostalgia, everything they do is coated in a veneer of simpler times, coming of age thrills and long summer nights. Sun Is Always In My Eye is certainly no exception, it wouldn’t sound out of place on a mid-noughties indie-film, with its earworm guitar and lyrical themes, the band suggest are inspired by, “stealing money from your mother and feigning to run away from home. Being blessed and unable to see because you’ve got too much sun in your eyes”. Addictive and utterly charming, Kindsight’s timeless musical take is like taking a drink from the fountain of youth; do yourself a favour and take just under four minutes for yourself today and get ready to fall in love with music all over again.
Header photo is Kindsight by Line Hvid.