Monday, 26 January 2015

Track Of The Day :: GHXST - No Luck

Our favourite Brooklyn noise doom rockers GHXST return with the release of their 'Nowhere' EP', which is out today - January 26 - via CLUB.THE.MAMMOTH.

The EP was recorded over the last year between New Orleans, Nashville and Brooklyn. Even though the band's characteristic doomy/grungy sounds of their first releases are all there, 'Nowhere' also shows a more ethereal and grounded side to their music.

'No Luck' is the second track to be taken off the EP,  and reverberates around explosively heavy droning guitars and Shelley X's vocals that manage to sound both sensual, and threatening.

Empire Strike Back With New Single/Video/UK Tour

West Country fivesome Empire impressed us with their set at last November's Nightmare festival, now the rockers announce their single 'Patchwork and Bone' will be digitally released on February 16.

Watch the video for the song below.

The band will also head off on a headline tour throughout February, which includes London's Black Heart on the 18th.

Vocalist Joe Green explains a little about 'Patchwork and Bone': "This song is about raising questions then trying to understand them - when that happens you tend to really bring your hypothetical questions to life, by you or someone else taking them literally. This song isn't about just people connecting with my real life situations I have experienced, but its about giving the people who listen to it and chance to become the interpreter. We want people to connect to it in their own way and we think the music and lyrics give people that opportunity."

Following the release of their 'Where The World Begins' debut EP in late 2013, the band have been busy lately putting  the finishing touches to their mini-album 'Our Simple Truths', set for release in September.

Empire are: Joe Green (lead vocals), James L’Esteve (guitar), Jon Tupper (drums), Dave Thomas (guitar), Freddie Forbes (bass)

Live dates:

13. Bournemouth The Anvil
14. Plymouth Tiki Bar
15. Exeter The Cavern
16. Swansea Sin City
17. Brighton The Hope
18. London The Black Heart, Camden
19. Norwich The Owl Sanctuary
20. Milton Keynes Craufurd Arms
21. Nottingham Rock City Basement
22. Huddersfield The Parish
24. Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms
25. Manchester Deaf Institute
26. Newcastle Think Tank
27. Canterbury Lady Luck - Free Entry
28. Cheltenham The Two Pigs

The Vaccines & Flaming Lips Announced For Liverpool Sound City

Amongst the new names announced today that have been added to this year’s Liverpool Sound City festival in May are The Vaccines have been confirmed as headliners of the first night (May 22), The Flaming Lips as Saturday (23) headliners, with Belle & Sebastian closing the show on the Sunday (24).

Vaccines frontman Justin Young says: "Liverpool is a city we love and it’s a real privilege to play on the first night of the new-look Sound City. It’s going to be a big night!"

Also new to the line-up today are Merseyside electronic producer Evian Christ, Tunbridge Wells' Slaves, Canadian punks Fucked Up, Sean Lennon’s The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes, LA indie rockers Dum Dum Girls, Jane Weaver, Bad Breeding and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

Ramones manager Danny Fields, James Barton of Creamfields festival and The Fall frontman Mark E. Smith are the keynote speakers for this year’s Sound City Conference which takes place on May 21 and 22.

“We promised a massive and credible line-up this year and we delivered," said Sound City CEO Dave Pichilingi. "The Vaccines, The Flaming Lips and Belle & Sebastian will play to an audience of thousands in one of the coolest cities in the world in the unique setting of our brand new Docklands home. It does not get much better than that."

After inspiring crowds as a keynote speaker at last year's  Sound City, firmer Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore returns with a live set at this year’s festival. "There will be non-stop entertainment, parties and a bag full of surprises," adds Pichilingi. "Each day will end with a massive spectacle as we head into our headline artists and party on until the early hours of the morning. We are so excited about the endless possibilities of our new festival home. It means we can offer so much more than just a live music festival. We can immerse our audience in an amazing setting with the best backdrop in the world and give them a totally fantastic experience”.

Sound City will be announcing more live acts and the conference programme in the coming weeks.

Tickets are available at £35 per day or £65 for 3 days. For further information, go to Liverpool Sound City website.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Watch :: The Voyeurs - Train To Minsk

London glam rock stompers The Voyeurs return with a new abbreviated moniker (having dropped the 'Charlie Boyer') and a new single in the form of 'Train To Minsk', which is released on Heavenly Recordings on March 9.

The song is accompanied by a suitably dayglow video, directed by renowned film-maker Douglas Hart.

Produced by Oli Bayston (Boxed In) and recorded at the Flesh & Bone and The Premises studios in east-London, the single is taken from their recent second album, 'Rhubarb Rhubarb'.

The band return in February for a run of UK dates.


04. Berlin Kantine-Berghain *
05. Hamburg Molotow *
06. Cologne Blue Shell *
07. Eindhoven Area 51 *
08. Utrecht EKKO *
10. Groningen De Spieghel *
12. Paris Point Ephemere *
13. Brussels Botanique Rotonde *
15. Dudingen Bad Bonn *
24. York Duchess
25. Manchester Gullivers
26. Glasgow Broadcast
27. Newcastle Cluny 2
28. Bedford Esquires

01. Bristol Louisiana

* w/Fat White Family

Listen :: Montoya - All In All (GOLF cover)

We first came across Parisian duo Montoya last September when they uploaded their first track 'Carry Oceans' online. As we reported then in our Introducing feature, there wasn't an awful lot of information forthcomimg, apart from the 'Yo, our name is Montoya' message on their website.

There still isn't a lot more to be had four months on on this electro indie French pair, Cècilia Bonnet and Hugo Rattoray, although they do now appear to have joined social media with Facebook.

And a new upload from them 'All In All', a four-and-a-half minute acidic synth and smoothly rich vocalled (courtesy of Bonnet) cover of 'All In All', by friends and fellow Parisian pop producers, Golf, and which appears on the latter's debut EP.

Listen :: Arctic Lake - Limits

Featured here last August when they digitally released debut single ‘How Long Can You Stare’, Arctic Lake, the North London-based trio, now return with a new track from their chilled and hypnotic catalogue.

'Limits' once more reinforces their likeness to the sound of London Grammar, with vocalist Emma Foster's range inevitably lending to comparisons with that of Hannah Reid; the delicate instrumentation adding its own sonic mellifluent colour over its three-minute-plus duration.

Arctic Lake are: Emma Foster - vocals; Paul Holliman - guitars; Andy Richmond - drums, percussion.


Track Of The Day :: Nite Fields - Winter's Gone

Coming up for their second Little Indie Track Of The Day this January (see previous here), Brisbane four-piece Nite Fields now chill us with another track from their forthcoming album 'Depersonalisation'.

The seven-minute plus opus 'Winter's Gone' washes over you like a weightless cloud of sound, given formation by vocalist Danny Venzin’s baritone that weaves amongst the ethereal layers in the gaseous soundscape.

As mentioned in our previous post. Nite Fields are on tour now throughout Europe until the end of February. They play one UK date on February 23 at London's Old Blue Last.

'Depersonalisation' Tracklisting:
01 “Depersonalised”
02 “Fill The Void”
03 “You I Never Knew”
04 “Come Down”
05 “Pay For Strangers”
06 “Hell/Happy”
07 “Prescription”
08 “Like A Drone”
09 “Winter’s Gone”

'Depersonalisation' is out on February 3 on Felte.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Album Review :: POND - Man It Feels Like Space Again


Man It Feels Like Space Again

January 26 2015 (Caroline)


Words: Alison Mack

Man, it feels like Perth psych Pond again. Going for their sixth full-length run in as many years in this latest work, recorded over several months last year in Melbourne, the nine-track, 45-minute work follows last year’s 'Hobo Rocket', and much in the same way plays trippy energy against moments of fun and vivacity.

Pop efficaciousness abounds in the likes of five-minute long opening track ‘Waiting Around For Grace’, which sets high-pitched vocals about being “tired of being tired” to sizzling synths. Single, 'Elvis’ Flaming Star', veers between 70s rock glam, rolling bass lines and fuzzed-out guitars and spacey synths, before double-dipping in and out of a mid-tune reverie.

Elsewhere, blissed-out ballad 'Sitting Up On Our Crane', is supported by a gentle guitar that whispers beneath former Tame Impala bassist Nick Allbrook’s lyrics: “It always feels the same when we’re up high/’Cos I feel like I fall and die”. ‘Holding Out For You’ takes a sombre vocal line hidden below keyboards, before evolving into a shrieking crescendo.

There are significantly fewer vocal stack blowouts from Allbrook; more synths, and various examples of combining programmed and acoustic drum sounds. "Tell me what went wrong/What about Zond?” Indeed, what about the ebullient funk of ‘Zond’, all powerful electronics and the beseeching ejaculations of Allbrook. Allbrook took control of most of the songwriting on the band's last album, on '...Space Again's credits are primarily held by guitarist Joseph Ryan and drummer Jay Watson, who lend balance to the album as a whole, their different styles working in efficient partnership.

Closer, the eight-minute long title track - the name of which Ryan allegedly came up with while “high on some consumables” - rears up in uncontrolled fluctuation, making the song sound like jammed-together spontaneous combustions. That's space for you.

Listen :: GABI - Fleece

The Brooklyn-based avant-garde songstress Gabrielle Herbst (GABI) follows her September debut single 'Koo Koo' with her shades of Kate Bush vocally complex and haunting style, on a further track from her forthcoming first album 'Sympathy', titled 'Fleece'.

Trained in classical music (piano and clarinet) from an early age, inspired by the likes of Berlioz, Satie, Steve Reich, and Bjork, Herbst mixes complex vocal techniques with loop pedal with her experience writing for chamber orchestra and other instrumentation, and uses her voice in operatic vocal-centric loops much like an instrument. Her nine-track album includes collaborations with percussionist Matthew O'Koren, viola player Rick Quantz, violinist Josh Henderson, and multi instrumentalist Aaron Roche, under the supervision of producers Daniel Lopatin (a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never) and Paul Corley.

Watch the video (created by Serena Forghieri) for 'Fleece' below. This lavishly orchestrated piece features falsetto vocal harmonies, transcendent drones, chamber music strings and gentle, but intense, piano.

'Sympathy' is released on April 7 via Software.

Track Of The Day :: Dead Ceremony - Frames

Electronic-pop outfit Dead Ceremony wowed us late last year with 'Losing You', now the Tunbridge Wells-based four-piece  are back with another spine-tingling piece of electronic atmospheric sound in 'Frames'.

Taken from their ‘Looking Glass’ EP - set for release in April - as we reported previously (read more here) Dead Ceremony have a knack of perfectly blending beautifully fragile lyrics, with a multi-layered, downtempo synth pop sound, with the stirring vocals of Chris Stewart. All of this and more is achieved in the heart-aching 'Frames'.

Dead Ceremony play their first London show at St Pancras Old Church on March 2.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Track Of The Day :: Marching Church - Hungry For Love

If you manage to listen through the whole seven minutes of Iceage's Elias Bender Rønnenfelt sounding like he's at orgasm point without feeling any stirrings within, you may well need to see a doctor.

'Hungry For Love' is the colossal first track to come from the debut album by Marching Church, out at the end of March. The Church, formerly the solo venture of the Iceage frontman, now includes Kristian Emdal and Anton Rothstein (Lower), Cæcilie Trier (Choir of Young Believers), Bo H. Hansen (Hand of Dust, Sexdrome) and Frederikke Hoffmeier (Puce Mary) for 'This World Is Not Enough'.

'Hungry for Love' is part experimental, all parts driven; improvised, atmospheric, angsty, disturbing, sexual and seeped through with Rønnenfelt's trademark heavy sex-pant vocal. And epically fresh and original compared to anything else you are likely to come across this week. Hear it. You'll still be hungry after the first listen and be wanting more. Much more.

'This World Is Not Enough' Tracklisting:

01 “Living In Doubt”
02 “King Of Song”
03 “Hungry For Love”
04 “Your Father’s Eyes”
05 “Calling Out A Name”
06 “Every Child (Portrait Of Wellman Braud)”
07 “Up A Hill”
08 “Dark End Of The Street”

'This World Is Not Enough' is released on March 30 in the UK/EU thru Posh Isolation, and a day later in the US via Sacred Bones.

Watch :: Boxed In - Mystery

Oli Bayston, formerly with Manchester band Keith and more latterly being behind songwriter credits for the likes of Lianne La Havas, Lily Allen, The 2 Bears and The Voyeurs, amongst others, now takes centre stage in his own right.

Fusing electronics with a slight frisson of psychedelia, he has just this week released his self-titled debut album, to be followed next Monday with the single 'Mystery'. Opening on a live drum loop, it gradually draws in piano and bass guitar notes to cater to the song's rich atmospheric instrumentation lines.

The video, directed by Steven Spencer, sees Bayston walking along a coastline, then encountering a beached whale...and more that you will have to watch the video below for.

Boxed In live dates

10. Brighton Sticky Mikes
11. Bristol Start The Bus
12. London Electrowerkz SOLD OUT
13. Manchester Deaf Institute
14. Sheffield Rocking Chair
15. Glasgow Broadcast

'Boxed In' is out now on Nettwerk. 'Mystery' is released on January 26.

January 23 2015 - Hot Top Ten

The first thing you question on hearing this Bay Area noise-punk duo's first taster from their self-titled debut EP (out February 10 via Father/Daughter) is whether there can really be just two of them. Think Royal Blood...x2 in decibels.

Lead single from the Atlanta trio's four-track  EP 'Starting Fires In My Parents House', out February. Math rock with ferocious rhythms, painfully despondent lyrics, equal
parts uplifting, sorrowful, and utterly riveting.

Taken from the London-based Welsh/French Britfolk-pop band's debut EP 'England Skies' out on March 9 via Beaucoup Music. Vocalist Poppy Jones leads the quintet through rich melodies with a folk border defined by delicate guitar and pounding rhythms.

Featured as our Track Of The Day, there's no getting away from the fact that this four-minute single (out next month) is THE big one the Reading outfit have been waiting on.

Opening track and lead single - out February 16 - from the third upcoming album by the Oxford outfit, that is as well crafted, other-worldly, poignant as one would expect, eloquently layered with choral voices, shimmering cymbals and quivering guitars.

Italian psych-noisegaze with six-minutes-plus of dark and off-kilter drones, taken from the Parma trio's just released self-titled debut EP.

Taken from the Chicago band's upcoming second album 'Driver', out next month. Erik Hall's (of both Wild Belle and Afropop band NOMO) lays on the wistful tenor vocal over a deftly arranged pop melody.

Chilled, ethereal orchestral electronica arrangements and a magnetically engaging, gossamer-fine female vocal from the duo who must surely be Australia's own London Grammar.

The four young Brighton teens (all just 17/18 years old) follow up last year's debut single 'Karibu' and 'Feel It' with track from EP 'Fuzz' out March 9. Taking fast leaps in gritty, catchy infectious lyrics and mdlifyt, catch them when they support PEACE in Brighton March 27/28.

Solo electronic project of London, Ontario-based producer Johnny Saga, digital download release on January 5. Echo-ey vocals, overlaid synths ...and Saga's trademark wolves in this tribute to alt-electro pop artists.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Peter Doherty Shares New Amy Winehouse Tribute Single - Listen

As premiered earlier this evening (January 22) on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 show, Peter Doherty's new solo single, 'Flags Of The Old Regime' will be released on March 9 via Walk Tall Recordings.

The single, a tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, was produced by Stephen Street, and all proceeds from the record will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation which works on drug and alcohol misuse prevention amongst young people.

Check out the song below.

Listen :: Burial - Temple Sleeper

The enigmatic mystery that is producer Burial marks a return with 'Temple Sleeper', following on from last year's 'Lambeth'.

The track, released as a one-sided white label single from UK label Keysound, features an atmospheric kick-drum in a somewhat overall different stop-start tempo compared to what Burial has previously produced.

Listen to the track above.