Tom’s mixtape: Volume 2 [Listen]

Midnight SunIsaac Delusion

“Isaac Delusion is about two multidisciplinary artists continually exploring new musical landscapes”. This is where techno and folk meet and produce super cool riffs complimented by smooth non obtrusive vocals. It’s going to take a while before I get bored of this track. Their EP Midnight Sun was released this year, and will be closely followed by their second, Early Morning which is soon to be released.


Alone Trampled By Turtles

Trampled By Turtles are set to release their 6th album in November called Stars and Satellites. With their highly successful track record in the Bluegrass scene there’s no doubt it’ll be a hit. Following the formulas of traditional folk and fiddle songs, and using a wide range of instruments their sound is timeless and full of soul.


TomorrowFuture Islands

This artist has quickly become one of my favorites; I could imagine them being a product of David Lynch. I like to think Sam Herring’s voice is a mixture of Tom Waits and Cat Stevens. The band have very recently released a 7″ single, after their successful album, On The Water (2012). The deep repetitive beats and synthy swirls – not to mention Sam’s scream-like roar half way through makes this song as wonderfully weird as the rest of their stuff.


Old FriendSea Wolf

Alex Church has been recording under the name Sea Wolf since 2003, and has been successfully pioneering the solo project since. He has a new album that’s yet to be released called Old World Romance and is currently on tour in the states. This track, Our Friend, is a sneak peak of what’s to come from the new album – and it’s very exciting.


Black & White MountainsSnowblink

Daniela Gesundheit AKA Snowblink has an extremely listenable voice. It’s the simplicity of this track that had me hooked. Delicate layers of beats and synths overlaid with vocals which sound a bit like Amiee Mann make it so enjoyable.


Can’t Get Enough The Sweet Serenades

I love the voice at the beginning of this song, it sounds like a burp. A band that’s descibed as, “Hip swaying, knee twisting, & finger snapping goodness”, this is a good wake up and walk to work track. The Swedish band’s manifesto of creating ‘unpretentious pop songs that make you feel cool’, doesn’t let you down here.


These Days (Jackson Browne)Pandit

Pop tunes infused with ambient and experimental texture, Pandit is the work of Lance Smith. I haven’t heard a bad song from this guy, and considering These Days is one of my favorite songs, Pandit’s cover is spot on. He has a new EP coming out at the end of the month, so keep an eye out for that.


Hang on to Me (Daytrotter) The Wooden Sky

I’m a huge fan of the Daytrotter Sessions, they often bring out better, more heartfelt sounding recordings than the originals. This is definitely the case with this Wooden Sky track. Taken from their latest album, Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun (2012), Hang on to Me is just one of the many great tracks from the album.


JitterDakotafish

Their synth-pop beats have a similar sound to Pheonix. This track is taken from the 2011 album, Many Moons. It’s a good track to stick on as a party winds down and the sun rises.


Miracle (Ghost Beach Cover) – TRAILS AND WAYS

Here’s something different; Brazilian shoegaze. I actually prefer this version of the track to the original Ghost Beach track. Covers can often come off as sounding like the original with less instruments and slightly awkward vocals, but when a band gets it right – it can transform a song into their own which is exactly what they’ve done.


New TheoryWashed Out

Since 2009, Ernest Greene’s project has received a constant stream of positive reviews. This track, New Theory comes from his first EP, Life of Leisure which launched him. 2011 saw the release of Within and Without, his first full length album which received startling reviews all round. 


Utah All Human

This is a random Bandcamp find, with similar vibes to Imaginary Johnny, this is an easy song to get into. He’s currently touring the states with his new album, Catholic Guilt or the Queerest of Thoughts.


Wally Wilder Delicate Steve

Steve Marion has flooded blogs recently with Positive Force. His music sounds as though he wrote lyrics and then decided the guitar should sing them. It’s cocktail of Ratatat and Animal Collective.



Golden PalmsHORSES / Bronson

Short and sweet, this track encompasses all that’s great about low-fi songwriting. Although it seems Patrick Ebermann’s project HORSES has evaporated. Now appearing under the name Bronson, the album Paper Tusk was released in 2011 and Golden Palms on this is different to the original – a bit overworked in my opinion. Here’s the original.


Little Dreamer (Future Islands Cover) – Doe Paoro

This one’s a grower, resist yourself from skipping it before the first minute. The sparse piano and seldom drums slowly intwine themselves into a beautiful melody which Doe Paoro sings through. The original song naturally has unusual vocals from Sam Herring, and so this Kate Bush sounding twist fits perfectly.


Says ElliottSibylle Baier

Sibylle Baier is a German folk singer, she sounds like a sad Nico – and I mean that in the nicest possible way. I love this song, its intimate sound makes you hang on every word. She’s quite a mysterious person, the homepage of her website reads:

I (her son Robby) set this site up for my mother…Sibylle will most likely never see this site. She is really quite perplexed by all the attention that her album “Colour Green” has gotten. My father keeps telling her about all the pages and articles that are out there, but she, though smitten, prefers to hear about her accolades through the eyes and ears of her family. The web makes her dizzy, I think.


Hidden Orchestra – Archipelago [Review]

Like Nightwalks before it, Archipelago is a triumphant body of work with rich and detailed production, soaring instrumentation and a staunch visual identity complimenting it’s predecessor and reaffirming Joe Acheson as a master of his craft. Straddling jazz, electronic, ambient, hip-hop and classical as before, It’s also a considerably more varied effort with tracks that shake off the darker claustrophobic atmosphere of Nightwalks and open up to a wider, reenergised and genuinely further refined record.

Overture confidently opens the album with cuts from the rest of the record making fleeting appearances and building into a full track before debut single Spoken brings it down and starts all over again. It is an incredibly evocative piece with field recordings from the Outer Hebrides complimenting the record sleeves beautiful etched visuals. It’s this level of thoughtfulness that separate the Hidden Orchestra from their peers. The tracks run like the tides, building up and receding gracefully with layer upon layer being introduced and creating a bold tension; the dual drum kits playing off each other, teasing and coaxing the music forward. It’s brilliantly clever stuff and a pleasure to listen to, this isn’t a record to be relegated to background music but one to take the time to learn its nuances and be utterly absorbed by.

It’s varied throughout with other double AA single Vorka being positively playful and contrasting with tracks such as Reminder which have distinctly darker tones before straying close to a sound reminiscent of ex label mate Bonobo on Seven Hunters. It’s also worth mentioning Archipelago is overflowing with guest talent. Czech musician/composer Floex joins cellist Su-a LeeMary MacMaster and Phil Cardwell who accompany core members Joe AchesonPoppy GrahamTim Lane and Jamie Graham. Each bring their own element to Archipelago and sound perfectly suited.

On its own Archipelago is an absolutely fantastic record. Executed with both skillful musicianship and talented song writing it is without a doubt one of the more beautiful, poetic and downright cinematic albums you will hear this year; however taken as a companion to Nightwalks it really shines as one of the most focused and exciting records on the UK music scene. You could accuse the Hidden Orchestra of staying a little too true to their template but think of the considered evolution of their sound combined with Joe Achesons overall vision for Hidden Orchestra and it brings the tantalising imagery of the greatest trilogies of our culture to mind. Let’s hope this is the Hidden Orchestras Empire Strikes Back and not the Godfather Part II (we all know where that trilogy went after that).

Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes [Video]

While Flying Lotus prepares Until The Quiet Comes for launch in a little under a months time we’re yet again teased, this time visually, with the bizarre yet beautiful short film by director Kahlil Joseph. From the three Flying Lotus tracks on show here; See Thru To U (feat. Erykah Badu), Hunger (feat. Niki Randa) and Getting There (feat. Niki Randa), it appears Steven Ellison has taken Flying Lotus to a whole new level with a thoroughly cinematic feel throughout that may or may not be aided by Josephs exciting and thought provoking visuals. It’s exciting and at a mere three minutes and fifty seconds, all too short.

Until The Quiet Comes releases on 1st/2nd October via Warp Records. I won’t go into too much detail as we covered the album the other month, but below are some tour dates for your diary.

September
23 Los Angeles, CA, Hollywood Bowl (w/ Animal Collective)

October
07 New York, NY, Terminal 5
12 Montreal, QC, Neon 
13 Toronto, ON, Danforth Music Hall
15 Detroit, MI, Majestic Theatre
16 Chicago, IL, Metro
18 Denver, CO, Ogden
19 Salt Lake City, UT, Urban Lounge
22 Vancouver, BC, Fortune Club
23 Seattle, WA, Neptune
25 Oakland, CA, Fox Theatre

November
04 Amsterdam, Netherlands, Paradiso
05 Leipzig, Germany, Conne Island
06 Paris, France, La Machine du Moulin Rouge
07 Fribourg, Switzerland, Fri-Son
08 Berlin, Germany, Gretchen
09 Manchester, UK, Manchester Warehouse Project
16 London, UK, The Troxy
23 Makuhari Messe, JP, electraglide festival 

Chris Helme – The Rookery [Review]

Chris Helme returns with The Rookery, the follow up to the 2008 excellent long player Ashes. Helme is most famous for being the frontman in the post Stone Roses band The Seahorses created by John Squire. Squire had found Helme when one of his longtime guitar technicians discovered him busking outside a shop in York city center. The Seahorses released their album Do It Yourself in 1997 and instantly shot to fame on the back of the then flourishing britpop scene and the prominence granted by John Squire being in the band. After three hit singles and two years of successful touring the band fragmented whilst writing their second album, mainly due to clashes between Helme and Squire over the new material.

Now with the legacy of The Seahorses fading, especially with the reformation of the Stone Roses getting so much attention, it is great to see Helme forging ahead with his solo career.

Returning with a beautiful and more mature tone, the new album follows on from Ashes with a dreamy indie-folk sound, slightly reminiscent of The Coral and early Gomez. The opening track is the instrumental Pickled Ginger, an almost perfect piece of english folk leaving the britpop days of The Seahorses as a distant memory. As the album grows, simple arrangements are bolstered with the gentle use of a string quartet and confident songwriting.

The track Plane demonstrates this beautifully and is a highlight of the first part of the album, showcasing Helme’s soulful vocal talent.

Listen to a clip of Plane below:

This is then followed by the excellent The Spindle And The Cauldron which adds a hint of early Led Zeppelin to the mix, with suitable melancholic vocals about an ethereal mysterious girl at his window.

Listen to a clip of The Spindle And The Cauldron below:

The track Pleased steers the sound in a further bluesy direction with Daddies Farm adding a upbeat edge to proceedings and Set In Stone bringing back the subtle orchestration. The rich layered production of the whole album really compliments Helme’s vocals and it’s amazing to believe that the whole record was produced in just nine days in the Yorkshire dales.

This is a great album, a gentle, laid back journey, expertly crafted with a good mix of soulful ballads and melodic acoustic rock – all held together with some thoughtful lyrics and excellent vocal talent.

The Rookery is out now and is availble to buy direct from Greedbag and iTunes

Helme has also announced a series of gigs around the country and is well worth seeing live. More information at chrishelme.co.uk

Sep 2nd – Alt.Fest, Fulford Arms, York
Sep 6th – Fulford Arms, York (with Mark Morriss of the Bluetones)
Sep 7th – Ku Bar, Stockton (with Mark Morriss of the Bluetones)
Sep 8th – The Acoustic Gathering, Scarborough
Sep 21st – Burns, Irvine
Oct 2nd – Surya, Kingscross, London
Oct 7th – Rock Your Mind Festival, Middlesbrough
Oct 12th – Kings Hall, Herne Bay (with Simon & Oscar of Ocean Colourscene)
Nov 3rd – Venue Cymru, Cardiff
Nov 4th – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
Nov 9th – Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
Nov 10th – Tollbooth, Stirling
Nov 23rd – The Square, Harlow (with Mark Morriss of the Bluetones)
Dec 22nd – Cumbernauld Town Hall, Cumbernauld, Scotland (with Mark Morriss of the Bluetones)

Four Tet – Pink [News/Listen]

Over the past year or so Kieran Hebden AKA Four Tet has been releasing a number of 12” singles via his own Text record label. For the benefit of those without a turntable he has decided to bring these tracks together in album form. This new collection of tracks is called Pink (artwork above). It has been released digitally via Hebden’s Text label today, and is available from all the usual places. There will be a CD release of the album too, although this is restricted to Japan only. You can listen to two of the tracks from the album below.

Four Tet – Pink

1. Locked
2. Lion
3. Jupiters
4. Ocoras
5. 128 Harps
6. Pyramid
7. Peace For Earth
8. Pinnacles

Four Tet – 128 Harps


Four Tet – Jupiters

Ultraista [Listen]

Radiohead super producer Nigel Godrich has started a new music project and it’s awesome. His new musical venture is called Ultraista and it consists of himself, Mauro Refosco (Smashing Pumpkins/Beck/Atoms For Peace) and Laura Bettinson (formerly of Dimbleby and Capper, she now records as Femme). Not much else is known about the band, as information on the group’s website is scarce, however they appear to take their name from early-20th century Spanish literary movement ultraísmo. They do have Soundcloud, Twitter and Facebook accounts. Their debut album will be released on 2nd October via Temporary Residence, and you can hear two of the tracks from the album below.

Ultraista – Static Light

Ultraista – Small Talk

TiredEyes – Constellations [Review]

I Used To Be, Chris Stolz’s second album under the TiredEyes monicker, was one of my favourite and most played records of last year. Its jazzy beats and laid back feel made for fantastic summer listening with some infectious melodies that really stuck. Dusty analogue vibes, warm production and an unhurried pace set a bar that any musician would be hardpressed to top. And so, just over one year on, Constellations arrives in time for the last month or two of warm weather (here in the UK anyway).

Where I Used To Be arrived with a shot of energy on title track I Used To Be, Constellations takes a subtler route and opts to build slowly with the smokey Cosmic Echoes. It’s lazy, considered, and thoroughly cinematic. And this is what sets Constellations apart from debut There in the Shade and last years I Used To Be. It’s that experience from three albums under one project. A confidence and swagger that can only become apparent after the foundations have been laid and then tested.

Tracks build, vocal samples tease, beats reverberate; crackles, hissing and pops layer onto a wide selection of instruments. It’s a pleasure to listen to and if stuck with, will reveal a surprising level of detail that a quick listen might mask. The latter half of the album really shines with tracks like Nylon Trees and Stay Inside being stunning examples of what Stolz can do, the latter containing a great sample from Peggy Lees Johnny Guitar. It’s moody, sweeping and cinematic.

So how does Constellations stack up to I Used To Be? It effectively continues right where its predecessor left off, in fact it wouldn’t sound out of place if it were a side two – just a slower and more confident side two. That’s not to it’s detriment though, Constellations is still a superb record through and through and familiarity is as much as a good thing as a bad thing. Change for changes sake is not always a good thing and this is a perfect example when you’ve hit a great formula not to mess with it too much. As above, what is there however is a far more polished experience; further refined, cinematic and confident. Stolz’s beats sound just as organic, his sampling tighter and the details finer. This is what makes TiredEyes stand out from a large number of the other beatmakers at the moment, fine detailing. It’s exciting to put a pair of headphones and come out so rewarded and Constellations does not disappoint.

Constellations is available for download from TiredEyes bandcamp page for $10 (USD)

Tracklisting is as follows,

  1. Blast Off   (00:51)
  2. Cosmic Echoes   (03:26)
  3. Orbital   (03:10)
  4. Golden   (02:09)
  5. Pain   (03:01)
  6. Imagery   (01:48)
  7. Maydrum   (01:53)
  8. Move Like This   (02:41)
  9. Run Free   (02:32)
  10. Such A Sky   (01:36)
  11. Lean Back   (02:27)
  12. Sit By The Door   (02:56)
  13. Empty Chamber   (01:15)
  14. We’re Not Home   (01:49)
  15. Mellow Breeze   (02:08)
  16. Space Bass   (03:53)
  17. Nylon Trees   (02:51)
  18. Stay Inside   (03:31)
  19. Obedient Workers   (01:54)

Atoms For Peace [Listen]

If you haven’t heard of Atoms For Peace you must have been living under a rock or in space for the last few years. Just in-case this applies to you then I will explain. They are the supergroup originally created by Thom Yorke of Radiohead, to tour his 2006 solo album The Eraser. The band played a small US tour in 2010 where they played the Coachella Festival, the only date outside of America played being the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan. The band itself consists of Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Mauro Refosco, Joey Waronker and long-time Radiohead collaborator and producer Nigel Godrich.

Since playing their final live date in Japan, all has been quiet with the band. That was until September 2011 when Thom Yorke confirmed that he was preparing an album by the band for release. Flea then also confirmed soon after in a separate interview that the band had recorded together and an album would be out soon. The album is expected to be released this year.

In April of this year Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich also performed a DJ set in LA using the name Atoms For Peace. At this DJ set they played several new songs, but it is still unclear whether these tracks were actual songs or remixes of Atoms for Peace songs. They also now have another DJ set lined up at MoMa PS1 in September. You can watch a video of the band performing Cymbal Rush from Fuji Rock Festival 2010 below.

Finally, earlier this month it was announced that the band would release its first music in the form of a 12” on Monkeytown Records, the label run by Modeselektor. This vinyl consists of a remix of the track Tamer Animals by Other Lives and on the B-side they have remixed their own song Other Side.

Tracklisting
A1. Other Lives – Tamer Animals (Atoms For Peace Remix)
B1. Atoms For Peace – Other Side (Stuck Together Remix)

You can listen to samples of both the tracks below, and keep an eye out for the album which will hopefully be out soon, it’s sure to be an amazing piece of music.

Other Lives – Tamer Animals (Atoms For Peace Remix)

Atoms For Peace – Other Side (Stuck Together Remix)

Koreless – Lost In Tokyo [Listen]

Fans of minimalist dubstep will no doubt be very exited that Glasgow based producer Koreless has finally released another track. If you have never heard of Lewis Roberts AKA Koreless before, then you would file him next to James Blake, Mount Kimbie and Four Tet in your record collections. His debut 12” was released last year on Pictures Music and is now considered quite a collectable as both tracks on that record have been very highly rated ever since their release, and many people, myself included, have been eagerly awaiting new tracks from him.

Finally late last year, Jamie xx featured a new track in his BBC Essential Mix. That track has now finally had a digital and vinyl release. It is aptly called “Lost In Tokyo”, as I imagine it’s the perfect music to listen to while cruising round Tokyo on a night bus. The vinyl is being released on Jacques Greene’s Vase label and his remix of Lost In Tokyo is on the B-side. You can stream the original track below along with the mix that Koreless did for The Boiler Room, which is one of my favourite Boiler Room mixes and contains both the tracks of his debut 12”.

Koreless – Lost In Tokyo

Boiler Room Mix