The start of this track sounds like something from a Julianna Barwick album, however this is the work of R. Thomasin, a new artist who crafts catchy and ethereal songs from dreampop, shoegaze, and electronic influences. She comes from Boston, USA and has just released her first full-length album on Bandcamp where her earlier “Framed EP” is also available as a free download. Have a listen to Laurels here. Definitely one for the midnight driving playlist.
After last week’s speculation, the new album from My Bloody Valentine not only exists, it’s available right now! The long awaited follow up to 1991s Loveless, is named simply mbv, the album was launched at midnight on Saturday 2nd February. The album is exclusively available through the band’s website – after initially crashing, due to load, the site is now back up and running.
Much time has passed since the release of the critically hailed Loveless, rumours of whole albums worth of material that have been recorded then subsequently scrapped by the band have surfaced over the years.
Midnight Sun – Isaac 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.
Tomorrow – Future 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 Friend – Sea 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 Mountains – Snowblink
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.
Jitter – Dakotafish
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 Theory – Washed OutSince 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 Palms – HORSES / 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 Elliott – Sibylle 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.
The end of summer melancholy has started to descend upon my music library, and my current favourite is called Arrange. His slow synthy beats overlayed with shoegazy vocals summons a sound that’s best enjoyed loud and alone.
New Memory is Malcom Lacey’s latest album, after a handful of releases in the past two years. His songwriting carries an ongoing theme of loss and heartache which stem from an unfortunate abusive childhood. Despite this, the album consist of wonderful moments of uplifting instrumentals that keep your head turned in a positive direction . The ambient hum that compliments his tracks throughout will no doubt hinder understanding the spoken words during the first listen, but this results in you wanting to hit repeat and take it in again.
His music resembles artists such as Perfume Genius and Youth Lagoon, with electronic harmonies that echo the work of composers like Eluvium. The album is an enjoyable melancholic experience, but as Paul Lester from the Guardian puts it; “Not for the faint-hearted, but perfect for the heartbroken”.
Here’s the track Caves from New Memory which was released this year in July.
Of all the bands that came out of the Thames Valley shoegaze scene in the early 90s, I hold Ride the dearest. As well as owning the gargantuan amount of effects pedals and an intimate knowledge of My Bloody Valentine records that the scene required; they could also write tunes with memorable sonic hooks. Continue reading