Cayucas – A Summer Thing [Listen]

No explanation needed for this post. I actually tanned on the weekend, I didn’t know such thing was possible in England. To contribute to this weather I’ve chosen to start the week with Cayucas, I feel like this artist has exploded this summer. Their album Bigfoot which was released in May has done very well, and for good reason too. Their feel-good pop vibes are just what everyone wants right now.

These guys are currently touring the US, and are thankfully making their way to the much anticipated End of The Road festival this year – and then continuing through Europe in Autumn. Check out the whole album, it would go well with a BBQ by the sea, a smokey bonfire in the woods, or just your headphones on a sweaty bus.

Day – Land of 1000 Chances [Listen]

DJ Day

As the sun finally beats down on England and the days reach their longest of the year it’s high time we had some music to go with the weather and Damien Beebe, or Day as he is better known, delivers with one of the freshest and summeriest records of the year.

Land of 1000 Chances is a wonderful collection of instrumentals crammed with catchy melodies and soulful vocal samples effortlessly blending jazz and downtempo grooves to give that classic hip-hop vibe. It’s cut and paste nature moves it along at a steady pace, shifting continuously but never out of character, diverse yes but also tastefully mixed.

Day - Land of 1000 Chances

The idea for all of this was to go back to my roots and encapsulate the last few years of what was going on in my life. I needed to get away from the clean, over-produced music I was making that had slowly put me in a creative corner cover the last 5 years. I was stuck. It’s not in me to make electronic music (I suck at it to be honest) and I didn’t want to re-hash the cut and paste stuff I had done before, so what the fuck do I do now? I go back. Back to the first album I ever made in a bedroom in Palm Springs with an EPS, my cousins drum kit and some records. I had to get back to where I came from in order to harness where I was now. Fuck layering and smothering songs to oblivion. These needed to breathe. Keep it intentionally sparse and simple. It had to be about creating a vibe and sticking to it. Not throwing in a random dance cut or having it cluttered with guests. It had to be honest and real. Somewhere along the way, I ended up drinking way too much, traveling and hanging out way too much and on the precipice of divorce. They say write what you know, so I did.   –  Day 

It may not be that adventurous, nor entirely unique, but it’s undoubtedly well crafted and that’s all we ask for in a record like this. Suitable for driving with the windows down soaking up those summer vibes, or laying on a warm beach with a beer this record suits the sunny season no end.

Grab Land of 1000 Chances over on Day’s bandcamp page.

Bandcamp Find of the Week – Pickwick

So I suppose my Bandcamp Find of the Week series should technically be renamed Bandcamp Find of the Season. We’ll gloss over the lack of follow ups since that January article, here’s the latest one. I present to you Pickwick.

There’s scant information across the internet on these guys so this is what I do know; there’s six of them, they’re from Seattle, they have a penchant for vintage gear and they love vinyl (men after my own heart there). But what I can tell you from listening to their debut record Myths, interestingly split into three EP’s and released over a period of months, is that they are a great blend of Soul, R&B and Indie rock with shades of blues and the songwriting skills to boot. It’s raw stuff, don’t expect lavish production here. That’s not to say it’s badly produced however, far from it, there’s perfect clarity and it does nothing but accentuate the bands sound, giving each member’s instrument room to breathe and stand out – there are some infectiously catchy melodies here. Most importantly however, it sounds like the band are having fun and this bleeds into their sound freely at all opportunities. Across the record (or three EP’s depending on how you buy it) Pickwick display great skill in creating meaningful songs full of soul. It’s also worth mentioning the interesting presentation and method of releasing three EPs as a full length. The band clearly have a vision and it’s great to see them experimenting with the way they release their music. Each EP comes with it’s own artwork, all stylistically created to compliment each other, it’s a nice idea well executed.

Have a listen over on the Pickwick bandcamp. Note if you want to grab Myths as a complete piece rather than the three EPs via bandcamp, you can purchase it digitally for $8 (USD) or physically for $10 (USD) on their kungfustore here. Highlights include the superb Hacienda Motel (live version below, well worth the watch!) and The Round.

Tracklisting as follows:

Volume 1
1) Hacienda Motel
2) When Rosa Speaks

Volume 2
1) The Round
2) Staged Names

Volume 3
1) Limelight
2) Blackout

Tashaki Miyaki [Listen+Watch]

It’s not often I fall head over heals for an artist, but listening to Tashaki Miyaki’s cover of one of my favourite Dylan songs put them at the top of my playlist for the week.

I blame the summery vibes ringing in the London air at the moment that’s fuelling my current shoegaze phase. Tashaki Miyaki have a chilled out dreamy sound blended with well paced vocals which compliment each track perfectly – and I really mean that. The band are often compared to Best Coast, who I always ‘sort of liked’, but Tashaki Miyaki have that special thing which make them in my humble opinion far more enjoyable. I hope they come play in the UK soon.

The two girls behind the name, Lucy and Rocky are both from California. Their latest EP,  is released by UK based label The Sounds Of Sweet Nothing – the same people that released the new Halls EP. I have to say those people know how to find quality music.

What squeezes the icing on the cake for me is Tashaki Miyaki have quality music videos too. As a filmmaker myself, I see the importance in having good, tasteful visuals to this genre of music. So often with bands you see the cliché kaleidoscope of images badly processed through After Effects, (even on a zero budget, there’s no need for that). However their frequent director, Juan Iglesias has done a stellar job in producing very fitting videos for them, I salut you sir.

Check out their latest cover of Bob Dylan’s song, If Not For You:

This is a video for their track Best Friend, I also recommend checking out their video for Somethin’ Is Better Than Nothin’: