Hannah Diamond sings a song of virtual love for the smartphone generation

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“Feeling better really / I can see you clearly now I’ve saved you as a picture on my phone” sings Londoner Hannah Diamond in a girly-doll kind of manner. Attachment is like a song about virtual love for the smartphone generation, delivered in a kind of sweet-taboo pop stylee, with a “£25,99 keyboard from Argos” background (though the collapsed bubbling beat during the chorus pretty interesting, allowing the track a more challenging tease). It’s all kind of hard to know if it’s really good or the sort of track that will begin to grate after a certain amount of plays, but right now we believe it worth sharing. Download it below (if you want to).

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Amida — Boring Birth

unnamedThere’s an old saying about not judging books by their covers, and I have often wondered whether this should be the same where music is concerned. I reckon not, on the grounds that a well-designed cover can tell us a lot about the content, and I have made many pleasant discoveries through purchases made on the cover alone.

The cover for Amida’s album Boring Birth does not, as far as I can see, bear any relevance to the title, but does give quite a good indication of the music contained within. At first glance it is sparse, fragmented, angular. Look deeper and you will find colourful, meandering journeys through a foreign landscape. The band might be based in Manchester, but their sound arrives there via Eastern Europe and South America. Both cover and music reflect this.

Five-piece Amida have been around for a few years now although this is their first album. Pointing to ‘poppier Pixies, early Sebadoh and Pavement’ as points of reference, it is certainly the latter of these that strikes on the first few listens. The recordings are minimal and healthy for it; this is edgy guitar pop for those who like their music a little further leftfield. It took me a while to understand and enjoy Pavement, but Amida are more instant and at least all sound like they are playing the same song at the same time as each other.

Boring Birth is released by Jigsaw Records this month. They can be seen supporting The Wendy Darlings in Manchester on May 7th at a venue still to be confirmed at the time of going to press.

John Hartley

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TVVINS perform new song at Dublin’s Storm Studios

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Storm Studios, Dublin recently hosted the The Cast of Cheers spinoff ensemble, featuring Conor Adams and Lar Kaye, TVVINS perform new track entitled Book. Below you can watch the footage from the day, as they perform live the spasmodic indie body-popper, here filmed by Neil Hoare. For fans of XTC and early Foals (and The Cast of Cheers for that matter).

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Sd Laika drops another album track of grime experimenation

Milwaukee’s Sd Laika drops another tune off forthcoming That’s Harakiri album, out next week through Tri Angle. Great God Plan is like a downtrodden grime experiment not far off something Actress might try his hand at.

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Pixies — Indie Cindy

imagesFirst Pixies album in over 22 years that would have made a good Pixies album about 20 years ago if the band had not left the stage back then. But still, it makes a good Pixies album even now in 2014. Okay Kim Deal’s not involved anymore (which seems to be a major gripe for sentimentalists), and the record lacks the tight-kicking powerhouses of a Monkey Gone To Heaven or Velouria, but that was then and this is now. What cannot be denied when listening to Indie Cindy is there are enough top tunes on here to make the record’s release deserving and necessary. Basically, it stands up. It hits heights.

The record begins with a thumper, What Goes Boom, which is admittedly not as all-round powerful as some of their earlier work but it demonstrates that the band can still bite back and, well, do a Pixies. This is followed by two Built To Spill-like, spaghetti rock numbers; the pretty tuneful, first-sun-of-spring, Greens and Blues, followed by the title track, with its many mood changes and tear-forming, dreamy lovelorn innocence. So far so good.

The heavier call-and-responce Bagboy has Frank Black more direct-talking than singing: “So disappointed I was that I had made small talk with you / I’m not feeling your buzz I only smell your crock of stew”. This leads us up to the chorus where Black and (Deal?) share “Bag-boyyyyy / Bag-boyyyy…….” It’s a sinister-sounding, oldschool Pixies rocker and, again, it’s pretty mighty.

Moving on, Silver Snail is like a pastel colored groggy psych fairytale, while Ring The Bell is where the record sounds about as straight-up and radio-friendly as it gets. But its with Andro Queen where Indie Cindy really gets about as hairs-standing-on-neck beautiful; a lovely semi electric strummer-haze of a tune. Another Toe In the Ocean, meanwhile, is an unashamed open road alt rocker of supreme singalong richness.

Indie Cindy is certainly going to split opinion (the EPs from which they come already have), but life’s too short to get hung up on any of the why’s and where’s, there is enough here to enjoy and adore, and we should be thankful the tracks that are winners exist, and that they can be found on one whole album piece is no bad thing.

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Blondes do a sudden-release new EP

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IDMers Blondes today suddenly released a new remix EP entitled Rewire, a full two days late for Record Store Day, featuring remixes from the likes of Simion Mobile Disco, Claro Intelecto, Huerco, and Function. The tracks remixed are Swisher, and Wire, both found on last year’s sophomore album Swisher. Out via RVNG Intl.

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Single Focus 21.04.14

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Joe out of Prague band Latimer House guest reviews the singles this week. Find them on Facebook here. Their album All The Rage is out now. Above watch the video for the excellent single This Is Pop.

Cheatahs – Leave To Remain

The House of Love did all of this yonks ago. Vocals are way back in the mix of the valve-amped power guitar wash, as is the tune. Chances are that this lot know how to turn-in a blasting live performance, which may be the best way to do the Cheatahs.

Tom Vek – Sherman (Animals In The Jungle)

Whether it’s the geeky spectacles, the cleverness or the self-conscious lyric, this is reminiscent of Thomas Dolby. More calculation than passion, this track is smoothly engineered, repetitive and straight, a bit like a small Audi. But there’s no doubting its catchiness. The hooks grab the ear and the minimal instrumentation breathes with space and clarity.

Howling Bells – Slowburn

This London-based Australian four-piece produce a pop-perfect chorus out of their reverbed semi-acoustic guitars. “I’m a slow burner,” sings Juanita Stein in a croon that recalls the great Pauline Murray. Coming in at two and a half minutes, this ode to resigned frustration is gone before you know it.

Popstrangers – Country Kills

Best of the bunch by far is Country Kills, the new single from Popstrangers, an intelligent-sounding trio from New Zealand. Built around taught and intricate- sounding but pop-simple XTC-like guitar-work, the song breaks into a melodic chorus with ringing guitars and subtly powerful elastic bass. It all works rather well. Excellent stuff.

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Thee Oh Sees — Drop

Thee-Oh-Sees-coverJohn Dwyer’s Thee Oh Sees continue to release album on top of album at a rate of about one a year (sometimes two), each one not much different to the one before, yet each one a slight development, a must listen, an enjoyable ear-pull of the half idea, the screeching rock-out, the psych lowslunger, the three-minute lofi pop gem.

Savage Victory’s two-step and dripping feedback approach comes over all scary glam, Put Some Reverb On My Brother is just the right side of costumed-up rock parody, Camera is a true-to-you kindly dose of glitter-riff 60′s psych-pop, and Transparent World a wig-out of freeform psych-jazz.

Each new record shows us Dwyer and his bandmates’ shared spirit and love of this sort of thing; goodtime rock n roll played with vim and an everlasting youth, an innocent but true means of getting the best sound out of both old guitar and whirling keys.

The band was rumoured to be taking a break last year but, though Drop isn’t perhaps amongst their best two or three albums, still, they did the right thing in putting those hiatus plans on hold.

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