Fear Of Men — Loom

untitledSince coming to our attention a couple of years ago there has been a unarguable ‘likable tunes / file:indie’ slap-on virtual sticker to go with this Brighton ensemble. Loom does little to allow this very same virtual sticker to be removed but it does have a certain layered confidence, and occasional bit of noise (check out the off-the-cuff ending to Inside which unfortunately there isn’t enough of).

Of the 11 cuts worthy enough for inclusion here tracks such as Seer and Green Sea are oldies, so no surprises really, but it is elsewhere the record displays its charm. Tephra and Luna have a focused energy and widescreen sense of wonder about them, the vibe recalling Coldplay circa Rush of Blood to the Head (which is a good thing), while the likes of America brings along a brand of moonshine folksy pleasantness.

If one allows Loom time to play along in the half background, it should begin to fill the room in a pleasantly sparkling, and perfectly suspending, kind of manner.

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Listen to Riot Punks Girl Band’s RSD flexidisc release The Cha Cha Cha

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Dublin’s riot punks Girl Band continue to not appear on a Later With Jools near you with new 25-second The Cha Cha Cha. It’s a flexidisc Record Store Day release via Any Other City, and limited to just 100.

Good luck getting your hands on a copy.

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Elastic Sleep — Leave You

artworks-000073517242-7stlt5-t500x500Debut mini album from the Cork film enthusiasts due end of April, and with a launch date at Dublin’s Bello Bar on May 17. The Leave You EP features six tracks kicking off with the perfectly conventional, summery haze of recent single Leave You, but before you feel relaxed and imagine beautiful young people’s hair blowing about in the wind, along comes a cool shivery breeze with a Bunnymen-like brooding for, err, a song called I Found Love. Only two songs in a we get a picture of a moodswinging band with more than just the single trick up their sleeve.

Slow-burning, glistening dreampop in the shape of tracks Deep and Blue and Splish, are the thick slices of homely-baked bread with the slice of spicy tasty meat– known here as Tzar Bomba (No More Tears)– rockin’ out neatly in between. Some striped-back movietone moments for final track Stay ensure we finish on a little curveball of curious pleasure. Impressive.

 

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Django Django to release cover of The Monkees’ Porpoise Song as a single for RSD, listen to it here

Django Django play Primavera Sound 2013

We have a Record Store Day Single Focus special this Friday which includes cracking 7″ items from….err, actually we think best to surprise you on the day. One that wont be there though is this little gem from psych-poppers Django Django; Porpise Song, a Monkees cover no less. It’s to also appear on the band’s next month-released Late Night Tales mix compilation.

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Listen to new Swans track Oxygen, lifted off new album To Be Kind

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The new Swans album To Be Kind hits the shops My 13, but before then another track off it. Oxygen follows A Little God In My Hands. It’s another storm-rock bruiser. The artwork for To Be Kind comes in many slightly bizarre child sketches. Above is our favourite.

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Listen to new Thee Oh Sees album Drop

imagesAfter hiatus threats John Dwyer’s Thee Oh Sees are of course back with yet another longplayer (as if we ever doubted them?) Drop drops in time for Record Store Day, but the followup to last year’s Floating Coffin can be currently streamed via Pitchfork Advance.

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Bass Clef set to release new EP via PAN, listen to headcut Self-Perpetuating Fun Loop

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New four-track acidic EP Ravin Yr Own Worl, from Bass Clef, out via the always-worth-a look PAN people on April 22. Not the usual sort of action we’re used to hearing coming from Berlin-based PAN, but certainly keeping with the label’s quality control.

The good old 303 machine is much deployed across the EP. It took a few years for the 303 to be worked out, its full potential realised, and here we are some twenty-five years on, with a record such as this sounding like an example in 303 respect and mastership; hi-hats, breaks, wobbly funpacked synthlines, and variety-pack drum hits.

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Single Focus 14.04.14

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Damon Albarn – Lonely Press Play

Either the tune doesn’t suit the vocals or the vocals don’t suit the melody. Either way, it ends up being neither nowt nor summat. It just kind of drifts along and just when it threatens to go somewhere, it ends on an unusual uplift that promises a big key change and a power chord bursting into something more, but no. That’s it. It’s not bad or annoying or anything like that, just a bit… dull.

Wolf Alice – Moaning Lisa Smile

Now here, Mr Albarn, do vocals and melody fit together perfectly. A hard edge on the guitar provides a great base for Ellie Rowsell’s soft voice to operate from. Grungey and great.

Esben and The Witch – No Dog

A friend of mine knows but one phrase in Spanish: No quiero un perro para mi cumpleaños. I do not want a dog for my birthday. It has come in useful literally no times ever. It may need a little reworking to change it to ‘I don’t want No Dog for my birthday’. It’s not a great record.

Arcade Fire – We Exist

The new single off the Reflektor album sees the Montreal avant-gardians morphing into mid-period Bryan Ferry. It’s not your typical Arcade Fire record and one supposes that were it to have been, I’d have been critical for it being derivative or unoriginal. But it’s not that they can’t win. Reflektor was a perfectly serviceable record. This is just a bit lukewarm and sounds like something that a more hard-nosed producer might have suggested stays on a B-side or the editing room floor.

Honeyblood – Killer Bangs

Punky, perky, lo-fi pop. Sounds like a couple of other things that I can’t quite put my finger on without aping anyone else. There’s just a couple of familiar hooks is all. That’s not to say it’s derivative or anything. It’s just lovely.

John Dobson

 

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