Jape — ‘This Chemical Sea’

Richie Egan a.k.a. Jape is onto his fifth full-length which, though admittedly not having heard much of his work until now, is still a surprise to this writer. ‘This Chemical Sea’ finds him, err, progressing into something more approaching beatifically-driven pop familiarity. Right from the off ‘Seance of Light’ finds Egan in grooved-out, uncomplicated electropop mode a la Hot Chip. Follower track ‘The Hearts Desire’ is an altogether memorable and hooky affair; Egan using his CD collection to unearth some of his favorite New Order/baggy-house moments. Elsewhere, ‘Breath of Life’ is five minutes of circler, psyche-beat grogginess, and ‘Love On the Crest of a Wave’ brings back the dance-pop accessibility in busy polyphony sci-fi funk form.

Föllakzoid share new track ‘Electric’, album on the way

Föllakzoid - "Electric"

Expected March 30 ‘III’ is the follow-up to 2013’s ‘II’, and is to get a Sacred Bones release. The five-track LP clocks in at just over 40 minutes. Föllakzoid are intriguing Chilean dudes, and specialise in an irresistible sorta spiritual and hypnotizing space-rock usually produced as long tracks. Well, their music generally wouldn’t work as well if condensed into three-and-a-half minutes. (Why, the final track on the new record clocks in at a way too short 9:03). Listen to ‘Electric’, the opener tune off the new record, below.

Listen to lovely new Lower Dens single ‘To Die in LA’

Lower Dens - Escape From Evil

‘To Die in LA’, the brand new single by Lower Dens is about as shiny and straightforward a tune thus far put out by the Krautrockian/dreampop ensemble. Another band may have come up with something unmemorable and, well, a bit dull, but with a band as good as Lower Dens ‘To Die In LA’ still manages to have a certain beauty and magic. With a bit of mid-period Siouxie and the Banshees and Tom Petty, this single is an undoubted little winner for us here. Third album Escape From Evil’ is out in the spring.

The Charlatans — ‘Modern Nature’

By John Hartley

Like the pied wagtail, the grey squirrel and the urban fox and other examples of modern nature before them, The Charlatans have had to do quite a bit of adjusting in order to survive. They probably felt the odds were going to be stacked against them right from the off when, despite their majority hailing from the Midlands, the band was lumped in with the ‘Madchester’ scene. Existence hasn’t really got any easier for them since.

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