Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Somewhat surprisingly given their current sound, the band originally played post rock, but with the 2015 release of Dilate, they carved out prime territory in the electronic space.
Randolf's Leap's earlier recordings took the lo-fi, bedroom recording approach. But this album has higher production values, and the results are well worth the extra time and effort. Combined with the skilled contribution from the band and Ross' talents for penning well-considered comments and them dressing them up in bright pop wrappings, this is one of the better bands Scotland has to offer, and Cowardly Deeds is a worthy calling card.
The band are Adam Ross (guitar/vocals), Adam Florence (drums), Vicki Cole (bass), Andrew MacLellan (guitar), Heather Fox (violin), Pete MacDonald (keyboards), Ali Hendry (trumpet) and Fraser Gibson (trombone). Cowardly Deeds is out now via Glasgow's Olive Grove Records. One source to purchase would be the Olive Grove Bandcamp page which is linked at the bottom of this post.
Olive Grove's Bandcamp page
Olive Grove Records
Monday, May 23, 2016
Exploded View is a multinational band working with Krautrock, dub, electronic modes of musical expression. Fronted by UK-born and Berlin-based former political journalist Annika Henderson (vocals/synth), the band includes Martin Thulin (drums/guitar) from Sweden, and Hugo Quezada (bass/synth) and Hector Melgarejo (synth/guitar) from Mexico. All of the members have participated in other well-regarded projects, and we expect exciting sounds from this collaboration. Two tracks, "Orlando" and the previously released "No More Parties In The Attic" are out now. The band's self-titled album will be out in August via Sacred Bones.
Bandcamp for LP
Sacred Bones Records
Bandcamp for LP
Sacred Bones Records
Sunday, May 22, 2016
Glaciers are Nalin Dayawansa (vocals/guitar), Simon Crouch (vocals/guitar), Ryand DeCoite (bass), and Tom Coish (Drums). Living Right will be released on vinyl and digital by Strong Dogs Records. A cassette version will be available via Easy Summer.
Bandcamp for Local Hero
Bandcamp for Career Crisis
Friday, May 20, 2016
Now, in a labor of love, Glasgow's Flowers In The Dustbin has dusted off a live-recorded version of "But I'm Scared" and is offering it as a single in August. While "Tell Me" understandably drew comparisons to the Kinks, "But I'm Scared" adds a '60s California folk rock sheen to the Kinks vibe. It is one of my favorite songs of the year so far, and I very much wish the band would write some new music. "But I'm Scared" can be pre-ordered now.
I've also provided a stream of "Tell Me" for your listening pleasure.
The Echo Session are Tam Maher (vocals/guitar), Alistair Morrow (guitar/vocals), Stuart Morran (bass/vocals), and Ryan Rimkus (drums/vocals).
Facebook forThe Echo Session
Flowers In The Dustbin page for The Echo Session
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Coast Modern is a Los Angeles duo comprised of Coleman Trapp and Luke Atlas, and we think they are about to make their way into a lot of summer playlists. Their latest offering is the dancehall inspired ready-for-the-beach jam "Guru". We also have included previously released "Hollow Life" and "Animals" to demonstrate that these guys have a full arsenal of sounds. The guys played SXSW in March and are spending much of the rest of the year on the road. The Bumbershoot appearance may get me to venture to Seattle Center on September 2.
The Colourful Band is one of our favorite bands from Scotland. The band is Ian McKelvie and various supporting musicians. We featured their 2015 album Sometimes It Rains about a year ago (link), and their excellent self-titled LP back in 2012 (here). While busy with careers, surfing and other distractions of life, Ian manages to find time to pen new songs. We have two for you today, "A Festival In 1995" and its B-side, "Stolen Police Car". The lead track is a nostalgic look back at, well, a festival in 1995. The B-side is a slice of garage surf that sounds like what you'd get if The Jesus and Mary Chain were the tough guy cousins of the Beach Boys. If it makes you want to go out and steal a police car, the band wants you to know that they disclaim any liability whatsoever. And that disclaimer will stick. Trust me, I'm a lawyer.
You will note the little download arrows on the Soundcloud widgets. You also can find the songs on iTunes.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Slumberland Records, a label with well-demonstrated good taste in new indie bands, has signed Mercury Girls for their official record debut, the two-song Ariana. The title track is a racing, rushing noise pop triumph with simmering verses, thumping rhythms and swelling choruses. It is the kind of song that makes you instantly love a band. The B-side, "All That Heaven Allows", could make a strong case for a double A-side designation for this record, if not for the strength of the leading track. For its part, "All That Heaven Allows" burnishes the band's post punk chops and demonstrates that their arsenal is far more that perfectly sweetened noise pop.
Ariana is out on Friday, May 20 in vinyl and digital formats, and is available to pre-order now. Mercury Girls will be playing Popfest in New York, and touring in the Eastern US.
Mercury Girls are Sarah Schimineck, Kevin Attics, Andrew Hagiwara, Chris Schackerman, and Kevin O'Halloran.
Bandcamp for Ariana
Eskimeaux is the recording and performing name used by Gabrielle Smith, a New York based songwriter and producer. In 2015 she released the well received LP, O.K., and now has followed it up with a mini album titled Year of the Rabbit. While O.K. was very much an experimental folk creature featuring very well-implemented studio processing, Year of the Rabbit takes a more mainstream pop direction and was recorded live with Smith's live collaborators Oliver Kalb, Felix Walworth, and Jack Greeleaf. While one hesitates to predict what a talented and inventive artist will do in the future, I would offer that this version of Eskimeaux is very pleasing, indeed. The record consists of six well-crafted slices of life, voiced with nuanced perfection. My favorites at this point are "Power" and "Drunk", but there isn't a dud in the lot. As a mini album, it is over too quickly, but it demands repeats and you won't tire of it soon.
There will always be space in my music library for pristine pop that makes me smile and sigh, and plants earworm melodies in my brain. And Year of the Rabbit is a good example of why I feel that way.
Year of the Rabbit is out now via Double Double Whammy.
Soundcloud for Year of the Rabbit
Double Double Whammy
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
About a year ago Swedish electro-pop band Death and Vanilla reminded us how very good they are with To Where The Wild Things Are (our feature here). The talented Maleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson craft sonic wonders with elements of psychedelic pop, baroque pop and minimalist experimentation. Their work has been compared to Broadcast and Sterolab, but really is too broad in scope for such references to be more than starting points. The duo loves vintage instruments and horror film music, both of which inform their recording, adding depth and tension to the sweet and bright elements common to electro-pop.
Before To Where The Wild Things Are Death and Vanilla had released a self-titled EP, a self-titled LP, and a two-song single titled "From Above". Those early works are as excellent as they are hard to find, so listeners who only became fans last year have been unable to get their full dose of D&V. However Fire Records is in the business of providing happy endings, and has now released all three of those earlier records. Feast your ears on the sampler of cuts from the reissues below, and then stock your musical cupboard with Death and Vanilla.
Fire Records page for Death and Vanilla releases
Death and Vanilla's Bandcamp page