Thursday, October 23, 2014
Nico Miller, Kate Miller, Jess Gunn, and Lauren Campbell are four women from the Highlands and Glasgow that comprise Sharptooth. The Glasgow-based band's music seems to me to be fuzz-pop noir. The haunting little tunes may not help you sleep tight if you listen to them before bed, but I think they are well done and compelling. This past spring Sharptooth released the Cut Me Open cassette via Number4Door Records (digital copies remain available at the link at the bottom of the post). Now the sharp guys at Fuzzkill Records are offering the band's latest track, "Sister" as a cassette and digital download. With lo-fi, crashing guitars, an ominous lead vocal and haunting chorus, "Sister" makes a distinctive, and distinctly positive, impression.
Sharptooth on Facebook
Order page for "Sister"
Fuzzkill Records on Facebook
Link to previous EP
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Efe Tekkanat's prior musical incarnation as a punk rocker probably gave little hint of his promise as an electronica artist. But based on the evidence provided by "Honest", his first single for Helsinki's Soliti Music label. The 19-year old Finn, performing as Oceans, offers an insistent, eminently danceable groove, but includes R&B vocals that suggest Efe understands the value of adding warmth to his compositions. We're looking forward to more from Oceans.
Shelflife Records is one of the most reliably delightful little labels in our universe, so we are always willing to pay attention to one of their releases. Their latest nugget is the self-titled debut album from The Luxembourg Signal, and guitar pop fans may well judge it to be one of the best releases this autumn. Treading -- or maybe swaggering down -- the line between dream pop and shoegaze, with hints of '90s college rock, this band sounds like a Sarah Records band reborn with the benefit of added power sources and a more mature outlook on songwriting. And that may be because, more or less, that's what this band is. Members Johnny Joyner, Beth Arzy and Brian Espinosa, all of whom were with Sarah Records darling Aberdeen (and Fonda and Trembling Blue Stars), started The Luxembourg Signal with Betsy Moyer and Ginny Pitchford.
The ten tracks on The Luxembourg Signal are emotionally rich thematically and musically. Arzy's perpetually youthful vocals remain a sweetly commanding focal point, while the guitars crash, thunder and soar in support. The previously released second track "Distant Drive" heralded the guitar power that the band would deliver on this recording. But the band's depth is revealed by the more pop oriented third and fourth tracks, "Heaven" and "She Loves to Feel the Sun". Track five, "First Light", unspools like a delicious slice of Echo and the Bunnymen or Bauhaus, with shoegaze overdrive. The sixth and seventh tracks, "Drowning" and "Wishing Pool", envelope the listener in waves of thick, jangling guitars. "Un-Phased" is a brief and gentle instrumental, and serves as a delightful lead-in to the driving dream pop "We Go On", which may ultimately be one of many fans' favorites on this album. The album closer, "Let It Go" is a surprising and perfectly constructed jam, with near top 40 bounce and a delightful vocal hook wrapped in shoegaze.
The Luxembourg Signal is an LA-based band, although Arzy still resides in the UK so recording time together is limited. I don't know what that all means for the future recording output from the band, but I do know that this first effort is amazingly good and I highly recommend it.
The Luxembourg Signal is available in digital, vinyl and compact disc formats.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Little May's CMJ-related shows are as follows:
10/21 - Rockwood Music Hall - 10:30PM
10/22 - Rough Trade - 9PM
10/24 - Mercury Lounge - 10PM
10/25 - Pianos - 1:30PM
10/25 - The Delancey - 12:15-12:40AM (late Saturday night)
Monday, October 20, 2014
Cafe Romantica is out in Australia and New Zealand via Melbourne's Chapter Music, and is released in the rest of the world by Dopeness Galore.
Facebook for Andras Fox
Facebook for Oscar Key Sung
Bandcamp for album
My personal reaction to Martyre's album is that, at its most basic level, it is about textures. Certainly and most obviously, those textures include layers of various instruments and Mark's voice. But the most lasting impact is the emotional textures created by Mark's words, aided by his inflection, and use of space and timing to underscore the emotions. True artistry is the ability to use restraint to emphasize the depth of feeling, and that ability is quietly loud on Red Letters.
Red Letters was released on October 14, and is available as a digital download or CD at the Bandcamp link below.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Brisbane's Sam Poggioli is a breath of fresh air on the music scene. As Sampology, he creates joy-infused dance music that pleases your ears and ignites your feet. And he also creates wonderful visual accompaniment. It seems that a US album is due in June of 2015, but Sam and two other collaborators are in the US now to play live shows, including several at CMJ. The remaining dates are at the bottom of this post. For an introduction to Sam's audio-visual talents, enjoy the video below for "Shine A Light", featuring Daniel Merriweather and Sam's visual creations.
Remaining Shows on Tour
Wed 10/22 | Sampology Ft. Tom Thum | CMJ x Beat Pie @ Santos Party House | 12:10 AM - 12:35 AM | NYC
Sat 10/25 | Sampology (DJ Set) | Aussie BBQ w/ Dune Rats, Gossling, Bad//Dreems and More@ the Delancey NYC | 12 AM - 2 AM | NYC
Friday, October 17, 2014
"The Last Time" is officially credited as the first UK single by the Stones written by Jagger-Richards. The song was recorded in Hollywood, CA in January 1965 and went to no. 1 on the UK charts just a few months later.
Keith Richards much later admitted however, that "The Last Time" was lifted from a 1955 Staples Singers song called "This May Be The Last Time".
Here is the Stones version:
And the Staple Singers:
Larceny notwithstanding, Brian Jones' guitar riff in the Stones' version is one of the most distinctive of its era and a great moment in Stones history. It's a terrific single, one of my favorites.
And almost 50 years later, the Stones are still playing this song. Here's a recent live version from a 2013 show in Los Angeles:
"The Last Time" has been covered by many, including Bruce Springsteen, Arcade Fire, The Who and Bobby Bare (Sr.). But the band most associated with the song, other than the Stones, is the Grateful Dead who frequently covered it, including this slow building, excellent version from 1992:
Thursday, October 16, 2014
The project started way back in 2008, with Ellen Carey, a veteran of several other bands, working on some songs. They've incubated over time, and attracted other musicians -- Ellen's brother Joel Carey and Liam Kenny in the past, Steph Crase, Hamish Baird and Noah Renolds in the present. The album's influences can be found in the folk and pop of the '60s, but Carey's eclectic songwriting, thematic choices and dark sense of humor result in a timeless and thoroughly enjoyable album. Buy it, play it, it will make you happy.
Fair Maiden is out now via Bedroom Suck Records, and via Fire Records by arrangement with BSR in the Northern Hemisphere. You can stream the entire album at the Bandcamp link below.
Bedroom Suck Records page for the album