Thursday, June 28, 2018

Lachlan Denton - Two Months In Ben Woolley's Room

The ability to create beauty and find meaning out of loss and pain is a defining characteristic for an artist.  Of course, not all art is created that way, but those that react creatively to such hurdles are a special breed.  For example, most of us would respond to the demise of a long-term relationship by moping, sleeping, weeping or drinking (note that your personal answer may include more than one of the foregoing activities, as has been the case in my experience).  In the aftermath of the dissolution of an 8-year relationship, Lachlan Denton took a two-month sublet from Ben Woolley, and put his talents to crafting what our ears declare to be the finest singer songwriter album we have heard this year.  The title -- Two Months In Ben Woolley's Room -- reflects a directness and honesty that is echoed throughout, with sincere and heartfelt songs that are bittersweet and reflective, but refreshingly vibrant.  Love isn't an abstract concept, but rather something you feel and live when you are in the relationship, and something that creates a palpable void when all that is left are the memories.  Lach understands that, and generously allows the listeners to pull in close and share his reflections.   But make no mistake, this isn't an album of tears and mopery.  The songs are melodic, with shimmering arrangements and, in several instances, a delightful strut to the tempo.  Denton wrote all of the songs but one, and his choice for a cover is the Go-Betweens' "Boundary Rider".  And that just goes to show that perfection can be perfected.

Lachlan Denton is a mainstay of Melbourne's ace The Ocean Party, but has released several solo records as well and collaborated with Emma Russack.

Two Months In Ben Woolley's Room is out now in digital and cassette formats.

Bandcamp for Album

Two new songs by Hater

We usually try to bring you love and happiness, but today we bring you Hater.  This four-piece from Malmo, Sweden has been on our radar for a while, and we featured their fine Red Blinders EP last November (link).  Their sweet spot is dynamic but melodic guitar pop with bittersweet shadings.  New album Siesta will be out in September via Fire Records, but you can stream and purchase two of its 14 tracks right now.  On first listen, "Its So Easy" prompted us to say 'this is just the way we like our indie pop'.  And then we heard the wistful "I Wish I Gave You More Time Because I Love You", which prompted a moment of silence, and then 'wow, that too'.

Bandcamp for Siesta and the single
Fire Records page for Hater

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Blues Lawyer - Guess Work

We can hear your protests already - "the world doesn't need any more damn lawyers!"  OK, even though several of us are, in fact, lawyers, we understand the sentiment.  We really do.  But this feature isn't about just any lawyer, this is about Blues Lawyer.  Unlike those of us that pretend to explain the law while keeping you in a sufficient state of confusion that you keep paying us in the hope that we might make sense at some point, Blues Lawyer's debut album, Guess Work, just gets on with the very direct business of playing crunchy power pop with enough grit to make you think that if they had a law office, it might be the back seat of an '89 Cadillac Eldorado parked in a not yet gentrified street in their home town of Oakland, California.  You won't require any further explanations from them and the only bill is $7 for digital, $18 for vinyl.  Mining romantic adventures, and misadventures, for your listening pleasure, this record is equally packed with riffs and laughs.

Blues Lawyer is Rob I. Miller, Elyse Schrock, Nic Russo (Dick Stusso), and Alejandra Alcala. 
 Guess Work is out now via Emotional Response Records.  Vacant Stare has a cassette version that might work for you if you have an '89 Eldorado.

Bandcamp for Guess Work

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Azure Blue - Fast Falls the Eventide

Swedish pop savant Tobias Isaksson has been working as Azure Blue this decade, crafting warm, accessible synth pop that covers the spectrum from lush romanticism to New Order style pulse-racers.  Two months ago we featured his Whatever '18 EP, but the prolific Swede is back already with a full album of new material titled Fast Falls the Eventide.  With a generous 11 songs, the album delivers the brand of upbeat synth pop, with Tobias' creative flourishes and careful craftsmanship, that will brighten the beginning of anyone's summer.  This is music that is vital and bristling with energy.  In addition to "Whatever '18", standout tracks include "Crimson Red", "My Final Candle", and "Don't Turn On Me".  Fast Falls the Eventide is an instant synth pop classic -- don't miss it.

Tobias Isaksson wrote all the songs and performed on all tracks.  Additional contributions were from Julia Boman, Tim Johnsson, The Land Below, Peter Moren, Paola, Tangela, and Cesar Vidal.  Fast Falls the Eventide is out now via Matinee Recordings.

Twitter for Tobias Isaksson
Matinee Recordings page for Fast Falls the Eventide

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Catenary Wires - Was That Love? / What About The Rings

A duo such as Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey need little or no help from us, or anyone else, to burnish their reputations.  After all, their enviable resume includes Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research and other worthy projects.  Moreover, Amelia and Rob are not resting on their laurels, and continue to make wonderful music.  Their current project is The Catenary Wires.  In 2015, the band released their debut album, Red Red Skies.  After a delay that we can only describe as 'longer than we would like', the duo returns with a lovely two-song single for the WIAIWYA singles club.  Consisting of the sweet "Was that Love?", which is 2:28 of aural bliss, and "What About The Rings?"  Both songs provide your daily dose of several essential vitamins, as well as a bumper crop of charm.

Bandcamp for single