Saturday, April 25, 2020

RVG - Feral

In only their second full length album, Melbourne's RVG sounds like a mid-career band recording their career-defining triumph. Yes, that is an emphatic statement, but we stand by it. Feral is just that good. Of course, it helps that we like '80 indie guitar bands, jangle, garage pop, and college rock, all elements that feature in this album. But we aren't featuring this band because the represent some cherished sound, but because they use those elements to create a set of songs with depth, incisive observations, pain, understanding and defiance -- as well as sounding so good that we don't want to stop playing it. Instrumentally, Romy Vager's chiming, jangling guitar is a star, bringing to mind Johnny Marr and Peter Buck, but the rhythm section keeps pace and never distracts while providing a rock solid base for the songs. However, the songwriting stands out most of all, tugging our hearts in all directions and leaving us a bit bruised, a bit breathless, and  considerably happier for the experience.

RVG are Romy Vager, Reuben Bloxham, and Marc Nolte. Feral is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via London's Fire Records.

Bandcamp for Feral
Various links for Feral

Thursday, April 23, 2020

"Monsters" by Empathy Test

A new band for our ears is Empathy Test. Putting a fresh spin on the '80s synth pop sound, we expect they will make a big splash with their upcoming album Monsters. But you can form your own opinion with the album's title song, which also is the lead off single. Dealing with themes of isolation and anxiety, the song has a dark cast to accompany its big sound. Slightly unsettling, but undeniably compelling, we have it on repeat this evening. I hope the neighbors like it.

Empathy Test are Isaac Howlett (vocals), Adam Relf (production), Christina Lopez (drums), and Oliver Marson (synths).


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

"Keep A Tab (On All My Friends)" by Jarrow

Dan Oke's Jarrow project will be releasing a self-titled album next month, and we now have the third single to share. The song is a laid back ode to keeping track of friends during time of social distancing and staying at home. And Dan has created a clever video for the song using his socially distant musical friends. We aren't certain that Dan's protective gear in the video would make the pages of GQ, but we understand that when homebound, one must make do with the materials at hand

Jarrow will be release on May 22 via Spoilsport Records.

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Bandcamp for album

Nicol & Elliott - My Heart Will Wait EP

One of the labels we have been happy to champion is Last Night From Glasgow. Recently LNFG advised us that they had launched a subsidiary label, Hive. One of Hive's first releases is the special little gem My Heart Will Wait, by Nicol & Elliott. The project was born of a temporary pairing of Andrew Nicol and Rachel Elliott for a performance in early 2018. But preparations for that performance led to the formation of Nicol & Elliott. The songwriting duo's inspiration runs to Americana, indie pop, and country folk, with a shading of Gothic darkness. Their talents are on display in fine fashion on My Heart Will Wait EP. Take the first two tracks for a test drive below, then check your usual digital sources for the EP.

In addition to Rachel (violin/piano/vocals) and Andrew (guitar/vocals), Nicol & Elliott are John Houston (bass), Ryan Wilson (drums), Andy Lucas (piano), and Tim Davidson (pedal steel).


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Kluster B - b

Malmo, Sweden's Kluster B have delivered one of the most satisfying albums we have had the pleasure of hearing this year. The intriguingly-named b spans broad emotional territory and equally expansive musical styles. Dynamic, colorful, and exploratory, it is the work of five friends whose jazz background and experimental bent allow them to combine melody and dissonance, loud and soft, aggression and restraint, joy and anger, while playing with ever changing rhythms. And yet, the band is so skillful that no note seems out of place, no movement disrupts the flow.

The backstory is that the album was conceived at a difficult time for the band, but they emerged with increased cohesion. They deserve to know that, at least in our humble opinion, the journey produced a remarkable music.

Kluster B are Sebastian Hegedus (guitar), Adam Jonsson (guitar), Pontus Ornstrand (keys/synth/bass), Andreas Pollak (drums), and Linnea Hall (vocals). Their music is released via Rama Lama Records.

Bandcamp for album

Monday, April 20, 2020

The Puddle - Live At The Glengarry Tavern Invercargill 1985

I think if we are honest with ourselves one of the painful non-health-related burdens of this time of staying at home is the inability to attend live music shows. True, music is very accessible in our abodes (and cars, walks, and back yards). But nothing compares with the visceral experience of a live band, particularly in an intimate venue. Well, we here at WYMA cannot solve that for you, or for ourselves. But we have discovered a way to get us all part way there.

A live album doesn't have the full experience of a life show, but it can offer the spontaneity and flights of inspiration that most producers won't allow in the studio. So here is a recording of a live show by Dunedin, New Zealand band The Puddle from one of their shows supporting The Chills in Invercargill in 1985. This recording exactly presents the experience we are trying to capture: The rumble and thump of the bass and drums, the jangle, clang and spike of the guitars, flights of inspiration by the players, a band whose music is by no means overexposed or generally available, and a recording from a venue unlikely to be experienced by most readers (i.e. far down the south island of New Zealand). Oh, I should mention that it is available for 'name your price'.

The Puddle was formed in 1983 and we believe that they have recorded in each ensuing decade. The lineup has varied, but the constant is George D. Henderson. Their recordings have been released on several imprints, including Flying Nun and Warner. Their current label is Fishrider Records, from which you can source a number of the band's albums.

For this recording, The Puddle was George D. Henderson (guitar/vocals), Lesley Paris (drums), Norma O'Malley (flute), Peter Gutteridge (keys), Ross Jackson (bass), and Lindsay Maitland (french horn/cornet).

Bandcamp for album
Fishrider Records

Sunday, April 19, 2020

"Without You" by Skytone

Ottawa, Canada's Skytone frequently feature here with delectable jangle pop. They are here again with new tune "Without You". In a change of pace, this song is more in the vein of '80s electropop. However, it is no less wonderful. Our ears are delighting to the sparkling music while our eyes watch the setting sun to the west. An excellent way to end the day -- thanks, Darius and Rodney.

Skytone's music is released via The Beautiful Music.

Bandcamp for "Without You"