Friday, November 6, 2020

The Working Men's Club - The Working Men's Club


One typically hears it said that techno/dance/house music belongs in the evening and early morning hours. While we can't argue that the music isn't at home in that time slot, sometimes we find an album that sounds equally at home in the daylight and out in the wide open spaces. The new self-titled album by The Working Men's Club is such an album. It has been our frequent companion on walks, runs, backgrounds, as well as right now in the late evening. Over an instrumental landscape of Sheffield hard techno and old Manchester synth rock, teenage frontman Syd Minsky-Sargeant vocalizes a compelling speak-sing with an invitation to move your feet that may seem more like a welcome command than a polite suggestion. While the elements are a bit old school, they are played expertly and infused with conviction and emotion that results in a fresh sound. Some albums just stay in our rotation long enough to allow us to decide we like it and write up a feature. This pretty beast has been hanging around for weeks and it isn't going to the self any time soon.

The Working Men's Club are Syd Minsky-Sargeant (vocals/guitar/drum machine/synth), Liam Ogburn (bass), Rob Graham (guitar/synth), Mairead O'Connor (guitar/keys/vocals). The album is out now via Heavenly Recordings with support from PIAS.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

"23, Never Me" by Dead Pony


Glasgow nurtures a large number of fine bands covering a wide spectrum of styles. Today's release of single "23, Never Me" by Dead Pony carries the flag for the punk/post punk brigade. With a confident bubblegum pop vocal from irrepressible frontwoman Anna Shields and a slashing, bashing performance by the lead guitarist, bassist and drummer, it is a three minute stunner that left us a bit breathless and wanting more. Fortunately, a EP is planned for later this year. For now you can find "23, Never Me" at your preferred digital outlet.

The members of Dead Pony are Anna Shields (lead vocals/guitar), Blair Crichton (lead guitar/backing vocals), Liam Adams (bass), and Aidan McAllister (drums). "23, Never Me" is out on this week via LAB Records.




Loaver - Fern

Loaver is the solo project of Malmo, Sweden's Linnea Hall, who also is a member of WYMA favorite Kluster B. While Kluster B creates an adventuresome and eclectic array of songs, Hall has created the Loaver project to make a more individualistic musical statement. She released an EP in 2019, and now has presented her first solo full length, Fern. While not as experimental as a Kluster B record, Fern is inventive and packed with delights. If this is bedroom pop, it is a deluxe version with all the trimmings. The arrangements are varied and well-fleshed out, venturing into dream pop, trip hop and dramatic indie pop. As always, Hall's vocals are clear and dynamic. Fern is the sort of album that rewards the repeat listener with new thrills. It is a remarkable solo debut and a keeper of an album.

Fern is out now via Stockholm label Rama Lama Records.

Bandcamp for Fern
Various links for Fern
Rama Lama Records

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Luxembourg Signal - The Long Now


With their third album, the recently released The Long Now, transatlantic project The Luxembourg Signal confirms their status as one of the better dream pop bands on today's scene. The soft vocals of Beth Arzy and Betsy Moyer certainly are part of the reason. But at least as impressive is the band's knack for getting the balance of elements just right. In particular they blend the background atmospherics, vocals, insistent rhythms, muscular guitars and intriguing melodies into a seamless, dynamic whole. The entire album has a bright vibrancy that lifts the listeners mood and makes today's journey more enjoyable. We can't ask for anything more right now.

The Luxembourg Signal are Johnny Joyner, Beth Arzy, Brian Espinosa, Ginny Pitchford, Daniel Kumiega, Betsy Moyer, and Kelly Davis. The Long Now is out now via Shelflife Records and Spinout Nuggets.



Bandcamp for The Long Now

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Claire Tucker - Same Old Hunters EP


The world is an exceedingly unsettling place right now, and all of our readers could be forgiven if they are feeling more than a little bit stressed and in need of a lift. We humbly suggest that we may have just what you need: The approximately 18 minutes of transcendent beauty that is Same Old Hunters EP. The 4-song record is the solo work of Claire Tucker, a Seattle musician possessed of exceptional talent and remarkable versatility. She is the guitarist, songwriter and vocalist of Loose Wing (whose 2019 album was one of our favorites of the year - our feature here), and on which she shows the triple threat of nimble and shimmering guitar, siren vocals and deft storytelling. Another current project is Seattle shoegazers Black Nite Crash, in which she displays a different aspect of her guitar prowess.

But for these tough times, the most welcome version of Claire Tucker may well be the singer songwriter of Same Old Hunters EP. The songs glisten with aural perfection and warm with sincerity. Claire's vocals are pristine and compelling with a natural folk/country ache that sells the emotional content. We have embedded the terrific single "Tigers Make Milk" below, but we strongly urge you to stream the entire EP at the Bandcamp link. We find it to be just the hug we need right now.

Other players on the album are Jack Peters and Jon Pontrello. The EP is out now in digital and CD formats via Drums and Wires Recordings.


Bandcamp for EP

Drums and Wires Recordings page for EP