Thursday, June 8, 2017
The opening chords of "This Year" suggest that we are in familiar Beach Fossils territory -- intimate guitar pop with hooks and harmonies. But as the track, and the album, reveal themselves we are treated to a richer arsenal of ideas and sonic tools, and a more precise execution. The variety is impressive, with lush, hazy songs offset by more urgent tracks and robust rhythms. And the band expands their reach even further with guest vocalist Rachel Goswell of Slowdive on "Tangerine" and Cities Aviv on "Rise". The songwriting is crisp and focused, and the band plays with confidence. The songs are layered, but not fussy, and the vibe is perfect summery warmth. Clearly, Beach Fossils have used their 'down time' very wisely, and that is great news for us fans.
Beach Fossils are Dustin Payseur, Tommy Davidson, and Jack Smith. Somersault is out now via Payseur's own Bayonet Records
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
We can't wait for Valentines Day!
Including members of Tame Impala, Stereolab and Melody's Echo Chamber, Aquaserge was founded by Julien Barbagallo, Julien Gasc and Benjamin Gilbert, and now includes Audrey Ginestet and Manon Gilbert, among others.
Laisse ca etre is out now via Almost Musique in France and Crammed Discs in the rest of the world.
Bandcamp for album
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
The EP commences with the sprawling "A Natural Swimmer", on which Leo balances the fatalistic subject with a decidedly uptempo. pop-oriented arrangement. "Tourist" follows with a dose of humor, as well as providing the most indie pop moments of the EP. Not wanting us to start pigeonholing the band as 'former rockers', "Reference Books" arrives next to remind us that the '80s and '90s did exist, and we enjoyed grunge. "Purity" then provides a nice change of pace, both down-tempo and a bit downtrodden; life is like that sometimes, and Leo doesn't want us to forget it. The grand finish is provided by "Soft Furnishings", a sprawling piano track that builds nicely as we are warned to avoid the temptation of giving up and getting all too comfortable not trying. In our view there isn't a weak track in the set, but you can test that below and at the Bandcamp link.
The Loneliness of the TV Watchers is out now in digital and CD formats via Scottish Fiction.
Bandcamp for EP
Monday, June 5, 2017
We wants to start our the new week of musical musings with a sure winner, so we proudly present the Traumatic 7" from Toronto's Young Guv. Young Guv is the solo project of Ben Cook, whose musical talent wears several guises. The punk Ben thrills as a member of Fucked Up. The hardcore Ben gets in your face with No Warning (this sentence worked our better than I expected). And the power pop, '80s-loving Ben is a Young Guv. It is also my personal favorite version of Ben, if anyone cares.
A few years ago Young Guv released a fine 8-song album called Ripe 4 Luv (our feature here). He now has given us "Traumatic" and "It Could Be Me". The lead track is a bouncy sugar rush of synthy rhythms, guitar and dramatic vocals. It sounds great at the first listen and gets better with each repeat. The B-side is smeared power pop with helium vocals and should give you enough energy for the next several hours of whatever activity you have planned. This week is looking (sounding) pretty damn good already.
Traumatic 7" is available in vinyl and digital formats via Slumberland Records. See the Bandcamp link for details.
Young Guv on Twitter
Bandcamp for single
Slumberland Records page for single