Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five Seconds Into This And Honeyblood Were My New Fave Band

Like that moment back in 1997 when I first spun "In Your Car" from Kenickie, just a few seconds into Honeyblood's "Killer Bangs" and I was totally hooked. These two Glasgow gals -- Shona and Stina -- are doing it totally and unequivocally right. You can buy the "Bud" single on U.S. iTunes now -- here -- and a full-length record on FatCat Records is due soon.

In the meantime, check out their Facebook page and their tunes! Their wonderful, invigorating, and thoroughly thrilling fuzzy pop tunes!

You know, sometimes the NME hypes something worth hyping!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New EP From The Tuts Is Finally Here!

New music from The Tuts is always a good thing. It felt like an eternity since they last dropped any new tunes on us. Busy from touring with Kate Nash and all that, the 3 ladies in The Tuts have released the time to move on EP and you can buy it on Bandcamp now.

You've got a live version of fan fave "Dump Your Boyfriend" plus a "Worry Warrior" remix, and the original version of that tune, but there are also 2 all-new songs.

"Loving It" takes a hint of The Primitives and some postpunk-era riffs and creates something fresh and wonderful.

"1, 2, 3" is The Slits-meets-Blondie, all jagged edges refined into pop hooks. A delight!

The Tuts are touring, touring, touring. If you're in the U.K., see if you can catch them live. In the meantime, head over to their Facebook page and buy the new EP.

New Video From D.C.'s Sansyou Ahead Of April 20 Gig With Dave Jones (The Caribbean)

D.C.'s Sansyou -- David Nicholas and Matthew McGarraghy and Davis White (drummer from D.C. legends Lorelei) -- are one of the new(er) bands from the metropolitan area that I am most sorry I haven't been able to see live (yet). The music of Sansyou is, as I once wrote, reminiscent of the Durutti Column and that's an enormously high compliment for me to give. The tones and shades here are subtle and not overdone.

In another era, these guys would have been scooped up by 4AD and been promoted alongside Dif Juz and bands like that.

Sansyou have got a new video for their tune "The Dilettante" and you can play it below.

In the meantime get set for their April 20th gig with Dave Jones of The Caribbean at D.C.'s Black Squirrel. Details are on the Sansyou Facebook page here or on the band's website.

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Prayers Have Been Answered: Sophie Ellis-Bextor Covers Pulp!

I haven't blogged about it yet, have I? I refer, of course, to the latest excellent Sophie Ellis-Bextor album, Wanterlust, which dropped in late January. The last album she released, 2011's peppy Make A Scene, was never released in America and I had to pull some considerable strings to get it legally before the release date back in June 2011. This one? It was up on U.S. iTunes on the release day so lucky me.

(Little matter as here in this former British colony, I probably could have found it at HMV if all else had failed.)

This is one of my favorite Pulp songs and I'm thrilled to hear Sophie cover it. It would have made a great track for her and theaudience back in 1998 when Pulp were also at the top of their game. And is that Ed Harcourt on piano in this clip?

In the meantime, grab that new Sophie Ellis-Bextor album and play this and then follow her on her Facebook page.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Download Fantastic Single From Brooklyn's Snowmine Here

What a wonderful song this is!

Snowmine are a band from Brooklyn but fans of British bands like Wild Beasts and O.M.D. would be well advised to check out this tune's sprightly spin on the same new wave riffs those other bands played.

"Rome" is a taste from the band's Dialects album. This tune is like some weird mix of Durutti Column, Wild Swans, and The Drums.

The sound of sunshine on a rainy day (or night, as the case may be here in Hong Kong as I type this).

Follow Snowmine on their Facebook page:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Look At Lost In The Dream From The War On Drugs

Like some weird mix of Daniel Lanois and FM Cornog of East River Pipe, Adam Granduciel, better known as the man behind The War on Drugs, channels and chronicles the lonely spaces of the American continent. This is music best appreciated on a car stereo, late at night, driving down a highway in search of somewhere to pull off and get coffee. The music on Lost in the Dream, out now on Secretly Canadian, is affecting and haunting.

On this new record, Granduciel has refined the approach he used on 2011's masterful Slave Ambient. The tunes now seem more holistic, of a similar mind, with less clutter. "Suffering" echoes 1980s Zimmerman tunes with Lanois-esque touches throughout. I'd even go so far as to say there's a hint of Van the Man here. "Disappearing", like a few cuts here, has nods in the direction of U2's The Unforgettable Fire record -- those rolling, gentle drumbeats like Larry Mullen's brushwork on "A Sort of Homecoming" in spots. Tunes like "The Haunting Idle" expand, with the guitar noise rippling out like Robert Fripp on a David Sylvian cut. Even opener "Under The Pressure", even with its somewhat odd hint of David Byrne's vocal delivery over the percussive beat, is more Dylan, Lanois, and even Tom Petty than anything else.

Still, those things being said, Granduciel has found some strange alchemy where he's managed to force-weld Radiohead with Tom Petty. To some that would sound like the stuff of nightmares but when he reins the songs back, Granduciel controls this beast and the effect is borderline sublime. It's forward-looking but with a certain noble sense of songcraft that harks back to those classic rock forefathers.

Let me put it this way: I might not put Lost in the Dream on the boombox for a day at the beach but, when the right mood hits, this record is gonna sound as good as Kid A or side 2 of The Joshua Tree.

Spin "Red Eyes" and catch the Tunnel of Love-era Bruce-isms and you'll see what I mean. Songs can't all be crowd-stirrers. Even the Boss stopped to pen stuff like "I'm on Fire".

Follow The War on Drugs via their website:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Manics Hint At Futorology With Free Live EP (UPDATED!)

Well they haven't identified a release date yet for Futurology, the follow-up to last year's sublime Rewind The Film, but they have new press shots that seem to signal a "new look" for the upcoming album -- all sleek and futuristic ('natch) where the last one was all rustic and natural.

Or something like that.

In the meantime, you can download a free EP from the Welsh geniuses via their website:

The EP is "Faster", "Kevin Carter", "Motown Junk", and "Slash N Burn", all recorded live at the 02 Arena in December 2011.

Here's the visuals to go along with the first cut on this EP.

UPDATE: The Manics unveiled some new tunes at their gig in Leeds last night (March 28, UK time). Here's a taste of the title tune from the upcoming record and another track.

Big "thanks!" to the user who shot and posted these clips!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Play New (And Fresh) Cut From The Fresh And Onlys Here!

What I love is how that wicked fuzz in the background makes it almost sound like your headphones are broken.

It's as if Merzbow was in the studio next door to these boys and somehow his bleeding-eardrum noise got caught on the other band's tape from a distance.

But, seriously, it's the new single from The Fresh And Onlys and it's a taste of the new album, House Of Spirits, which is out on June 10 via Mexican Summer.

Working with Phil Manley from Trans Am, the band have, no doubt, produced something magical if this tune is any indication. This cut, "Bells Of Paonia" is a worthy taste of the unique mix of clear, uplifting vocals and shoegazing riffs that the band is capable of producing. The mix is -- dare I say it? -- fresh.

Follow along on their Facebook page.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dig Some Fantastic Tunes From Philadelphia's Literature

Philadelphia's Literature are doing it right.

Proudly cranking tunes that echo bands like The Wedding Present and C86 era mainstays like The Shop Assistants, Literature are a pleasant surprise. I just bought everything that they had up on and I'd urge you to do the same.

Dig the Feelies-meets-Rocketship vibe of "Tie Dye (Your Life)". It's a glorious song and when those backing vocals kicked in, I hit the "buy" links.

Follow the band on their Facebook page:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Stream Great Recent Vic Goddard Single Here

I'm about a year late but whatever.

Apparently this was a very limited release timed to coincide with Record Store Day 2013. It's a really catchy tune. Limited release or not, it's up on U.S. iTunes so you can still buy it.

I recommend that you do.

The single was produced by Edwyn Collins (of Orange Juice). More details on the AED website.