Keys (formerly The Keys) have unveiled their brand new single ‘Bad Girls’, the first to be taken from forthcoming album Ring The Changes, due sometime this May through See Monkey Do Monkey Records.
The band, who hail from the Welsh capital of Cardiff, are kindly giving away new single, ‘Bad Girls’, as a free download. Apparently inspired by Matth Keys’ late night journeys home from college, where he’d be propositioned by ‘ladies of the night. Whatever the case, the single is a glorious, swooning psych-surf pop brew, a tune so catchy, it will stick in your head for days. The surf pop and psych influences run free, harmonious, melodic and subtle; but swirled with psychedelic patterns and freewheeling colourful splashes. It’s fair to say this would sit rather comfortably alongside the likes of Super Furry Animals, The Coral and The Bees.
You can download ‘Bad Girls’ below & Ring The Changes will be released later this year via See Monkey Do Monkey Records.
Welsh songstress Cate Le Bon has released new track, ‘He’s Leaving’, as a sort of thank you to fans after she wrapped up her touring duties during the week.
Previously unreleased, ‘He’s Leaving’ was recorded during the Mug Museum album sessions in LA and it’s hardly surprising to find some of the album’s sparkle has rubbed onto this track. As with Mug Museum, there is a sparseness to ‘He’s Leaving’, along with a cool, controlled confidence that showcases her knack for the wonderfully weird and surreal. Incredibly bittersweet, it is etched with a mournfulness as her quivering Welsh accent gently gives added life to the most touching lyrics. It is bestowed with all the wondrous majestic brilliance that made her last album an utterly bewitching, beguiling and beautiful record.
You can stream / download ‘He’s Leaving’. Cate Le Bon’s latest LP Mug Museum was released late last year and it comes highly, highly recommended. If you’re in the UK, you’re in luck as she has announced a slew of tour dates for later in 2014, see here.
It’s been while since having call to talk about Lyon duo Tom Beaulaigue and Laurent Nivon, aka Jezz At Home. Since the genre hopping adventures of their debut EP, Mad, things have been regrettably quiet.
The duo have broken radio silence with new tune, ‘One Track Mind’. It, like previous tunes, incorporates their love of jazzy hip hop and encapsulates a belief that there are no borders or boundaries between genres. ‘One Track Mind’ opens with a gently pattering drum beat only to unexpectedly explode into glittery disco. This one’s got a serious groove and plenty of bounce, especially in that insidiously catchy, deep funky bassline. The plurality of the duo’s differing musical backgrounds, one techno & one hip-hop, makes for a intriguing and absorbing listen, but what makes them standout even further is their ability to assimilate them together into a slick, neat and cohesive production. Yet another slick and downright infectious feelgood production from the French duo.
Manchester’s Indie-psych extraordinaire’s, Douga have announced they will release their debut LP, The Silent Well, in May.
Predominantly revolving around songwriter Johnny Winbolt-Lewis, Douga proved their caliber for charming and clever jams with debut EP, Mono No Aware. Latest track and album opener, ‘Kids of Tomorrow’ is on a whole other level. It vastly surpasses anything they’ve produced in the past and suggests something rather special may be upon us come May. ‘Kids of Tomorrow’ is a mesmerising marathon of Krautrock, warm psychedelia and Americana which hurtles along with an energy that electrifies and never fails to capture your attention. It is a stunning reminder of their talent that combines melodic harmony, understated arrangements and an ocean of warmth, leaving us with a blistering jam and an appetite whet for more.
You can stream ‘Kids of Tomorrow’ below or download it free here. There’s no exact date yet for The Silent Well, but it’s penned in for release in May sometime.
Yasiin Gaye is the latest project of Amerigo Gazaway, formerly operating under the Gummy Soul guise and the brains behind the Fela Soul mixtape/mashup albums, and one of an elite few who’s done mash ups justice.
Gazaway’s latest project unites rapper Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and soul legend Marvin Gaye for a dream collaboration. Carefully weaving Bey’s dense raps and Gaye’s soulful vocals over his new arrangements, he’s aiming for a quality far closer to Gaye’s famous duets than that of a mere ‘mashup’ album. ‘Inner City Travellin’ Man’ is a hugely impressive prelude; taking one part Yasiin Bey in the form of ‘Travellin’ Man’ and one part Marvin Gaye in the form of ‘Innercity Blues’, put them together and you’ve got ‘Inner City Travellin’ Man’. This is apparently the first installment of a whole new series called ‘Soul Mates’ and suggests great things for Yasiin Gaye and the broader series on a whole.
Yasiin Gaye is released on February 25th. You can stream or download ‘Inner City Travellin’ Man’ below:
Bert and Henry are two galloping troubadours from the ragged Welsh coast.
The duo play acoustic pop songs with a rootsy, blues and folk underbelly, and they do it very well. Their music’s got a real charm to it and an earthy, kind of organic feel to it. Bert & Henry’s adventures, for now at least, are confined to two songs, which is just enough to get a feel for what this pair are all about. ‘Mary Ann’ utilizes an array of acoustic instruments, gentle strum and lovely vocal harmonies, airing a broken hearted tale in a more traditional folk fashion than it’s companion, ‘Not Waving But Raving’. The latter veers further left of field. It’s a powerful, stomping bassy country blues tune that’s fed through a vortex inhabited by Captain Beefheart influences, with a twist of The Small Faces, when they were knocking out their unique brand of late-Sixties Cockney psychedelia. Both tracks don’t take themselves too seriously either, and have just the right amount of off-kilter oddity and quirkiness.
That’s it. Simple. Now it’s time to check out ‘Mary Ann’ & ‘Not Waving But Raving’. Both tracks are below and available as free downloads. You can’t say fairer than that.
Praises were sung from rooftops when paths were last crossed with Radstewart and their wonky and wonderful, ramshackled lo-fi indie adventures a few weeks back.
The Cardiff four-piece kick off 2014 with news of a new EP Wiccans & Beatlemancers, out March 17th, and have released new track ‘Insane Parties’ to get us all in the mood. ‘Insane Parties’ is lo-fi, slacker pop, as fresh as it is irresistible and laced with clever songwriting, dry-witted and sardonic lyrics. It also contains the fabulous line, “If you go out and get drunk, in an native American headdress, then you’re a cunt”. One the best incidentally, since HMHB’s “Is your child hyperactive, or is he perhaps a twat?”, in their song, ‘Surging out of Convalescence. An insidiously catchy, plucky and utterly fun slice of lo-fi indie.
Wiccans & Beatlemancers will be released on March 17th through Alcopop! Records. Until then? Plenty of time to lap up ‘Insane Parties’, available to download free below & ‘Garage Faery’, a fizzing track taken from a recent split 12″ release on Art Is Hard / Reeks of Effort.
The Statics have been a firm favourite around these parts for quite sometime now. Saying that, the Dublin four-piece enhanced their reputation both here, and further a field, with their excellent Hidden Pigeon EP, and single ‘Alone’ last year.
The Statics’ latest single, and second taken from the aforementioned EP, ‘Hit & Miss’ is a touch slower and lyrically more bittersweet and emotive, than their signature indie-pop-jangle. Just a ‘touch’ mind, as it still bobs along bouncily to an effortlessly infectious rhythm and vocal harmonies. Utterly buoyant, utterly brilliant and seemingly effortless indie-pop magic. Hopefully by the time 2014 rings to a close, we shall have heard much, much more from The Statics.
‘Hit & Miss’ is available as a free download via bandcamp from Friday, January 31st. You catch them live with The Mighty Stef in Whelans on January 31st and at Phantom Presents in Sweeneys February 5th.
Sen Segur are quite the pop music recycling plant. These Welsh psych-rock wonders – Benjamin Ellis, Sior Amor, Dafydd Evans & Gethin Davies – melt down bit ‘n pieces from past decades of the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s & ’90s, and press it all into something new and rather exciting.
Performing in both Welsh and English, the four-piece already have a number of releases under their belt, constituting to a fun and supremely engaging collection of modern psych-pop. Sen Segur’s own reserved dreamworld of odd ball wizardry is one of psychedelic playfulness, splotches of spaced out throwbacks and straight-up riffs which spills over into our dimension to produce lovely, soft and dizzying psych pop songs. When they find their groove, as they do with their latest singles ‘Love Zebra’ & ‘Get On Up (And Get Back Down)’, it is a blissfully enjoyable experience. Sen Segur have happened upon a sound sparkling with enough ingenuity and charm, to make the past seem like an undiscovered country, well worth taking a trip to. Oh yes. This is great stuff indeed.
All aboard for the wondrous and imaginative world of Sen Segur? You can listen to and download some choice cuts below.
Doxy is the new name for Policy, a four-piece from Kilcoole, Co Wicklow, who featured on here with the release their self-titled debut EP last year.
Often a name change coincides with some sort of musical change of direction but with Doxy, apart from the name, added refinement and marginally less rough around the edges; it’s much the same as before, which is no bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. The re-brand has coincided with new EP, Shoulder High In Gibberish, which retains that ’80s British indie/post-punk inspired sound. Their latest EP, like it’s predecessor, is probably best summed up as a bit indie, a bit post-punk, a bit alternative rock and a bit rough around the edges; all filled with charm, catchy melodies and smart, attuned lyrics. Name changes aside, it’s great to hear from this foursome again, who are a welcome addition to any music collection regardless of the guise they choose to work under.
You can check out ‘Gibberish’ & ‘No Kissing’ below and if they are to your liking, you can head over to bandcamp, ‘name your price’ and download Shoulder High In Gibberish in it’s entirety.
Subaltern are Irish duo, Alex Lawes & Sean Merrigan, who have been making electronic music together for a few years now.
So far the duo’s journey has seen them play support for Simian Mobile Disco, Felix Martin of Hot Chip and White Collar Boy. Yet in saying that, their back catologue is rather less than extensive, most likely due to a self confessed preference for analogue gear and “doing everything the long way around”. Enough digression. If the duo’s latest track ‘Black Cat’ is anything to go by, they’re on the right path. ‘Black Cat’ is a whopper 8 minutes plus of mesmerizing, synthesizer-driven dance, not wholly dissimilar to the aforementioned Simian Mobile Disco. The track has been getting repeated attention the past few weeks, it’s absolutely immense. Certainly interested to hear more from Subaltern in the future and no matter how long the wait, if they keep to this level of quality, these two lads can take all the time they like.
You can give ‘Black Cat’ the once over below, and download it for free too. Sounds chaps indeed.
Radstewart are a puntastic four-piece – Chris, Jac, Dylan and Calvin – from Cardiff (or near Cardiff at least).
Their’s is a wonky and wonderful, ramshackled lo-fi indie adventure, with clever songwriting, often laced with dry-witted lyrics. Radstewart’s sound is something approaching a mixture of Pavement with a touch of Parquet Courts and Pinkerton era Weezer, although one can imagine they’re probably sick to the back teeth of such comparisons. Regardless, it’s not bad company to be in with the latter particularly noticeable on ‘Arabesque Bedouin’. While there’s no doubting many bands have attempted a similar formula with the outcomes varying from the inspired to the woeful. Radstewart have however, got it spot on and found a neat sound, a perfect place between being too tight or too sloppy. Radstewart provide us with some lo-fi indie worthy of a furore and to rejoice in. In short, this stuff is so, so good.
There are a few choice selections below. If they tickle your fancy, you can ‘name your price’ and download their Whig Crooks & Beer Swindlers EP now, from bandcamp.