Bristol duo Malachai have announced news this week of a new album entitled, Beyond Ugly, set for release on March 31st.
The forthcoming LP serves as a closing chapter to the ‘Ugly’ triptych, an unplanned trilogy of albums and predated by the excellent Ugly Side of Love (2010) and Return to the Ugly Side (2011). Accompanying this news is ‘I Deserve To No’, the first track from the album to emerge. As far as tasters go, there’s no major surprises. It is a psyched out belter of a track, featuring a signature sonic brew of psychedelics and trip-hop, fused with some Asian inspired sounds. Malachai’s music has always exhibited a notable rawness and rasp, even so, ‘I Deserve To No’ goes one step further. A passionate anti-war message permeates the lyrical content with a relentless anger to the delivery, administered in a raspy sort of reggae style by Gee Ealey. An absolute belter as usual from Malachai. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the third and possibly, final album (hopefully not).
Check ‘I Deserve To No’ and it’s psyched-out video for yourself below. Beyond Ugly is released on March 31st through Domino imprint Double Six.
We were introduced the alluring sounds of Italian psych rockers The Vickers this summer, through their dreamy single, ‘She’s Lost’.
The Florence based four-piece are back, signing off on 2013 with new single, ‘I Don’t Know What It Is’. They’re ploughing a similar furrow as before, taking us on a winding and colourful journey through dreamy psych fuzz with a touch of casual darkness, towards a lost, far-out, echoey region. It’s an irrepressibly cool sound speckled with moments of hallucinatory beauty. In other Vickers related news, their debut LP, Ghosts, is due out in March 2014, with both this and the previous single featuring. If the singles to date are any indication, this should be an album to keep an eye out for.
Until then, you can check out ‘I Don’t Know What It Is’ and it’s tripped-out visual companion below.
Knoxville Morning‘s excellent self-titled debut album came out a little over a year ago, and ‘Lighthouse Song’ is the latest track to be taken from their debut.
The Knoxville Morning project was inspired by a trip around the USA by chief troublemaker Ciaran Dwyer, which resulted in an album of sweet folk, country and Americana. With the release of ‘Lighthouse Song’, they like us it seems, are still getting plenty of mileage out of the record. ‘Lighthouse Song’ is one of the high points from the LP; a sweet, tender ballad of friendship, tipping gently along delicate acoustic strumming. It really is such a beautiful little song. To accompany the track, there’s a video from Colm Russell and Richard Strearn (the former is the man behind the Biggles Fly Again & Anderson videos), who’ve come up trumps with some superb and stylish visual action.
Check out ‘Lighthouse Song’ below and if you have the time, why not give Knoxville Morning’s album a bit of attention here.
While only formed in the last year, London four-piece Telegram, have already caused a bit of a stir across the water, and on the evidence of their debut single ‘Follow’, it’s easy to see why.
Sure, psychedelia is very ‘in’ at the moment (it’s never been ‘out’ in my humble opinion) but ‘Follow’ is one of the finest, and savage blasts of tripped-out psych-punk you’re likely to hear. There’s a phenomenal sense of urgency, with riffs that hurtle past at break neck speed, whirring reverberations, droning motorik propulsion and laden with post-punk-esque energy. For want of a better description, it sounds like Toy meets early Maximo Park and there’s nothing wrong with that. Hopefully there’s more where this came from sooner rather than later.
‘Follow’ is out now w/ ‘Under The Night Time’ on the band’s own label, GramGram. You can watch their retro-fused video below and listen to ‘Follow’ below, and then listen to it again.
For former Supergrass man Gaz Coombes, going solo it seems, has freed him up somewhat and allowed for an exploration of more imaginative ideas. Yet, that knack for crafting ear catching melodies remains a cornerstone of everything he does.
While some latter Supergrass sounded tired and laboured at times, with Coombes now going it alone, the creative juices are certainly flowing and he sounds reinvigorated. His debut solo album from last year, Here Come The Bombs suggested as much, and his latest single ‘Buffalo’ does much to add to such an assumption. In fact, it sounds as though he’s flexing his muscles a lot more, as bleepy and spaced out electronics explode around his powerful impassioned vocals and solemn piano bursts, with a series of changing verse and chorus rhythms soar to epic heights. Coombes has found a balance between incisive songwriting, his ear for a melody and will to sail to new territory.
Currently tucked away in a studio, working on his second solo album, ‘Buffalo’ is a timely and emphatic reminder of just what a supreme talent Gaz Coombes is.
Only Real‘s progress has been keenly followed over the past year or so, and he has yet to put a foot wrong, impressing ever more with quality track after track.
Earlier this month the 22 year old West Londoner (aka Niall Galvin) released his Days In The City EP through Luv Luv Luv and surprise surprise, it’s great. This guy has quite a talent for crafting infectious, feel-good, lo-fi indie-pop. The gentle fuzzy guitar and his lazily half-rapped lyrics helps with the easy-breezy summery vibes that is utterly contagious. Lead track from the EP, ‘Get It On’ is a case in point. Permeated by a lazy slacker kind of vibe, a free flowing, nonchalant vocal drawl are set to some catchy riffs, steady beats and some woozy atmospherics. Through a combination of a purposely unpolished, lo-fi approach, calculated laziness and youthful indifference, he’s found his own rather unique and special place. Perhaps to match the summery vibes, perhaps to remind us that his EP is out, he’s released a video for ‘Only Real’. In which, he and friends head through city streets enjoying some mild delinquency and fun until night falls. The whole grainy VHS vibe works to reinforce the song’s gentle glimmer and meandering haze.
Scarbelly is the brainchild of Welsh artist Gareth Thomas, formerly of Kazuay before he was diagnosed with cancer, this is his first musical foray since a stem cell transplant two years ago.
His work possesses a real love for country, blues, mountain ballads, latin music, hymns and acoustic music; something that shines through on Scarbelly’s debut EP, The Redrock Sessions. Lyrically, the EP’s focus is on stories from postindustrial Wales, personal relationships and his battle with cancer. ‘The Woods’ is the first track to be taken from the aforementioned EP, not only is it the standout track, it is a sublime piece of gravelly blues tinged country music. ‘The Woods’ single-handedly captures all that is great about Scarbelly’s music perfectly in under two minutes. We’ve even got this far without mentioning Graeme Maguire’s mesmerizing hand drawn animated video which accompanies this release. In short, It’s a stunning piece of work and worthy of praise in itself.
You can check ‘The Woods’ below and The Redrock Sessions EP is out now.
Lyttet is a collaborative project from Kildare musicians Peadar Kearney & Claire Nicole which began back in January of this year.
Both this dynamic duo have featured on here before, Kearney through his solo work and Claire Nicole with guest vocal appearances with Band On An Island / Knoxville Morning. Now based in Toulouse and Montreal respectively, ‘Forever Those Days’ is Lyttet’s debut single. ‘Forever Those Days’ is a soft, soothing and atmospheric song, it’s soothing sounds and floating vocals seem to just drift past, leaving you immersed entirely in this gentle tranquility. By itself ‘Forever Those Days’ is such a beautiful song but it also comes with a suitably dreamy (and brilliant) visual companion, from the extremely talented Stephen Connelly (my right hand man with the BarryGruff gigs).
There’s an EP in the pipeline from Lyttet too, so lots to look forward to hopefully. For now, check out ‘Forever Those Days’ below and get the song from iTunes.
‘You’re Getting Like Your Sister’ is the latest track to be taken from Billy Ryder-Jones‘ excellent album, A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart, one which is wholeheartedly recommended.
On the ex-coral man’s debut solo LP, he embraces his talent for arrangement, looking inwards, he penned a gripping album of pensive ballads and hushed pop songs. Ryder-Jones’ latest single ‘You’re Getting Like Your Sister’ is pretty typical of what to expect from his highly accomplished and deeply affecting debut. Built with subtlety and restraint, it is gentle, predictably melancholic and filled with hushed tones, as he tells a solemn tale of obsession, murder and double murder. Yes, it’s a rather dark subject matter but ‘You’re Getting Like Your Sister’ is a marvelous song.
You can check out ‘You’re Getting Like Your Sister’ and it’s animated video above and the album, A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart, is out now on Domino Records. An album well worth your attention if you find the time.
Having released their debut EP Cast A Shadow last year and single, ‘Last Desire’ earlier this year, you could be forgiven for thinking Coves are teasing us with this drip feeding of new material.
Although something more substantial, like an album, would be most welcome, the sheer quality of their output to date means any new tunes are heralded as an occasion for some celebration. Coves’ new single ‘Beatings’ doesn’t drop the ball, in fact, it is the most epic proposition yet from the dual talents of Rebekah Wood and John Ridgard. Swirling psychedelia is met with sweeping grandeur as Wood’s mellifluous cooing floats on flickers of electronics, beats and guitar, in a gentle whirlpool of shimmering psychedelic dream-pop. ‘Beatings’ is ushered through this spaced-out and hazy atmosphere by driving drums and undulating bass line, propelling toward an explosive climax of heavy bursts of beats, crackling synths and noise. A wholly inspired, impressive and unmissable track, which comes with an equally striking, tripped out video.
If this is your first encounter with the wondrous world of Coves, please check out & their EP, Cast of Shadow and single ‘Last Desire‘.
Although they’ve been on the go for over two decades, Helen Love have, until now, remained an unknown quantity till quite recently.
Formed in 1992, the Welsh group carved a name for themselves with their bubblegum punk songs about punk boys, crushes, tough girls and Joey Ramone. Having only discovered Helen Love through their latest LP, Day-Glo Dreams, the content seems to be in a similar vein as mentioned previously, while the punky sound has been swapped for synth pop. This is synth pop with lighthearted lyrics designed to make you dance, non more so than latest single and album standout, ‘Atomic’. It’s a cheesy, cheerful and bouncy affair of all synths and smiles. Combine this with her perfectly sweet vocals and ability to write sugar-sweet pop melodies and you have the recipe for one highly contagious sound. One too, that will be stuck in your head for ages.
You can give ‘Atomic’ the once over below & Day-Glo Dreams is out now on Elefant Records. [Stream it on Spotify]
As far as records of the year go, Steve Mason‘s Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time is right up there at the top.
Mason’s second solo effort is a stunning record, shaped by the current global political climate and the lack of dissenting voices in music and popular culture in general. This brings us nicely to Mason’s latest single, ‘Fire!’, which encapsulates all that’s great about the aforementioned LP in one song. It is filled with genuine heart, soul and honesty – and of course plenty of righteous politicalised anger – as he foments unrest over a deep, powerful bassline and shots of stunning brass. This combined with a blend of psych-folk/trip/hip-hop beats and dub overtones acts as a prefect backdrop for his wonderful ghostly vocal. Simply magnificent. Someone please book Mason for some Irish shows. Thanks.
‘Fire!’ will be released as a download only on November 4 via Domino. Monkey Minds in the Devil’s Time is out now too.