Teleman – ‘Lady Low’

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Following the demise of Pete & The Pirates, a tentative eye has been kept on Thomas Sanders and company’s new outfit Teleman.

Two stunning singles later, ala ‘Steam Train Girl’ & ‘Cristina’, and Teleman are readying the release of their Bernard Butler produced debut LP, Breakfast. Ahead of the album’s May 26th release, the London-based boys have offered up another fine taste of things to come with new track ‘Lady Low’. It’s a limpid, loungey and airy number which also sports a full on saxophone solo in its latter stages and it really works so well. No massive surprise at laid-back, sunken and slumbering nature of ‘Lady Low’, it’s pretty much in keeping with what was so excitable about their previous releases. Effortlessly cool stuff once again from Teleman. Roll on May 26th and their debut LP.

Breakfast will be released on May 26th through Moshi Moshi Records and ‘Lady Low’ is below for your listening pleasure and available in exchange for you email address here.

Simple Kid – ‘Snakes and Ladders’

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In early 2011 Simple Kid announced through his official website that there will be no further music nor tours by Simple Kid. Despite this announcement, a new single, ‘The Road’, slipped out well and truly under the radar in the Spring of 2012.

Since then? Nothing. Well not quiet it seems. In November of last year he did it again, with out any fuss or anything really, Simple Kid slid a new song under the radar, called ‘Snakes and Ladders’. The track, commissioned by the BBC as part Radio 4 series  ‘Forever Young’, suggests the synths, beats and electronics of ‘The Road’ have been put to one side for the time being. Preferred instead is that recognizable and grainy SK alt-folk sound, as he and an unknown female vocal companion lament the precariousness which is all to real for so many living through the throes Capitalism’s latest crisis. The songwriting is clever yet subtle and the song in general is superb. 

Whether this is it, or we shall be intermittently treated to the odd track here and there or, by some stroke of luck might see something more substantial is anyone’s guess. Only the kid knows that for certain.

Hat tip to former Vagabond Dave Phelan for this one.

Juice – ‘Sugar’

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The Tories are in power, a mighty footballing power appears to be on the wane and if we we’re in need of a soundtrack to this bastard early ’90s re-visitation – Birmingham three-piece Juice are likely to provide it.

A serendipitous discovery on a ramble through the interwebs, or more succinctly, while reading the excellent blog, The Metaphorical Boat. And my, what a find Juice have turned out to be, or more to the point, the band’s debut single, ‘Sugar’. Unleashed online a few weeks back, their debut single is a spellbinding indie-rock tune, navigating a perfect path between sugar-sweet pop and riotous noise. It’s got everything you could want from a song; attitude, aggression, a whirl of scorching riffs, pounding percussion, and a bubbling bassline. Not to mention the concentrated, succulent verses and a chorus that would have the shyest festival crowds singing along. Yes, there is a serious tang of early to mid ’90s British guitar bands, yet it doesn’t sound dated, rehashed or recycled. This is just a tune.

There’s no firm details of a release date as of yet but sure you can stream ‘Sugar’ to your hearts content below. 

The Sunshine Underground – ‘Don’t Stop’

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Leeds band The Sunshine Underground have unveiled the first track from their forthcoming self-titled third album, ‘Don’t Stop’. 

It seems the guitars are set for a more peripheral role as they fully commit themselves to embracing synthy electronica, which is no real surprise, previous single ‘It Is Only You’ suggested as much. ‘Don’t Stop’ is packed with blinding synths, heavy dance beats and signature cowbell, all serving to illuminate their knack for inspiring a sing-a-long. This one has shades of LCD Soundsystem about it and like much of their backcatalogue, this is an utterly cool and dance-inducing track. 

‘Don’t Stop’ will take its place alongside nine other new songs on their self-titled third album, and its out May 19th. This will be their first album in four years as it goes – it’s good to have them back. 

Gruff Rhys – ‘American Interior’

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Gruff Rhys is back with a new album, American Interior, and will be accompanied by a book, documentary film and app for a “multisensory experience telling the incredible true story of John Evans”.

The Super Furries frontman’s latest record is inspired by the unusual journey of 18th century explorer John Evans, a young farmhand from Snowdonia who traveled through lands that would eventually become part of today’s USA, in search of a Welsh-speaking Native American tribe called The Madogwys living there. Lead single and title track from the upcoming LP, ‘American Interior’ reminds us how captivating a storyteller Rhys is, who wistfully spins a narrative of being carried through new worlds and visions amid the luscious and beautiful instrumentation. The song suggests that beyond all the chatter about multimedia extravaganza – an exciting album’s worth of new material is on the horizon. 

American Interior is released via Turnstile on 5th May – check out the title track for yourself below.

Keys – ‘Bad Girls’

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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.

We Cut Corners – ‘Best Friend’

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We Cut Corners will release their second album Think Nothing on April 25th (May 12th in the UK) through Delphi and having already shared ‘YKK‘ and ‘Every Thief‘, ahead of the LPs release, we now have latest single, ‘Best Friend’.

The Dublin duo’s previous two tracks showcased both their quieter and more rocky dispositions, something of a blueprint set out by their debut album, Today I Realised I Could Go Home Backwards. ‘Best Friend’ is most certainly the latter. A short, sharp two minute blast of seething, sneery and raspy indie-rock. In fact, this is the most hostile and aggression fueled WCC have sounded, and things are nicely poised for the album’s release in April. They have also teamed up with Kijek/Adamski again for another wonderful animated video, the people responsible for their much praised ‘A Pirate’s Life’ video.

‘Best Friend’ is out now as a digital download and there’s plenty of shows planned for April and May too (check ’em here).

BarryGruff Unplugged: Paddy Hanna + Wayfarer :: Saturday, March 1st :: The Liffey Studio, Newbridge

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BarryGruff Unplugged #3: Paddy Hanna + Wayfarer | March 1st – The Liffey Studio, Newbridge –  Doors: 7:30pm | €5/€7

Following the success of previous BarryGruff Unplugged shows, we’re back with round #3 on March 1st. Part three looks an exciting proposition with Paddy Hanna and Wayfarer joining us in the intimate surroundings of The Liffey Studio.

The show is €5 if you book in advance or €7 on the night. The cheap list is limited so if you would like to reserve a spot, email your name to: barrygruff[at]gmail[dot]com – with ‘Cheap List’ in the subject title.

:: Paddy Hanna ::

Probably best known as lead singer in Grand Pocket Orchestra and drummer in No Monster Club, this year however, Paddy Hanna has stepped out on his own, releasing his debut solo album ‘Leafy Stilleto’ and attracting rave reviews in the Irish media since its release in January. The young man from Dublin is in a somewhat more laid back and relaxed mood than before, creating a warm and well-structured collection of gorgeous indie tunes. He was brilliant at Electric Picnic and since then we’ve been working hard to bring Paddy Hanna to Newbridge, and delighted we finally got our man.

:: Wayfarer ::

Wayfarer are folk duo Sam Devlin & Rachel Boland from Co. Kildare. The name might be familiar, having played a few BarryGruff shows, wooing audiences in the process, with their beautiful country folk sounds and alluring harmonies. They have been busy working on a forthcoming EP but thankfully found time to squeeze in a much welcome Newbridge show.

The Rifles – ‘None The Wiser’

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For the past decade or so The Rifles have been plodding away, doing their mod (The Jam in particular) influenced indie thing and picking up a loyal fan base along the way. Since their formation in 2004, three albums have been released – debut No Love Lost in 2006 introduced the quartet’s aforementioned style, follow up The Great Escape did much the same while 2011’s Freedom Run shifted towards more grandiose, orchestral pop in places.

It’s been far from plain sailing, having to overcome financial problems, rows with banks and enforce line-up changes. Yet a full decade since their first gig and eight years on from their debut, The Rifles are still with us when many of the 2006 vintage are long since gone. With the original line-up back in place following the return of bassist Robert Pyne and drummer Grant Marsh to the fold alongside Joel Stoker and Lucas Crowther, The Rifles have resurrected their early sound, energy and enthusiasm.

There is an abundance of upbeat, punchy melodies and spiky guitars, riffs and hooks you could hang your hat on. It feels as though the band have just reverted back to where their strengths always lay and embraced them. The incessantly catchy ‘Minute Mile’ leads the super-charged opening, with the bouncy two minute injection of indie power pop of ‘Heebie Jeebies’ and ‘Go Lucky’ continues the momentum, and the latter nodding towards their fondness for The Jam. ‘All I Need’, ‘You Win Some’ and ‘The Hardest Place To’ offer a less exuberant side to their personality; preferring to fill the air with some subtle but energetic strumming, spritely drumbeats and luscious harmonies and melodies. While the albums finest moment ‘Shoot From The Lip’, isn’t too far removed from the catchy, heartfelt, quirky pop of Pete & The Pirates.

While it’s unclear if None The Wiser will be enough for The Rifles to transform their cult status; this is highly enjoyable, infectious, tight and melodic indie, done ever so well, and you know what? Sometimes that it’s quite enough.

Douga – ‘Kids of Tomorrow’

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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. 

Introducing: The Adventures of Bert & Henry

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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. 

Radstewart – ‘Insane Parties’

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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.