Posts Tagged ‘London’

Lucy And The Rats return with their second album and produce another fine record of summer-infused power-pop garage full of hooks and harmonies.

Two years have passed since their debut album, and, as the summer slowly starts to kick in, London-based four-piece Lucy And The Rats release another record to soundtrack the hazy days and warm nights.

Lucy, originally from Australian group The Spazzys, has a sugary sweet voice, crystal clear and yet, although the melodies float softy over the stripped-back punk-pop choppy chords, she possesses a strength of personality within the lyrics that belies the first impression. Her songs sing of independence, feelings of settling into a happiness within one’s own skin, but always with a bittersweet touch. At times it’s like hearing a young, and perhaps more timid, Debbie Harry and the overall combination, along with her band, comes closest to that of Nikki And The Corvettes.

Those already familiar with the band will find no surprise in songs like the single September, or in the infectious Time To Time. Simple and catchy, the songs are earworms that quickly work their way into your consciousness and are hard to shake loose. However, the songs that jump out more are those where the band leave the sweetness to one side in favour of a more urgent rhythm and drive. Pinch Myself comes close to a Ramones-style attack and, given that the band that back Lucy up also form the backbone of Johnny Throttle, and have also played in the likes of Thee Tumbitas and The Gaggers, it’s logical that, once let off the leash, the band run with greater verve and energy. It’s in those moments that they call to mind some of Lookout! Records highlights in bands like Pansy Division and The Smugglers.

That said, what also marks the album as a step up from their debut is their ability to balance that sound with altogether much gentler songs such as On Fire and TV on which their fragile delicacy shines through. It’s that equilibrium between the pop and punk that results in a record to keep going back to.

Lucy and the Rats‘September’ from the album ‘Got Lucky’, out July 3rd on Stardumb Records & Surfin’ Ki (LP) and Dirty Water Records

Thurston Moore continues to put out previously-unreleased songs from his vault during quarantine.These previously unreleased songs appear on his Bandcamp page, and he also recently put out a new instrumental and now he announced a proper new album, “By the Fire” its first single, “Hashish” .He made the album with his former Sonic Youth bandmate Steve Shelley on drums, My Bloody Valentine’s Deb Googe on bass and backing vocals, and James Sedwards on guitar (all of whom are also in the Thurston Moore Group), and it also features contributions from Wobbly (aka Jon Leidecker of Negativland) on electronics and Jem Doulton on drums. Thurston calls “Hasish” an ode to the narcotic of love in our shared responsibility to each other during isolation,” and it’s a relaxed yet hypnotic song that sounds like classic Thurston Moore, and is a very promising first taste of this LP.

Thurston also said:
“By The Fire” is music in flames. 2020 is our time for radical change and collective awareness and Thurston Moore has written nine songs of enlightenment, released to a world on fire. Taking a cue from Albert Ayler’s “music is the healing force of the universe”, this recording offers songs as flames of rainbow energy, where the power of love becomes our call.

These are love songs in a time where creativity is our dignity, our demonstration against the forces of oppression. By The Fire is a gathering, a party of peace — songs in the heat of the moment.

Strawberry Moon (for three guitars)
Recorded At Daydream Library 3rd June 2020 London

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a celebration of the strawberry ( full ) moon vibrations – free energy for change.
released June 3rd, 2020

This next one’s a lovely acoustic instrumental called “The Lords and the Ladies” that Thurston debuted on his 2013 UK tour with legendary folk singer Michael Chapman and recorded in London in 2015.

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A midweek offering to greet the summer – this song was written a year or so prior to its recording and was played on the acoustic duo tour I shared with maestro Michael Chapman throughout England. released May 20th, 2020
written and performed by Thurston Moore for eva.

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A soundtrack for our usa sisters + brothers to register as voters today, if you still need to – we can change the world – free all political prisoners – insurrection for common decency – rock n roll consciousness – more to come. “By the Fire” comes out September 25th.Thurston’s Daydream Library Series label

released May 1st, 2020
thurston moore group
bass – Deb Googe
drums – Steve Shelley
guitar – James Sedwards
guitar + vocal – Thurston Moore
recorded by paul epworth at the church London
foto / true love – radieaux radio – in the wilds of oz

Thurston Moore born 25th July 1958 Coral Gables Florida , teenage years spent in Bethel Connecticut then moved to NYC 1977, joins The Coachmen plays CBGB’s, Max’s and downtown art-rock dwellings, Joins Sonic Youth 1980-2014, then Chelsea Light Moving, immigrates to great smoke London, foreva love, solo group action, further free scenes, ecstatic peace library, daydream library, animal liberation

Sonic Youth have also been in the process of putting archival material on Bandcamp (their latest, Perspectives Musicales – Live At Cat’s Cradle 2000, came out on Friday timed with Bandcamp’s as has Lee Ranaldo.

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London duo Sorry have shared another track from their upcoming debut album, “925”, via Domino Recordings . “Snakes” is slithery and dark with synth strings bringing a little cinematic feel to the proceedings. Sorry are hard to figure out. The London group’s beguiling songs unfold with a curious dream-world logic, saxophone blurts and keyboard tinkles piercing through the all-encompassing haze of seductively moody indie rock. Even when they’re detailing the hedonistic excesses of the rockstar lifestyle, the core duo of Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen sings with a winking ironic detachment, their drawling, disinterested voices circling playfully and finishing each other’s sentences. It’s hard to know just what to make of them, but it’s even harder not to fall under their spell.

Sorry – “Snakes”, taken from the debut album ‘925’, released 27th March on Domino Recordings.

Westerman

It feels like an age since Will Westerman released ‘Confirmation’ in 2018, a curious, brilliant alt-pop bop about trying not to overthink things. The west Londoner’s debut album arrives two years later at a time when our collective psyche feels under even fiercer strain and examination. By deciding to include that song on his album, Westerman notes that nothing much has changed. What first inspired him to make music was the “unspoken understanding” it gives to our lives. And he’s still learning.

‘Your Hero Is Not Dead’ is an entrancing exploration of the psyche that considers the fallibility of being human. Amid its waterlogged guitars and metronomic drum machine beats lie gleaming acoustics and chirping synths. Vocally, comparisons to lofty folk experimentalists Arthur Russell and John Martyn are justified. Gentle guitar and piano hammock Westerman’s effortless tenor. The drums on here are snappy and crisp, and the production is immaculate. For as reserved as this batch of songs are, Westerman loads in an impressive level of detail. Each listen reveals a new synth layer I have never heard, or a hidden drum pad cleverly woven into an intricate rhythmic fabric.

Lyrically, too, Westerman plays with juxtapositions, such as lathering a soothing balm on the chronic pain depicted in ‘Think I’ll Stay’. He loops brisk acoustics and a muted ‘80s electric guitar to carry the listener in a dreamy drift. “Turn back now, Comanche / Walk me through the blue cornered sundown, he sings over reverb-laden rim taps. Westerman muses about environmental destruction without wallowing too much in it, opting instead to appreciate what remains of earth.

‘Big Nothing Glow’ and ‘Waiting On Design’, meanwhile, utilise more opaque lyrics, fidgety structures and peculiar melodies to present abstract thought. They work to reflect the fluidity of conceptual thinking. “Paper your cracks just to keep them alight Westerman muses on the former; “22,24 let me inside or once / Or twice on the latter. But even a smart arse would struggle to wholly understand what he’s singing about.

‘Waiting On Design’ starts as a beat-shifting guitar ditty punctured by electronic glitches. It takes a while to find its rhythm, limited by a cadence-style chorus that effectively resets the song each time. It feels like a hard listen – maybe that’s the point.

Elsewhere, ‘Think I’ll Stay’ and ‘The Line’ showcase Westerman’s ability to snap his melodic synapses into action. On the former he employs aquatic guitars and squelching beats to craft an oddly uplifting song about appreciating life in the face of persistent pain. ‘The Line’ slowly nestles under your skin with cajón drums, lithe guitars and luminescent ‘80s synths that recall early Peter Gabriel. Here, Westerman notes a disintegrating relationship: Stuck with the infinite / Is there a place for us’?.

It almost seems tongue-in-cheek: Whipping up a bit of internet fervour with the immaculate single “Confirmation,” refining the aesthetic over a handful more, then finally delivering an anticipated full-length debut called… Your Hero Is Not Dead. And then Westerman manages to balance ruminations over abstract moral and existential concerns with music that is strikingly beautiful throughout. Aided by Bullion’s crystalline electronic textures, Westerman uses his transfixing voice and serpentine guitar to perfect his singular sound, reaching for the horizon in “Waiting On Design” or conjuring yet another sublime, glimmering vision of a pop song in “Blue Comanche.” Your hero is indeed far from dead — he’s just now assuming the mantle.

Westerman does well to investigate the multiple facets of being human instead of regurgitating art’s favourite topic – love – on this impressive debut. Somehow, he manages to tame the album’s kinks into a cohesive if not beguiling whole that’s eminently challenging and comforting to listen to.

released June 5th, 2020;

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The spectacular new single, “HUH,” from Grace Gillespie. This London-based artist and producer released her debut EP, “Pretending”, in June 2019 via Kaleidoscope and it was met with tons of praise across the music blog-o-sphere, including right here where it made my top albums/EPs of 2019 list. Her ability to blend multiple genres and styles to create her own musical identity grows by leaps and bounds with each new release.

The latest single questions why we allow ourselves to lose childhood wonder as we become adults and deal with the slog of 9-5 to life. On the song she says: “We become increasingly affected by external factors as we grow older and it becomes increasingly difficult to think like a child again. That innocence and curiosity is lost forever. But it’s still fun to think about, to try and look at things in different ways, as if through the eyes of someone else.”

Her sound takes influences from the folk, psych and dream-pop traditions, providing a backdrop to her intriguing vocal melodies, shifting harmonies and introspective lyricism.

“I grew up in Devon not far from the sea. Music was a big part of my life from very early on – I was lucky enough to attend a primary school where music was high on the agenda. I started studying piano very early, then sax and then drums for a year or so – but abandoned that pretty quickly.. too noisy for a tiny village. I’m a huge fan and you should be too! If you haven’t yet pick up her debut EP and get to know all about your new favourite musician.

Kaleidoscope Records Released on: 2020-05-29 Grace Gillespie

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“Walk With Me” is a song about empathy, depression and the power of talking. All channelled by frontman Alex Hannaway’s pastel vocal hues and the searingly honest delivery.

The track works as a conversation between someone experiencing a depressive episode and another trying to understand. “It’s about listening, friendship, understanding, I’ve had experiences where friends, family members have been patient, they’ve been persistent and caring, and it’s this that has really helped me in my life”We’ve been using home karaoke sessions to blow off steam during the lockdown period. Often feeling confined, bored, angry, frustrated; the elation and release of belting out familiar songs in our living room felt cathartic. So it felt perfect for the video, capturing not only the isolation of lockdown but also the communal, spirited moments too.explains Hannaway.

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Our debut EP is out now. It’s been a long and enjoyable process and we’re over the moon to finally share ‘Margotzeko’ with you all!. Margot comprises of five friends who moved from the suburbs of south London to Peckham after finishing University. In two separate bands at the time, drunken nights out discussing the merits of a merger evolved into the first few rehearsals. It went well – Margot formed in 2018 and released a steady stream of singles across the year.

The band employ a DIY ethic, self-producing their recordings in their home studio. After ending 2019 supporting Swimming Tapes on their UK tour, the band released their debut EP and are set to support Dana Gavanski on her upcoming tour in March 2021.

Margot’s nuanced blend of dream-pop, neo-psychedelia and jangle-guitar create a propulsive, cruising feel.

Released June 9th, 2020

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London duo Jockstrap (aka Georgia Ellery and Taylor Skye) have shared “Wicked City”, their second EP and debut for Warp Records. It follows 2018’s Love is the Key to the City. Jockstrap are quite enigmatic in sound—take “The City,” for example, which fuses glitchy industrial with showtune-y piano pop and glazed post-punk, and though that sounds insane on paper, it’s not only mind-numbingly fascinating, but also surprisingly coherent. “The heavy autobiographical narrative of Wicked City is married to an expressive and limitless sound world; influenced by everything we have ever musically absorbed and moulded with a ‘fuck it’ attitude,” Ellery says. You can certainly hear that “fuck it” ethos on this EP. Their strange, harsh-meets-soft pop is paired with poetic tales, and it’s the sound of deconstruction and reinvention—both sonic and emotional.

Jockstrap – The City (Official Audio)
‘Wicked City’ EP out 5th June on Warp Records

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I love Flyte why this band are not hugely known and selling loads of records is the understatement of all time. They’re a three-piece band presently with the addition of a occasional Stave sister  with my heart in their hands and their hearts on their sleeves. Their debut record “The Loved Ones” felt like a secret between the few, me and the band, Will Taylor and the band continually charmed and surprised. It’s a gorgeous, passionate, musically beautiful album. It’s desperate and haunting. It’s one of those covers that covers your bones. But enough about their album. The band have been touring and demoing a new collection of songs for the last six seven months and “Easy Tiger” is among them .

“Easy Tiger” is a break-up track. It’s a predator with a thorn in its paw. It’s brought low, it’s humble, it’s sad. It’s brilliant for all of that. Will Taylor has a giant vocal register, but he is so subdued on this track, the emotionalism is totally carried by the instrumentation. The music is anxious in “Easy Tiger,” while the melody is steady, rhythmic and calm. It’s the embodiment of trying to keep your cool while you see an ex at a party.

Give Flyte the love they deserve today. I reckon a new record will be dropping soon from them, so listen to The Loved Ones and their 2019 EP White Roses (If you can get a copy… I Can’t for love or money, Will )after you give “Easy Tiger” a listen.

It’s another woozy, moody exhale, “Easy Tiger is an ideal turbulent indulgence to soundtrack our moments of doubt and trouble. I fell in hard for this UK band Flyte, Iv’e seen them maybe eight-ten times and they still astonish me everytime. Please also listen to their White Roses EP and its truly breathtaking title track – one of my all-time favourites tracks for the year – and you couldn’t ask for a more striking, well-executed return than “Easy Tiger.” Soothing yet unsettling all at once, the song was written as a precursor to the emotional overhaul of a breakup, however its message feels all the more universal today. Easy tiger: This is only gonna get worse

Music video by Flyte performing Easy Tiger. under exclusive licence to Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

 

EBONY BUCKLE – ” Ghost “

Posted: May 24, 2020 in MUSIC
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During these challenging times many of us are separated from our loved ones, without an idea of when we will be reunited again. This long period of isolation can be truly agonizing, affecting people in many different ways. Imagine having to cope with that for nearly two years. That’s what Australian born, London based artist Ebony Buckle had to endure during her wait for her marriage visa renewal. Her latest single “Ghost” is about her torturous experiences and the ultimate result it can have on your mental health. Her distinctive quirky style is embedded deep throughout her brand, both sonically, thematically and aesthetically. Known for dressing head to toe in bold, colorful outfits, Buckle leaves her mark wherever she goes.

 Showcasing her distinct sound of beautiful folk/pop, Buckle has crafted a poignant song that we can all relate to – particularly now. Layered ethereal vocals and soft, gentle piano arrangements, allow for Buckle to tell her story, creating a heart wrenching release. “Ghost” gradually builds into an all-encompassing song, providing an emotional outlet for Buckle, allowing her to finally close a chapter in her life. The Australian singer/songwriter is known for her quirky song narratives, with previous tracks touching on themes from mermaids, to dinosaurs and everything in between. However “Ghost” sees Buckle taking on a much more serious subject, while simultaneously maintaining her quaint and captivating style which we have all come to love. 

Ebony is a singer/songwriter/actor in London with a flare for the dramatic and an imaginary best friend called Susan the Raptor.

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We present – “Mixtape One” – a collection of reworkings and covers of some of our favourite songs – available now on Bandcamp for free. If you fancy downloading, we would ask that you make a donation to Refuge (or your favourite charity) directly through their website(s).

Friends; we now present – “Mixtape Two” – our second collection of reworkings and covers. It’s available now on Bandcamp for free. If you fancy downloading, we would again ask that you make a donation to Refuge (or your favourite charity) directly through their website(s).

Links below.

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This mix contains a selection of cover versions performed by USA Nails:

1. Paranoid – Originally performed by Black Sabbath
2. New Life – Originally performed by Depeche Mode
3. Digital – Originally performed by Joy Division
4. Pretty Baby – Originally performed by Sister Sledge
5. I Am The Fly – Originally performed by Wire
6. Goodbye Horses – Originally performed by Q Lazzarus

released April 25th, 2020

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This mix contains a selection of cover versions performed by USA Nails:

1. Over And Over – Originally performed by Hot Chip
2. Don’t You Forget About Me – Originally performed by Simple Minds
3. Arabian Knights – Originally performed by Siouxsie And The Banshees
4. White Lines – Originally performed by Melle Mel
5. My Sharona – Originally performed by The Knack
6. Essex Dogs – Originally performed by Blur

Released May 18th, 2020