Posts Tagged ‘Moshi Moshi Records’

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I first saw Kiran Leonard back in 2018, just after he released Western Culture” I think it was at the Green man Festival, his first studio album and first with his backing band. The Manchester, U.K. singer/songwriter has been uploading music to Bandcamp since 2013, and he’s released three albums with Moshi Moshi Records—quietly becoming one of the most fascinating singer/songwriters and gifted artists of our time. His brand new release, “World Argument Live”, includes live recordings with his old band from 2016 and 2018, along with newly-recorded versions of previously-shared tracks. Leonard codes the song titles in abbreviated capitals, so it might be difficult to decipher for anyone unfamiliar with his music, but fear not, I can help—highlights include “Öndör Gongor” from 2016’s Grapefruit (“ÖN/GO”), “An Easel” (“EAS”) and “The Universe Out There Knows No Smile” (“U/OUT”) from 2018’s Western Culture.

I first wrote about Kiran Leonard back in 2018, just after he released Western Culture, his first studio album and first with his backing band. The Manchester, based singer/songwriter has been uploading music to Bandcamp since 2013, and he’s released three albums with Moshi Moshi Records—quietly becoming one of the most fascinating singer/songwriters and gifted artists of our time. His brand new release, “World Argument Live”, includes live recordings with his old band from 2016 and 2018, along with newly-recorded versions of previously-shared tracks. Leonard codes the song titles in abbreviated capitals, so it might be difficult to decipher for anyone unfamiliar with his music, but fear not, I can help—highlights include “Öndör Gongor” from 2016’s Grapefruit (“ÖN/GO”), “An Easel” (“EAS”) and “The Universe Out There Knows No Smile” (“U/OUT”) from 2018’s Western Culture. By the bold titles, you can tell Leonard isn’t your average artist—he has a unique sonic and thematic imagination that becomes apparent immediately. This new release merges chaotic art rock jams with regal and pastoral compositions that border on chamber-pop and psych-folk. This combination of experimental clamour and pretty subtleties is precisely what makes Leonard such a dramatic force of nature. File World Argument Live under “albums so incredible that you have to pace around the room in deep thought.” Leonard is donating the funds from this release to The Music Venue Trust and the United Families & Friends Campaign, so please consider purchasing it on Bandcamp here.

By the bold titles, you can tell Leonard isn’t your average artist—he has a unique sonic and thematic imagination that becomes apparent immediately. This new release merges chaotic art rock jams with regal and pastoral compositions that border on chamber-pop and psych-folk. This combination of experimental clamour and pretty subtleties is precisely what makes Leonard such a dramatic force of nature.

Setlist: 0:35 Öndör Gongor 7:45 Secret Police 10:53 Don’t Make Friends with Good People 20:50 Geraldo’s Farm.

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Sunderland based post-punk 4-piece Roxy Girls have shared their new single Get Up (Seize The Day).

The single is the second to be taken from their new seven track EP A Wealth Of Information, It’s a two and a half minute gem of perfectly judged indie with guitar lines sharp enough to cut yourself on.

“Get Up (Seize The Day) shares a message that is equally as important to our lives as to everyone else’s. People overthink and feel that some days their peers would do better without their presence, but often all it takes is that one footstep out of bed towards that first sip of shitty instant coffee to lay the foundation for a new, brighter day.

“Get Up (Seize The Day)” is taken from Roxy Girls‘ much-anticipated new EP ‘A Wealth Of Information’, which is out tomorrow via Moshi Moshi Records:

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Girl Ray’s new single,“Friend Like That” – a feelgood anthem about the love found in friendship and the latest single released from the North London band’s second album, Girl, out now via Moshi Moshi Records. 

The video, which sees the band in full 1980’s prom attire, was directed by long-time collaborator Alex Cantouris who said the following: “This is the 6th video I’ve made with Girl Ray and their attitude towards this particular one was to opt for the most “cringe option”, which I loved. Everyone’s hard work and the band’s brilliant attitude has produced a really fun video that hopefully all the fans will enjoy.”

The band added: “For this video we felt it was necessary to return to our past formula of recreating big-budget films with 0.1% of the money and 3 people whose experience of acting stops at narrating the year 1 nativity. We have always loved all the classic 80s high school rom-coms, and this particular song seemed to lend itself well to a John Hughes plot. With an extremely questionable storyline we approached Alex Cantouris to help fill in the gaps. After an incredibly stressful week of pulling favours everything was finally ready and we began filming. We actually filmed the prom scene in our old school in Muswell Hill which was a surreal and hilarious experience. It was definitely the funnest video we’ve ever shot, and is now our favourite too.”

from the North London band’s second album, “Girl”, out now via Moshi Moshi Records. 

High quality, timeless pop songs weren’t always created in offices by handfuls of writers and marketing teams and then farmed out to the highest bidding singers. Once upon a time they were written and recorded by artists – George Michael, Prince or Kate Bush for example – who wanted to use the universal, happy medium of pop music to put across joyous, accessible messages of love, friendship and life to the world.

And that’s what Girl Ray have done. They’ve done far more than just “go pop.” To have the confidence to totally change one’s creative output is something so few artists manage, but they’ve nailed it.
Back in 2017, the band Girl Ray released Earl Grey: a debut album of expertly-crafted, sweet, hummable songs about longing, friendship, self doubt and contemplation. It was a success. “With Girl Ray, we knew we had found something special,” says Stephen Bass who signed the band in 2016.

After their tour rolled to a stop and Girl Ray’s members Poppy, Sophie and Iris floated back to earth, taking up employment in shops and restaurants. They hung about listlessly, struggled with bouts of feeling a bit shit and saw each together ritualistically despite not creating much music. Poppy started writing some new songs for their second record much like the sweet odes to longing, love and friendship on their debut. But the vibes just weren’t there.
It was Ariana Grande’s explosion into pop culture that kickstarted a new era for Girl Ray. “Thank U, Next came out and that kind of changed everything,” Poppy says. That, combined with Ari’s ballad of self-love and the party vibe they witnessed when touring with US band Porches (“their live game was so fun and super synthy and so danceable,” Sophie recalls. “It looked like much more of a party,”) led to the band beginning to wonder if they could try their hand at making their own pop.

After that realisation, everything clicked into place. Poppy began experimenting with writing songs over beats. “I had to start learning how to write on a computer, using keyboards, and that made everything sound more pop,” she explains.

The songs poured out. A collection of shimmering, foot-tapping, sparkling pop bangers. It’s unmistakably Girl Ray, but with added synths. If Earl Grey was a hot cup of tea and a cuddle on the sofa, Girl is being in a cab with the windows down on the way to a beach bar for sundowners. It’s the sun kissed excitement of Rihanna’s If It’s Lovin’ That You Want, combined
with the eye-rolling, impenetrable sardonic humour of a girl gang. Among the grin-inducing, trepidatious and intensely courageous R&B-style tracks on the album are beautifully composed piano ballads steeped in the sadness and unrequited love that made Earl Grey feel like a knowing look from an old friend.

The band took the demos to Ash Workman at Electric Beach Studios in Margate. “He has more of a pop background [Christine and the Queens and Metronomy] which is exactly why we wanted him for the job,” Poppy says. “We didn’t have to compromise with him, he just got it straight away.” Ash listened to the demos and was keen to help them produce a record that sounded something like “70s Drake.” The band were slightly confused by this, so they stuck pictures of Ariana around his mixing desk to remind him of his raison d’être.

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Even though Girl sounds a little like a cross between the Love Island soundtrack and The Power Out by Electrelane, it’s almost genre-less. Girl Ray have created something beautiful that hasn’t been seen for a long time now: expertly-crafted pop created by dedicated artists on a mission to make music for people to really enjoy. Music that doesn’t look to confuse or patronise. Music to fall in love to, to dance to. Songs you’d want to send to your friends.

“Pop is so fun and universal, even if you’re a super muso nerd who’s into Elliot Smith you’re still going to love hearing a bit of Whitney Houston and that’s really appealing to me,” Poppy says. “If you hear a good groove you can’t not boogie, and we want our shows to be more of a party
and for it to be more feelgood music.”

“With this new set of songs they have been brave enough to completely change their sound rather than playing it safe yet still remain unmistakably themselves,” says Stephen. “A bold move perhaps, but a sign of that desire to push themselves that only the best artists have.

Originally released November 22nd, 2019

 

North London trio Girl Ray have announced a new album, Girl, and shared a video for its first single, “Show Me More.” Girl is due out November 8th via Moshi Moshi. They’ve also announced some UK tour dates. Watch the “Show Me More” video below.

Girl Ray features Poppy Hankin (guitar/vocals), Iris McConnell (drums), and Sophie Moss (bass). “Girl” is their second album, the follow-up to their cleverly titled 2017-released debut album, Earl Grey  which was one of the Top 15 Debut Albums of 2017 .

Girl was recorded at Electric Beach Studios in Margate with Ash Workman (Christine and the Queens, Metronomy). Whereas their debut album was a twee-pop gem, Girl is inspired by more modern and electronic pop sounds, in particular Rihanna and Ariana Grande. Crusoe Weston directed the “Show Me More” video, which features the band riding around on bikes.

In a press release the band say “Show Me More” is about “crushing really hard but having to play the long game and wait it out because your boo is playing savage games. It’s your classic pop banger. Steamy dance floor. Drinks on me.”

Show Me More is Girl Ray’s brand new single, taken from their forthcoming album ‘Girl’ out on 8th November via Moshi Moshi Records.

15th November 2019 – Rock City Nottingham w/ Metronomy,  22nd February 2020 – Nottingham, Bodega

Anna Meredith FIBS

British experimental musician Anna Meredith has announced a new album, “Fibs”, and sharing the first single, “Paramour,” via a hypnotic video for the track featuring a Lego train travelling around Meredith and her band as they perform the song. Fibs is due out October 25th via Moshi Moshi Records.

The album is the follow-up to her acclaimed 2016-released debut album, Varmints. Since then she has kept busy, doing the soundtrack to the Bo Burnham-directed film Eighth Grade and working as a classical composer. And, a press release points out, that she “was recently named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s birthday honors list for services to music, making her Anna Meredith MBE.

Of the album title FIBS, in a press Meredith says fibs are “lies – but nice friendly lies, little stories and constructions and daydreams and narratives that you make for yourself or you tell yourself.”

The album is heralded by the release of ‘Paramour’, its first single and spectacular accompanying single-take video, featuring 1200 pieces of LEGO track, and a song that forbids you from turning away – its sweeps, jerks and wrong turns pinning your ears to the speakers whilst heading for warp speed at a blistering 176 BPM before rounding the journey out with an (utterly unexpected) tuba-led half-time rock-out.

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I have followed the chameleon like career of Beth Jeans Houghton with great interest ever since seeing her Hooves Of Destiny shows at the Musician in Leicester few years ago. Since then after the Hooves of Destiny and, more recently, comes the Du Blonde moniker – complete with an altogether heavier, grittier sound.

Du Blonde may sound like a band, but in fact it is, and always has been, the work of just one person. Beth Jeans Houghton. Her new album “Lung Bread For Daddy” delves even deeper into self sufficiency, seeing Beth take the reigns on production, instrumentation, album artwork and direction of music videos. This project is entirely her own. Lung Bread For Daddy sees a meeting in which Beth’s previous two albums, 2015’s Welcome Back To Milk and her debut Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose, take a seat at the table and make amends. Veering wildly between proto-punk, psych rock and the wholesome song writing of the 1970’s, taking the listener on a journey through the landscape of her past. It is an honest and often uncomfortable look into the life of a person who’s experiences have been touched by a myriad of characters, homes across continents, periods of extreme loneliness, mental illness and a search for an understanding of personal identity. Houghton’s insatiable thirst for creation on her own terms has seen her take charge of every aspect of Lung Bread For Daddy including the brutal self portrait that adorns the cover of this record. Painted from a photograph taken during one of her lowest points, the image depicts Beth devoid not only of makeup, but self worth and confidence.

She will be releasing her second album as Du Blonde titled Lung Bread For Daddy via Moshi Moshi Records on the 22nd February, and it is described as a meeting in which her previous two albums, 2015’s Welcome Back To Milkand her debutYours Truly, Cellophane Nose, take a seat at the table and make amends.

The first single is the autobiographical Angel, referencing the end of a relationship with someone who promises a lot, but delivers very little. Angel by Du Blonde (aka Beth Jeans Houghton). Taken from her new album ‘Lung Bread For Daddy’ out on Moshi Moshi on 22nd February

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The Surfing Magazines record has an immediate and unique energy – an old quality. It feels handmade. Analogue. Fun. In keeping with those themes – and because it’s nearly impossible to get every member of such a super-group in the same place at the same time – the plan was to do all the videos in one go. Just to keep it fresh – that location was a boat. That boat being The Grand Cru, a boat Pete Townsend made into a studio (apparently so him and Eric Clapton could make a record at sea). The results are three videos that revel in their unpolished existence. Long Live The Surfing Magazines.” – Piers Dennis, director.

The Surfing Magazines are a garage rock supergroup. The band contains one half of Slow Club and two thirds of The Wave Pictures. Dominic Brider, who has played with many local bands and is an extremely groovy dude, completes the line-up on drums. 

Band Members
Charles Watson, David Tattersall, Dominic Brider, Franic Rozycki

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Du Blonde has announced a new album Lung Bread For Daddy, which sees the self-sufficient artist utilise her multiple skills to try and create the project as independently as possible. “I know exactly what I want my record to sound like,” Houghton explains, “and apart from drums, I have the ability to play all the instruments, so I did.”

Houghton knows her direction, particularly when it comes to visual projects, having made videos for the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, LUMP, and Ezra Furman. Lung Bread For Daddy’s lead track “Buddy” arrives with a self-directed video, which features a bath, three bottles of vegetable oil, and hella spaghetti (37 packets to be precise)

Buddy is her first single from the album with a self-directed video featuring a bathtub, 3 bottles of vegetable oil and 37 packets of spaghetti.

Band Members
Beth Jeans Houghton,

Du Blonde returns with new album ‘Lung Bread For Daddy’ on 22nd February on Moshi Moshi Records

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Despite having released two records prior, Kiran Leonard’s latest album Western Culture is his first professional studio album and his first with the backing of his live band. Though assisted by some additional players, Leonard contributes the lion’s share of instrumentals with everything from guitar, organ, piano, violin and vocals to sandpaper, goat bells and frying pan. After releasing a five-movement concept album last year, Western Culture is similarly elegant, but far more expansive and pop-oriented. Leonard’s brand of baroque pop-tinged rock is both astoundingly pretty and wildly vigorous. Tracks like “The Universe Out There Knows No Smile” and “Working People” sound almost too highbrow and meticulously composed to be considered rock, yet too dogged to be classified as classical or baroque-pop. Western Culture isn’t just a gorgeous album of nuance, it’s also laced with musings on the recurring problems plaguing the populace like the lack of communication and feelings of alienation.

Unreflective Life is taken from Kiran Leonard’s forthcoming new album WESTERN CULTURE, out on Moshi Moshi Records on 19th October

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Du Blonde is the project of UK-based multi-instrumentalist Beth Jeans Houghton. She has announced a new album, “Lung Bread For Daddy” for Moshi Moshi Records, and has shared a video for a new song from it, “Buddy.”  Lung Bread For Daddy is due out February 22nd, 2019 her first for the label. Houghton self-directed the video for “Buddy,” which features her taking a bath filled with spaghetti.

The album is the follow-up to 2015’s Welcome Back to Milkand 2012’s Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose. The latter album was released under her given name and both came out via Mute Records.

Houghton oversaw every aspect of Lung Bread For Daddy. “I know exactly what I want my record to sound like and apart from drums, I have the ability to play all the instruments, so I did,” she says in a press release.

She even painted the album cover, a self-portrait taken from, as the press release describes it, “a photograph taken during one of her lowest points, the image depicts Beth devoid not only of makeup, but of self-worth and confidence.”

Houghton elaborates: “I look tired and pretty much destroyed, which is a feeling I’ve known many times over; in the aftermath of relationships and that of making a record. Lyrically the album is very naked, so I’m carrying on the nudity of my previous album covers, only this time it’s emotional instead of physical.”

A press release describes the album this way: “Veering wildly between proto-punk, psych rock and the wholesome songwriting of the 1970s, Lung Bread For Daddy takes the listener on a journey through the landscape of her past. It is an honest and often uncomfortable look into the life of a person whose experiences have been touched by a myriad of characters, homes across continents, periods of extreme loneliness, mental illness and a search for an understanding of personal identity.”

Houghton adds: “My lyrics are always autobiographical. I have to be able to identify with what I’m singing, and telling my story is therapeutic.”

Buddy is her first single from the album with a self-directed video featuring a bathtub, 3 bottles of vegetable oil and 37 packets of spaghetti.

Du Blonde returns with new album ‘Lung Bread For Daddy’ on 22nd February on Moshi Moshi Records: