Well it’s about bloody time. I’ve been following RHODES now since my 3rd year at university when I realised he was from Hitchin, the home town of one of my first ever girlfriend and took me back to those horrendously awkward moments in my childhood trying to convince girls my mile high forehead was actually a rare charm. Anyway, RHODES has finally released his first full length LP Wishes. Haven’t had a chance to review it yet so unfortunately my input is as useful as a tampon made of stinging nettles but if you need any indication of the quality that RHODES can provide then just listen to his track with Birdy Let It All Go which features on the debut album and stick around for an album review as soon as I can get the time.
Amber Leaves are back with their second single This Ain’t a Love Song as the follow up to indie disco track Heaven. Whilst Heaven was a driven set opener with clashing guitars and pitch perfect vocal interludes, This Ain’t a Love Song slows the whole process down with heavy soul-inspired melodies and vocals. It’s a decent tonic to Heaven and should be interesting to see in combination with their other tracks once a record is released. For now you’ll have to steel yourself for the October 16th and their London show at the Borderline on October 10th. Until then I guess I’ll just be smacking the the repeat button like a misbehaving testicle.
London’s Rationale has just released the final track, The Mire, from his upcoming EP “Fuel to the Fire” due out on Friday. You’d be forgiven if thinking that Rationale had been around for a long time, the maturity in the vocal lines and the magisterial quality of his own voice. Yet Fuel to the Fire is the debut EP of this artist. “The Mire” has been described as being about a jilted lover stuck in the impasse of self-pity. Regardless the nature of this track is just enough to wait for the EP drop. This is going to be excellent. Ideal for sitting down and playing over the top of those wintery nights that are on the horizon.
I’ve shared Fort Lean more than once here on this blog. You have no idea how happy I am they finally have an LP out. It’s been far too long. Anyway, today I’m featuring Buddy Boy from their upcoming EP “New Hobbies,” a single from the full length release “Quiet Day.” Set to be released later this week on September 18th I’ll be making sure to pick up a copy to support one of the more interesting bands to be playing regularly. Uncomplicated and without arrogance, Fort Lean remind you how good a rock n roll band can be. Theres a lot to be said about 4-5 people and a couple of guitars to work through a collection of chords we know well. Buddy Boy has less of the bombastic influence found on “Quiet Day”, instead trading it for a sparser, introspective arrangement that is the perfect tonic to end a raucous evening. For some reason it just works.
Recently sharing their premiere on “The Line of Best Fit” Dilly Dally have debuted their second track Purple Rage, ahead of their forthcoming full length Sore released via Partisan Records. Out on October 9th, this is a rage filled dam-buster of a track that anyone who has ever flirted with any kind of punk leaning can relate to and get involved in. Vocals that sound like they’re testing the limits of what the voice can do before breaking point combining with raw guitar lines and distorted single note lead parts not out of place in Art School bars across the UK. Getting airtime from Zane Lowe on Apple music, amongst other places, Dilly Dally are sure to be making continued rounds once the full length drops. The name may sound innocuous and whimsical but the music is aggressive enough to breeze past any suggestion that this band aren’t taking this seriously.
Does anyone remember that being an “indie kid” was a thing? Recently at the pub with a friend we discovered her old social media profile which included a long conversation about how she was an “indie cindy” and had enough quirks to put Zooey Deschanel out of business. The scene has changed a lot since then. Less cute and with more bite. Yet there was still a lot of value in the twee indie-pop being made at the time and “Knife Pleats” took me straight back, although with a degree of aggression. Think if Camera Obscura formed a supergroup with The Land of Talk and you’ve got a pretty good idea. Hailing from Vancouver, “One Step Too Far” will be coming out September 29th with their debut LP “Hot Bark Beach.” The track certainly transports me back to the time in which Belle and Sebastian could do no wrong, but without trading solely off nostalgia. Instead the staccato guitars manage to carve out their own identity with generous nods to Camera Obscura, The Locksmiths, Belle and Sebastian and The Land of Talk. This may not be strictly my thing anymore but fuck it, I really don’t have to pretend to be too cool for retrospective nostalgia.
You know you’re onto something good when you’re supporting Toro Y Moi which is exactly what Oakland CA band Astronauts have achieved. “Shake it Loose” is the latest single from their forthcoming LP “Mind Out Wandering” out on September 18th. Shake it Loose somehow, and don’t ask me how because I can barely manage punk in my washed up Art School band, blend a unique soul-tinged vocal delivery with a psychedelic cloud of guitars and expertly paced rhythms. Often Psych bands can go the wrong way down the path. Overindulging in effects and surrendering to general weirdness may get you labeled as sonic psychedelics but it ruins what bands like Astronauts do so well which is elevate your traditional makeup of musicians to a plain of blended influence.