I’ve been following GILLBANKS for a while now, but like all things, I’ve been forgetting to post any of their work just like I keep forgetting to call my Mother to tell her that “Yes I am surviving, no I have not discovered Heroin.” GILLBANKS, like so many things these days, is the moniker of a one Sam Gillbanks. Wonder where her got the name? I’ll have to ask. “Invaded,” apparently, by the landscape and cultural clusterfuck that is London, GILLBANKS provides a grungey vibe to the concrete city which is missing from much of the critique of the city. You could be fooled in thinking that London is a hipster tank of 7 quid coffees or an art-utopia filled with creatives. In reality it’s a bit of a stress. This track reminds me strongly of early Modest Mouse, Built to Spill and Pavement mixing the dynamic changes from those 90s Indie greats into something relevant for the modern listening audience. Tiffany is off the upcoming EP “Lend Me Your Skin” which I’ll be waiting for with baited breathe. Unpretentious and surprisingly matured and accomplished for a debut release, Tiffany is a track that showcases the very best of what our young musicians can do given a chance.
Get behind it and get behind the man. This is probably one of the most exciting tracks I’ve had this month.
Right now I’m writing an essay proposal on Post-Internet art and it’s position within contemporary Capitalist power structures. Sounds fucking awful doesn’t it? As I am sat here, I’m wondering whether I’m intellectually stunted or if my inherent laziness has reached such a torrential point that I’m now incapable of reading anything that isn’t on the front of a chocolate bar promising a caramel flavoured shot of love to the testicles that replace my brain. Imagine my delight as I stumble through my email inbox and find the email promising the debut album from Big Eater out on Friday 30th of this month on Help Yourself Records. Lazy days, a track from the album featured below for Hype Machine reasons (wink wink, nudge nudge), is an exemplary example of how I feel right now and the laconic vibes that belong to the track weave their way through the album. The album stream is Mac DeMarco via Elliot Smith and is the previously mentioned caramel flavoured shot of love to the proverbials. Halfway between laid-back and introspective, this album will have a devoted following of sensitive slackers taking in every aspect of this delightful record. This is not something to bash out of enormous speakers to impress a girl at a house party but is ideal for me right now as I surround myself in books I can’t comprehend, smoking a crappy roll up cigarette attempting to piece together my ridiculous decision that was Higher Education. Only kidding, I’m not that forlorn, although I am smoking. If I was though, this album would get it.
Also if any of you are US based (I am unfortunately not) these are the tour dates for the diary.
11-5-15 New Haven, CT – Cafe 9*
11-6-15 Albany, NY – Tree House*
11-7-15 Providence, RI – TBA
11-8-15 Boston, MA – Out of the Blue Too*
11-9-15 East Hampton, MA – Platinum Pony*
11-10-15 Manchester, NH – Modern Gypsy*
11-11-15 Burlington, VT – TBA*
11-12-15 Montreal, QC – Passion Noir
11-13-15 Annandale-on-Hudson, NY – Bard Root Cellar
11-14-15 Philadelphia, PA – TBA
11-15-15 Baltimore, MD – The Crown
11-16-15 Brooklyn, NY – Palisades
I actually featured Holy ’57’s debut track “Island Kids” way back in June and likened them to a Summer cigarette soundtrack. Since then I’ve been watching fondly as they’ve picked up pace and attention both in the blogosphere and the wider social network minefield of opinion. Yesterday (26th of October) Holy ’57 finally released the 4 track EP complete with Island Kids and 3 other tracks to prove to your Mum that kids these days are way cooler than they were in the 80s. The EP opens with “The Tennis Club (Of Bombay)” which is a spoken word introduction over lush, sparse single coil guitars which acts as a wonderful prelude to the Sunny Delight sugary orange coloured flavour of Island Kids. So far so good and exactly what I expected from their previous release. The EP then picks up into a raucous indie pop special in “Au Naturel” with muffled distorted vocals competing with a stronger more typical “indie” guitar presence which acts as a pleasant tonic to the laconic vibes of “Island Kids.” The EP ends with “Savanna” which wouldn’t seem out of place in some sort of hipster summer montage where everyone smokes roll up cigarettes and has hot partners who say the word “rad” a lot. “Savanna” (my favourite track off the record) is a blend of the previous two tracks escalating a chill vibe into a crescendo of guitars and drums which is a great round up to the EP. If “Island Kids” wasn’t your flavour, which I totally get as Sunny D isn’t for everyone, then I implore you to take a look at this EP as there is a real breadth of sound which must make Holy ’57 one of the tips for 2016. Its gonna be mad kid.
Doing something like this, even if it’s in the part-time capacity as a mother with octuplets, the inevitability is that you receive emails consistently from prospective bands, promoters and PR companies. It’s a difficult process as on the one hand, having that kind of connection with something that could turn out to be excellent is to be cherished. This can’t always be the case however, so I often spend most of my time writing apologetic emails in the same voice I talk to grandmother with. Fortunately for MIGHTY however, I was all over it like gut rot in Mcdonalds. This track, “Fingertip,” is their debut single off their forthcoming debut EP “Bye, Have Nice!” Produced by Daniel Gleason of Grouplove and due for release on November 6th via songintheair, the EP is going to be a spine snapping, testicle enlarging, event if this first track is anything to go by. Full of energy and embracing post-punk guitars with wonderful Modest Mouse-esque vocal dips MIGHTY may just have stumbled onto one of this perfect recipe blends for a successful indie band. Whilst not necessarily tackling anything groundbreaking or revolutionary, Fingertip could be the perfect precursor to a Post-punk band ready to the push boat once they get afloat. Don’t hate I love a rhyme. Without predicting too much of MIGHTY’s future, for now we’ll enjoy the post-punk, post-pop, post-alcohol binge party track that is Fingertip and eagerly await the arrival of the EP in a couple of weeks.
How the fuck did I miss this. Totally sidetracked by my art practice I missed this latest released by The Bernard Lakes titled Golden Lion. Out now on iTunes etc, it is the debut single from the upcoming full length LP A Coliseum Complex Museum. This is normally the point in a post where I rehash whatever semblance of wit I like to pretend I possess but for once, I’m out. This is fucking sick. A solid mix of crashing guitars and psychedelic vocals this track is whetting the appetite for the full length release on 22nd January 2016 and the EP “single” release of Golden Lion on November 12th on Jagwaguwar. I know I’m supposed to be posting cool trendy bands that no-one has heard of for my street cred but fuck it, sometimes I want to stand in the same crowd as everyone else congratualating myself in having good taste with a metaphorical reach around. If this track is any indication then it’s another brilliant step on the ladder of The Besnard Lakes career progression.
I’ve been waiting for this to go public for bloody ages. When I first found this track in my inbox pile I was as excited as inbred is to find out he’s got a long lost sister. An incredible voice infects the entire track and allows the whole development of the track to build around it. The chorus is a real killer and belongs at any decent shoe gaze club night for the foreseeable future. A track from the upcoming debut album Phase, Breathe Life definitely starts the buzz ahead of the February 19th release date on Island Records. It can be preordered from Jack’s personal website as we speak so do so, as soon as possible. I have very little else to say. It’s just really fucking nice.
There’s this ridiculous notion in Edinburgh that “nothing ever happens here.” What bollocks. It’s a capital city with a wonderful art school and incredible musicians. Unfortunately, due to the cheap rent provided by the Glaswegians, so many people make the move and leave this city. What a shame. Don’t get me wrong, I fucking love Glasgow but there’s also scope for the capital to produce it’s own artists and musicians on par. So, joy of joys, that I get to feature an Edinburgh based band in Dead Boy Robotics. Arrival is the first track of their sophomore album New Cells, released digital 20th November via Brothers Grimm. As for the track it’s a dark 80s inspired pop tune that twists and distorts the nightmarish soundscapes into indie rock gold. It’s less haunting and more dark themed. Think Edward Scissorhands not Katie Hopkins uncrossing her legs in front of a captive audience. Keep a strong eye on this one.
Sorry about my lack of activity over the weekend but I genuinely spent the entire time drinking and recovering from said excessive binges. As you can imagine, I needed something to make me feel better about the ridiculous decisions I made and hey, what do you know, PWR BTTM provided. Apart from desperately trying not think of what a Power Bottom would be (the shit hitting the fan would have a totally different meaning) I’ve been smashing through this track all day in the studio as an alternative to listening to other Art Students get ripped apart in tutorials. The song plays almost like an oblique sideways summary of all your favourite ‘coming-of-age’ indie flicks. I can already see Michael Cera shaving around his pre-pubescent facial hair as this song plays over the intro credits. Not to do the band any disservice as the song is quirky enough to fill that particular gap in the market but is layered with enough narrative and interesting musicianship to continue to demand your attention. Dairy Queen is the latest single from the album Ugly Cherries released last month. Give it a download, it’s as fairly recognised as Corbyn’s economic policies.
I’ll so out and say it. What a golden name for a song. It describes my life position so eloquently. As much as I am a well respected emerging artist and music aficionado (shut up I am!) my entire existence can be summed up that I’m essentially a moderately advanced toddler. Courtesy Tier premiered this room filler on Idobi Radio and what a treat for them. I’ve always had a soft spot for finger fuzz guitars and blues inspired southern rock and roll. I love indie pop. Don’t get me wrong. It’s like a nice beer at the end of the day. It just makes things better. Courtesy Tier are more like that end of the night tequila when there may or may not be someone undressing you with their eyes and you may or may not need to get much much much drunker in order to approach them and fail in conversation. The EP Little Rock comes out on November 6th. I’ll be covering the record in length nearer the date (so you actually download it instead of telling yourself you’ll remember) but take my word for it that you should strap down the toilet seat because the shits about to hit the fan.
Retro nostalgia is apparently trendy. And here I thought I was ahead of the curve because I still like Fraggle Rock. Fickle Friends, with this in mind, have released new single Say No More ahead of their full length release. It’s good isn’t it? It seems so many bands are now doing the late 80s/90s inspired indie pop and its hard to separate the proverbial beer from the piss. I can earnestly say however that Fickle Friends stride ahead of plenty of their contemporaries. Sounding as good on headphones as it does piling out of a sound system as a party, Fickle Friends have the potential to soundtrack many awkward virginity moments in TV show montages. Sounds facetious, it isn’t, this just has the potential to really blow up. Combining introspective pop synth with hooks not out of touch with the best albums from a particularly solid 93 vintage, Fickle Friends are the best of the nostalgia bunch.