Prism Tats | Used To Be Cool

When I lived in Edinburgh, I was in a punk band. I think I might have mentioned that once or twice here. If not, let me be clear, I was in a punk band. To be perfectly honest, we weren’t very good. In fact, my girlfriend saw some videos of us performing and the only word that came out of her mouth was “babe…” followed by an awkward pause as she searched for the best of way of telling me kindly that we were average at best.

But, the thrill of performing in dingy art school bars has never really left me. Prism Tats taps into the low-fi garage anthemic feeling of standing on stage with a guitar in hand and a microphone in hand. A garage aesthetic is mixed with well harmonized pop structures to create the feeling of a man recounting his glory days of being front and centre of attention in the art school bar

The new EP “11:11” is out July 28th on ANTI- Records.

BATTS | Little White Lies

The guitar is a wonderful instrument. It is the tool of entertainers, showmen, storytellers, healers and sinners. It is both a sex object and a confessional confidante. Portable in nature and individual in its playing style, it’s no surprise that it has become intrinsic to the confessional musician-poet.

Melbourne based singer, BATTS new single Little White Lies is the latest track to follow in this tradition. Carried along by a slow, simple, strummed chord pattern, the vocals tell the story of how our daily interactions are filled with duplicitous, secretive and selfish untruths. As the aforementioned “Little White Lies”  escalate so does the music into a crescendo as the layers of our collective self-protection reach dangerous levels.

Having said that, the line that really hit me was the point in which the narrator tells her doctor “I don’t smoke.” The sheer amount of times I told my doctor I had stopped when I was younger, only to light up as soon as I was out of my sight was actually worrying. Guess I’m as bad as everybody else.

I’m better now though, honest.

BATTS debut EP is being prepared for the end of 2017 so look out for something potentially special.

Weird Milk | All Night

I know I promised two track three days ago but fuck, life really catches up with you. I’ve been considering for a while to take this more seriously as a platform and an endeavour. Alas, with two jobs and a seemingly endless stream of commitments, it can get a little tricky. However, that’s no excuse and in the coming weeks I’m going to be attempting to professionalise my output including my inbox which is seemingly inundated daily. Not that I’m complaining, I just keep missing good shit.

Didn’t miss this though did I? Weird Milk have crashed a mature indie pop tune into the July listening stream. It seems that in the constant upstream of self-made electronic auteurs, the classic band setup is missing dearly. Weird Milk reminds me of when I discovered Fort Lean on “I Guess I’m Floating” years and years ago. The band has a slow R&B flavour to the classic indie track, eschewing the dream pop inspired material of their ilk. With a well-placed organ peering through the jagged guitar tone lends a 70s evening feel to the track whilst not allowing it to stray into retro chic.

All Night is out now and is the band’s second release with Camden based label Ra-Ra Rok.

Lomelda | Interstate Visions

I had a whole list of artists I was going to cover this week but, alas, I got distracted. It’s easy to let things slide when this isn’t your primary profession and is squeezed in with work, play, talking to my girlfriend and eating enough to not starve.

So, to make up for it, I’ll be covering two tracks today in two separate posts. Opening the batting is Lomelda‘s new single Interstate Visions taken from the upcoming album Thx which is due to be released September 8th on Double Double Whammy.

Interstate Visions as a track reminds me of some romantic former country kid, harnessing that hope and naivety after a moment of melancholy in their post-urban adventure. Lomelda channels bands like Speedy Ortiz along in their climbing, meandering structures in which guitars ebb and flow like the road beneath your car’s tyres and singer Hannah Read’s refrain opens up the rawness of an open road.

I like it.

People Like You | Thumbnail

I was an angsty teenager, yet like all classic middle-class indie kids didn’t have a lot to actually be angsty about. I mainly spent my time driving around in my shit-soaked rollerskate car listening to Modest Mouse, Built to Spill and American Football on repeat whilst wondering why no-one wanted to be my girlfriend. The answer, ironically, is right there but 17-year-olds are a beast upon themselves.

People Like You are a band that jettison me straight back to those days of angst-filled regret. Mixing the best of American Football’s creeping vine-like guitar lines with early Modest Mouse vocal patterns alongside a jazz-infused percussion song structure, Thumbnail, the new single taken from their forthcoming album release, is an absolute masterpiece. Built for road trips, solitary listening periods and jam sessions, the Boston-based band shift seamlessly between the punk DIY scene and a jazz stage on a chariot of trumpets, guitars and mid 90s indie rock sensibilities.

I have listened to the whole album, Verve, and will be giving it a full review ahead of it’s release on July 28th as it is an absolute beauty and could easily be my album of the year alongside the like of Sundara Karma, Fleet Foxes and The National. That’s not an exaggeration, these guys are so accomplished that they could be part of the contemporary listening lexicon for years to come.

You can preorder the album here, and why wouldn’t you when you can get it on such a gorgeous Vinyl release. If I were cheekier I’d ask for a free copy but I’ll just have to save up because it is absolutely fucking gorgeous.

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The Desert | Just Get High

I was sent this in my inbox this morning with the description of  “hungover dream pop.” Not an entirely easy phrase to ignore, with my experience of being hungover somewhat prolific, I decided to take a dive into a band I’ve had absolutely no exposure to.

The Desert, a collaborative duo featuring singer-songwriter Gina Leonard and guitarist & producer Tom Fryer, are purveyors of understated, headphone based dream folk. Their latest single Just Get High is their debut release ahead of their inaugural EP Playing DeadJust Get High, is a morose, pleading track that evokes the moments of regret we all have in the too-hot sun of a hungover Sunday. As you sit over a coffee and an eternally extinguishing cigarette, The Desert soundtrack the regret, desire and innate sadness in overdrawing oneself.

TUSKS | Dissolve

Due to the nature of having a semi-casual work schedule, I can sometimes end up with accidental four day weekends. I’m sure for many, this sounds like a dream come true. Alas, I am not someone who easily transitions into a life of relaxation and leisure. Blame my highly strung nature and an inability to sleep, I end up existing in a bizarre liminal dream space.

So, TUSKS latest release Dissolve perfectly subsidises this bizarre existant state. Ahead of her debut album Dissolve, out October 13th, the title track simmers as a post-midnight track along the rails of the post night out moment of clarity. Whilst I’ve been struggling now for a considerable amount of time to stay on top of the musical curve, due to a general sense of ennui, Dissolve channels it into a post-rock inspired transcendent pop dream.

That means I like it.

Henry Jamison | The Wilds

So I get sent a lot of tosh. I mean, it’s inevitable really. Everyone wants a platform and everyone wants to be heard. With any kind of cultural product, the best may not always be the ones that are seen. Predictably, the genre that seems to be most overflowing is that of the “singer-songwriter.” All it takes is one person with a few ideas and an instrument to start a body of work and it’s been successful. Dylan, Oberst, Simon, the pantheon of music is littered with the names of songwriting singers. Unfortunately, just cause you’ve had an idea doesn’t always make it good, but sometimes an artist will sneak through the door to remind you why we still gravitate to singular voices.

Henry Jamison’s new track The Wilds, taken off the upcoming debut album of the same name, is part of the same great tradition whilst borrowing the emotional honesty of Frightened Rabbit and the vocal delivery of Iron & Wine. Simple, acoustic-based, music is often maligned but Jamieson implements intelligent string compositions and mature song structure to avoid the prospect of being another special snowflake with a problem.

The Last Dinosaur | Grow

It’s always a little unnerving when you haven’t heard of an act and then they hit with a new track and everyone loses their mind about it. You suddenly think “do I even know what’s going on?” Fortunately, such an experience is usually mitigated by the delivery of something new, exciting and well polished into your continued library.

The Last Dinosaur, obviously, fits this description. Grow, the latest single from the upcoming album The Nothing is a melodic Americana inspired ballad to oneself. I legitimately hate the term “indie-folk.” Used to describe any popular acoustic act from Elliot Smith, to Mumford & Sons via Johnny Flynn, it is a cop out. Having said that, here it is perfectly utilised. Mixing shoegaze elements with the auto-biographical narrative that genuine folk brings Grow’s musical delivery is meant for headphones, not for car stereos, and meanders itself through intelligent vocal delivery, harmonies and measured orchestral elements to create a cinematic track. Grow is a walk beneath the boughs during a warm Sunday.

Grow will be coming out tomorrow on the latest full length The Nothing. So now couldn’t be a better time to discover The Last Dinosaur in much the same way I have this afternoon.

Wyldest | Hitchhiker

Last year I lived with a man who fancied himself as a 90s supermodel. All long hair flips, wife-beater vests with leather jackets and an obsession with Brett Anderson. Despite this, he had a consummate knowledge of 80s New Romantic music. He was something of a Spandeau Ballet James Dean. This has somehow rubbed off on my own listening habits. Whenever I need to tap into that period of my life, I hit up an 80s playlist on Spotify and remember the man with a killer fringe dancing alone with a towel wrapped around his head holding a telescope in one hand and talking to a stuffed badger called Lucy.

So, it is a shame that I don’t get to share this new track with him. As the 80s revival continues towards 2020, Wyldest drop one of the best tracks within this current trend. Hitchhiker, their latest single, taps into the darkness that pervaded a lot of pop music in the 1980s. A lot of the time, we cast our eyes back through the glittered nostalgia lens to think that music all hit a hedonistic line of enjoyment, but Wyldest rearrange the sound of synths, alongside misanthropic guitar lines, to create a moody narrative that surrounds the tracks eponymous hitchhiker.

The track will be dropped on their new EP, coming out September 29th via Hand in Hive.