I’ve always had an affinity for music of an anthemic quality. Whilst often derided as a tool of sellout chorus grabbers, the anthem rouses the man when buried underneath malaise and offers up something tangible to grab onto whilst a sickeningly slow descent is in place. Or it offers the next platform in a conga line progression of musical narrative to optimism. Regardless, it’s a necessary pillar on the musical landscape.
The Scottish, much maligned for their supposed affectation for melancholy, deliver on this need consistently. Edinburgh natives Mt Doubt (close to my heart considering it was my home city for 3 years) have offered up a free track from their new EP “The Loneliness of The TV Watchers” to scratch that itch entitled “Natural Swimmer.” Combining rich baritone vocals with harmonies that evoke other great Scottish bands such as “The Twilight Sad” and “My Latest Novel,” Mt Doubt bring us into a paradoxical track that offers both sides of the emotional coin. Melancholy blends with optimism, cynicism with hope and passion with lethargy.
Mt. Doubt’s new EP The Loneliness Of The TV Watchers is out now via Scottish Fiction Records and is available to buy and stream on iTunes and Spotify.
This is somewhat a continuity post with my previous entry here. As much as “The Pains of Being Pure at Heart” have matured and grown as an act, there is still that room for bombastic indie pop that speaks of reckless youth, cut off jeans and unwashed long hair during a turbulent yet brilliant summer. Or maybe I’m just yearning for the days of my youth like a divorced dad with the keys to his single room above a pub.
Enter TRASH. Whilst the name may convey American waste products, the band instead in their latest single “Migraines” master the craft of indie-pop songwriting with the classic combination of simple song structure wrapped up in lazy guitars and an echo chamber of classic summer tunes from the last 15 years.
Comparisons to the likes of “The Pains of Being Pure At Heart” and “The Magic Gang” will be inevitable for any act that brings a millennial vibe to a 90s beach party, yet TRASH seems to transcend the comparisons. “Migraines” is what I refer to as an aspirational tune. I can’t be the only one who imagines a record to soundtrack their walk through the city. Try this the next time it pours with rain on the way back from the tube and just see if the water doesn’t melt before it touches you.
Migraines hit on 13th June (so today dumbos) via Clue Records (Allusondrugs, NARCS, Forever Cult). It is taken from their self-titled EP which will be available on 10” vinyl and all digital platforms.
Ugh. How often is it that you’re looking for a new earworm to guide you through the day and one lands in your lap? Probably more often for me because I run this little operation but man this has got to be one of the finest examples in recent times.
Bryde‘s new track “Wouldnt That Make You Feel Good?” has the somewhat strolling nature of Speedy Ortiz mixed with the quiet fury that Sharon Van Etten manages to capture effortlessly. Instead of scoring a stroll through the park, this track seems to soundtrack a drunken walk home alone when you’ve polished off all the beer available to numb yourself only to fail spectacularly. Bryde manages to capture that darkness we all internalise and live with consistently, most applicable in the crescendo towards the end when all the barely managed fury explodes into a cacophony of emotive attacks. This has got to be one of the best tracks of the year so far.
Guess who got lazy? Was it me? Yeah, it was. Sorry, not sorry. I’ve been finding my inbox harder and harder to drill through of late. Now fully on the job train, it’s certainly getting harder to maintain this little side-project of mine. I mean this really is something I pursue for fun, certainly not for any kind of career projection. I’m just not that good. So, anyway, listening to my Hype Machine whilst I juggle my own artwork and applying to jobs with the caveat of “PLEASE HIRE ME, I’LL DO ANYTHING” this came on from The Slow Revolt.
That guitar line boys and girls, just that guitar line. Smooth. The guitar line helps deliver you into a misty vocal line that envelopes the whole track into a listening routine that reminds you that not all great guitar music is based around bombastic big choruses and hordes of hairy men dancing like they’ve just discovered their very first cave-woman. Taken off the upcoming EP Sketches out on September 9th, it’s currently available for free download from the Slow Revolt Bandcamp. I’m not going to link it to you when you have a perfectly functional google search capacity on your browser. Unless you use Bing. You silly sausage.
So browsing through the Hype Machine today caught me onto this indie gem from Swedish outfit Hater. “Radius” is the eponymous single from the debut EP out on July 8th and goodness me, isn’t it nice? Whilst I trudge through the Edinburgh summer misery rains I can at least transport myself to a jangly guitar riff and pretend that the next few months will include day drinking in the park as opposed to hopelessly counting the pennies until I can afford to buy a single Tesco’s own lager.
Just browsing through to find some new music listening as nothing in my inbox is tickling my fancy and my old sources are probably a bit outdated lead me back to Stereogum, a site I’ve not really used in a while. It did however throw up the new video for Milk by WALL, a track off their debut EP released back in January that I completely missed as I was too busy spending money on beer.
Post-punk thumping with an almost spoken word lyrical over-tone plays into this almost catatonic like narrative. If you missed these guys check them out if you need to indulge your post-punk tickle.
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.