The Stone Foxes “I Want To Be You” (from the album “Twelve Spells”)
San Francisco’s The Stone Foxes wear their classic rock influences unashamedly on their sleeves.
The album “Twelve Spells” is available now and also features “Locomotion”
Sunflower Bean “Come On” (from the album “Human Ceremony”)
Sunflower Bean have released an astonishing, accomplished, varied and confident debut album.
Perhaps it’s crucial that they hail from Brooklyn, a veritable bear-pit of burgeoning indie talent, has been since forever, really.
According to an interview with NME, the band was born out of a feeling of frustration with “shoegaze, post-rock, and weirdo noise bands who took everything so seriously” and wanting to shake it up by exploring “clichés that are so underdone they’d stopped being clichés.”
In terms of influences, the album goes from late 60s Velvets to modern dreampop via classic metal with nary a breath drawn.
Partying like its 1991, Shoegaze sound to these ears like My Bloody Valentine or Teenage Fanclub but possibly with better tunes than either – see also the previous single “This Is Heaven”
Future “Fly Shit Only” (from the forthcoming album “Evol”)
Brand-new tune from Future’s forthcoming album – no letting up from the man as it’s barely a month since his latest and best mixtape “Purple Reign”
Fumaca Preta “Apelo”
The B-side to the single “La Trampa” which featured on last week’s show
This clip of the band performing “Vou Me Libertar” last year shows what a great live proposition they are, too. Some fine dischordant Hammond organ sounds on this track.
Saintseneca “Sleeper Hold” (from the album “Such Things”)
The press release of Saintseneca’s third album “Such Things” says:
Saintseneca’s powerful new album Such Things is the band’s most cohesive, catchy and accessible output, and a work that solidifies the group’s singer and songwriter Zac Little’s status as one of modern indie music’s most thoughtful and talented artists.
The first single, “Sleeper Hold” is a pulsating and infectious rock song that utilizes elements of punk, folk and straight up rock and roll, all centered around a soaring and beautifully anthemic chorus.
Such Things is the anticipated follow up to Saintseneca’s acclaimed album Dark Arc, which Stereogum celebrated writing, “Dark Arc shines in all the ways Saintseneca always has — gorgeous harmonies, rampant strumming, glimpses of both humanity’s fragility and power — but it also finds the band branching out into fuller arrangements and wilder instrumentation. (Wilder, even, than the plastic trash can they used to beat on.) It’s what an underground folk band stepping into the spotlight should sound like.”
Moving away from the cinematic, linear quality of Dark Arc, Little sought even higher ground for the new songs, and to incorporate the synapses and charges of his fellow members. “I was pushing myself with Such Things to try to explore the pop motif further, to try to use and bend that formula of having a groove, a beat, locking in and using that as scaffolding to build a song,” he says. “And even though it oftentimes might seem like this singular vision, at the core my creative strategy for the band is one that inherently involves other people. I think the best work I’ll make involves working that way.”
Those disparate pieces and parts have come together, like so many molecules, to form a solid rock object called Such Things. You can hold it in your hands and hear it in your head, this culmination of tiny, beautiful moments and fluctuations of energy and information, compressed and etched into an LP sleeve and eternity and all tied up in a rock and roll record.”
“It’s definitely a new way of songs manifesting, and it feels like a step forward,” Little says. “I’m gonna push myself and try this thing I’ve wanted to try. I think it’s the best thing we’ve done so far, but then again I won’t write a song that I don’t think isn’t the best thing I’ve done. When I finish it I have to feel like it’s the best thing I’ve made. And if I don’t feel that way, it’s like, why bother?”
Another standout track is “Bad Ideas”.
Nonkeen “Chasing God Through Palmyra”
Beat City has remained strangely unmoved by Nils Frahm’s piano-based mock-classical noodlings that have enchanted many over the past couple of years. I wonder if his music is perhaps classical music for folks who don’t know where to begin with classical music (here’s a hint – Beethoven)
The Nonkeen project is a different animal entirely though.
A collaboration between Frahm and childhood friends Frederec Gmeiner and Sebastian Singwald, whose friendship stretches back to the ‘80s, when the three came together from different sides of the Berlin wall in a youth sports league.
Once the wall came down, they formed a band as teenagers that ended at a fairground performance where a carousel malfunctioned and crashed into the stage.
Ten years later the three reconnected to play music in their spare time, slowly accumulating recordings over eight years, the result of which is “The Gamble” – with a title like that, knowing the strong possibility of Frahm-boys buying the record on Nils’ name alone and perhaps hating it, who says the Germans don’t have a sense of humour?
Standout track is probably “This Beautiful Mess”:
Laura J Martin “Do It” (from the forthcoming album “On The Never Never”)
Heading towards a more danceable beat than much of her previous work (see debut 2008 single Doki Doki below, for example), I’m intrigued as to what this implies for the new album. Laura’s playing a few gigs in late February supporting the excellent Joy Formidable, which mostly seem to be sold out which is a shame. Perhaps they’ll reschedule them to bigger venues, who knows?
Trembling Bells “Swallows Of Carbeth” (from the forthcoming album “Wide Majestic Aire”)
Trembling Bells’ album “The Sovereign Self” featured very high in many people’s Best Of 2015 lists, and rightly so.
Even in an age where mixing and matching is de rigeur for folk bands – some African drumming here, a spoonful of shoegaze there – there’s no other band quite like Trembling Bells for getting the mix exactly right, every time.
From the evidence of the first couple of tracks, the new mini-album “Wide Majestic Aire” seems fairly traditional by their standardsm focussing on the songs alone, which are, as it happens, stunning. Check out the title track.
The Coral “Miss Fortune” (from the forthcoming album “Distance In-Between”)
Welcome return for Sixties throwbacks The Coral (and I mean that as a high compliment), with a touch more psychedelia this time round if this track is anything to go by.
Just a reminder of one of their many fine tunes of yesteryear – a bit of a forgotten band in terms of radio play. Hopefully that will change with the release of the new record.
Trapo “Bad Gal” (from the forthcoming EP “She”)
Trapo is a 17-year-old rapper from Madison, Wisconsin and man, he’s a talent.
Check out The Black Beverly Hills EP
Don Kipper “Di Gholdene Kasene”
Don Kipper are an ensemble playing and transforming a wide range of traditional musical forms, fromTurkish Fasıl and Greek Rebetiko to Gypsy Jazz and Klezmer.
“Di Gholdene Kasene” is from their second album “Krisalis” which you can buy here
They’re also on BBC Radio 3’s excellent “World On 3” show this Friday (12th Feb) and then on the iPlayer.
Oh Hellos “Dear Wormwood” (From the album “Dear Wormwood”)
Siblings Tyler and Maggie Heath make up The Oh Hellos – a classic example of an indie band who have made it big by the “word of mouth plus” that the Internet and in this case Bandcamp – gives us.
There’s a joyous folky influence throughout the album – check out this track.
Next week will include tracks from Mass Gothic and Laura Cortese, plus tracks carried over from this week by Savages and Tuff Love.