Little Green Cars have crafted a great little video for their single ‘The John Wayne’ which proves that sometimes a simple idea can prove to be the best. The track was released in July and picked up support from Tom Robinson and Lauren Laverne. It’s a classic tale of unrequited love in which our protagonist fails to win the heart of an American girl after getting kicked out of the club where she’ll be for one night only. Nooo! The best thing to do? Go home and write a cracking little pop song about it.
And so he did. Stevie Appleby fronts the five-piece who have been together for five years since they were just 15 and the fruits of their labour are certainly showing. The band have recently played gigs in America including a set in New York for the CMJ Music Marathon. Markus Dravs, who’s worked with names like Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons and Coldplay, was called in to produce their debut album which is due for release early in 2013.
With only two tracks out, FEWS lie shrouded in the haze that blankets such emerging bands. Little more is known other than they’re a duo from Sweden who, so far, have brought a new instalment of ambient, guitar-pop. Imagine The Drums on valium, moody vocals echo and linger, full of reverb that resonates soothingly over catchy, summery guitar riffs and bass lines.
Already drawing comparisons with DIIV and Wild Nothing, it appears the unsigned FEWS would fit in nicely with the prolific, dream-pop label Captured Tracks. As it stands however, their Soundcloud is the window into their world. Their most recent track ‘If Things Go On Like This’ is available as a free download here.
New Releases This Week // Monday 22nd
So this week we see the long-awaited release of Egyptian Hip Hop's 'Good Don't Sleep'. Exciting débuts from Gabriel Bruce with ‘Love In Arms’ and Halls with ‘Ark’. The big chart-busters come from the likes of Dappy, Drake and Taylor Swift.
Albums Out Today:
Akon - Koncrete Jungle
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Lost Songs
Andy Burrows - Company
Benjamin Gibbard- Former Lives
Brasstronaut - Mean Sun
Dappy - Bad Intentions
Deaf Havana - Fools and Worthless Liars
Drake - Yolo
Egyptian Hip Hop - Good Don’t Sleep
Fossil Collective - On And On EP
Gabriel Bruce - Love In Arms
Halls - Ark
Heaven 17 - The Luxury Gap
Jeff The Brotherhood - Hypnotic Nights
Lawson - Chapman Square
Manowar - Lord Of Steel
Paul Banks - Banks
Richard Marx- Christmas Spirit
Shiny Toy Guns - III
Swedish House Mafia- Until Now
Taylor Swift - Redh
The Miracles - Miracles
So we can’t ignore the elephant in the room, that’s right folks, this week Steps release ‘Light Up The World’. Exciting new singles come from the likes of the raucous Palma Violets, Mercury-nominated Jessie Ware, TGE artist Bastille and the ever-brilliant The Joy formidable.
Singles Out Today:
Axewound - Exorchrist
Amy McDonald - 4th Of July
Bastille - Flaws
Gabriel Bruce - Perfect Weather
Gaz Coombes -White Noise
Jessie Ware - Night Light
JLS- Hottest Girl In The World
Julia Stone- Justine
Madness - My Girl 2
Naughty Boy Feat Emeli Sande - Wonder
Nero - You Won’t (Be There)
Palma Violets - Best of Friends/Last Of The Summer Wine
Peace - Bloodshake
Pure Love - Riot Song
Soul Survivor -Kingdom Come
Spector - Friday Night (Don’t Let It End)
Steps -Light Up The World
The Joy Formidable -Cholla
Tyga Feat Chris Brown -For the Fame
Villagers -The Waves
While She Sleeps -Our Courage, Our Cancer
You Me At Six -Reckless
Tom Williams and the Boat have been a busy bunch this year. They’ve played at Bestival, Secret Garden Party and Green Man Festival, as well as gigs with Smoke Fairies, Dexys and Dexys Midnight Runners and M Ward.
The Kent-based six-piece follow in the nu-folk footsteps of artists like Stornoway, Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons but the band hold closer likenesses to classic songwriters like Nick Cave and Tom Waits. There’s an underlying darkness to the narrative of their music but the tight guitars and delicate violin create a surging energy that bounces the tracks along. Tom’s growling lyrics of anger-flecked and beautifully intricate storytelling have become the band’s trademark and serve to distinguish the band from their contemporaries. Their bleak, nightmare-family documenting single ‘Little Bit in Me’ was released in September on their own Pledgemusic-funded label, Wire Boat Recordings.
The band are working on new material since the release of their second album ‘Teenage Blood’ on Moshi Moshi records earlier this year. You can catch Tom Williams and the Boat at The Electric Ballroom in Camden supporting Ben Kweller on the 8th November. We promise that this lot will, err, float your boat? (Sorry.)
Brighton-based boys, The New Union may have only been together for eighteen months but they sure know how to make a brilliant pop song together. The band were on the bill for this year’s TGE festival and have already supported the likes of Clock Opera and Slow Club.
The four-piece released their single ‘Without You’ last week which is a glistening example of excellent indie pop. Its tight production comes courtesy of Ian Dowling who’s been responsible for acts including Temper Trap, Bombay Bicycle Club and Kasabian. Featuring insanely catchy riffs, soaring guitars, energetic drums and documenting a tale of lost love ‘Without You’ is a bold, toe-tapping triumph.
The New Union have upcoming gigs at London venues: The Nest, Underbelly and The Lexington as well as a hometown gig at Brighton’s Green Door Store. With similarities to acts like The Crookes, Splashh, Two Wounded Birds and The Maccabees this band are definitely one to watch, we’re expecting big things!
Today’s Band of the Day is London-based Afrikan Boy. The Nigerian born rapper, whose real name is Olushola Ajose, broke to fame in 2007 when his track ‘One Day I Went to Lidl’ went viral, racking up a whopping 7 million hits on YouTube.
The twenty three year old has already gathered some pretty hefty credits to his name including being featured on MIA’s track Hussle and on a remix of her smash hit Paper Planes as well as appearing on DJ Shadow’s ‘I’m Excited’. Impressive tour support slots for the youngster have included the likes of MIA, Prince and Bjork.
Afrikan Boy has a stint of London dates coming up including XOYO and Dingwalls and a gig at Momo supporting the fantastic Seye. He has also just been revealed as one of the artists playing at TGE’s Club Night on 26th October in Brighton at the brilliant Green Door Store. Make sure you get yourself down to the sunny south coast to witness Afrikan Boy’s live set for yourself!
Multifaceted musician Kyle Thomas pops up in many places. He was frontman of metal band Witch after being recruited from his previous alt-folk band, Feathers. He also currently plays in rock band Happy Birthday and, oh yeah, goes under his most recent new moniker King Tuff. (Though we reckon his mum probably still calls him Kyle?)
King Tuff released his self-titled LP in May this year on Sub Pop Records and the single ‘Screaming Skull’ was released last week. Their fuzzy guitars, frantic drums and whiney vocals combo makes for some stomping garage rock that is guaranteed to get your blood pumping.
They’ve just been on a big European tour including dates in London’s Shacklewell Arms and at The Lexington and a busy October and November will take them back home to their native America, where they’ll probably need a good night’s sleep. Though we don’t think they’re very likely to do that.
Jagwar Ma is the solo porject of Aussie boy Jono Ma, who was previously part of Sydney-based indie band Lost Valentinos. Mr Ma has many a credit to his name including having worked (and being considered a good pal of) the wonderful Foals and having directed many of their videos. To top it off, this well connected boy is the brother of Dave Ma from Delphic.
The single ‘Come Save Me’ was released at the beginning of this year to a wealth of blog hype and many tipping them as one to watch for 2012, in their native Australia Jagwar Ma reached #1 Most Played on new music station Triple J.
Their sound is one of 60s sounding psychedelia with distorting synths, looping beats and sunny vocals. With this band it’s possible to liken them to anything ranging right from the Beach Boys, to The Beatles, to Jake Bugg and Cults. It’s all there! They currently have two tracks up on their Soundcloud: ‘Come Save Me’ and its B Side ‘What Love?’ (As well as remixed tracks). Go see what you reckon… ‘cos we reckon you’ll have it stuck on repeat before you know it.
New Releases This Week // Monday 15th
This week (15 Oct) brings with it some exciting new autumnal offerings! The ever-brilliant Bat For Lashes releases her third album The Haunted Man. We also see debut records from young newcomer Jake Bugg and from Canada’s Metz.
Albums Out Today:
AC Newman - Shut Down The Streets
Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man
Bellowhead - Broadside
Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg
Charlotte Church - One
Chris Cohen - Overgrown Path
Courtney Pine - House Of Legends
Diana Krall - Glad Rag Doll
Effluence - Vinegar Stroke
Matthew Friedberger - Matricidal Sons Of Bitchesh
Jessie Boykins III x Melo-x - Zulu Guru
Last Dinosaurs - In A Million Years
Leona Lewis - Glassheart
Lucas Santtana - The God Who Devastates Also Cures
Metz - Metz
Picture Book - Songs About Aimee
Rachel Semanni - Under Mountains
Regal Degal- Veritable Who’s Who
Richard Walters- Regret Less
Ryan Bingham - Tomorrowland
Susanne Sundfor - The Silicone Veil
Tall Ships - Everything Touching
TG Elias- TG Elias
The Jim Jones Revue - The Savage Heart
The Luyas - Animator
Tortoise - Beacons Of Ancestorship
Trust - TRST
The brilliant Alunageorge release Your Drums, Your Love this week alongside fantastic singles from Deap Vally and Jake Bugg. Placebo put out their new five track EP which is their first new material in more than two years. Wrap your ears around that!
Singles Out Today:
Alex Gopher FT Saint Miche - Hello Inc.
Alunageorge - Your Drums, Your Love
Anna Meredith - Black Prince Fury
Calvin Harris FT Florence Welch - Sweet Nothing
Deap Vally -End Of The World
Devlin FT Wretch 32 - Off With Their Heads
Havana Brown FT Pitbull - We Run The Night
Jake Bugg - Two Fingers
Karima Francis - Stay
Lawson - Standing In The Dark
Marina And The Diamonds - How To Be A Heartbreaker
Michel Telo - Ai Se Eu Te Pego
Nina Nesbitt - Boy
Pet Shop Boys - Leaving
Placebo -B3 EP/i>
Rebecca Furgison - Backtrack
No Ceremony/// are Manchester’s mystery music-makers. The band have been very cagey about releasing their identity and even through their website, although it’s very snazzy, gives limited info about the people behind the noise.
What we do know though, is that they know how to make a tune or two. Previous singles ‘Hurtlove’ and ‘Heartbreaker’ have received a massive response from the industry, including airplay all over Amazing Radio and a Maida Vale session for Radio 1.
The band’s elusiveness is not necessarily a bad thing, though it would be nice to praise the work of the creator, it allows the music to speak for itself, which is does so perfectly. Think, drifting beats, distorted vocals and piano loops all coming together as some kind of electro-based euphoria. No Ceremony/// are said to release an album next year, by which time we may have found out a little more about them secretive, creative souls.
Tampa, Florida, has in recent years been one of the most productive and successful parts of the planet for bringing underground punk and metal out. With a bustling DIY music scene, warehouses and storage units hidden away from the rest of Tampa are hijacked by hardcore bands and sweat-drenched followers. Cue Merchandise.
Bringing together a mixture of influences, from their involvement with different punk bands in Tampa to their love and respect for jazz and its influence on all modern music, three-piece Merchandise bring forward an unconventional and imaginative sound. A homage to the evolution of music, combining elements of these genres that have so heavily inspired their lives so far. You may hear them described as shoe-gaze, but this is just lazy pigeonholing. It’s important to say that although they come from such a heavy punk background, their music steers away from what one may expect from such a band. Some tracks from their second and most recent LP, ‘Children of Desire’ waver 10 minutes in length and although there are punk-undertones and pop-structures to their music, their rich diversity of sounds allow them to stand out alone.
There’s ambient distortion, organs mix with emotive and honest vocals from singer Carson Cox, most poignant in the track ‘Time’, where Cox tells us in his own words, the brutal effects of time and how it can shape and destroy a relationship.
Those of you lucky enough to be in America later this month, get down to New York to catch Merchandise for free, along with DIIV and Daughn Gibson. They also play with Wild Nothing and Mac DeMarco a few days later. Those not lucky enough, they promise to head to Europe very soon. Keep your eyes peeled ladies and gentleman; these guys are worth such a sadistic act.
The label Captured Tracks is renowned for its minimal and stripped down sound, with bands such as Widowspeak, Wild Nothing and Beach Fossils all offering dreamy, simplistic yet beautifully-crafted music. Then along came Mac DeMarco, only 21 when his first EP ‘Rock and Roll Night Club’ was released through Captured Tracks earlier this year, and we were given a bizarre, comedic and hallucinatory offering of jangled, trippy-pop to feast our ears upon.
There’s lots going on in his music, yet it still sounds stark and moody. Imagine if David Lynch and Patrick Wolf adopted a child and passed him a guitar. Weirder things have happened; take DeMarco’s music for example.
Stand-out song ‘Baby’s Wearin’ Blue Jeans’, twisted and deformed guitar riffs and warped solos lace in and out of each other whilst DeMarco’s sleazy voice lingers over the melody as he sings about his fetish and adoration for denim- ‘Stay with me forever/Don’t take off those jeans’ he sings. One can’t help find his weird and un-shamefully honest lyrics that follow in his debut LP ‘2’, out later this month, surprisingly endearing and engaging, like he’s not afraid to sing about things that other people would keep hushed away in their own minds. After a load of gigs in America and Canada, Mac DeMarco heads to the UK to play Birthdays in Dalston on the 19th Novemeber and The Green Door Store in Brighton on the 22nd before he takes off around Europe and heads back to Canada. With his debut album hitting the shops in a matter of weeks, now’s the time to go catch him.
We don’t know an awful lot about Temples but what we do know, we really, really like. The elusive band have four tracks up on Soundcloud which between them hold hints of Tame Impala, a bit of Melody’s Echo Chamber and a nod to The Beatles thrown in. Interesting mix huh?
Temples are a London-based duo who describe their sound as ‘neo-psych’. They’ve recently been gigging around venues like the Camden Barfly and The Sebright Arms (a sold-out support slot with Swim Deep, no less) and picking up rave reviews as they go. Temples are set to play The Lexington on Friday 14th October. We can’t wait for an EP from these guys.
Former truck driver, Daughn Gibson, combines a curious mix of electro, country and blues and sinks his deep, baritone voice over all of it, which has got him noticed. He’s like a James Blake for country music, mixed with a pinch of Johnny Cash and a splash of Nick Cave.
The 32 year old released his debut ‘All Hell’ earlier this year on indie label, White Denim (which is available on Spotify) and has supported Yeasayer and Pains of Being Pure at Heart on tour this summer.
The Pennsylvanian-born singer has recently signed to Sub Pop and has plans to release an LP early in 2013. His latest track ‘Reach into the Fire’ samples his new labelmates Shabazz Palaces and Tiny Vipers. Daughn Gibson is currently touring around America, until he comes over here, check out his gorgeous track 'Tiffany Lou' below.
Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty are Chvrches, pronounced ‘Churches’, though very far from the tranquil-choir-boy-wooden pew image one could be forgiven for imagining upon hearing their name pass-by.
Chvrches are in fact Scotland’s recent offering of electro-pop goodness. Think violent, hammer-like beats akin to some of Dizzee’s finest, thrown down over massive, spiky synths that scratch and resonate like some colossal electro-bulldozer tearing through your street. And Laura Mayberry is in the front seat, her shrill, high voice beautifully audible over the apocalyptic, electro sound underneath.
After featuring on Neon Gold’s blog back in July, there are early hints that Chvrches single ‘Lies’ could be released through Neon Gold Records, thus joining the likes of Marina, Ellie Goulding and Passion Pit.
Their debut single ‘The Mother We Share’ features remixed electro-vocals reminiscent of Purity Ring, with a big, catchy, melodic chorus that will have you humming it all the way home. And with its release through National Anthem only days ago, now’s the time to get your hands on it.