Thank you once again to everybody who has contributed to the listening post this week, to the artists for their music and you, the listeners, for your ears and thoughts.
ELIA & THE LOW TEARS – Violins
Super tight production and melodies from this London outfit that describe themselves as a mixture of Prince, Joni Mitchell and now (as in current). This is the current single released earlier this month to a flurry of blog reviews and even a comment of ‘disgustingly gifted’ by the Grauniad. They also suggest that their music might well make you want to rub up against a tree inappropriately. Off to find a tree then…
BORDEAUXXX – The Beach Girls And The Monster
Sorry Bordeaxxx haven’t enabled embedding but you can listen to the song here
This single follows last year’s Every Holiday is a Disaster and precedes their forthcoming album in September on Keep Pop Loud. Upbeat pop with guitars that collide somewhere between Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint and Dirty Projectors to a backdrop of harmonies, tambourines and glockenspiel. A song for the summer.
TLEFOU – Boathawl
One of the reasons I love to write for this site is that we can feature fringe tracks that ordinarily wouldn’t get a look in. This piece is inspired by F O G B O U N D ~ Picture number 4 which I believe is the cover shot. Further exploration in Tlefou reveals more experimentation into studio sound. It makes me think of Brian Eno’s philosophy of the non-musician, using the studio as compositional tool and a means to modify the sounds of instruments. I would be interested to hear Tlefou working with a live string ensemble and manipulating the sounds in relation to the performance space.
FRANCESCA BERGAMI – The Other Side
The Other Side is the debut single from North London songwriter Francesca Bergami. This is a big track for a first release. Enormous production reminiscent of the likes of Lamb and Bat For Lashes that wraps the vocal in swirling synths and half speed grooves. And the impressive bit, she manages to bring it all in in under 3 minutes. This the first track from an EP due for release this summer.
PORCHLIGHT SMOKER – Old Bray Road
And so from a brand new artist to a band that have been round a little longer. Since 2006 to be precise and this is the first offering from their second long player. This is a timeless record, fusing elements of folk, bluegrass and country into an easy on the ear rural stroll. Not every day you hear so many instruments played – guitar, banjo, mandolin, double bass, sparse percussion and even a jew’s harp. Lots of strings. I like that.
THE SILVER FACTORY BAND – The World May Bring Us Down
I’ve never been a fan of the Stone Roses, mostly because of their unrelenting and unsubstantiated arrogance. However I do like the guitars and this track by Warhol inspired popsters captures that sound reminding me very much of the C-86 bands of the 80s. You can pick this track up on iTunes or if you like something a bit more special on a limited edition, sunshine yellow, coloured vinyl. So if you like the Byrds, were an avid reader of the NME in the 80s and live in Leicester go check them out.
WE COULD BE ASTRONAUTS – Look Frank! It’s A Toaster
This is my favourite of this week’s people’s choice, not least for the title. I love the fact that the band are not afraid to experiment with arrangement and depart from some of the accepted rock norms. However the recording is only part of the picture and I believe it is live that We Could Be Astronauts really come to life. They recently made the trip up north to T in the Park to play a refreshingly RAWK set on the BBC stage although thankfully no flying toasters in the face. It’s Bill Murray in Scrooge, do I get a drink?
ANNETTE BERLIN – Bubblegum
What a refreshing change it is to hear a woman making a big, f**k off racket with a guitar not whimpering about some failed relationship whilst tickling the strings of an acoustic with their thumb. So Ms Berlin (guitars and vocals) and Keith (drums), thank you. Think part Souixie, part PJ with a good dollop of humour. Another one to watch out for live and with support slots for The Kills and The Gossip already under her belt clearly not to be missed.
THE TUESDAY CLUB – Dolly Dynamite
I think the names of the various band members says it all. Born between 1957 and 1984 they are: Glabrous Fabulous – Thud Bass, Wasabi Penis – Heavy Lead, Dog Pasanda – Twang Bass, Andreas Vanderbraindrain – Vocals, Tittybar Telski, The Minx, J-Rod, Jerry Berry. This is better than Art Brut and hats off for such entertainment. Musically the primary focus is to entertain so picture the cast of Grange Hill performing the Rocky Horror Picture Show. If you don’t like skinny jeans and the Shoreditch kids who take themselves way too seriously, this is the band for you.
FEEL MY METHOD – Now Looks Like Then
Chazegee aka Feel My Method is basically a complete genius who can’t hold it together for long enough to make anything of his music. And that’s probably how a proper, old fashioned rock star should be. Last time I saw him live, he was attired in a see through plastic shirt, some chaps and if memory serves me right a jock strap. His music, recorded in a house with no amenities in Slovakia, is a mixture of old school soul and blues vocals slapped on top of hip hop beats and often accompanied by outrageous videos. The vid for this (by Wallace Wainhouse) is actually quite artistic but some earlier numbers including Dirty Disco are just plain bonkers (and not for Granny). Oh and who the hell does field performances accompanied by an AK47?
And a special mention because I’m reviewing this week and well I like it.
BEAR VS MANERO – The Tale Of The Chameleon And The Malcontent Cockroach
Sounds like a cross between Bauhaus and Orphans & Vandals whizzed up in a blender belonging to the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and if it gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, chalk it off to forced conscious expansion.
FROM TOM: If you’ve submitted a track that hasn’t made the Fresh Faves you’re welcome to re-submit it again. But if you have been a Fresh Fave in recent weeks could you possibly hold back for at least six weeks before sending us another one. If you keep sending us great tracks they’re likely to get onto the Listening Post, but that means less room for new names who haven’t had a chance yet…