Having embraced a lot of noise last week, this week’s listening pleasure kicked off with the debut album by the People Taking Pictures (see review here), a jazzy/hip hop/psychedelic laid affair which has had quite a few listens on account of it being really rather good.
The lovely people at Vicious Circle Records sent me a preview copy of Slift’s new album which we’ll review and publish in February and also some music by other artists on the label, including Lysistrata who meld the sounds of The Cure in their early days with Nirvana at their noisiest. Lysistrata’s second album ‘Breathe in/Breathe out’ which came out in October, has been another great find, a real ball of noise and youthful angst and energy.
Having looked at some of the other acts on Slift’s UK label Stolen Body Records, I noticed that US band Shadow Show released a new single ‘Charades’ this week and gave it a listen – it’s very good, sixties sounding and taken from their forthcoming album. Another band with an album out soon is Pet Crow who have been getting played a lot – their first album is pretty good and the single taken from the new album ‘What we Doin?’ is a cracker so hopefully the album will maintain the same high standard.
Finally, Happy Couple, who supported the Murder Capital on their tour last year, have also released a new single ‘Feel Better’ which has had a few plays. I remembered it as the highlight of their live set when I saw them at the Shacklewell Arms supporting Treeboy and Arc (although they only played for 20 minutes!) and its very much in Sonic Youth territory if you like that sort of thing.
Here’s this week’s playlist with links to videos:
Shadow Show - Charades
People Taking Pictures - Adventure Shit
Pet Crow - What we doin?
Lysistrata - Different Creatures
Happy Couple - Feel Better
The Fiver playlist will be updated each day next week.
I’m surprised more hasn’t been written about Information Noise, the debut album by People Taking Pictures, which came out just over a week ago. In fact, all I could find was this article on the Aussie site the Partae and an album review in German.
Granted, the front cover looks like it’s of an obscure 1970’s jazz album, but it turns out that the creative force behind the music is the guitarist from the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets Luke Parish. Its quite a departure though from the PPC, all laid back beats, jazz, hip hop and psychedelia and it’s really, really good.
The album is a little over 30 minutes long, taking in a diverse range of musical styles. Opening tracks ‘Two Heads’ and ‘Lucid’, are like Tame Impala doing Jazz. There’s hip hop on Propagate (one of two tracks featuring rapper POW! Negro) and A Park Without Railings both of which recall Avalanches with their use of strings, psychedelia on ‘Isolation Song’ and Deaf Sponge, lo fi on Solitude and the Universal Panache, and laid-back jazz on Adventure Shit and Perspective.
Oddly for us punters enduring winter in the UK, the album has a really summery feel to it, but I’m sure it makes absolute sense in its country of origin at this time of year. It is a lovely chilled out ride though and as far as we’re concerned, the first album of note in 2020.
Its been a noisy week over here at newmusicsocial. There were two new releases this week that stood out, the new single by Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs ‘Reducer’ on Rocket Recordings taken from their third album ‘Viscerals’ and ‘Hyperion’ the latest single from Slift, out on Stolen Bodies Records taken from their second album 'Ummon', due out at the end of February. Reducer is an all-out aural assault and Hyperion, a fulsome bit of wah drenched space rock. Great stuff.
The immersive sound of another Rocket Recordings band Bonnacons of Doom also came under the radar this week with Esus from the EP of the same name. The rest of the EP is made up of three remixes, with the JD Twitch Optimo remix of Solus well worth checking out too.
Having been to see the excellent Yammerer last week playing at the Aces and Eight in Tufnell Park, it seemed only reasonable to check out a couple of the other acts on their label Restless Bear, who have an excellent playlist on Spotify by the way. The two bruising tracks that caught attention were ‘Steady as she goes and dies’ by Gravves and Danephesians 4.31 by Deh Yey which came out in October last year.
So there’s no surprises around the corner, I think its only fair that I warn you, about my disorder’.
So begins Disorder, the new single from Shropshire based band Social Confusion. Disorder is the first single from the band as a three piece and its lyrical story focusses on the struggles of mental health and keeping those problems hidden. It’s a good tune too, a reflective, melancholic indie rocker reminiscent of Slide Away by Oasis and Urban Hymns era the Verve.
The band formed in 2012 but only released their first single Come Outside last year. Their debut was swiftly followed up by a self-titled EP, and then the change in line up saw a new sound developing. The band teamed up with producer Sam Bloor and recorded Disorder, and their next single That’s Life.
After the recording session the band spoke about the possibility of filming a video, and possibly making a film for which their music would become the soundtrack for, with the Disorder video the first idea to come from these conversations. The video, which you can see here, was directed by the band and features a nameless character watching them perform Disorder on television in a empty room, alone and cut off from the world. The wearing of a gas mask (kind of an unofficial logo for the band) represents the individuals need to hide his true self, his depression and his demons.
If you play Disorder and Come Outside back to back, you can see how far the band have evolved in a relatively short time. The band seem genuinely excited about exploring new ideas as a three piece, so it will be interesting to see how they progress beyond the next single in 2020.
That’s Life will be released in early 2020. You can see the band play at HMV Shrewsbury on the 15th February at 3pm.
From the looks of things 2020 is going to be another busy year for new albums. Stereogum has listed its 101 most anticipated albums, 6 Music has listed the 20 its ‘most looking forward to’ and Albumoftheyear.org has what seems to be a mostly complete list of 352. ]
1. Idles: Toneland
The album that takes our eye from both Stereogum and the 6 Music lists is inevitably the third album by Idles - ‘Toneland’ which follows on from 2018’s excellent Joy As An Act of Resistance. There’s no release date set as yet , but I guess we’ll know it’s on its way when the singles start coming.
2. Sorry: 925
Another on the Stereogum list that looks very promising is 925 by Sorry due out in the Spring on Domino Records. We know that the excellent single ‘Rock and Roll Star’ is on it and imagine that ‘Right Round the Clock’ will be too, and it should be a very interesting listen for a band who so far veer between sounding like the Pixies, Portishead and Madness.
Our next 3 albums don’t appear to be on any of the lists of schedules, but we know they’re on the way and likely to arrive in the early part of the year.
3. The Eskimo Chain: EXO Incorporated - An Original Motion Picture
The first of these is EXO Incorporated – An Original Motion Picture by the Eskimo Chain. Rather than create a conventional second album the band decided to channel their creativity into making the soundtrack to an imagined sci-fi movie, releasing the first track from it ‘Evacuation Day’ on Youtube only at the start of December. You can find out more about the album in our feature here.
If you’ve listened to the Eskimo Chain’s first album ‘Abnormal Dreams’ you’ll be aware of just how good this band are, and if you haven’t, have a listen and treat yourself. The band maintain a relatively low presence on social media so this album has the potential to fly under the radar, but from the sounds of Evacuation Day (which you can listen to here) this will be an excellent follow up.
4. Slift: Ummon
Next we have Ummon by Slift, due out at the end of February. The French bands’ follow up to ‘La Planete Exploree’ by all accounts is going to be a double album and if the lead, title track from it which was released at the end of November (which you can listen to here) is anything to go by, it will be another beauty. If you’re unfamiliar with Slift, imagine what Oh Sees would sound like if they were more consistently space rock, rather than jumping genres every other song. No dates confirmed as yet but it looks like that Slift will be touring the UK in May.
5. The Black Delta Movement: TBC
The last of our picks is the second album by the Black Delta Movement. We know not when the follow up to ‘Preservation’ is due for release, as the band maintain about the same level of social media presence as the Eskimo Chain (ie very little) but we do know that it has been completed, so can only assume it’s going to be with us soon.
Out of the mooted other releases, a potential new album by My Bloody Valentine looks interesting (although I’d rather a second album from Percolator), as does the new album by Tame Impala.
Albums we hope will be released in 2020 include the debut from Squid and second albums from Crows and the Blinders. We know that Squid started work on their album after their last round of gigs was concluded, Crows previewed a couple of new tracks on their last tour and the Blinders have been slowly introducing new material into their sets for a while but that’s it so far.
There were some cracking albums released in 2019 (click here for our best of the year) so hopefully it will be the same again in 2020.