By Jon Milton
Having been quiet apart from the odd show here and there for a year or so, Lumer are back with a bang with their new single 'Hatred is a passion of theirs' and news of a second EP scheduled for release in June.
Hatred...mixes incisive social commentary with a very fresh new sound from the band and is easily one of their best tracks to date. Channeling understandable frustration and disdain for the increasingly polarized nature of Britain / Europe / The World, lead singer Alex Evans says of the single 'We've been to pubs, seen on social media, that old fella who still lives in 1954 and hates the non-white, young and everything in between. Boris is his saviour, Trump's an accessory and If Hatred is a passion then it must be theirs'.
The single will be supported by a music video in collaboration with Fred Perry.
What We've Been Listening to...Sprints, Liberty Valley, Automatic, Horsegirl, Honeyglaze, Crows, Midlight
By Jon Milton
With International Women's Day taking place this week, female / female led artists have fittingly taken centre stage on the new release front, with Automatic returning after way too long with a new single, Sprints giving us an excellent EP, Liberty Valley with their debut (scroll down after this article) and new singles from Horsegirl and Honeyglaze.
LA band Automatic released their cracking debut album 'Signal' back in 2019 but have been quiet since then in new music terms. New single 'New Beginning' picks up where they left off though with its low slung bass, cantering drums, icy vocal and blistering synth stabs. The track is taken from their new album 'Excess' and they'll be over in the UK to play London's Wide Awake Festival and dates in Brighton, Manchester and Leeds before they head off to Europe.
Sprints launched their 'A Modern Job' EP on Nice Swan Records, and its really quite brilliant. Last years' singles 'How does the story go' and 'Modern Job' kick off proceedings and are joined by 'Little Fix' which came out in January and two new tracks 'Delia Smith' and 'Im in a band'. There is a lot of energy in this EP: its noisy, exciting and utterly addictive. The EP was produced by Gilla Band's Daniel Fox, and he's done a grand job too. Essential.
'Sensational Horse Muzak Sound Noise Group From A City (Chicago)' Horsegirl are pretty new to me, but I like their new single 'Anti-glory'. It's taken from 'Versions of Modern Performance' which comes out in June and they're touring the UK and Europe in June/July. 'Anti-glory' has a bit of a 90's slacker indie vibe to it and we look forward to hearing more.
We saw Honeyglaze support Geese last year at the Sebright Arms and were rather charmed by their songs. And charming is a good way to describe their new single 'Female lead', about dying one's black hair blonde and realising that it looks terrible. The song is short and sweet, and kind of reminiscent of a Velvet Underground where Mo Tucker sings.
And what of the gents? Well, we won't dwell, but Crows have issued another impressive single from their new album this week 'Garden of England' and Midlight have given us 'Home', taken from their forthcoming debut EP. Garden of England is a proper 70's style rocker and one to do that funny 70's rocker dance to and Home channels that mellifluous early Coldplay (before they turned shit) vibe that they do so well and continues to explore the theme of anxiety about the future that has featured in their earlier singles.
By Jon Milton
That Leeds is such a fertile ground for alternative music isn't it? Yard Act, Treeboy and Arc, Dense, Eades, English Teacher, Fuzz Lightyear to name but a few of the many, are now joined by Liberty Valley, who today release their debut single 'Crash'.
Crash is lush and languid, a laid back and strung out reminder that summer is just around the corner, providing a welcome if momentary respite from all the shit that's happening across the globe. Taking equally from the immersive textures of 80’s dream-pop, the vulnerable counter-culture of 90’s grunge, and the independent freedom of modem bedroom music, the group have crafted a sound that’s uniquely theirs and undeniably enrapturing. Brought about by a relationship destined to doom, “Crash” is an emotive first look at the band.
A labour of love for guitarist Jack Gilbert and drummer Luc Gibbons, Liberty Valley is a band that has been patiently built up over many years. Facing constant lineup changes and personal difficulties, the band were eventually grounded with the entrance of bassist Adam Bentham and singer Suzie Lefèvre.
Drawing from a palette of influences that holds Sorry, Slowdive, Crumb, and Khruangbin, Crash is the first of a number of releases set for 2022.
By Jon Milton
Part of me really wants to hate Wet Leg, mainly due to the excessive media fawning since Chaise Longue came out (which is obviously not their fault at all), but also stupid things like the faux Swedish accent in the vocals when they’re actually from the Isle of White. However, the other, far more sensible half of me recognises that they make really, good music, as evidenced on their latest single Angelica, which has a kind of 60s ye-ye feel to it interspersed with some meaty guitar and is just a really good pop song. Their debut album comes out in a month, and I bet its brilliant, the bastards.
Far more likeable are LIFE, who this week gave us ‘Big Moon Lake’ and announced that their new album ‘North East Coastal Town’ will be out in June accompanied by a full tour. Big Moon Lake follows on last years ‘Friends without names’, and just like its predecessor is absolutely top draw. Big Moon Lake is the sound of a band at the top of their game, and it just oozes confidence. Life and Avalanche Party were the highlights of all the re-scheduled gigs we saw last year, so if you like what you hear of this track and see that they are playing near you make sure you get along to see them.
Fellow Yorkshiremen Eades have just released their debut album ‘Delusion Spree’, which is also worth wrapping your ears around. Half of the album has already been released in single format (Reno, Delusion Spree, Ever Changing, Former Warnings Cluster, Smoking Hours and the just released Backseat Politic) which should give you an idea of what to expect – lots of bright, energetic tunes that are a little bit let down by the albums production, which in some respects is a shame but in others tells you what an exciting prospect they might be in the right hands.
Which brings me nicely on to one of the UK’s finest producers Theo Verney, or rather his band Public Body who have just released their latest EP ‘Flavour of Labour’. The EP features songs about the workplace ‘Hard to Concentrate’; ‘Reset my Password’; and ‘Flavour of Labour’; ‘Formica’ about a Twitter dad and the politically charged ‘Sunburnt’. As we come to expect of the band there’s a lot of energy going on here, agitated synths, wonky guitar lines and propulsive percussion to accompany singer Seb Gilmore’s wry observations.
From art rock to swamp rock, Luton’s Dois Padres return this week with a new single ‘How you Gonna’. Think balls out bluesy rock and roll a la White Stripes, Led Zeppelin and the Black Keys and you’ll be in the right ballpark. The single is out on Vandalism Begins At Home Records and is the first missive from their forthcoming album ‘Comin’ in Hot’. Time to stomp those feet!
We’ve been a bit lax on the articles front lately, (real life paid work just gets in the way, doesn’t it?) so head over to the playlists section and listen/follow the monthly to find out what you’ve missed. There’s lots of good stuff on there from the likes of Traams, TV Priest, Folly Group, Gag Salon, Deadletter to name but a few.
By Jon Milton
Ever been in love with a horse? Introducing Gag Salon: the surviving members of a function band (Palm Honey) gone up in flames, whose exciting debut single ‘Horses’ reprises that bizarre musical fascination with everything that the Byrds first explored on ‘Chestnut Mare’. Musically ‘Horses’ owes more to Beefheart and LCD Sound System, kicking off with a wonky riff then galloping (sorry, had to) discordantly along with its tale of romance and status seeking.
Photo: Rosie Alice Wilson
2021 saw the band cause commotion across London and beyond with their unpredictably kinetic live shows, performing alongside The Cool Greenhouse, Blue Bendy and Hallan, 2022 should see them pick up more admirers if this single is anything to go by. The band consists of Joseph Mumford- vocals/guitar; Tom Dimmock- guitar/keys; Seb Bowden – bass; and Ayden Spiller- drums.
Horses is out now on Blitzcat Records