What We've Been Listening To...Courting, White Flowers, Les Bods, Team Picture, Traams, Working Men's Club, Anorak Patch, Murmur, Corvus and the Morning Star
By Jon Milton
So the shops are back open on Monday and the prospects of going to a gig, and not just a socially distanced one seem tantalisingly close. I guess the problem now is fitting in all those new bands that have emerged over the last 12 months alongside existing commitments! Take Courting for example, who’ve just released their debut EP, Grand National. The Liverpool lads turned a few heads last year with a string of impressive singles and have now cemented their promise with these four tracks. Lead track Grand National is absolutely storming, Popshop! is super slick and shiny and the two remaining tracks ‘Crass’ and ‘Slow Burner’ reveal a darker side of the band, cleverly juxtaposed. The band have announced a UK wide tour for September, which unfortunately for me clashes with my trip to see Yard Act at the Lexington, otherwise I’d be snapping up a ticket in a flash.
Touring more immediately in May and June and presumably socially distanced are dream pop / shoegazers White Flowers, who have a debut album out next month and have just released a new single this week in ‘Help Me Help Myself’. As with the rest of their output its rather sublime, so we expect lots from the album. You can check out their gig dates here.
One band that I’ll be taking time out to see is Les Bods, who released their second single ‘Free Your Mind’ this week. These Brighton based guys draw a lot of inspiration from arguably the best rock and roll that the sixties and seventies had to offer, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zep, Sabbath and so on, with ‘Free Your Mind’ big on riffs and with a heavy nod towards Cream and Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies. More tunes are planned for the rest of the year.
Also out this week is ‘phantom limb’ by Team Picture. They are a band I know very little about, but this is a class tune.
Last week saw the release of the imaginatively titled ‘4 Songs’ by Traams via Bandcamp, a collection of stand-alone tracks recorded over a handful of sessions with Theo Verney. If you haven’t picked up a copy already make sure you do, the EP features our song of the year ‘The Greyhound’, their other single from 2020 ‘IRW’, ‘A House on Fire’ and the unreleased ‘Karma Kat’ which you can’t get anywhere else. In other words, it’s got four fantastic tunes on it and is well worth the investment. Hopefully there may be more to come from them, but they’ve been worryingly silent. At the time of writing there's still some vinyl copies available which you can buy from here.
Other songs of note out last week included the magnificent ‘X’ by Working Men’s Club who are maturing very nicely, the excellent ‘Blue Jeans’ by Anorak Patch who continue to impress, ‘Shipman Blues’ the promising debut single from Corvus & the Morning Star, and 'I'm the Same' the blistering new single from Murmur. You can read our interview with Murmur by the way here.