Monday, October 20, 2014
My personal reaction to Martyre's album is that, at its most basic level, it is about textures. Certainly and most obviously, those textures include layers of various instruments and Mark's voice. But the most lasting impact is the emotional textures created by Mark's words, aided by his inflection, and use of space and timing to underscore the emotions. True artistry is the ability to use restraint to emphasize the depth of feeling, and that ability is quietly loud on Red Letters.
Red Letters was released on October 14, and is available as a digital download or CD at the Bandcamp link below.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Brisbane's Sam Poggioli is a breath of fresh air on the music scene. As Sampology, he creates joy-infused dance music that pleases your ears and ignites your feet. And he also creates wonderful visual accompaniment. It seems that a US album is due in June of 2015, but Sam and two other collaborators are in the US now to play live shows, including several at CMJ. The remaining dates are at the bottom of this post. For an introduction to Sam's audio-visual talents, enjoy the video below for "Shine A Light", featuring Daniel Merriweather and Sam's visual creations.
Remaining Shows on Tour
Wed 10/22 | Sampology Ft. Tom Thum | CMJ x Beat Pie @ Santos Party House | 12:10 AM - 12:35 AM | NYC
Sat 10/25 | Sampology (DJ Set) | Aussie BBQ w/ Dune Rats, Gossling, Bad//Dreems and More@ the Delancey NYC | 12 AM - 2 AM | NYC
Friday, October 17, 2014
"The Last Time" is officially credited as the first UK single by the Stones written by Jagger-Richards. The song was recorded in Hollywood, CA in January 1965 and went to no. 1 on the UK charts just a few months later.
Keith Richards much later admitted however, that "The Last Time" was lifted from a 1955 Staples Singers song called "This May Be The Last Time".
Here is the Stones version:
And the Staple Singers:
Larceny notwithstanding, Brian Jones' guitar riff in the Stones' version is one of the most distinctive of its era and a great moment in Stones history. It's a terrific single, one of my favorites.
And almost 50 years later, the Stones are still playing this song. Here's a recent live version from a 2013 show in Los Angeles:
"The Last Time" has been covered by many, including Bruce Springsteen, Arcade Fire, The Who and Bobby Bare (Sr.). But the band most associated with the song, other than the Stones, is the Grateful Dead who frequently covered it, including this slow building, excellent version from 1992:
Thursday, October 16, 2014
The project started way back in 2008, with Ellen Carey, a veteran of several other bands, working on some songs. They've incubated over time, and attracted other musicians -- Ellen's brother Joel Carey and Liam Kenny in the past, Steph Crase, Hamish Baird and Noah Renolds in the present. The album's influences can be found in the folk and pop of the '60s, but Carey's eclectic songwriting, thematic choices and dark sense of humor result in a timeless and thoroughly enjoyable album. Buy it, play it, it will make you happy.
Fair Maiden is out now via Bedroom Suck Records, and via Fire Records by arrangement with BSR in the Northern Hemisphere. You can stream the entire album at the Bandcamp link below.
Bedroom Suck Records page for the album
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
In late January Melbourne's Twerps will release Range Anxiety, their first full length with North American label Merge. In Australia and New Zealand, the album will be available via the band's Melbourne label Chapter Music. To give fans a hint of the treats that await them, album track "Back to You" will be available as a single in early November. This is classic stuff - a not particularly happy theme swathed in a breezy tune - and it is done with Twerps' usual fine style. We expect excellence from this gang, and we get it.
Chapter Music pre-order page
Your favorite song may reflect a thematic choice, or a preference between for the slower tempo songs such as "History Lessons" or the more buoyant tracks such as "Bright Eyes" and "Half Heart Necklace". I'll just give you three representative tracks to sample, as in my opinion you can't go wrong with any of them. If this band isn't on your radar, it should be. And if this album isn't on your list, you should consider adding it.
Fans should note that Allo Darlin' is touring the US this October and has scheduled a UK tour for November.
Allo Darlin' is Elizabeth Morris (songwriter, vocals, uke), Paul Rains (guitar, lapsteel, vocals), Bill Botting (bass, vocals), and Mikey Collins (drums, vocals). We Come From The Same Place is out now via Slumberland Records in the North America and Fortuna POP! in Europe.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
here). His new LP, Romeo Must Cry, will be released via Chapter Music in 2015. The first song available from the album is "The Prayer", which serves as a good introduction to Telafone's unique art. We have both the video and the Soundcloud stream for you below. If you want the track, it is available for $1 at the Bandcamp link below.
Bandcamp for "The Prayer"
Jonny Telafone's Soundcloud page
Bandcamp for "The Prayer"
Jonny Telafone's Soundcloud page
I cannot predict where I will find one of my favorite albums of the year. Sometimes it is an eagerly anticipated release from a long favorite band. Sometimes it is a new and exciting talent that hits the scene to broad critical acclaim. And sometimes, as it the case with Dreaming Tracks, it is an album from a solo-project-turned-full-band. Neil Brogan has been the drummer for Belfast's Girls Names. But it turns out that Neil also has a way with the guitar, a knack for songwriting and some things he wants to express. Of course, none of this is a complete secret, as he has prior Sea Pinks releases to his credit, including the fine Freak Waves of several years ago. However, to my ears Dreaming Tracks represents a clear step up in writing, scope of expression, performance, and I dare say, ambition.
From the initial cello notes of the opening track "Dream Happening" (radio edit below without the cello opening), to the buoyant indie rock of "Art Imitating Life", to the hints of sophisticated '60 guitar pop of "Meat & Drink", to the taut, driving "Waiting for You (to Go)", to the 'big room' alternative rock psychedelia of "Magpies Eyes", to the dusty country rock of "Not Belonging" and "Wasted On You", Neil and his compatriots demonstrate a complete mastery of songs and and astutely blended styles. The guitar tones in particular are an absolute highlight: Resonant, gut-thumping chords; snaking leads; and authoritative bass. Those who fell in love with Sea Pinks will find less fuzz and even a little less jangle than some prior recordings, but the trade off is a more mature expression of indie rock that should place this Belfast, Northern Ireland project alongside Allah Las in the conversation regarding the best current bands playing West Coast guitar rock. If you only have time for one example to evaluate the truth of that statement, check out "Pacific Standard Time" below.
Writing about current music means I live with an album for some weeks, listening multiple times, writing up the album, and then moving on. Time is short, so it is the rare album that continues to get regular play after I publish the post. But Dreaming Tracks is one of those rare albums. In fact, if writing about it meant I couldn't listen to it any more, you wouldn't be reading this because I'd still be "evaluating" the record. Their Facebook page offers that the band is inspired by sea glass, bleached grass and ghost guitars. I don't claim to know what that means, but paraphrasing Abe Lincoln addressing the issue of General Grant's excessive consumption of whiskey, if sea glass, bleached grass and ghost guitars inspire music like Dreaming Tracks, sent a shipment to all of the bands.
You can stream the entire album at the Bandcamp link below.
In addition to Brogan (guitar and vocals), Sea Pinks on this album are Davey Agnew (drums), Steven Henry (bass), Jonny Agnew (cello on six tracks). Dreaming Tracks is available via CF Records, a small label in Belfast with a tasteful roster. You can purchase a digital download or physical via the Bandcamp link as well.
Monday, October 13, 2014
In August we featured (link here) Temporary album from Fishrider Records covering Dunedin, New Zealand's current music scene. One of the tracks, Kane Strang's "Winded", is the subject of a recent video. I like the song very much, and I'm happy for any excuse to again bring Temporary to our readers' minds. And to remind to, the entire album can be streamed at the Bandcamp link below, which also is the link for New Zealand and Australian fans. North American fans can use the Ba Da Bing link, and European fans should use the Occultation link.
Bandcamp for Temporary
Ba Da Bing Records order page
Hand Games is a Sydney, Australia outfit that does parties, tours, bookings, and, once a month, a downloadable mix of emerging Australian artists. We've decided to feature their latest mix to give those artists, and Hand Games, a bit of exposure. This mix has 13 tracks and I think a lot of them are quite good.
Hand Games on Facebook
Hand Games' website