In this week’s latest haul of new music Getintothis’ Matthew Wood is enchanted by some minimalist strings, revels in the joy of the lo-fi and is soothed by some Swedish folk.
Single of the Week
alt-J – 3WW
Our first flavour of what this unorthodox trio have to offer in their upcoming third album Relaxer, due out June 9. This one, as I find with most alt-J songs, is going to get better with time; it’s almost like we’re thrown into a Druid love tale, with numerous voices and no clear plot and we’re left to stitch together the pieces ourselves.
Opening with a campfire-lit jam, it’s a slow burner that relaxes and unnerves simultaneously and then we’re met with a vocal that recalls the scene in Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King when Pippin sings to Denethor.
I’ll let you piece this one together yourselves, but it is wonderfully unorthodox and a real pleasure to soak up, (heck, you can even hear the crackle of campfire at one stage) and with more treats for the ears like this one, alt-J may have swayed me once and for all.
Dead Pretties – Social Experiment
Debut single from this London trio who’ve shared the limelight with the likes of Drenge and The Orwells, bringing chaotic, riotous performances that are about to get a whole lot bigger and a whole lot messier.
Social Experiment is a jarring cacophony of British punk harnessing the meaty elements of grunge; think a slightly rowdier Palma Violets combined with the lyrical poignancy of Pete Doherty as they tackle ideas of personal identity and the masks we all wear as human beings.
Flying Ibex – No Matter
A real mind fiddler here from London-based quartet Flying Ibex who fuse patient, progressive electronica with dark party vibes in their latest outing.
Beginning as a duo well versed in saxophone and drums, over the years they’ve gained two members and altered their sound to fit practically any situation. The track’s origins were simple; an old organ with built-in drum machine. Leave this to mature in their musical minds and you have an undeniably groovy track that refuses to cry out for attention, yet captures it effortlessly.
Allred & Broderick – Hey Stranger
A truly unique ensemble here from Oregon-based duo Allred and Broderick who opt for the sparse and simple over the hectic and complex which when accompanied with a double bass and a violin, gives the act rather an eerie finish, but it’s one that is utterly compelling.
Taken from their upcoming album titled Find The Ways out on Erased Tapes Records on April 7, this sombre number will shake your soul and really hit home with its idiosyncratic tendencies and spooky beauty.
DUSST – Happiness Is On The Horizon
Bluesy psych rockers DUSST return with Happiness Is On The Horizon ahead of the release of their debut album which we hear is very close to completion.
Moving through mellow surf grooves with big ol’ bluesy guitar solos, the band harness a cool, vintage sound with more contemporary flurries of effects and slick production.
While their songwriting is safe and rudimentary at times, this is a band with youth on their side and such exhibitions of fantastic guitar work and synergy will not go unnoticed, particularly not in a city with such a taste for the 60s.
Laurie Shaw – Trespassers
Another gem from Laurie Shaw that embodies a true punk, DIY ethic like a dose of Jonathan Richman and his Modern Lovers shot through one of those legendary Velvet Underground guitar amps.
Fizzing with fuzz and overspilling with piercing squeals all held together with pounds of snares, Laurie Shaw is proving himself as not only fantastically versatile but superbly prolific in his delivery, with so much under his belt and so much more to offer, my ears are keeping in tune (or wildly out of tune in this case) to this young musician.
Mount Song – Halo
Swedish singer-songwriter Jacob Johansson aka Mount Song has been received excellently by the Swedish musical press and it’s easy to see why with this melancholy, yet utterly liberating track. Built on a oaky chord progression and subtle percussive taps, Johansson’s voice coaxes you into his tale magnificently, a sweet vocal that recalls a more subtle Doug Martsch of Built To Spill.
Dipping and rising between major and minor cadences, it’s a mightily emotional effort accelerated by some prudently placed synth bursts that shift between sinister stabs and calming shudders, completing a minimal yet richly textured musical tapestry.
DAUNT – Drive
Ahead of the release of his upcoming debut EP, Unbearable Light, London-based Will Daunt‘s brand of ‘Slow Pop’ bridges the gap between dream pop and vintage hip-hop. Vocals feed off bouncy bass lines while ethereal synth work adds a loftiness to the mix, for a harmonious contrast throughout.
Channelling an experimental urge that is rare among ‘safe’ pop artists in the industry, DAUNT is not about to let the wave from his debut track, This Body Rushes diminish without impact, and he’s going about it the right way indeed.
She-Devils – The World Laughs
Another fine act signed to Secretly Canadian, She-Devil mark the occasion with a modest track that encapsulates a seaside vignette with its aquatic quality and tropical feel.
The track scuttles to life like a lively creature pitter-pattering through soggy sand, before a primal cry sends us headfirst into the jungle and we’re left bobbing along through the trees with just the groove and melody as our guide.
Beach Fossils – This Year
Brooklyn trio Beach Fossils have announced their latest album, Somersault due out on Bayonet Records on June 2.
The debut track from the band’s third studio album is a cool, breezy number but is lyrically charged with a sense of disappointment as we consistently try to learn from our mistakes and yet we always slip back into old habits. A more serious, experience tone pervades the otherwise shimmering soundscape.
With vital life lessons also comes development in the band’s sound, it feels more delicately layered, allowing even the most subtle of sounds to have their own distinct texture and reach the surface of the mix. On the whole it’s what Beach Fossils are all about, with a further sense of maturity; it’s light, gentle music that when accompanied by a sun-soaked stroll, is flipping tough to beat.
Black Pulp – Cry Again
Circa 2009 there was a mass influx of math rock and dance punk acts, a scene jump-started by the likes of Foals and Klaxons; a scene that eventually fizzled out along with the neon skinnies and straightened fringes (just about).
But within that scene were important genreric codes, ones that have enduring beyond rapid scenes and beyond a significant aspect of many successful acts within the mainstream today. Whether it’s neat plucks of high frets, sweet harmonious melodies or a big meaty chorus, Black Pulp are all over it.
Subtle alterations on classic elements give this Liverpool-based quartet a discreet edge which has earned them Radio 1 airtime, and with boisterous, polished efforts like these, they can expect a whole lot more.