SONG OF THE DAY Sleep Eaters – Bad Love

No photo description available.Exploding from the depths of East London in a rollicking ball of fuzzed-out mayhem,  Hackney’s Sleep Eaters emerged almost a year ago offering a refreshing take on genre close to my heart.  With a penchant for all things psychedelic, the 5-piece (featuring ex-members of Whistlejacket & Puffer) have spent the last few years making a name for themselves across London’s underground scene with their various DIY projects.

Swapping psych-rock for a more spaghetti-rock feel, the band have just unleashed new track, Bad Love; a fiery sun-scorched offering, drenched in desert-bound guitar riffs, brooding piano and jaded lyrics.  Haunted and aggrieved, broken vocals stripped of love and full of ruin echo out across a desolate soundscape as they painfully declare, “she shot me down with her bad love/She tied me up with her bad love/She crawled inside with her bad love/I could not hide from her bad love”.   For this track the band have

Bad Love is taken from Sleep Eaters’ forthcoming debut EP Holy Days, which they made with Euan Hinshelwood of Younghusband.  Due on August 9th via PNKSLM Recordings.  Listen above.

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SONG OF THE DAY Here Lies Man – Clad in Silver

What if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat?…………….

This question was tantalisingly posed by LA’s Here Lies Man back in 2017 to accompany the arrival of their self-titled debut.  Gloriously put into action in their fuzzed out afrorock compositions the L.A-based quintet (founded and conceptualised by Marcos Garcia of  Antibalas) have since swept the world off its feet with their impressive fusions of heavy-Sabbath-inspired riffs and Afro-cuban clave rhythmic patterns! Imagine if you will the meeting of these two worlds..or better still, just check out their sound!

This summer sees the birth of third album No Ground to Walk Upon, a record conceived once more from the union of fuzzed out psychedelia and traditional rhythms; a sound this band have developed, grown into and pioneered!  Here Lies Man have taken the most unexpected mix of genres, cooked them up together, mashed them into a smooth fusion to create the most exciting, intriguing and exotically tasty dish you could imagine – as detailed by Garcia who explains of their sound how, “the repetitive guitar figures that happen in Afrobeat music are very close to heavy rock guitar riffs.  This music is based on the clave. It’s the musical algorithm that the rhythms revolve around. It’s what gives it integrity and provides the basis for the musical conversation that’s happening. I knew I wanted it to be psychedelic and heavy, and I wanted to be expanding on a musical tradition rather than pretending to be creating something new.”

First single from the upcoming record is Clad in Silver, a melting pot of bluesy riffs, pulsing funk bass and punchy vocals, all comomg together in a fusion of 70’s sounding coolness! Check it out above.

No Ground to Walk Upon releases on August 16 on Riding Easy Records.   Pre-order your copy from here. 

Posted in Afro Cuban, Afro-rock, Afrobeat, Experimental, Los Angeles, Metal, psych rock, Psych-world, Rhythm-based, Riding Easy Records | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Jeremy Ivey – Story Of A Fish

Image result for story of a fish jeremy iveyNashville’s Jeremy Ivey has always operated behind the scenes, keeping his profile low-key and understated, whist always playing an integral part in whatever project he was involved with.

He has played in the Southern soul outfit Buffalo Clover, has produced and, on occasions, played harmonica-for and written songs-with the country singer-songwriter Margo Price – who also happens to be Ivey’s wife (and producer of his forthcoming album).

Finally taking the plunge to go it alone,  Jeremy Ivey is to share his debut solo album later this year with the records first single releasing today!

Explaining his seemingly late move into the solo realms, Ivey explained how “I want to prove that you can be in your 40s and be at the peak of your creativity.  Not a has-been, but as an ‘is-being.”

First single, Story of a Fish, tackles Ivey’s tough life experiences as they play out through the story of a salmon.  Tackling loneliness and the feelings associated with never really belonging, the song is a heartfelt reference to his being adopted.  Tracing his experiences through school, “I’m a fool in school/A lonely molecule/Try to swim through stone/I was born so far from home”, he also observes how troubled times never really leave you, painfully declaring, “Ain’t it hard when you find/That time is so unkind/Leaves you out in the cold/With no-ones hand to hold”.

The song has a gentle pace, slow and plodding, allowing for the tender narrative to naturally unfold as backing vocals echo a graceful accompaniment and Ivey’s very own lonesome harmonica melody embellishes this massively endearing folk-rock serenade. There couldn’t be a more fitting metaphor for Jeremy Ivey’s plight and through honest lyrics and expressive openness I found myself transported into the song, swimming alongside him and reaching out.   In a press release Ivey shared the songs inspiration, sharing how:  “I’m adopted, and I think that I always related with the story of salmon and how they’re born. The idea of being born far from your home, you know? You were born here, but you gotta get elsewhere. That’s the way I always felt. I always felt that I was born in the wrong place to the wrong people at the wrong time. ”  Listen above.

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SONG OF THE DAY Michael Nau – Love Survive

Image result for love survive michael nauA native of Maryland, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Naucrafts, a.k.a Michael Nau, formed his first band in Baltimore in 2004.

Encompassing all those fortunate to have discover him with his reflective indie/folk psych sounds,  Nau was also known for leading projects like Page France and Cotton Jones in the mid 2000’s to early 2010’s. In 2016 he began recording alone under his own name, releasing his first solo album, Mowing, through London’s Full Time Hobby.

The record was written whilst on the road (which could explain its vast, dusty and wistful feel), with tracks penned from Burlington, Vermont to Connecticut, to a back porch in Nashville, and others back in the tiny Appalachian city of Cumberland, Maryland, USA, which Michael Nau currently calls home.

With backing vocals care of Michael’s wife and band mate Whitney McGraw, lead single Love Survive has an exceptionally radiant feel to it.  Reassuring and gentle in its delivery, the glistening tinkling piano feels like warms shafts of sunshine heating the skin from the inside out, whilst Nau’s encouraging vocals declare ‘this is my thankful song/for all that has been and gone/for the spirit of the eternal drum/this is my thankful song’.  This song feels like a little musical hug which is particularly welcomed today!

Listen above and watch a live performance of the song below.

Posted in folk rock, Full Time Hobby, Indie, Indie Rock, psych-folk | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Lonesome Shack – No Way Back

Baylen's Brit Pick: Lonesome ShackWith a sound rooted in vintage blues, primitive rock and haunted boogie, the music of Seattle-born and now London-based Lonesome Shack was born out of the love of old traditions.

Led by singer-songwriter and guitarist Ben Todd, the band also consists of Kristian Garrard on drums and Luke Bergman on bass.  Retreating into the wilds of the New Mexico desert a few years back Todd set himself up all alone in an old shack where, alone in the Gila wilderness, he taught himself how to play old blues and banjo tunes from vintage and traditional recordings…(and now we know where the band name comes from).

Truly paying homage to the history of the blues, Lonesome Shack often dips into the realms of desert blues, bringing alive the sounds of the nomadic groups of the Sahara as it infuses what is considered to be the root of the American Blues into their time-honoured sound.  Today’s song demonstrates this fine feature perfectly!  Taken from their latest album Desert Dreams (released earlier this year on Alive Naturalsound Records) No Way Back entwines the sounds of the Sahara and New Mexico deserts as it fuses together into a hypnotic melodic structure.  Against the backdrop of this old/new synthesis comes the incantation of Todd’s vocals, the bridge between two worlds, the catalyst that keeps this sound moving forward whilst always fondly looking back.  Referring to his time spent in the desert, lyrics proclaim I had my time in a lonesome shack, I made up my mind I cant go back ..and as if to reinforce this message further, Ben Todd has created an utterly impressive video to accompany this song.  Filmed in a one-shot reverse video as a workshop in Hackney, London, the entire sequence has been shot backwards but choreographed to look like it’s going forward!  How Todd managed to lip-sync the vocals backwards and in just one shot, I’ll never know; but what I do know it that this video is stunningly shot and utterly impressive in its delivery.  Even the location and camera angles are so very pleasing!….It’s a bloody corker I tell you!  Check it out above and listen to more Lonesome Shack on my pages here. 

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SONG OF THE DAY Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs – Devil Do

With its ramshackle twists, swirly curves and eerie creaks, today’s song feels like its been plucked from the depths of many moons ago.  The rhythm sounds like a chair beating against against an old dilapidated wooden floor, whilst a percussive patter in the background sounds like a spoon on a tinplate as it echoes out with a clinking ring.  It’s a vintage cacophony perfect for any song about the devil!

For her 2009 track, Devil Do, Holly Golightly celebrates the unconditional love from the man below, her unabashed revelment on whisky and wine is not judged by him and though “the Lord does not like it, the devil don’t mind.”  Her sinful spree is unfaltering and with no desire for immediate salvation, lyrics exclaim “You can dunk me in the river, gonna clean my sin/But you might as well dunk me in a bucket of gin”.  Nobody loves you like the devil, but if your’re not entirely convinced right now, give this track a couple more listens and see how you feel…check it out above.

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SONG OF THE DAY Traams – A House On Fire

Image result for TraamsThis song is so wired it could set pretty much anything ablaze! At a whopping eight and a half minutes long, A House On fire is a high-powered ball of frenetic energy released by the Chichester, West Sussex three-piece, Traams in 2016!

Consisting of Stuart Hopkins (vocals, guitar), Leigh Padley (bass) and Adam Stock (drums), the group came together in 2011 after the three band members bonded over their mutual tastes of music, specifically musicians such as McLusky, Pavement, Television and Kraftwerk. By 2012 they were signed to FatCat and a year later released their debut album, Grin. 

Image result for Traams a house on fireToday’s near nine-minute epic was recorded with Theo Verney at Strongroom Studios in London and wastes no time getting stuck in.  Kicking off with a highstrung beat and pounding bass line, Stu Hopkins’ vocal yelps and yells adds to the intensity; the fury and tension not letting up for one minute, it just keeps coming! Speaking of the track the band explained how “we wanted a relentless big’un with a handful of chanty melodies – one to hang around the end of our live sets,” also exclaiming how the duration is “nice and long and you can dance to it should you wish.” 

Well, I’m definitely not short of a few moves for this one (they may not be coordinated mind!!)…and even if you’re not a dancer, I doubt you’ll be able to keep still once it gets going?!

Listen above and check out the Traams performing this track live below!!!!

Posted in Experimental, Indie Rock, krautrock, Post Punk, Punk | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Dogbreath – Gotta Go

“Well if American soul has its origin in hot,steamy southern baptist churches going wild, our comes from cold,quiet intellectual protestant meetings”….(Per Ahman of Dogbreath)

A deep resonating fusion of bluesy funk-punk erupted from Sweden’s Solleftea over 16 years ago and its taken me this long to discover Dogbreath!  Though it isn’t any wonder really, this band have not exactly been widely broadcasted, but those in the know, know, and those that have become acquainted with this raucous bunch all seem to really love them!

Is is just pure coincidence that the origin and homeland Dogbreath just happens to be the sister city to Madison Mississippi? I dare say it is, but their potent sound, rooted in heavy, raw-blues is certainly no coincidence, for this is the essence of Dogbreath.  From what I can gather the 4-piece have had only two albums with nothing documented after 2007, which makes you wonder why their musical career was so relatively short-lived?  Entitled Gotta Go and released on Rootsy/Dogbergs, today’s song appears on the band’s 2006 album Taste It!

My first encounter with this song was at a festival I was at this weekend and was one of many very smashing tracks to come from this mighty set a DJ was playing.  Imagine this very loud!!….it was quite pleasant indeed!  What I love most about this track is the way it relentlessly rides the back of a colossal beat! (A Bo Diddley rhythm in fact!).  It’s not often you hear a song with so much emphasis put on the rhythm, but the primal clatter of these mighty drums is what drives this song, steering it through howling guitar bends as deep gruff vocals add their own rhythmic layer…It’s a big sound rotating around a big beat, what more could you  ask for! Check it out above (I’ve included a live version!!).

Posted in Blues, blues rock, Funk, Punk | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

SONG OF THE DAY Skip James – Devil Got My Woman

Born somewhere near Bentonia, Mississippi in 1902, Nehemiah Curtis “Skip” James (a.k.a Skip James) was a Delta blues singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist.  Well-known for his otherworldly voice, haunting guitar, and staccato piano playing, James frequently refused offers to be recorded early on in his career, only hesitantly embracing his rediscovery in the 1960’s.

His guitar playing was defined by its dark, minor-key sound, often played in an open D-minor tuning with an intricate fingerpicking technique; a sound that was to earn him the title as “one of the seminal figures of the blues,” as well as the artist who “contributed to some of the greatest blues sides ever recorded!”  His songs have played a major role in influencing generations of musicians and have often (very often in fact) been covered and adapted by numerous artists.

James first recorded for Paramount Records in 1931 but, having been released during the Great Depression, these recordings sold poorly and he drifted into obscurity….who would have thought it would take nearly 30 years for him to resurface?!

Devil Got My Woman was one of his first releases, initially coming out as a 78 rpm on Paramount Records in 1931 – later releasing as the title track to his 1968 album which came out on Vanguard Records!

It’s a gorgeous track, demonstrating the distinct pitch to James’s vocals perfectly and has completely mellowed me out after a crazy day! Check it out above.

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SONG OF THE DAY PowerSolo – Sasquatch

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing“Massive and mobile, revved-up and smirking, wired manic relentlessness with polished precision musicianship and plenty of gratuitous sonic elegance and refinement within their genre-shifting role playing. But no matter what they try these guys can really make it come to life”

I couldn’t really put the above statement any better which is why I’ve opened today’s post with this completely accurate, absolutely spot on description of today’s band (as quoted from their Bandcamp page).

I’ve got a list of memorable gigs which I hold dear to my heart.  These shows, for one reason or another, have completely blown and etched a place in my mind.  Whilst at a festival this weekend I was fortunate enough to catch a band, a band that I’ll certainly not forget in a hurry and one that is more than worthy of a place on my list!

Founded in 1996 by front man Kim Jeppesen, a.k.a “Kix” (guitars/vocals), PowerSolo are a band that were first established over 20 years ago.  Originally consisting of Kix, his brother Bo Jeppesen and a drummer, 2013 brought a change of line-up and now the trio are currently made up of Kix (as above), Anders “Peasoup” Pedersen (Guitar/Lap-stell/ guitar/keys/backing vocal) and Mike “ZACK” Sullivan (Drums).

Inspired by the likes of Ween, Chuck Berry, The Fall, JSBX and The Cramps to name but a few, their sound matches their eclectic musical taste perfectly, offering a highly charged, genre-defying amalgamation of rockabilly, country, blues, surf, psych and punk; thus creating what they themselves have called “Donkey Punk”.

Not only an audio dream, PowerSolo are also a visual delight and if you are ever lucky enough to catch them live, you will see what I mean – In fact if I hadn’t have seen them live I may not have been ranting so much about them now!  Their energy is relentless, charisma is in no short supply and the power generated when they are in full-flow is electrifying! I don’t think I stopped grinning the whole way through; mind you, neither did the drummer! Kitted out in a fetching headband and shorts combo whilst hurling out the most bodacious beats, I don’t think I witnessed one single moment when he wasn’t smiling; but I’m sure that if I could play drums like this and had the pleasure of watching Kix charging across the stage doing his finest Chuck Berry duckwalk on a regular basis, I think I’d be beaming 24/7 too!  Anders “Peasoup” Pedersen offered up some impressive guitar licks and for a whole 45 minutes I was transfixed!

Under the “Genre” section on their Facebook page PowerSolo have simply put is as: “It will heal you”….and you know what, I definitely felt regenerated and invigorated after one of their shows!  Sasquatch was a track that really stood out for me (how could a song about Bigfoot not not stand out though!).  This track has it all: Kix’s deep growling, tameless grrr’s, layers of fierce, highly addictive psych-surf guitar riffs, heavy, rolling drums and the most memorable lyrics you’ll ever hear about the legendary Sasquatch!!!  Check it out above.

Posted in Alternative, Alternative rock/blues, Blues, Country, Psychedelic, R&B, rock n roll, Rockabilly, surf psych, surf rock | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment