APRIL 2015

Thursday 30th April    Gavin Clark – Never Seen The Sea

Remembering the great Gavin Clark who sadly passed away in February this year.. An understated artist with such an original voice..

Read more on my page here

Wednesday 29th April   Calexico – Stray feat Takim

From beyond an ocean of heads my view was greatly obscured but I wasn’t going to let that small factor ruin a great night…

It was a cool Tuesday evening, our pockets were robbed by expensive parking and over priced beer but all of this paled into insignificance once the lights dimmed to make way for the highlight of the evening, Calexico.  I have had a strong desire to see them for a while now, for I know no other band to combine such a hearty variant of styles in their music.  Influenced by traditional latin sounds of Mariachi, Conjunto, Cumbia and Tejano, they successfully combine this with the sound of Country, Jazz and Post-rock; the blend is both fine and unique.

Their music gives you an uncontrollable desire to dance or in my case sway, but either way you move and cannot deny this urge once they are in full swing.  Seeing Calexico perform live is a truly pleasurable experience, their energy is tangible and even after two encores, you’ll still want more…

Today’s song is taken off their 1998 album ‘The Black Light’ and is titled ‘Stray’

Tuesday 28th April     Ministry Of Plenty – What I Gave You

New and emerging Melbourne-based 4-piece! Debut single due out today

Full review available on my page, here

Monday 27th April    Unsung Heroes – Underground Gets Deep

Today’s installment follows on from the past few days with its Hip Hop theme, I couldn’t help it really, I’m on a roll!  I heard today’s track way back when it was first released in 1996 via Scenario Records.  It’s what I really like about hip-hop,  I love this break beat sound.  “Underground Gets Deep” was released by a UK hip-hop production team from West London consisting of Insite and Shiver.  That’s about as much as I can tell you really…that and it’s a great track!

Sunday 26th April    Brand Nubian – Slow Down

After listening to De La Soul yesterday I had a little trip-hop down memory lane and found this Brand Nubian single I had years ago.  Influenced by De La Soul, Brand Nubian favoured an abstract rapping style and, although they never sold as many albums as the West Coast rappers of the 90’s, the New York group commanded great respect in East Coast rap circles.

Today’s song has been taken from their 1990 debut album ‘One for All’ which was released by Elektra Records and features a sample from Edie Brickell’s “What I am”.

Saturday 25th April   De La Soul – God It (Feat Nas) (via soundcloud!)

De La Soul recently launched an official Kickstarter campaign to fund their eighth studio album which is to be their first release in ten years.  They have pledged to make their music a collaboration between fans and bands only as this is where they see their future in music and, with just 6 more days to go, their kickstarter has raised $513.761 which only corroborates their plan.

Titled ‘The anonymous Nobody’, their new album will feature artists such as Damon Albarn, David Byrne, 2 Chainz and Little Dragon.  To help promote their new project De La Soul have shared a new non-album track called “Got It” which features guest star and MC, Nas.

In a statement, De La Soul’s Dave said:

While busy at work, we also like to play. This song is not on the new album, but an indication of good music to come. The song was produced by G_Force and you may recognize our featured guest. We’re still in Atlanta recording and it sounds amazing! We can’t wait to get this new album to you.

Today’s song is definitely an indicator of good music to come and proves that even after 10 years the band has still ‘God It’

Friday 24th April   The Raah Project – Black and Blue

The Raah Project are a duo that wholeheartedly put the experiment in experimentation.  Originating from the Melbourne hip hop septet ‘True Live’, this musical collaboration consists of producer/vocalist Ryan Ritchie and violinist/composer Tamil Rogeon.

In 2009 the duo released their debut album ‘Score’ which, with its 22-piece horn band and 17-piece string section, was a glorious blend of jazz orchestration, soul melodies with a hip hop edge.  Not only well received in their native Australia, their first release received positive feedback worldwide and saw them play at Melbourne International Jazz festival and Melbourne Music Week as a result of the album release.

The duo spent a lot of 2014 in the studio where they began work on their second album ‘Take Me Elsewhere’.  Continuing with the same experimental theme, this album successfully blends an eclectic combination of genres, fusing together elements of electronica, jazz, hip hop and soul with epic cinematic orchestral soundscapes.  Their first single taken from this LP was called ‘Kill Me In The Summer’ and has been described by Gilles Peterson as “Hitchcock meets Hyperdub” and by Double J Radio as “undeniable proof that Australian acts are producing some of the most exciting left-of-centre music”

From start to finish, ‘Take Me Elsewhere’ does just that, it takes you elsewhere.  It transports you elsewhere and everywhere, twisting, turning and bending the shape of music with its extraordinary amalgamation of sounds.

Today’s song is taken off their latest album and is titled “Black and Blue”.  With the gruff vocals of Ryan Ritchie booming their way through this dark and moody track, its hard not to compare this to a Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell track.  Catch more of this band on their bandcamp page here

Thursday 23rd April    Juana Molina – Eras

Juana Molina is Argentine singer-songwriter and actress.  She is known for her individual and distinctive music which generally catergorises itself in the genre of folktronica, although her music can also be described as a blend of experimental, ambient, psychedelic and indie-pop.

Back in 1996, Molina quit her acting work to pursue a career in music and went on to release her debut album, ‘Rara’ in 1996.

Today’s song is taken off her latest album titled ‘Wed 21’ which was released via Crammed Discs in October 2013.

‘Eras’ was the first single released off this album and was also the song that first introduced me to Juana Molina when I saw her perform this live at Glastonbury last year.  It was a performance that stood out and, in particular, it was this song that I really got into for its unusual sound, driving guitar and hypnotic rhythm; I’m always a sucker for a good rhytym-based song..

Wednesday 22nd April    She Keeps Bees – Radiance

The thing I love most about this band is, well pretty much everything really!  She Keeps Bees have self-recorded and released their music at home since 2006 always receiving critical acclaim for their music.  The Guardian has compared the Brooklyn-based 2-piece to the ‘White stripes in reverse’ and fellow Brooklyn musician Sharon Van Etton said of singer Jessica Larrabee, “she has one of the best voices I have ever heard and she has more soul in one finger than most female singers have in our scene.”

The duo are about to embark on a tour of Europe this week with Scarlett O’Hanna and have also just launched a brand new video for their song ‘Radiance’.  This track features on their latest fantastic release ‘Eight Houses’ which came out last September and demonstrates the bands unfaltering ability to create fantastic music from the ‘comforts of their own home’

Check out their tour dates here

Tuesday 21st April     Car Seat Headrest – The Ending of Dramamine

..sit back and give yourself 14 minutes to delve into the minds of this emerging Seattle-based band.. Read more on my review page

Monday 20th April    Karen O – Rapt

Today’s song was the first track to be taken from Karen O’s debut solo album “Crush Songs”.  The former Yeah Yeah Yeah’s front woman released this LP last September via Casablanca’s Cult Records label adding yet another dimension to her already versatile and dynamic musical bow..

Sunday 19th April    Ballet School Justify My Love

Ballet school are an interesting trio consisting of Irish singer Rosie Blair, Japanese-Brazilian guitarist Michel Collet and drummer Louis McGuire.  The band began back in 2011 when Blair met Collet in Berlin’s U-Bahn underground, “playing amazingly delicate, arcane, beautiful guitar. We bonded over Cocteau Twins and immediately knew we had to be in a band together.”  The pair went on to meet McGuire in Berlin after catching the talented young drummer playing in Kreuzberg one night, and so the trinity was born.

After signing to Bella Union the now Berlin-based trio have been creating a stir with their shoegaze and alternative rock take on a select eighties sound.

Rosie Blair once described their sound by stating, “We’re not a synth band, we’re a guitar band, but one that’s trying to push the boundaries of the traditional set up” and also states how, “We write pop songs. I never thought pop music was a lower form of art. We actively try to play with the model of mainstream pop against what indie is supposed to be and find our own new form. And though I love laptop pop, it’s vital that people witness our energy, that punk lust, when we play live.”

Last September saw the release of their critically acclaimed debut LP “The Dew Lasts An Hour” and to coincide with their North American tour the trio have just released a cover version of not one, but two songs merged together.

The new track fuses Madonna’s 1990 hit ‘Justify My Love’ with Beyoncé’s new classic “Partition” and sees Ballet School’s front-woman, Rosie Blair belting the lyrics to ‘Partition’ over the tune of ‘Justify My Love’.  It is a combination that works wonderfully, both musically and vocally;  Blair’s breathy, tuneful and intense vocals are enticing and laden with a raw craved sexuality, whilst Michel Collet’s indie-rock guitar riffs continue to add another yet another dimension to this already fascinating mix

The track can be found on the bands Soundcloud page here

Saturday 18th April     Bells Atlas – Rain

Bells Atlas came to my attention a few days ago and since then I have come to discover that extensive playing of their music has a very positive effect on the ears, I can only urge you to do the same!

Today’s song is an instantly catchy and addictive, cool and collected track which was recorded back in 2013.  Perfect for a summer soundtrack, this track comes from their debut self-titled LP (which can be found here)

Read more about the band and their new EP on my review page here

Friday 17th April     Burhou – Please Delete

Amidst the chaos that has been my long day I was looking to unwind.. The minute I heard this track I knew that this is just the escape route my overworked mind was looking for..

Not much is yet know about this brand new London duo only that they have just released their debut single titled ‘Please Delete’.

This song allows the feeling of space to drift through its simple yet effective structure whilst its soothing guitar melody bends and entwines with mesmerizing layered vocals.  This beautiful down tempo groove is available to download via their soundcloud page and will feature on an EP titled ‘Lola’ which is due out sometime in early summer via On That Side.

Thursday 16th April    Guy Fox – I Don’t Know

Great new single taken from this Oakland-based band, debut album due out this summer!  See my full review here

Wednesday 15th April     Dee Edwards – Why Can’t Be There Be Love

Time is scarce today so I shall just post this song!  This single was released in 1971 by Dee Edwards

Tuesday 14th April     Bells Atlas – Future Bones

Afro-soul fusion with with a diverse range of eclectic input..Read more on my review page here

Monday 13th April    Post War Glamour Girls – Southpaw Stance

Read more about this single on my page here

Sunday 12th April    Dutch Uncles – Bellio (The Amazing Sessions)

It’s only taken three albums to discover the wondrous Dutch Uncles but better late than never I always say!  There is a certain magic weaved into their rhythmically complex and experimental sound, Duncan Wallis’ ridiculously soft vocals are haunting and extremely distinctive; all of this gives them a very unique sound.

Today’s song comes from their third album, ‘Out of Touch in the Wild’ which was released in 2013 via Memphis Industries and is titled ‘Bellio’

Saturday 11th April   Slug – Greasy Mind

SLUG is the brand new musical venture from the mind of Ian Black who, prior to this new project, was the bass player for Sunderland band, Field Music.

SLUG’s debut album RIPE will be released via Memphis Industries this Monday and was recorded at Field Music’s Roker studio with brothers Peter and David Brewis on production and playing duties;  the Field Music brothers are now returning the favour for Black who has previously toured extensively with their band as a bassist.

This album has been a long time in the making with Black’s plans for his debut starting way back in 2011 but,  from what I’ve heard so far, is well worth the wait.

It was Ian Blacks time with Field Music that gave him the impetus to start SLUG as he went on to say, “you cannot be on the road for a year with the guys and not feel inspired. Sometimes that helps create a sense of self belief that you can create your own thing…..however delusional that maybe.”

Today’s song is called “Greasy Mind” and is taken of Black’s debut album and has been described as the “most pop moment on the album that sees Zepplin matched with 80’s Madonna and screaming guitar solos”

With it’s 80’s edge, dynamic and intricate song structures, Black’s music nestles in well with the Field Music sound, their influence can be detected in this new funk-pop whilst, with its own diverse and individual identity, ‘Ripe’ is very much the product of Ian Black’s own creative making.

Purchase your copy of “Ripe”  here

Friday 10th April      The Brute Chorus – Chateau

This is one performance that I shall never tire of! The Brute Chorus are definitely one of my all time ‘stand-out’ bands..

Today’s song is called ‘Chateau’ and comes from the bands debut album which was recorded live at the Camden Roundhouse in 2009, it was a fantastic gig!

This video was performed at the Sofar in London on 23rd March 2011 and demonstrates just how great they are live..

Thursday 9th April      Evan P Donohue – My Mantra

With so much psychedelic-inspired pop floating about at the moment is there room for anymore?….of course there is and it just so happens that another purveyor of this new wave garage-pop has presented himself in the form of Evan P donohue.

This Nashville-based singer-songwriter started his career as a co-founder of the punk band, Diarrhea Planet but has now left this outfit to pursue a solo venture.  Inspired by the likes of Lee Hazelwood, Joni Mitchell and Hoagy Carmichael, Donohue’s sound sits somewhere between two other heroes of his, Beck and Elvis Costello.

Today’s song comes from his latest album “Stairway to Evan” which was released late last year.  Titled “My Mantra” this track perfectly captures a chunk of psychedelia in all its hazy, lazy glory..

Wednesday 8th April    Harry Brereton – Control

For full review, go to my page here

Tuesday 7th April    Buena Vista Social Club – Black Chicken 37 (feat. Orlando Lopez, Anga Diaz)

Today’s song is an utterly enjoyable, rhythm-packed and percussion-filled track which has been taken from Buena Vista Social Club’s new “Lost & Found” album, released 23rd March this year.

Featuring unreleased recordings from the original sessions, artist sessions and iconic live performances it also features many of the original players including Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén Gonzalez, Cachaíto Lopez, Guajiro Mirabal, Eliades Ochoa, Omara Portuondo and Compay Segundo.  This album was also recorded and mastered by the original team of Nick Gold, Ry Cooder and Jerry Boys.

Monday 6th April   Twin Caverns – Gold Digger (Kanye West cover)

Twin Caverns, (as featured for song of the day on the 5th April), have not only covered Kanye West’s smash hit “Gold Digger” but have completely reinvented the track which, believe it or not, was released just over a decade ago!

The revamp is a transformation that not only does the original great justice but demonstrates the Sydney duo’s edge, great style and versatility.  Replacing the punchy rap of Kanye West are the sultry vocals of Louise Millar and this transition shifts the feel of this track down some considerable gears.

I love the original but am also very much enjoying this take on the song too..

Sunday 5th April    Twin Caverns – Pyramid

Sydney duo Twin Caverns (Louise Millar & Michael Macias) have released the single “Pyramid” which is taken from their debut EP “Glass Balloon” due out in just three days time.

With their effortless ability to create weightless soundscapes, listening to their music is like stepping into a daydream where, if you stay too long, you may just drift away forever.  The haunting, icy vocals of Louise Millar are packed with a subtle intensity as they unfurl, airy and floating they entwine with the atmospheric, delicate guitar riffs and stripped back electronic beats.

Once transported into this otherworldly state it will be hard to escape this hypnotic fusion, the blend of Miller’s sultry vocals and Michael Macias’ production work with delicate precision, an effective pairing of minds and music.

 “Pyramid was actually the first song we wrote together back in 2013 and has since existed in many forms. It was really the catalyst for Twin Caverns coming together and we are really excited to finally be able to share it with everyone” – Twin Caverns

‘Glass Balloon EP will be available on on Wednesday, April 8th.  More can be heard here

Saturday 4th April    Kane Strang – The Web

Kane Strang is a young singer/songwriter hailing from Dunedin, New Zealand.  This early 20-something year old has been exploring his creative side for a while now and has already achieved a great deal as a musician.

Whilst living overseas in Germany he made his first album which was recorded in a World War 2 bomb shelter but, he explained, “the lights being on a timed meter gave the recordings a rushed feel”, he also described how,  “I’d be playing or singing then the timer would go off and I’d be in complete darkness.  It was haunting”.  This album was released in 2013 and was titled A Pebble and a Paper Crane but, somewhat dissatisfied with this material, Strang reinvented himself and changed his approach to songwriting, stripping it right back.

Released on the 1st of this month, Strang has just released what he now calls his ‘debut’ album.  Titled “Blue Cheese” this record contains 9-tracks of hazy psyche-tinged, folk-pop and follows the less-is-more aesthetic.  This lo-fi artist has recorded and self released this album which, inexpensive to create, is rich in content, unpretentious and extremely honest; the stripped back approach has allowed Strang’s lyrical charms to roam free.

Packed full of hazy guitars, hypnotic rhythms and a kaleidoscope of sounds, this album takes you on a psychedelic jaunt with flamboyant tracks like “The Canyon Her River Carved” and “Never Kissed A Blonde” sounding something like early Pink Floyd would have released.

Today’s song, taken from Kane Strang’s new album is titled “The Web”, and immediately gets under your skin with it’s heavy driving bass, contrasted by Strang’s lightweight vocals that tells a tale of today’s modern approach to romance..

 Friday 3rd April   The Pre New – Photographed

London based Pre New formed back in 2010 and include former band members from World Of Twist and Earl Brutus.  They have spent the last few years concocting experimental electronic music and are set to release their second full-length album, “The Male Eunuch”, on the 11th May via 3LoopMusic.

With musical influences such as Glam Rock, Acid House, Synth Pop and Punk it is no wonder that their sound is somewhat unpredictable, this is the charm and attraction.

By way of introduction to the album, the band’s Stu Boreman intriguingly writes: “Binary digital bankruptcy converts this sonic debris into the sound of summer. Offshore becomes onshore as British Summer Time arrives early. Shot through the black hole into the hole in your heart, it’s the colour chart from hell. Foxton’s still burns. Face-sitting is banned. Froch vs Groves. Farrow & Ball. We are at war.”..make of that what you will…

Today’s song is the second single to be taken off their new album and is titled “Photographed”.  This electronic journey unfolds in a Kraftwerk style with catchy synths layering up over robotic vocals, its tight beat maintaining its catchy rhythm throughout; an infectious track that will grow on you if it doesn’t instantly hook you in.

The band are to appear on Marc Riley’s 6 Music show on May 11th and have announced the following three live dates:                                                                                                             MAY
Tue 12 – Rough Trade in-store, Nottingham
Wed 13 – Rough Trade East in-store, London
Fri 15 – St Moritz, London

Thursday 2nd April     Rebeka – Stars

Rebeka are a Polish electronic-pop duo whose music, an ever evolving project, gears towards all things experimental.  Made up from Iwona Skwarek and producer, Bartosz Szezesny their music has been compared to the likes of Goldfrapp, Roisin Murphy and Faithless.

Whilst both artists have been involved in other projects of their own, Rebeka began in Poznań in 2008 when Skwarek began performing at house parties with nothing but a cheap Casio keyboard to accompany her, but this was her roots and the keyboard was where it all began.  Speaking of her keyboard memories she recalls how, “I got it for my first Holy Communion. Years later, I took the keyboard out of its box and took this instrument to Poznań. One day I sat down on the floor with the keyboard and a recorder, intent on improvising.  Back then I was fascinated by a song from the movie “Mulholland Drive”. The melody Stars was created on the carpet at that moment. And the Casio stayed with me. The keyboard has 99 sounds and 99 different beats.”

Today’s song is called ‘Stars’ and comes from their forthcoming self-titled EP due out on the 27th this month.  Capturing all that is good about the electro revival, Skwarek’s vocals are strong and full-bodied with a classic, timeless tone..

Discover more here:  https://soundcloud.com/rebekaduo

Wednesday 1st April     Alabama Shakes – Future People

After a three year gap between their last debut album, ‘Boys and Girls’, Alabama Shakes are back.  After dropping their lead single “Don’t Wanna Fight”, (which I featured last month and can be heard here-see 1st March), the band now offers up the very funky ‘Future People’; the interval between releases is proving to be well worth the wait!

Later this month their new LP, ‘Sound & Colour’ will be released via ATO Records and features both of these singles.  ‘Future People’ remains true to the bands distinct sound with Brittany Howard’s vocals as smooth and tender as ever, forever coaxing but never demanding your attention.  As her notes soar into the song they leave you lifted and high as they carry you along, rising and falling with each word.  It’s content focuses on the future and what impact the here and now has on it’s direction as it talks of the children, their future and how “You got to give a little, give a little and see it like future people”.

It is so nice to see the development and experimentation of this band as they move forward into new territories, the ground they now cover is fresh and fertile with growth as exciting as it is imminent.    “>

1 Response to APRIL 2015

  1. Pingback: APRIL SONGS OF THE DAY – MONTHLY PLAYLIST | The Listening Post a blog to discover, listen and enjoy music

Let me know your thoughts, leave comments here:

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.