MAY 2015

Sunday 31st May    Colleen – This Hammer Breaks

Colleen, aka Cécile Schott, is a french composer of electronic and ambient music.  Her career began in 2001 when she began creating sounds under the name of ‘Colleen’, releasing a series of albums via the Leaf label between the years of 2003-2007.  For a few years Schott vanished but resurfaced in 2013 with the album ‘The Weighing of the Heart’ and has been actively making music ever since.

There is much to discover about this artist for it is evident that there are many layers to her rich and diverse sound.  Her music resides in the dreamy, ethereal worlds of looping cellos, bells, flutes and musical boxes, here is where her experimentation and exploration thrive.

In April this year Colleen released her fifth album titled “Captain of None” via Thrill Jockey records.

Schott recorded, mixed and produced the album ‘Captain of None’ entirely by herself in her music studio in San Sebastian, Spain.  It was to be an album of experimentation where she began to explore the effects of delay and echo, using them to aid in the construction of her songs which began transforming her music as opposed to just altering her sound.

‘Captain of None ‘ is a melodic album full of fast-paced tracks, prominent bass lines and an exciting and infectious assortment of percussive effects and beats.  Colleen, having been fascinated by Jamaican music ever since she was a child, grew up listening to the sounds of early Lee Perry.  Her love for this music continued where its influence can subtly be heard echoing though her music today, a perfect example is today’s song ‘This Hammer Breaks’.  Exploding with hypnotic percussion, this track is defined by its infectious and tribal sounding rhythms, it’s a marvel!

I feel like I have just scratched the surface of this exhilarating artist and intend to discover more, you can do the same here

Saturday 30th May     The Fall – Clasp Hands (Peel Session 12/8/04)

I never quite got The Fall at first…I remember reading rave reviews about them and the genius of Mark E Smith.  I also remember discovering just how much John Peel loved them and how, out of all of his vast collection, the band of which he owned the most records was in fact The Fall!

I got there in the end though and now join in the mass appreciation for this pioneering and cult band.

Earlier this month The Fall released their 31st studio album titled ‘Sub-Lingual Tablet’ which came out via Cherry Red Records.  Featuring the only constant and founding band member Mark E. Smith, his music is still driven by the same guitar-driven sound, distinct and often cryptic lyrics.

This is an album I intend to get familiar with in the coming days but its arrival prompted me to start listening to The Fall again today.

Taken from their 2005 album ‘Fall Heads Roll’ comes today’s song which was the first album released by the band that the late John Peel never got to hear as he died a year before its release.  Being one of their most famous fans he was once asked if he would be happy with his life should he “drop dead tomorrow”.  He replied “Well, yes – but there’s a new Fall album out next year so I don’t want to drop dead just yet”.

What John Peel did get to hear from this album, however, was the songs ‘Blindness’, ‘Clasp Hands’, ‘What About Us’ and ‘I can Hear The Grass Grow’ which were performed at the band’s final Peel Session on August 2004.

Today’s song is the fantastic ‘Clasp Hands’

Friday 29th May      Skylab – Seashell

What do you get if you cross Al Green’s 1972, ‘I’m Glad You’re Mine’ with Soul Flutes 1968 track, ‘Trust In Me’?….Well, you get Skylab’s quirky new track ‘Seashell’.

The UK-based eletro artist is set to release two albums via Tummy Touch music on the 9th of next month and today’s song features on this album titled ‘#1’

Listen to more on Skylab’s bandcamp page here

Thursday 28th May    Timber Timbre – Do I Have Power

Timber Timbre’s ‘Do I Have Power’…taken from 2011 ‘Creep On Creepin On’ album..

Wednesday 27th May   Cyril Diaz & Orchestra – Voodoo

It’s always good to mix things up when it comes to the sharing of music.. Today’s song is a great Calypso track titled ‘Voodoo’ which was first released in 1959 by Calypso player, Cyril Diaz.

Cyril Diaz came from Trinidad and Tobago and was renowned for the “rich and smooth tone” of his tenor sax playing… A lot of his music was reissued again around about 2011, this track was reissued in 2011 via Soundway records

Tuesday 26th May   Dakota Blue – After Dark

Read full review on this new and emerging artist on my review page here

Monday 25th May   Yak – Smile

Yak are a London-based 3-piece who have been playing together in and around London for a while now, their shows have gathered rave reviews from the likes of NME and have also drawn the attention of Fat Possum records who released their first single in February this year.  Titled ‘Hungry Heart’ their debut single is a pulsating, crazed and energy-fueled track which I can only liken to the fantastic sound of Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster with its depraved and distinct sound..its gripping and should be checked out here

With a distinct likeness to Nick Cave, Yak have made a grand job of living up to this comparison with their edgy, dark and (sometimes) downright crazy live shows adding to their enthralling appeal.

Today saw the release of their debut EP, ‘Plastic People’ with leading track ‘Smile’ paving the way for this gripping release.  This track is menacing and edgy, continuing with the same spirited and fearless approach that Yak shall soon be so well known for.

Sunday 24th May    Iles – Little Notes

Iles’s forthcoming debut album ‘Apartments’ (which has been six years in the making) is due out on the 26th of this month and, if his first two singles are anything to go by, it will be well worth the wait.

Today’s song comes from this new release, read more on my review page here

Coming out via Forged Artifacts Iles’s new album can be pre-ordered from here

Follow Iles here

Saturday 23rd May     Silver Firs – Hinterland

Silver Firs are a Swiss quartet whose lightweight and tuneful music floats about inside the dreamy realms of folk, dreampop and psychedelia.  Combining these elements with their affinity to African music this diverse mix makes their sound stand out.

Forming in 2011 the band both record and produce their own music, their DIY ethics an integral part of their sound and, whilst relatively unknown in their home country, the Silver Firs have definitely made a name for themselves abroad.   In 2013 the single ‘Motherland’ was put up on Soundcloud and was greatly received, reaching #4 on the Hype Machine’s charts of most popular tracks where rave reviews from online magazines such as Indie Shuffle, KEXP soon followed.  In 2014 their EP#2 got airplay on more than 75 radio stations in the USA and Canada and made it into the CMJ charts for 3 weeks.

Now signed to Oh Sister Records the band have had a new track featured on the labels first compilation which is titled ‘Oh Sister Kollektion #1’.  This album came out on the 1st of this month and is well worth a listen, this can be downloaded from here

This is also where today’s song, ‘Hinterland’ can be found.  Effortless and well structured, this track is so easy to get lost in right from the onset.  The combination of funky percussion, breezy guitars and sunshiney vocals make for an easy and pleasurable listen, hints of Fleet Foxes can also be detected.

Discover and listen to more of Silver Firs here

Friday 22nd May    Henry Canyons – Post Modern Man feat Open Mike Eagle & Zoe Rose

Fantastic second single from Henry Canyons which features on his brand new album due out next month.  Read full review here

Thursday 21st May   Scarlett O’Hanna – Dramamine

Taken from her 2014 album ‘Romance Floats’…. Read more about Scarlett O’ Hanna by hopping down to the 16th May..

Wednesday 20th May   Godblesscomputers – Leap in the Dark

Today’s song comes from Italian producer Lorenzo ‘Nada’ whose new album was released earlier this month.  Read more here:

Tuesday 19th May    Mavis Staples – Your Good Fortune

Legendary Chicago-born Mavis Staples has a lifelong career under her belt and, with her new EP coming out only last month, it looks like she is set to continue making music for the foreseeable future.

On 21st April her four track EP, ‘Your Good Fortune’ was released via ANTI-Records.  Produced by Son Little, who specifically wrote two tracks for Staples (‘Your Good Fortune and ‘Fight’), the EP also includes two fresh takes on the classics of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s ‘See That My Grave Is Kept Clean’ and the Gospel song ‘Wish I Had Answered’

The combination of Son Little’s soul, blues and hip-hop influences are incorporated in his songwriting and instrumental compositions, whilst Staples lends her infamously passionate voice to the mix; the pairing works a treat!

The 75-year-old singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples spoke about her work with Son Little in a press release and stated, “I’m always excited to do new songs,” Staples said in a press release. “And this young man wrote two just for me. Seemed like we were a team made in heaven. He writes from his heart; he’s a great singer who sings from his heart, and he reached my heart. I’m so glad we got to work together. The whole experience right down to the finished product was just extraordinary.”

Today’s song is the great, soulful title track off this new EP..

Monday 18th May   Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand

Today’s little treat comes to us in the form of the great Nick Cave.  Originally featuring on his 1994 album ‘Let Love In’ as a 6.10 minute song, ‘Red Right Hand’ was later released as a single at the condensed length of 4.48 minutes.  It has since became one of Cave’s signature tunes performed at most of his concerts.

The phrase “red right hand” is from a line in John Milton’s epic poem, ‘Paradise Lost’ which refers to the vengeful hand of God.  This track has been covered by an array of artists, all which give the song a slightly different sound, including Arctic Monkeys and PJ Harvey.

Sunday 17th May     Ellen Mcilwaine – Can’t Find My Way Home

Ellen Mcilwaine was born in Nashville, Tennessee and is an American singer-songwriter and musician best known for her career as a slide guitarist.  She is also known for her acoustic guitar playing, her music often being classified as folk despite her strong roots in blues, soul and rock.

In 1966 she began playing in New York’s Greenwich Village at the Cafe Au Go Go where she opened every night for artists such as Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee and Big Joe Williams.  She also played with a young Jimi Hendrix before returning to Atlanta where she went on to form the psychedelic blues band, Fear Itself.  After recording just one album with Fear Itself, Mcilwaine went solo and from there on in her music became more focused on the acoustic slide guitar sound (great example below)

Today’s song comes from Mcilwain’s 1972 debut solo album ‘Honky Tonk Angel’ and is a cover of the song written by Steve Winwood.  Titled ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ this track has been covered by various artists but was first released by Blind Faith in 1969…I quite like this version though.  Quirky line, “And I’m wasted and I can’t find my way home”  was a lyric described as “delightful” by Rolling Stone in a review..

Saturday 16th May  Scarlett O’Hanna – With Hope Comes the Morning

Originally from France Scarlett O’ Hanna now resides in Brussels, her heritage as diverse and interesting as her music.  Half French and half Greek, Scarlett O’Hanna began her musical career as part of the pop-punk outfit Cobson, but since 2010 she has been going it alone.  With nothing but her guitar, keyboard and haunting, whimsical vocals to accompany her she began her solo career supporting acts such as Laura Veirs, Scout Niblett and Emily Jane White before being invited by Wilco to be the opening act for his European tour in 2011.

Compared to the likes of St Vincent, (watch to her charismatic performance behind the keyboard and guitar and you will see why), she has also been described as “a format-killer composer, singer and producer with eclectic sensitivity”.

Listening to her you cannot help but think of St Vincent, her music incorporating electronic substructures, whilst her individual style gives her an edge which makes her stand out.  Her music grips at you, everything about her is tinged with sensitive longing whilst her delivery is nothing less than cool, articulated and intricate thought out art form.

Taken from her 2014 album ‘Romance Floats’, today’s song is titled ‘With Hope Comes the Morning’.

There’s not better view than the distance yet untraveled
There’s no such feeling as walking it with you
One’s heart is never prepared to be shattered
But with love comes hope
And with hope comes the morning
Being unprepared will keep us going

See the breaches in the road, smell the dust
We’ll be found in the dark and silent corners
But as long as with love comes hope
As long as with hope comes the morning
We’ll keep on going

Friday 15th May    B.B King – So Excited

Riley B. King, better known as the B.B King was one of the greatest guitarists whose sophisticated style of guitar playing and string bending influenced virtually every electric blues guitarist that followed.  Also known as “The King of Blues” and one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar”(alongside Albert King and Freddie King), King was well respected for his lifelong music career, appearing at more than 200 concerts per year on average even when he was in  his 70’s.

In 1987 King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and later he was also inducted into the 2014 class of the R&B Hall of Fame.  In 1990 he was also awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Bush who also awarded King the Presidential Medal of Freedom later on in 2006!

B.B King was an awe inspiring musician and performer who has influenced and shaped so many artists with his individual style and dedication to music.  Today’s song is in memory of this legend who died in his sleep in Las Vegas yesterday, May 14

Taken from his 1969 17th studio album ‘Completely Well, today’s song is called ‘So Excited”

Thursday 14th May    Fufanu – Will We Last

Whilst investigating this new find today, I discovered that this Icelandic 5-piece originally entered into the world of music via a techno route.  Well known in their homeland the band had made a name as for themselves as Dj’s, but all this was to change after an unlucky twist of fate pushed them into a new direction.  It all began when their master computer, containing an unreleased techno album, was stolen…

This unfortunate event ultimately steered them into pastures new whereby the band reinvented their sound completely.  Entering a new realm of sound that would now present itself in the new form of Psychedelic punk/rock, the band laid down their turntables and reached for guitars.  Compared to the likes of Interpol, Joy Division and perhaps even Bauhaus, the band are to release their debut album later this year via One Little Indian Records.

With Rolling Stone rating them as an artist you need to know, Fufanu are definitely one to look out for.  Todays song is taken from their new EP,  ‘Adjust to the Light’ which is out 29 June and can be pre-order it on iTunes now.

Wednesday 13th May   Seekae – The Worry

Sydney-based Seekae are an electronic 3-piece whose evolving sound ranges from melancholy house music to lost-in-thought neofolk.

With their debut album coming out in 2008 the band released their third Lp last September which was titled, ‘The Worry’.  With its retrospective theme, this album brings together a set of pop-tinged tracks that draw from rock as well as dance music.

Title-track ‘The Worry’ encapsulates the feel of the album, with its pensive lyrics and minimalist make-up; it also demonstrates the power of simplicity in what is a reflective and honest musical venture

Tuesday 12th May    The Wytches – The Holy Tightrope

The Wytches are a 3-piece outfit who now reside in Brighton but are originally from Peterborough.  Often described as a Psychedelic rock band, anyone who has listened to them will know that this title is merely the tip of the ice berg as far as genre description is concerned.  Like a jack-in-the-box constantly on full crank their music is fit to burst and, when it does, out pops a chaotic concoction of Grunge rock, Surf-horror, garage-rock and lo-fi punk rock; the delivery is thrust upon you with energy and conviction whilst boundaries are cast aside.

One thing is for certain, there is never a dull moment when The Wytches are about, their sound is brimming with mysticism and sinister goings-on.

Signed to Heavenly recordings in July 2014 their debut album ‘Annabel Dream Reader’ was released a month later and was co-produced by frontman Kristian Bell and former Coral guitarist Billy Ryder-Jones, whose influence can be heard throughout.  This is particularly evident in today’s song, ‘The Holy Tightrope’.

Released as a b-side to their single ‘Wire Frame Mattress’, this track begins with a thunderous bass line wrapped inside an eerie guitar riff,  you can almost hear The Coral’s “Simon Diamond” in the cascading riffs that flit in and out, their part almost playing out the bit where the scary scene builds in a horror movie.

It’s a great track, I love the blend of psychedelia-meets-grunge-rock where everything builds into a crescendo before falling away into hazy darkness.“>

Monday 11th May    Cul-de-Sac – I Remember Nothing More

After writing about Gavin Clark the other day, (whose music often featured in Shane Meadows films – See my full write up here), I smiled when I switched over my TV the next night only to find ‘Dead Mans Shoes’ on!….Paddy Considine’s performance never ceases to impress.

With a great soundtrack to accompany the film, this is where I first heard today’s song.  Titled, ‘I Remember Nothing More’ and performed by Cul-de-Sac, this song appears on the bands 2009 album, ‘Death of the Sun’

Check out this review Pitchfork for more information

Today’s song (as quoted from Pitchfork) is “a breathtaking piece built from a sample of an old Cajun 78, with a ghost of a woman’s voice singing “Salangadou” along with Cul de Sac on guitar, bass and drums.” …haunting and breathtaking indeed…..

Sunday 10th May    Bo Diddley – Bad Trip

Brace yourselves for five and a half minutes of funky soul; taken from an unlikely source I hasten to add!  Bo Diddley reshaped his sound with this 1972 album ‘Where it all Began’, with the incorporation of funk and soul filtering its way into his new creations.  This album was produced by Johnny Otis and Pete Welding and proved to be a successful soul effort by Bo Diddley who entered into new realms when he released this.

Unfortunately, however, despite Bo emerging as a soul singer in his own right, his new sound failed to persuade the people who wanted the old beat sound of Bo and so did not receive the success it deserved..

It is an album worth checking out, (if you haven’t already), and what better way to start than with ‘Bad Trip’, taken from this album

Saturday 9th May    Monophonics – Promises

What better way to start the weekend than with a bit of Psychedelic soul? Continuing from yesterdays psychedelia theme comes a band from San Francisco.  Named Monophonics and originally starting out as an instrumental ensemble, the band formed in 2005.  The initial line up consisted of guitarist Ian McDonald, bassist Myles O’Mahony, saxophonist Alex Baky, trumpeter Ryan Scott, and drummer Austin Bohlman, with the recent addition of dynamic soul vocalist and keyboardist Kelly Finnigan.

What this band manages to achieve, and with great success, is the merging of two eras, drawing upon the old soul and psychedelic sounds of the 60’s, the Monophonics have reinvented this sound bringing it alive in the present day.

With influences including early Funkadelic and The Temptations the band now explore the sounds of bands such as The Zombies, The Beatles, Beach Boys and Pink Floyd, all of this now incorporated in their dynamic and experimental sound.

On the 14th of last month the Monophonics released a new album titled ‘Sound of Sinning’ which was released via Transistor Records.  Touching on Northern soul, Doo-wop, Rock and Roll, Psych-Pop and Cinematic music, this latest record explores these new realms whilst maintaining a firm grip on their roots.  Taken off ‘Sound of Sinning’ comes today’s song, ‘Promises’

Friday 8th May    Jacco Gardner – Hypnophobia

Jacco Gardner is a young Dutch producer and multi-instrumentalist who’s creations greatly precede his tender young age as they transport the listener back to a golden age where all things psychedelic shaped and steered the music of its day.  His sound is hypnotic and resides in a realm where dreams and reality merge, where the old and new overlap in a truly spellbinding way.

Gardner released his second album just three days ago which follows the success of his debut album ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ which came out in 2013.  Titled ‘Hypnophobia’ this album embraces Gardner’s love for travel and his passion for collecting and playing vintage instruments.  Allowing his psychedelic 60’s influence to unfold amidst lush instrumental and delicate vocal tracks, the record also features a Wurlitzer electric piano (that was purchased on tour), harpsichords, an Optigan and an antique Steinway upright piano which was purchased from a church.

You cannot listen to his music without thinking of Pink Floyd and Simon and Garfunkel but you cannot listen to his music and only hear this either for there is much more going on.  What Gardner has successfully manipulated here is the fusion of the old and the new, you can here both playing out side by side.  A perfect example of this can be heard in today’s song.  Titled ‘Hypnophobia’ be sure to listen out for the interesting instrumental middle section where the jangly sounds of psychedelia play alongside the modern sound of a driving bass line…it is truly satisfying

Thursday 7th May    Foreign/National – The Hedonist

Today’s song is fresh off the press and is the new single from the Melbourne-based five-piece, Foreign/National.  With a passion for jazz chords and nostalgic pop, the bands creations are always developing and evolving.

What does remain constant throughout the whole creative process however, is the bands pursuit and desire to create music that provides an outlet for escapism and pleasure.  With this in mind their brand new single ‘The Hedonist’  is quite an apt title really.  With plans to release their debut album and worldwide tours on the horizon, this band are on the rise…

You can purchase their new single from here

Wednesday 6th May   Other Lives – Easy Way Out

It’s been over two years since the Oklahoma trio Other Lives released their last EP, and nearly four years since an album release.

This week saw the release of a brand new LP which came out via TBD records only yesterday and is titled, ‘Rituals’

According to a press release, the album themes were developed during a transitional period where the bands relocation to Portland, Oregon played a major part in it’s development.

Today’s song is titled ‘Easy Way Out’ and is the new single from their brand new album.  Re-routing the bands original folk-based direction they now stride down a path of experimental exploration which, I’m sure you will agree, is sign of many good things to come.

Buy your copy of ‘Rituals’ here

Follow the band on twitter here

Tuesday 5th May   Strange Cages – Desert

I remember stumbling upon this song at the tail end of last year when it was first released but I obviously didn’t have my ‘punk-head’ on that day…

Tonight is a different story however, for tonight the brazen music of Brighton-based Strange Cages has brought a smile to my face and a swagger to my step. It is a night for good old fashioned, gritty punk it would seem, and what better way to start it off than with this Brighton-based three-piece!

Influenced by the classic sounds of the grand old garage days of the 60’s, the Strange Cages are influenced by the post-punk sounds of 13th Floor Elevators, The Stooges and Television to name a few and state that, ‘“We love music that’s primal and menacing, anything twisted with a touch of evil.”..hmm, I can see where you are coming from there S.C’s!

The band have been together for over two years and now finally settle with a new drummer to complete the outfit, previous drummer issues had halted progress until now.

Today’s song is still available to download from the bands Soundcloud page here and is titled ‘Desert’.  Packed full of jangly guitar riffs, heavy rhythms and a large helping of gruff attitude, this track is so cool and nonchalant.  Warbling vocals respond to the fuzzy cry of psychedelic guitar riffs as this fusion of garage punk unfolds itself with a rawness that constitutes the very backbone of punks homemade and DIY sound.

Monday 4th May   Fred Williams & The Jewels Band – Tell Her

Today’s song is rather an elusive number it would seem!  There is little I can tell you about this classic soul track only that is was released in 1969 and was sampled in Talib Kweli’s 2007 track, ‘Listen’ ….

However, if you enjoy listening to this as much as I have you will agree that the record can do the rest of the talking here….

Sunday 3rd May     Howling – Short Line

Fantastic single from Howling’s debut LP ‘Sacred Ground’ due for release tomorrow!            Read full review on my page here

Saturday 2nd May   Bells Atlas – Bling

On the 28th of this month Bells Atlas are to release their forthcoming EP, ‘Hyperlust’.  The Oakland-based band grabbed my attention back in early April with their first single ‘Future Bones’, and have just put out their second single ‘Bling’ which also appears on their latest release.

True to  its name this brand new single is a another fine blend of shiny-bright, energized good-feeling; also demonstrating their exceptional talent to fuse genres together into a melting pot of fresh new sounds.

Read more about them in my review here

You can pre-order their EP from their bandcamp page here

…and finally, listen to today’s song here!!:

Friday 1st May   Rose Windows – The Wanton Song

Rose Windows are due to release their self titled album on the 4th of this month so not long to wait now!  This Seattle-based sextet draws upon influences from such a wide range of sources, including American folk, West Saharan guitar rock and traditional Persian music.  This then presents itself in an explosion of psychedelia.

At the end of last month I featured Rose Windows in a review, find out more about them here

The band have included a bonus 7″ with all LP pre-orders and this is where you will find today’s track which is a cover of Led Zepplin’s, ‘The Wanton Song’.  Dare I hint upon the fact that I actually prefer, (or at least like as much), this version?

Take a listen and decide for yourself…

Released via SubPop their new LP can be purchased from here

2 Responses to MAY 2015

  1. Pingback: Henry Canyons – Post-Modern Man feat. Open Mike Eagle & Zoe Rose | The Listening Post a blog to discover, listen and enjoy music

  2. Pingback: SONG OF THE DAY Strange Cages – | The Listening Post a blog to discover, listen and enjoy music

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