Tuesday 28 September 2021

ALBUM NEWS: MICHELLE - 'After Dinner We Talk Dreams'

Brilliant news klaxon... NYC-collective MICHELLE have announced their new album!!! Genuinely the most joyous of news. After Dinner We Talk Dreams is due for release in the UK via the dreamboats Transgressive on 28th January. They've been one of my favourite discoveries of the past few years, bringing joy with recent singles SUNRISE, FYO, UNBOUND and latest offering SYNCOPATE. For me though, it was this live performance of first album track THE BOTTOM which got me hooked. Pure love at first listen. 

On new track SYNCOPATE, the group share: "the song at its core is about desire. Communicating your desire can feel vulnerable, so we wanted to have some fun with that and show our funky and seductive side. It really feels like we're hitting the street for the first time by putting this song out into the world."

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Monday 27 September 2021

WATCH: Orlando Weeks - 'Look Who's Talking Now'

Be right back, just off to find 2017 me - singing and dancing with my best pal and having the time of my life feeling overwhelming emotions at the farewell Maccabees gig at Ally Pally - and tell her that all is fine, Orlando Weeks' isn't that easy to get rid of, musically speaking. Thank god for that!

I haven't got a press release for this one, nobody else's fancy words to use to talk about it, but I felt a compulsion to share the news of one of my favourite tracks of the last week, and the delightful album news which accompanied the release. The track is Look Who's Talking Now - and it, and the accompanying video, are pure joy. Through his work with the band, Orlando's vocals have soundtracked a long stretch of my life, and this latest single feels like the return of an old friend. There's a nostalgic vibe to this one and I am, once again, feeling all of the feelings at the hands of this man. 

Orlando's new solo record Hop Up is due for release on 14th Jan - pre-order here

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Friday 17 September 2021

LISTEN: The Vaccines - 'Back In Love City'

A quick glance at my listening habits on last.fm would tell you that I've listened to little else besides the new album from The Vaccines this week. Back In Love City and this band have my whole heart. Sometimes I find it a little unnerving waiting for a favourite artist to share a new record... I enjoyed the singles, sure, but what if I didn't like the record, or react to it in the way that I hoped? 

Any worries were quickly dispelled last Friday on the first listen (and the many consequent listens) - the record as a whole is a sonic journey, it's got everything that I adore about the band but with some exciting new twists. The 'heavy' Wanderlust is a favourite of mine at the moment, and those Ennio Morricone / Western soundtrack vibes on a few of the tracks speak of the influence of the Texan studio that the record was created in. An added joy to find that Fryars had a hand in producing a few of the tracks and that Rae Morris is singing alongside Justin on Paranormal Romance, too!

It's so clear that the band had a lot of fun making this one, and it's been a delight to see the positive response to it this week. (Fingers crossed for a top 5 album in the charts later today!) I only wish I was able to make one of the live shows they're doing at the moment to promote it... next year, maybe!

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Tuesday 14 September 2021

LISTEN: The Staves - 'Good Woman' (Be Kind Version)

A recent (ish) development in my music taste (or at least, a theme I've noticed developing) is that I listen to a LOT of projects where Marcus Hamblett is involved in some way. Maybe he's just reaaaaally prolific. A brilliant solo artist in his own right, he performs live and on record/in sessions with a lot of brilliant artists (as I'm quickly discovering) and you know you're in safe hands when Marcus is involved... 

One of the bands he performs and records with is The Staves, who I adore. Imagine my delight at reading a post online from the band, announcing that they'd been in the studio with "bandmate and long-time collaborator" Marcus, revisiting some of the songs from their recent record Good Woman, with the aim of exploring "some of the more soft and tender parts that are there." I'm ridiculously excited to hear more of the reimagined tracks (the record is easily one of my favourite releases of the year, so I've naturally rinsed it a little) but for now I'm really digging the new version of title track Good Woman

On a related note, The Staves are touring the UK soon - with support from the equally superb Samantha Crain - dates and tickets here

Also - on another related note, Marcus joined the trio for a special Tiny Desk Concert performance live from their family home (the desk being the kitchen table) which you can and very much should watch here!

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Monday 13 September 2021

WATCH: Mathilda Homer - 'If You Were On Fire'

"I couldn't hate somebody more if I tried, let me put it real nicely: if you were on fire, I wouldn't put water on you, I'd just watch you die. Truly I wish you a bad, bad life." 

I worked my way through about 200 submissions to the blog on Friday - as you can imagine, it can take something pretty special to stand out amongst those. When I haven't been listening to the new record from The Vaccines on repeat, the chorus from this one has been circulating my head a lot this weekend... 

The track is If You Were On Fire by Mathilda Homer, taken from her new EP of the same name, which also features previous singles Rock Bottom, I'm Sorry and Something Sentimental. The unique blend of Mathilda's broad vocal range and the humour found within her lyrics makes for something pretty magical. 

Inspired by Martha Wainwright's Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole, the track sees Mathilda venting her feelings of frustration towards the events of 2020 and people in power. She explains: "I had my coat on ready to leave and then asked Matt and Danny [The Six] if they'd ever heard 'bloody mother fucking asshole'. It was around the time that people were storming the White House, and I felt a heavy weight of all of the injustices that were going on in the world. It's a song about the horrible people in high power. We wrote it in about 30 minutes, it was one of those! It just made sense." 

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Thursday 9 September 2021

WATCH: Francis of Delirium - 'Come Out and Play'

I'm still here! Kinda. Finding it a bit overwhelming to try and slot back into my usual routine of a few posts each week and frankly a little confused how I ever had the time to do two jobs alongside the blog and various other bits. Not to worry - I'm being patient with myself (so please bear with if you're waiting on responses to emails etc) and posts will likely be a little bit sporadic for the time being. Not right now though, a post awaits you...

Writing this on Wednesday evening, I've been working from home today... and I've had this track, the new Muna and Phoebe Bridgers track and Jump Off The Top by The Vaccines on a near-constant repeat. Come Out And Play is the first new track from Francis of Delirium since their Wading EP earlier this year. They never put a foot wrong - each track is a pure delight, and they usually arrive with a brilliant homemade video. This one is no exception! In fact - the behind the scenes here is just as good as the video itself. All hail Jana, I say. 

On the track, Jana shares "I kept thinking about clowns when making this song, I watched Felini's '8 1/2' and the closing scene where a procession of clowns play in a band stuck with me. I had them in my mind for months, thinking about the way they hid behind painted faces, keeping so much hidden from the audience, and also just how sad they seemed. I wanted this song to feel dark and to have an eeriness that would make sense in the background of some weird art movie about funhouses and carnivals."  

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Monday 6 September 2021

WATCH: APRE - 'All Mine'

Happy Monday! Before the musical rambles, a quick thanks for the patience and kindness I've been shown of late. I'm attempting a return to posting on the blog (forgive me if posts aren't quite as frequent as normal, just yet...) with a song that has been on repeat on my Spotify account (no, not ABBA - but you should listen to them) and in my earphones for days now. The track is All Mine by APRE - I love these guys and I'm delighted that they're back, bringing with them one of my favourite songs of theirs so far. There's more what that came from too, as they're releasing a few more singles this year, with a mixtape due to arrive early next year.  

On the origins of the new track, the duo share: "when something becomes so good we can't help but look for the flaws, drowning our minds with false anxiety, as we lie in disbelief that we've found the one person that understands us. In other words it seems too good to be true. This song speaks of the never ending sense of joy another human being can give you."  

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