Now, a year or so down the line the duo of Dick Pettersson and Andrea Caccese are set to build on that foundation with the follow-up release of ‘You Are An Empty Artist.‘ The pair have a no-nonsense approach to writing their tunes, and many hours of swapping music and stories has led them to this point. Their music doesn’t exactly fit into any specific genre, but from what I’ve heard so far, I’d likely have it filed under the ‘dream-pop’ tag – alongside bands such as fellow Scandinavians, Simian Ghost and Pinkunoizu.
The album ‘You Are An Empty Artist‘ is released on 15th April, and LOUD HORIZON will of course carry a little review – hopefully within the next week (or so!)
Meantime, here’s a taster of what to expect. Nice!
MILWALKIE are a half Scottish, half German band now based in Berlin. Brothers Steve and Matt Morris had played with various bands in the Aberdeen area for several years before they accepted the sense of ‘not belonging’ in a cultural way and decided to up sticks and move to Germany…… but not before releasing their first eponymous EP in September 2011.
Unfortunately, just as the lads were ready to throw themselves into their music in the more culturally friendly environs of Berlin, their father became seriously ill, so the first few months were spent travelling back and forward between their and old homes. Sadly, their father passed away last summer, but throughout that whole traumatic period, Matt continued writing music, pushing on through the emotional pain to finish their first full-length album, ‘No Routes,‘ which is now scheduled for release on 28th February.
Given the circumstances then, I guess you could be forgiven for assuming that ‘No Routes‘ would be a rather introspective and possibly downbeat album. Far from it – while the two tracks featured in video format below, together with ‘Frozen Lake‘ and ‘The Stamp Collector‘ (which are all grouped around the album’s mid-point) may see the band in a more reflective mood, the album as a whole is pretty much upbeat and positive.
Songs such as ‘Surf, Surf Surf,‘ and ‘You’re Late,‘ are bouncy little dream-pop numbers as are ‘Milan‘ and more so, ‘Astraphobia’ which follow the more ‘experimental’ opener ‘Painolophone‘ which has gentle slide guitar laying over the top a pre-recorded loop run backwards. Or something like that!
OK, so the pace drops again for the closing two numbers, but nowhere throughout the forty-five minute duration of ‘No Routes’ do you get the impression of the writer(s) wanting to share their innermost grief.
On the contrary, it would seem that the relevant catharsis for the Morris brothers was to record a positive and uplifting piece of music that would not look out of place were it produced by any of the bands on the iconic Captured Tracks label.
(‘Back To The Snow’ is the band’s new single and is available now via their Bandcamp page – see below)
(‘No Routes’ is self -released on 28th February 2013)
(8.5 / 10)
There’s some sort of poetic irony about a band trying to break out of Austin, Texas when so many from all over the world have that particular city as the place they most want be – at least for a week or so in the month of March.
BLACK BOOKS are one such band, however and from the reviews they have been garnering Stateside, you can be sure that they will be attracting attention from well outwith their locale in the coming months. With complimentary comparisons to the likes of My Morning Jacket, Grandaddy and Band of Horses flying around, their particular style of ‘Southern Dream-Pop’ is impressing may people.
Blending heavy doses of psychedelia with sun-soaked melodies and huge, anthemic soundscapes, theirs is a music that is both timeless and atmospheric. From what I’ve heard, it has more ‘balls’ to it than your average shoe-gaze type, and funnily enough reminds me slightly of Sleepy Sun, although perhaps maybe not quite so psych-laden.
I like this track a lot. I’ll make sure LOUD HORIZON bangs up some more from BLACK BOOKS just as soon as it becomes available.
Swedish three-piece SIMIAN GHOST have just released their first material since the critically acclaimed ‘Youth’ album of last year. Seems you need to buy the download code for this track by also buying a T-Shirt from here. (But maybe I picked that up wrong … here’s the link to the band’s website.)
You will be able to see SIMIAN GHOST here in the UK come December – here are the dates:
03.12 Brighton – Sticky Mike´s
05.12 Bristol – Louisiana
06.12 London – Surya
08.12 Manchester – Deaf Institute
09.12 Newcastle – Brewdog
10.12 York – Basement
They recently made their ‘proper’ TV debut with an appearance on the late night U.S. show ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’ although their stock had already risen by way of inclusion in the television advert for the new Microsoft Windows 8 campaign.
Having toured with both The Naked & Famous and fun. they have garnered much critical praise and it looks like the time is right for their big breakthrough. Currently on tour throughout The States, maybe we’ll see them bring their catchy, melody-drenched and infectious barnd of pop music to the UK’s shore some time in 2013?
The DIGNAN PORCH feature that was prepared for the New Blood section of the current (October 2012) issue of ARTROCKER MAGAZINE has been reproduced within the HORIZON INTO VIEW page.
Everything has been very low-key so far, with SOLO playing only a handful of small gigs around London so far. In fact it’s all so low-key that he has not yet created a Facebook page, so any feedback on the tracks that follow can be left in the Comments section below for the time being.
Musically, it’s pretty much an acoustic and synth variation of dream-pop – and most definitely shows some great potential. I particularly like the guitar work on ’Stay True.’
These tracks are the first two from the forthcoming ‘Read With Your Eyes Shut’ EP with the final couple to to be made available at the end of October. (Looks like you can download them for free as well, which is always good!)
Any feedback would I’m sure be gratefully received.
The band’s excellent debut album ‘Oshin,’ garnered much critical acclaim on its release earlier this year, and of course they are on the wonderful Captured Tracks label …. and that alone makes them worthy of checking out!
You can see the band play the following dates:
01 Nov – Paris, Pitchfork Paris Festival
14 Nov – London, The Garage
15 Nov – Plymouth, Plymouth Pavillions (support for The Vaccines)
17 Nov – London, Alexandra Palace (support for The Vaccines)
19 Nov – Leicester, De Montfort Hall (support for The Vaccines)
20 Nov – Manchester, Deaf Institute
21 Nov – Manchester, The Apollo (support for The Vaccines)
22 Nov – Liverpool, Liverpool University (support for The Vaccines)
23 Nov – Doncaster, Doncaster Dome (support for The Vaccines)
25 Nov – Glasgow, 02 Academy (support for The Vaccines) SOLD OUT
26 Nov – Glasgow, 02 Academy (support for The Vaccines)
27 Nov – Newcastle, 02 Academy (support for The Vaccines)
28 Nov – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club (support for The Raveonettes)
29 Nov – Birmingham, 02 Academy (support for The Vaccines)
30 Nov – Bournemouth, 02 Academy (support for The Vaccines)
Swedish three-piece SIMIAN GHOST have featured a few times previously here on LOUD HORIZON, so while the lads continue work on their as yet untitled third album, I’m pleased to be able to post his remix of probably the most popular track from their current album, ‘Youth.’
(‘Wolf Girl’ may be downloaded for free, if you like.)
‘Vague Hotel’ is the lead track from ‘Choreography,’ the debut album from East London duo, WEIRD DREAMS. They are taking their curious brand of twisted, psychadelic, lyric, and. . yes. . dreamy pop on the road this autumn when they play a handful of shows with Destroyer at the following venues during November.
They also have their own headline show at Birthdays in October… hit back for guestlist and interview requests
13th November – Village Underground, London w/ Destroyer (SOLD OUT)
14th November – The Fleece, Bristol w/ Destroyer
16th November – Sound Control, Manchester w/ Destroyer
(They also have their own headline show at Birthdays in London on October 26th.)
MY TIGER MY TIMING are a London based dream pop type band who have just released their debut album, ‘Celeste.’ The track below ‘The Gold Rush’ was lifted from the album and issued as a single, with the video reflecting the band’s stringent DIY ethic by inviting fans and friends to submit video clips interpreting the words and themes present in the song. The video is a montage of all the clips submitted, and kinda reminds me a little of the one done by Feeder for ‘Just A Day,’ … which would rank up here as one of my favourite videos of all time, though I’m entirely sure why!
Please forgive the following ‘copy & paste’ details, but I’ve just come across this band and think they are most definitely worth bringing to your attention. Admittedly, I haven’t yet had a chance to listen to the full album, but seeing as ‘Long Slow Dance‘ is available in the UK from today, then I’m afraid I’ve got to ‘get lazy,’ and give you the PR blurb. But Kate’s a good lass and wouldn’t give us any bullshit, so here goes …. THE FRESH & ONLYS:
The quartet—Tim Cohen, Shayde Sartin, Wymond Miles, and Kyle Gibson— got started in 2008 and look exactly like a biker gang composed of record store employees who could stomp your ass while shouting Kobaïan (that language ‘70s French prog band Magma made up) at you, if they felt like it. So, it’s cool if you feel a bit unnerved when first meeting these four shaggy San Franciscans, even if that meeting only occurs via their songs.
There’s something very bad-ass about their music; it’s entirely assured and brazenly unique. You are free to think of them as part of a vibrant Bay Area scene (because they are) or try to link them to the nu-garage movement of several years ago (which is a stretch).
Whichever contextual lens you use, it hardly matters. The band is so comfortable with mixing and matching seemingly disparate genre elements at this point that, as a listener, it’s easy to feel like a mouse batted about in a corner by a housecat. It is tasteful, of course, and it does this at the service of forceful songs—frequently witty and often lovely songs. That’s the real reason it’s difficult to stop playing this album once you start.
Formed in 2008 in a dimly-lit bar in Barcelona’s neighbourhood of Grácia, eager to create the band decided to use their shared love of early 80s punk and post-punk, to 90s art rock. They began recording demos before relocating to different cities. Later, they reunited for their first shows in Portugal, which earned them many fans.
Long distance relationships are gut-wrenchingly difficult. Producing an album long distance is something entirely different—and exponentially more challenging.
The early days proved to be quite difficult. It meant long days writing in musty rehearsal rooms and countless nights sleeping on foreign beds and couches on both sides of the Atlantic. Song ideas were traded by email, band meetings held via Skype. A great idea that was inspired at midnight in New York had to wait until the next day to be heard in Europe.
In 2010, NYC, the band recorded and produced their self-titled debut, featuring catchy vocal duets over layered guitars and mechanical rhythms. In 2011, following performances in the US and Europe, the band began work on their follow-up release in Lisbon, Portugal.
The band describes their work sessions as intense and consuming, requiring monk-like dedication. But they have grown together through these immersive experiences, forging deep friendships and a shared creative voice. When asked about what being in GOODBYE, LABRADOR has meant to him, singer Martin Pípal simply responds, “to belong where I want to belong.”
(‘A Thousand Times Before’ is released through Dead Fisherman Records on 6th August 2012)
I’m pretty sure I mentioned this previously when reviewing their ‘We Hunt’ EP, but I’ll say it again: it really surprised me to learn that ALL WE ARE are from Liverpool. I know it sounds daft, and it’s wrong of me to associate a city with a particular style(s) of music, but how many others instantly think of The Beatles and fresh-faced young indie guitar bands when the words ‘music’ and ‘Liverpool’ are mentioned in the same sentence?
That said, although the three-piece base themselves in the North West (that’s England, of course) they are evidently all of different nationalities – Norwegian, Irish and Brazilian as it happens. (See?! I knew they weren’t from Liverpool!)
‘Cardhouse‘ (which can be downloaded free by clicking here) is lifted from the EP, and perhaps illustrates where I’m coming from. The track was written in an isolated Norwegian forest cabin, arranged in an abandoned city-schoolhouse, recorded in a huge ancient church, and to me, has a bit of a Scandanavian dream-pop feel to it, blended with a kind of early Sleepy Sun anthemic desert-rock. Quite a mix!
Anyway – you don’t need me to to tell you what it’s like ….. here’s the EP in its entirety, together with the video that accompanies your free download.
What do the following bands all have in common:
Beach Fossils; Craft Spells; Wild Nothing, and DIGNAN PORCH?
(Head over to the ‘BRING ME THE HORIZON’ page to find out!
Swedish three-piece SIMIAN GHOST have only just completed a successful tour with Stealing Sheep, and after over 50,000 hits on the “Wolf Girl” video, they have just put out a new one to accompany the track “Automation” – a particular highlight from their most recent album, ‘Youth.‘
Beautiful harmonies, twinkling guitars and more of those cristaline Swedish production values, this is probably the most overtly pop moment on the new record.
(Jeez! It looks cold in Sweden …..!)
Combining aching melancholy with sweeping synths and broken beats, Edinburgh quintet The Machine Room have made a name for themselves supporting the disparate likes of Ghostpoet, Twin Sister and The Heartbreaks. Set to release their first EP in early March, it shouldn’t be long until they’re headlining their own shows across the country.
A refreshing diversion from some of the more guitar-orientated success stories from north of the border, the EP is a brooding collection of songs, centred on love-gone-wrong. Powerful hooks and dreamy, effect-laden jams are the order of the day, resulting in an understated pop shine bristling with heartfelt vocals.
It opens with ‘Cost of Progress’; built around a perfectly formed pop hook, and backed by a taut rhythm section and shimmering synths, it’s a brilliant introduction to the group, particularly when it descends into a hazy wig-out. Next we are treated to the more focussed ‘Your Head On The Floor Next Door.’ The band’s love for New Order is most noticeable at this track’s start, before yearning verses build to a sumptuous chorus – treading a similar path to those found on Glasvegas’ first record.
It’s on haunting debut single ‘Camino de Soda’ though, that John Bryden’s vocals really come alive. His voice is what sets the group apart from many of their peers, a pained falsetto drawing on range and power in equal measure. Picking Holes is an ambitious climax which sums up the scope of the EP, crackling out of life without warning and leaving you wanting more.
With winter setting in, The Machine Room have brought out a cold EP with a warm heart. Radio 1’s Vic Galloway is already on board as will you be should you check out their mix of jangly pop and maudlin electronica.
(Self-released on 5th March 2012 and available through The Machine Room.)
(8.5 / 10)
Access to a couple of free downloads and video of the track ‘Teenage Tide’can be had by clicking here.
Sweet Jane ‘Close Your Eyes’ by SweetJaneMusic
Exhibiting a refreshing and encouraging level of versatility, this three-track single is likely to cement the critical praise garnered from Sweet Jane’s debut album ‘Sugar For My Soul’ that was released last summer.
OK, so the Irish four-piece have not exactly re-invented the wheel here, but what they have produced are three anthemic tracks that cross the divide between general pop sensibility and credible rock credentials. Each of the three tracks could draw general comparison in style and delivery to some of the music industry’s big hitters, but with the powerful yet velvet-smooth vocals of Lydia des Dolles leading the way, Sweet Jane have created a sound that remains their own.
My first reaction to title track ‘Close Your Eyes’ is that it reminds me (certainly through the verses) of early Oasis. This is mainly due to the sneered vocal style of Lydia, holding tightly onto that final syllable of each line as if Liam himself were trying to prise it away. The chorus comprises mainly of big ‘whoa-whoa-whoa’ backing chants over the pounding beat and jangly guitar.
‘Bleed’ on the other hand is faster of pace, darker and evidences slight ‘dark wave’ influences with the metronomic drums and resonating bass lines. Lydia’s vocals are sharper and the whole song prompts me to think of a female-led Jesus and Mary Chain. Better than the opening track, this one.
‘Something For My Soul,’ is my favourite of the three; perhaps because it does not draw direct comparison to other bands (though if someone said that they could hear a little bit of The Charlatans in there, I wouldn’t argue to vehemently) but also because it has that really big, ‘epic’ feel to it. It incorporates some lovely ‘psyche’ influences, with some great hazy, fuggy guitar solos laid over the top of reverb-enhanced vocals a general Spector-esque ‘Wall of Sound’ feel. At almost five and a half minutes, it’s probably just about the right length, but I’d have been equally happy to sit through another three or four minutes! Brilliant!
Overall, this is well worth checking out, but while the lead track is decent enough, and probably the most ‘radio friendly,’ I personally feel the other two, and certainly the last track would prove to be stick-on ‘live’ favourites.
(Released through Reekus Records on 28th February 2011)