MANS are described as "an Iranian entrepreneur, an Italian metronome, a heartbroken Mongolian and a failed American Svengali". Given that, and comparisons ranging from Prince to Ed Banger via Robin Gibb, they were never going to go quietly. Released ahead of a forthcoming debut LP, the live-recorded Various Lovers grooves along like an hip, highfalutin peacock.
Monday Music’s the one post where Some Of It Was True! drops its London-only rule Febueder - Galeo Despite the name, Febueder aren't a post-techno band from the depths of Dortmund. They are, in fact, an inventive quirk-pop trio from the hearty, horse-racing town of Ascot who sound more than a smidge like Alt-J. They're also as thrillingly inventive as the Mercury Prize-winners; witness Galeo 's vocal tics, recurrent changes of paces, fruity howls, huffs and puffs, and general "own rules" feel. The [...]
Rainer is a beguiling new project comprising two members - including singer Rebekah Raa - from former London foursome Stricken City . But while that act had a optimistic, pop-edged sound, Rainer is more downbeat and minimal. On the two tracks released thus far, Raa's refrained vocals float out like solemn siren songs over choral backings, cloudy electrogaze and clarinet notes.
Recent videos by London acts which this blog hearts: ***VIDEO OF THE WEEK*** Disclosure - You & Me (Feat. Eliza Doolittle ) The snapshot-style ups and downs of a young couple's European travelogue make the perfect accompaniment to this recent single. The pretty footage really captures what it is to travel, and the unrivalled thrill of a first love. [ Recent blog on this song ] Click here to view the embedded video. [...]
Earlier in Brixton, my bus got delayed by a passing mini march. I looked on as about 50 protesters stomped past, placards, megaphones and all, telling Lambeth Council that it shouldn't close Clapham Fire Station . The marchers looked like decent, wholesome people; and I was struck by the difference between their active, energetic character and my fellow passengers and I, who looked on stupefied, like amused tourists - only metres away, but actually a safe world apart from this disagreeable mob. That same contrast re-enters my mind when listening to Benin City 's wonderful third single, My Love . [...]
Based between London and NYC, the enigmatic boy/girl duo Be&Bea return with this glossy, synth-edged, r'n'b-flecked number, as smooth and polished as a Galaxy chocolate bar: It follows the cosier pop tones of Grows .
It might be pissing rain in London constantly right now, but let's pretend it's summer with this soul-tinged house number by Siloet .
If you're well into harmonies, and you love a bit of folksy, Alice in Wonderland -esque magic sounds, then here's one for you. Lovelace , aka Rebecca Whitbred, has made a self-titled EP packed with such stuff, and one that's also refreshingly unique - a rare claim in today's musical world. She says: "I'm now renting a little studio on the Hackney Road, working on my next album (I will release at the end of the year) and developing my live sound. I wrote [...]
Gently-whirring synths, whispery vocals, an underlining pop melody and a generally groggy air - all quite Veronica Falls, all perfect for those times where sitting still is the best medicine. Alternatively, A Grave With No Name 's new single is also the perfect soundtrack for kicking leaves around on a slow Sunday, or daydreamy bus rides home after unremarkable pints in an unremarkable pub. Aurora comes from the new album, Whirlpool , released through new London label Stare Records (currently no website that I can find) on 1 July. A Grave With [...]
Instead of the usual Friday Films, today's post will just focus on one new video in particular: the one to accompany Is Tropical 's Dancing Anymore , their latest single from the new record I'm Leaving . A comic and compelling watch, it features a horny, house-sitting French teenager, with masturbation scenes that immediately got it banned from YouPrude. As for the song itself, I can't recall Is Tropical ever being so ice-cream poppy, but they sure pull it off the style with aplomb. Click here to view the embedded video. [...]
Time for a long-overdue Cloud Boat catch-up. Purveyors of eternally bleak, but generally rather beautiful, shoegaze soul, the dup have a new double-A single coming on 20 May via Apollo , featuring the songs Youthern and the surprisingly-fast, surprisingly-trancy Hammerspace . My advice would be to wait a week, though, for then comes a debut LP, Book Of Hours . featuring those two songs, other recent singles like Dréan and Wanderlust , and extra tunes beside. That one's also out via Apollo. Click here [...]
It's been around for a couple of weeks but I'm only just now falling for the subtle charms of Vondelpark 's Always Forever , the latest single from current album Seabed . Like all the trio's tunes, it's a fiercely melodic and defiantly low-key beast: sounds overlap sounds, and the overall effect is blurry, slightly rarefied or, to borrow from drug parlance, a bit monged. After a few listens the notes become more familiar, though, and the track starts to resemble a patchwork of symphonies, one onto which I will happily throw myself. [...]
There's an old-fashioned, warm element to Freddie Dickson 's debut song, Shut Us Down . and the arrangements therein. For all that, however, the 24-year-old Freddie's a tortured soul and no mistake: openly bruised and personal, this swirling anti-ballad describes the agonies of a probably-doomed relationship. Click here to view the embedded video.
Monday Music’s the one post where Some Of It Was True! drops its London-only rule. Valley Dweller - Another Night Valley Dweller is a 22yo LA guy who saw fit to send me this: a downtempo indie/dance/pop number that really works if you need something chill. Caveman - I See You There's a deep-breath, pretty feel to this track from the New Yorkers' second album, perfect for a Bank [...]
A murky song from the wrong side of the electro-pop tracks. STILLS are a London-based, Kent duo: the raspy vocals and pulsing DIY feel here bring to mind exotic raves and legendary warehouse parties. The tube comes from their forthcoming debut EP, which'll be released via Recreation . This after Groove Armada remixed one of their tracks last year.
Valentina last featured on this blog as a solo artist (there was the no small matter of Gabriel , a tie-up with Joe Goddard ) back in 2009: a time when men were men, and yours truly had a much less overhanging stomach. But here she finally is again; Ladders hails from a new five-track EP via Greco-Roman called Wolves , of which the original Gabriel - for it was her song, in fact - is also a part. It's a smooth, soul-pop number that's perfect [...]
Dean Blunt —aka Hype Williams and endless other pseudonyms—is arguably the most relevant artist of our time. His genre shape-shifting, anonymity, multi-sampling approach and ever-present individuality are both tropes for the current musical age, and also gaspingly beyond much of what is heard today. All at once, he seems to define early 21st century music, and exceed it. Click here to view the embedded video. His new album, The Redeemer , is out now ( listen to it in full at Pitchfork Advance ) and feels seminal. A [...]
There's something exultant about William Arcane 's Not The Only One : listening to it leaves me light-headed and grateful as I consider all the good things in my world; leaves me thrilling at the fine and glassy and elegant sounds it weaves, all of them awfully pleasant on the lords and peers. Along with the also-great and choppier Want Somebody , it comes from the Permanence EP, which is out on 10 June via Pictures Music .
Uh-huh: Charli XCX and Marina & The Diamonds , two of London music's sassiest, alt-poppiest solo female artists, have hooked up while touring together, with the result as you might expect. It's easy to view this as a duet for a duet's sake - purely to make some noise, to grab some extra column inches - but I'd say the song's strong enough and catchy enough for those suspicions to be nixed, and to fully merit its making. I'd also say that it's more Marina than Charli, just as a guide.
Guitars - they're back. Burning Beaches have an retro, barnstorming air to their choruses and riffs (literally, according to my friend) straight from the Lostprophets catalogue.