Joanna Gruesome – ‘Psykick Espionage’

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This autumn, Welsh garage-punk rockers Joanna Gruesome are teaming up with Perfect Pussy for a special split 7”, which brings forth a combo of previously unheard tracks and covers.

‘Psykick Espionage’ captures the sheer brilliance of the Cardiff 5-piece’s noisy, distorted garage/punk in just over two minutes. It is a short, sharp blast of youthful exuberance, as they pound through violently at break-neck speed. Where the true joy of this lies, and Joanna Gruesome in general, is that they can seamlessly flit between ferocity and harmoniousness, never skimping on the melody or a catchy hook to eek out the sweet spot between disorder and harmony. It is yet another infectious, invigorating and exciting release from Joanna Gruesome, and a word to the wise, you should definitely check out their 2013 debut, Weird Sister. Back to the split, it is released via Slumberland/Captured Tracks/Fortuna Pop, comes alongside a comic book, designed by Phil McAndrew (brother of Perfect Pussy guitarist Ray McAndrew, in celebration of the two band’s joint tour hits the States this August, the dates are here.

You can check out both ‘Psykick Espionage’ and Perfect Pussy’s cover of The Sugarcubes’ ‘Leash Called Love’, below.

Cuinciu – ‘Face Facts’

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Wicklow producer Ross McDonald’s output under his Cuinciu guise (formerly Sliab Cuinciu), has seen him impress no end with releases to date, and he’s proven to be a rather steady source of quality electronic music.

New leaner moniker aside, McDonald continues this positive trend, keeping the tunes coming thick and fast with new EP, Face Facts. The new three-track EP draws inspiration from a wealth of hip hop, synth pop, disco and electronic influences, as McDonald delivers yet another convincing effort, of which, opener ‘Cosmonaut’, sets the tone. Driving beats and synths combine to create a smooth, slinking and captivating sound, with a dusky dream character (Kavinsky meets John Carpenter if you will). ‘Dayglo’ meantime is more playful, bouncing along as it goes. Closer and title track ‘Face Facts’ is like a bridging point between the previous two, chirpy and cheerful, while keeping the driving groove going, in a captivating soundtrack kind of way. As has been mentioned prevously, it’s been both interesting and enjoyable to witness Cuinciu’s progress the past 12 months, which has firmly placed him in the top end of a rather talented bunch of emerging homegrown electronic producers. If the past is anything to go by too, we’ll be hearing more from Cuinciu before too long.

You can download the Face Facts EP for free from Cuinciu’s Bandcamp page.

Win Tickets to Beach Day in The Electric Owl, Vancouver :: Sat August 23

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Florida duo Beach Day play The Electric Owl, Vancouver this Saturday night (August 23rd), as part of a summer tour in support of their new album, Native Echoes (stream it here).

Beach Day have kindly offered readers of the blog a chance to go, with a pair of tickets up for grabs. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is answer the following question: ‘What is the name of Beach Day’s forthcoming album?’ (Hint: Check here). Email your answer, along with your ‘name’ and ‘Beach Day’ as the subject title to barrygruff[at]gmail[dot]com, before 12:00 (UTC) Friday, August 22nd.

Saturday night’s show should be a cracker and I for one can’t wait. The ease and breeze of Beach Day’s bright blend of garage rock, surf pop and girl group sounds is a delight, and their new LP has been monopolising my time since last week. Inspired by nostalgia but powered by a fresh verve, it manages to capture the best parts of summer and sits comfortably alongside contemporaries like Cults and Tennis. Beach Day’s Kimmy Drake and Skyler Black have provided us with a treasure trove of loveable and inescapably brilliant tunes that explore everything from ‘60s girl groups to garage rock and punk. If you’re still not sold, there’s some choice cuts below to sway your opinion.

Beach Day w/ support from Amanda X @ The Electric Owl, 926 Main Street, Vancouver, BC, V6A 2W1 ($10/7 PM) – (more details here).

 

Tennis – ‘I’m Callin’

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Tennis are back, the Denver indie-pop duo have announced they will release their new album, Ritual in Repeat, on September 9th via Communion Records.

Ritual in Repeat will be the third LP from the husband-wife duo, and follows on from the high standards set out by 2012′s superb Young and Old LP and late 2013 EP, Small Sound. As a taste of the new LP, Tennis have shared new single ‘I’m Callin’ which sees the pair retain their signature bubbly melodies and breezy pop sensibilities, while channelling some ’70s disco-funk infused vibes. It’s a bright, sunny and exuberant toe tapper, featuring some rather nimble guitar work, springy beat, bloopy keys and funked bassline. It offers a perfect backdrop for Moore, once a shy and reticent type, to exhibit her sultry, soulful and almost diva-esque vocals. ‘I’m Callin’ is a compelling listen, and while still very much Tennis, it offers a new dimension to the duo’s dynamic that should have you pressing repeat again and again. Based on this evidence, Ritual In Repeat, should be all kinds of charming.

Ritual In Repeat is out on September 9th via Communion but before all that, you can get acquainted with ‘I’m Callin’ below.

David Harks – ‘Open Arms’

 

1614556_742294825783330_1513816051_oDavid Harks left a lasting impression on introduction to his brand of heart-pumping, lush and elegant, well-whisked blend of soul and pop, with electronic undertones – a la the colourful ‘We’ and the irresistibly hypnotic ‘Illusion’.

Brighton based David Harks return, as promised, with a penultimate release from a series of four singles this summer. ‘Open Arms’ reaches into the realms of Balearic where sermon samples from a 10 year-old Cayman Islands based Preacher wrap suave steel drum melodies, waves of feel good vibes and tempered by halcyon synths and lush storytelling. This elegant, lush and swirling backdrop is at odds with Harks’ strong lyrical message, a somewhat nihilistic love letter declaring, “there is no religion, there will be no answer, put your loving arms around the ones, you want tonight, we could stay together, if we just come closer, I will be your window out through the other side”. For all intents and purposes, ‘Open Arms’ sounds like the embodiment of summertime. It is hard to recall when steel drums made such an intense impression, from the moment they’re introduced, let them take control and whisk you away into the throws of summer vibes.

You can check out ‘Open Arms’ below & if you fancy catching up with his previous work, you can do so here.

The 2 Bears – ‘Money Man’ ft. Stylo G

 

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Comprised of  Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and fellow UK DJ/producer Raf Daddy, The 2 Bears have released a series of EPs and remixes since meeting on the club circuit in 2009, a collaboration which culminated with their superb debut album, 2012’s Be Strong. Now, the duo has announced plans for not one, but two new releases: The Lambs Bread and Weepers EP out August 25th, followed by their new LP, The Night Is Young, on October 13th.

Appearing on both releases, their new track ‘Money Man’, sees The 2 Bears shift in a slightly different musical direction. Featuring the vocals of UK reggae artist Stylo G, it begins as an upbeat, bright and happy-go-lucky sounding reggae cut with some playful pop harmonies, before morphing into a big bass dancehall beast, and back again. It is not just the aesthetics they have embraced, discussing their intentions for the release Goddard said: “I love tunes that disguise things. A really sweet melody with a really dark sentiment. ‘Money Man’ is meant to be like that, you can have those glossy reggae records that still say something. We didn’t want to just be in that culture of not saying anything, where it’s all a fantasy world and everyone just goes and gets fucked up but no one says anything.” With ‘Money Man’ The 2 Bears play these dynamics off each other with perfection. Utilizing the steady rhythms, cheery vibes and sunny disposition as a means of allowing the politically-charged lyrical attack on capitalist society and it’s ‘money men’ go down much easier.  ‘Money Man’ is all kinds of marvellous from The 2 Bears, and it comes with a pretty snazzy new video to boot, driving home a similar sentiment as the song itself, with added satire and smirking.

The Lambs Bread and Weepers EP out August 25th, followed by their new LP, The Night Is Young, on October 13th via Southern Fried Records.

Disconcerting P – ‘Driving’

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Padraig McCauley has impressed as much as any Irish artist over the past few years – prolific, passionate and prodigious – McCauley’s already amassed a pretty impressive back catalogue, with two quality P Affection albums and four Disconcerting P EPs, and now adds Masks to that illustrious list of releases.

Masks, the debut LP under the Disconcerting P guise, was written and recorded by McCauley in his Naas studio. An album about love, it sees him continue to grow and improve as a songwriter, singer and performer, as he entertains us through a vast range of extensive influences and genre splicing styles. Lead track, ‘Driving’, is a soothing, dreamy and jaunty americana/country tinged number. His words trickle gracefully to paint a vivid depiction of a late night drive through town as his mind wanders to and fro amid the twinkle of street lights and empty shops. ‘Driving’ and Masks are further excellent additions to McCauley’s already impressive body of work, and a fine addition to anyone’s music collection. It is somewhat perplexing however, how someone with such an abundance of talent and dearth of great tunes, can remain in the shadows for so long. Hopefully it is something that changes sooner rather than later. McCauley and his various guises and projects, are deserving of far greater recognition and too be heard by a far larger audience.

You can try ‘Driving’ & ‘Sneaking Off’ out for size below. If they are to your liking, Masks is out now, and you can ‘name your price’ and pick it up from Bandcamp.

By The Sea – ‘I See A Crystal Sky’

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Wirral five-piece By The Sea were responsible for one of the finest albums of recent years in their eponymous debut. A cult success, it’s absorbing assortment of soothing and undulating psych-pop, deserved to be heard and appreciated far and wide.

And now they’re back, with new album Endless Days, Crystal Sky, out on August 18th, with lead track ‘I See A Crystal Sky’ presented as a preview of what to expect – and it doesn’t disappoint. ‘I See A Crystal Sky’ is dreamy, absorbing and characteristically lush, with a rich vein of euphoria running through it’s core. The synths are pushed to the fore, swelling to punctuate front-man Liam Power’s world weary, chilled-reverb-laced vocals, as melting guitar, smooth bass-line and snappy, sparse percussion complete the atmospheric cocktail of dreamy melodies. ‘I See A Crystal Sky’ has By The Sea sounding bigger and fuller than ever before, which all bodes well for the new album. Well, it’s certainly good to have them back.

Endless Days, Crystal Sky (recorded with long-time collaborator Bill Ryder-Jones) is released on August 18 via the bands own label imprint War Room Records. For now, you can immerse yourself in the wondrous escapism of ‘I See A Crystal Sky’ below.

Imploded View – ‘There’s Nowhere’

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Jerome McCormick aka Imploded View is planning to release a new EP, Coburn Days, next month.

Ahead of the EP’s release, McCormack has revealed ‘There’s Nowhere’ as a sample of what to expect. ‘There’s Nowhere’ sees a change of tact from McCormick, as he chooses to deviate from his usual downtempo minimalism, sliding instead toward the fringes of the dancefloor. The dark and moody sentiment so often associated with his work previously, has been lifted, to reveal a bouncy, playful and jovial tune. In hindsight however, Imploded View’s remix EP, A Mixed View, released earlier this year, kind of suggested as much. Must pay attention better in class perhaps? It is a very interesting new direction from McCormick and one, judging by ‘There’s Nowhere’, that may prove equally fruitful.

Along with the release of his new Coburn Days EP next month, Imploded View will play the Global Green area at Electric Picnic. Until then, you can acquaint yourself with the joy-filled jumping bean that is ‘There’s Nowhere’.

TRWBADOR – ‘Side By Side’

Since forming in 2010, Welsh duo Trwbador have forged a distinctive and fruitful partnership for serenely beautiful, otherworldly music, merging folk and glitchy electronica with near perfection.

Having already greatly impressed with their self-titled debut (including a Welsh Music Prize nomination), they release their second album Several Animals this week, and will be hoping to emulate or surpass the successes of their debut. Baring that in mind, it’s a pretty apt time  to cast an eye over ‘Side By Side’, the second single from the new album. ‘Side By Side’ is quintessentially Trwbador. Scant electro-folk meets with some great experimentation – all bleeps, soft melodies, bouncing beats and delicate vocal looping – conspiring to create a serene, relaxing and melodic piece of sparkling alt-pop. Fabulous stuff from Owain Gwilym and Angharad van Rijswijk once again, who have to be one of the most unique and unusual acts around at the moment.

Several Animals is out now and you can stream it in full from here.