Video: Steve Mason – All Come Down

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It is almost a year since Steve Mason released the wonderful Boys Outside album and it remains one of the most frequently played albums in my collection. For those of you who haven’t heard it yet, it comes highly recommended.

The former Beta Band man is to release another single taken from the record, called ‘All Come Down’. It displays perfectly the captivating nature of his music, full of quivering emotion, it demands you pause what you’re doing and give this man your time.

I was extremely disappointed to have missed both his Dublin shows last weekend but hopefully he will be back sooner rather than later.

‘All Come Down’ is out May 2nd on Domino.

Tom Williams & The Boat – Too Slow

Folk music has been enjoying something of a Renaissance in recent years, revitalized by a slew of great artists like Frank Turner, Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn.

Kent 6-piece Tom Williams & The Boat are no different and continue this upward trend with their debut record Too Slow. The album navigates carefully through a sea mixed with touching acoustic numbers and the racey, raspy and energetic punkier ones. 

It probably shouldn’t work, but it does. Williams’ obvious talent for storytelling holds everything together, while also displaying an enviable willingness to broach vast and varied subject matter. Comfortable with laments of broken hearts and relationships, ‘Get Older’, ‘Wouldn’t Women Be Sweet’ and ‘Denmark’ sit perfectly with the more political and socially aware ‘Concentrate’ or ’24’. Loosely it recalls Frank Turner, or The Holloways at their most jovial with the touching, evocative side of Johnny Flynn.

Overall there is lots of variety on a refreshing and engaging debut. Lyrically it is clever and highly developed, providing a charming window into the ideas and personality of one man, Williams, a word-smith beyond repute. Far from being a just a ‘backing band’, The Boat, provide the air of unpredictability and experimentation, combined with Williams they make wonderful stories into fantastic songs. 

Too Slow is out now via their own Wire Boat Recordings. You can buy it here.

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Tom Williams & The Boat – Concentrate

Tom Williams & The Boat – Get Older

Digitalism return with ‘2 Hearts’

German electro duo Digitalism set the world of dance music alight back in 2007 with their debut Idealism. However, the intervening years have been quiet but they have signaled their return with ‘2 Hearts’, the first single from their forthcoming second album, I Love You, Dude.

Their rationale with ‘2 Hearts’ remains pretty straightforward; big beats, big choruses and big riffs. It is energetic synth rock at it best, although it must be said it all sounds very Klaxons-esque, circa Myths of the Near Future. A very welcome and overdue return timed perfectly for the festival season, it is good to have ’em back.

‘2 Hearts’ is released on 13 June via V2/Cooperative Music w/ the album expected soon after.

 Download: Digitalism – 2 Hearts via Cosmos Music Group

Mixtape Extravaganza ‘The Otherside of Blur’

Some time ago I decided it might be useful and fun to put together some mixtapes of artists I really love, some of which readers may have been aware of (or not?) but just never found the time to give them a listen. As I’m off to London for a few days, there’s no better time to get this show on the, eh, road.

I mulled over how to start but there was only ever one option, Blur, the band who kick started my love affair with music. They were one of the most prominent, important and popular British bands to emerge in the ’90s who produced the era defining albums, Parklife and The Great Escape. While they will always be associated with the so-called ‘Britpop’ era they made two good, often overlooked albums Leisure and Modern Life Is Rubbish prior to the britpop circus. Notably unlike many of bands from this time they managed to transcend the genre, casting aside this mantle to produce arguably two of the best records of the late ’90s Blur and 13.

People are pretty well aware of the Blur back story especially with all the furore surrounding their re-union tour, the release of ‘Fool’s Day’ for Record Store Day last year and all the Albarn/Coxon projects of Gorillaz, The Good The Bad & The Queen etc.. So rather than rake over old ground, something a wee bit different was decided on. Take some of my favourite b-sides and well, make a mix from them. They were one of the few bands who recorded great b-sides, not just fillers and worth buying overpriced singles (and certainly worth a mixtape).

Blur remain by far my favourite band in the world, while others like The Clash, Super Furry Animals and Billy Bragg come close, there is just something special about Blur. This bug began when I was 11/12 and continues till today and has seen me attempt to acquire everything they’ve got, be it bootlegs, albums, singles, EPs, imports on CD cassette or vinyl. It was well worth the time, effort and money.

I would like to do a similar thing with other bands in the future, if you think is worth it that is. Last but not least a huge thanks and mucho respect for Stevie Moon who has outdone himself with the artwork this time, amazing!

So, without further ado I will leave you in the capable hands of Damon, Graham, Alex and Dave. The tracklisting is after the jump.

Download: The Otherside of Blur

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Download: Moon Duo ‘Mazes’

‘Mazes’ is the latest single from San Francisco’s Moon Duo and is taken from their forthcoming debut of the same name.

Formed in 2009 by Sanae Yamada and Erik Johnson (Wooden Shjips) who to date, have released a couple of critically acclaimed EPs to their name. ‘Mazes’ sees them continue to plough a rather unique furrow of warm fuzzy, psychedelic rock n roll with chilling electronic undertones.

It is not long till we can explore all the album has to offer (Mazes is out on Souterrain Transmissions April 28th), but for now the lead track is more than enough goodness to enjoy.

Moon Duo are also playing Dublin’s Workmans Club on May 13th.

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Download: Moon Duo – Mazes via Souterraintransmissions

Arctic Monkeys – ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’

‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ is the first official single from Arctic Monkeys’ fourth album, Suck It And See.

Brick By Brick‘ certainly split opinions with it’s more fun and playful approach which, granted, was missing a certain wit that makes them such an outstanding band.

‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ is dark, brooding, laid-back and rocking. It also sees Alex Turner recapture microphone duties from Matt Helders, reintroducing the renowned wit and wordplay long associated with Arctic Monkeys. It marks yet a further departure away from their early spiky indie-punk sound.

Give it a spin below and see what you think?

It’s available now for digital download and the song gets a limited 7” release on April 16 to mark Record Store Day before being released to the general public on May 27.

Arctic Monkeys – Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair via Marco Collins

Cashier No.9 – Goldstar

Belfast 5-piece Cashier No.9 have been a firm fixture on the Irish music scene for a number of years now. Alas, for some reason or another our paths have failed to cross until now.

Produced by the enigmatic David Holmes, Goldstar is a scintillating personal introduction to Cashier No.9 which has been worth the wait (okay, yes it isn’t their first release but you know what I mean).

Goldstar is catchy, infectious and filled with swaggering, melodic, sing-a-long choruses. This short collection of shimmering songs does it’s best to evoke fading memories of golden sunsets and great summer evenings which we all long to return.

It is quite deeply rooted in chipper 90’s indie, brit-pop and Americana; think of what Echo & The Bunnymen, The Charlatans or Primal Scream are renowned for conjuring up. Both lead track ‘Goldstar’ and ‘Oh Pity’ are truly wonderful and shimmering examples of how it’s done, they will have you hooked.

Goldstar is summery, up-beat and cheerful and with their debut album to be released this summer (also produced by Mr. Holmes), the bar has been set rather high, bring it on!

 Cashier No.9 – Goldstar via SnipeLondon

Download: Cashier No.9 – Goldstar (Keyboard Choir Remix)

Flight Facilities – Crave You (Aeroplane vs Friendly Fires vs Giselle edit)

Fresh from their inclusion on Kitsune Maison Compilation 10: The Fireworks Issue, Aussie duo Flight Facilities embark on a whistle-stop European tour in Denmark, Sweden, England, Portugal, Georgia, Spain, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Italy.

Building on that inclusion they have dropped a new reworked mash-up of their track ‘Crave You (Feat. Giselle)’. It sees Friendly Fires & Aeroplane being added to the mix to create wonderfully upbeat electro-pop, who’s head nodding cheeriness knows no bounds. Also check the equally great c90s remix too, all seven and a half minutes of it.

Both of these have been getting repeat treatment around these parts, you can too if you grab ’em below.

Download: Flight Facilities – Crave You (Aeroplane vs Friendly Fires vs Giselle edit)

Mp3: Flight Facilities – Crave You (c90s Remix) [audio] via welikeindie

Video: Love Inks – ‘Blackeye’

Austin, Texas three-piece Love Inks are gearing up for the release of their debut album E.S.P which promises to be a feast of highly infectious shimmering lo-fi pop.

So, while we sit tight and await it’s release we can indulge ourselves the dreamy new single ‘Blackeye’. A combination of minimalism and vocal restraint paradoxically hammers home this very day dream quality. Perhaps the most entrancing 1.54 minutes of musical you are likely to hear in 2011.

‘Blackeye’ is out now on Hell, Yes! and will be followed by E.S.P on May

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Mp3: Love Inks – Blackeye [audio] via City Slang Records

Free Music: Teens

Teens are a 4-piece surf-rock band hailing from Boise, Idaho in the US.

A few short months since their formation and they have already dropped their debut EP. Teens which recalls mid-60’s psychedelic garage rock. It was recorded in a disused Cold War era bomb shelter outside of their hometown using a ‘first-take-is usually-the-best-take’ approach. A decision which ensures the energy and urgency remains intact with an effervescent fuzzy charm as it jumps from one high tempo jangly riff to next with a howling veracity.

Download it for FREE right now via Barnowl Records

Download: Teens – O’lay

Download: Teens – Die With You

Download: Teens – White Devil

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