Jape – ‘Hands of Fire’/’Lying on a Deathbed’

Has it really been three years since Jape released Ritual?

Jape (aka Richie Egan) returned with new material last week, releasing a double-A side single ‘Hands of Fire’/’Lying on a Deathbed’. They are the first two songs to be released from the forthcoming album Ocean of Frequency, out in September. 

The synth-charged Hands Of Fire has already delighted fans and dancefloors alike during the last FMC tour and elsewhere over the winter. Meanwhile ‘Lying on a Deathbed’ is a tentative, touching personal tale in which he is ably assisted by Conor O’Brien of Villagers.

If this is what we can expect from the fourth album we’re in for another wonderous treat. Simply wonderful!

Listen to them below and download them for FREE via Jape’s website.

Jape – Hands of Fire

Jape – Lying on a Deathbed

Introducing: SLUTEVER

Philadelphia duo Nicole and Rachel make up SLUTEVER. The friends were brought together through a shared love of grunge and ’50s girl groups. To date they have already shared the bill with the likes Best Coast, Cults and The Coathangers whilst releasing two EPs; Sorry I’m Not Sorry and the recent Pretend To Be Nice.

Their racket is a pleasant one. They kick out short, sharp bursts of brash and sleazy lo-fi garage rock. It is catchy, infectious and bubbling with feel-good vibes, fuzzed out riffs and a combination of youthful energy and recklessness.

SLUTEVER will embark on their first national (US) tour this summer. It is hard to stomach that we on the other side of the pond may never get to see so many great emerging US bands like SLUTEVER live. Oh well.

Pretend To Be Nice is out now on Bantic Media and their debut can picked up for ‘name your price’ via bandcamp.

SLUTEVER – I Can Dream The Rest Away

SLUTEVER – No Offense

SLUTEVER – RIP Maple

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The Kills – Satellite (The Bug Remix)

The Kills latest album Blood Pressures has absolutely blown me away. It is as it happens, the first to do so.

The Kills were always a band I knew were great and hugely talented, but say for a few songs, their records never captured my full attention. That’s all changed now, hardly a day passes with which Blood Pressures doesn’t get a spin. More on that later.

The chugging, melancholic dub-tinged ‘Satellite’ has received a revamp from UK producer The Bug. The dubby vibe is blown-out considerably giving it a ghoulish, eerie and ethereal vibe.

Download the track below.

Download: The Kills – Satellite (The Bug Remix)

The Kills – Satellite

via Domino

Something For The Weekend: The Normal & Simple Kid

A while back myself and my mate Leigh (Easy Music For Difficult Ears) decided on the idea of blogswap/joint post. The premise simple; a double whammy of his regular ‘Something for the Weekend’ feature. We begin in 1977 with Leigh taking an extensive look at The Normal, while I roll back a couple of years to sample some vintage Simple Kid. It is only mannerly to allow the guest to go first, so without further ado…

The Normal – TVOD

As the first generation of punk began to falter toward the end of 1977, emphasis began to move away from much of the trash rhythms of the previous eighteen months.

Indeed, the next couple of years would see the scope of instrumentation widen greatly, as artists – struck by punk’s feverish nature – embellished their creations with elements of jazz and funk (The Pop Group), dub (Public Image Ltd., The Raincoats) and rap (The Clash) amongst others.

Heavily featured throughout the emerging post-punk/new wave movement was, of course, electronics.  Whereas numerous “no wave” artists (see DNA or Teenage Jesus and the Jerks) may have digressed musically in the pursuit of more art driven formulae, industrial acts (such as Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle and SPK) existed on a parallel plain, where self-made electronic sounds and stark noises modernised post-World War 2 concepts like Musique concrète.

Amongst the melee was Daniel Miller – a.k.a., The Normal.  Miller, an experienced film editor was dismayed at the apparent need to abide by a three-chord structure within punk’s narrowing walls – rather than confine himself to such barriers, the disillusioned Miller purchased a Korg 700S synthesiser.  Recorded in his house on TEAC four-track recorder, Miller produced two ultra-minimalist songs that would later make up his first – and only – single.

Once finished, the songs, “TVOD” and “Warm Leatherette”, were largely single-note / arpeggio affairs, laced with acidic lyrics housed within morbid themes. Images of death in a car crash and televisual addiction ran throughout; although the pictures painted remained largely cartoonish in nature.

Released in October 1978, the split-single TVOD / Warm Leatherette was also to be the debut release on Mute Records – a label set up by Miller himself to carry his own recordings.  However with no new material forthcoming, Miller set about shaping Mute into an independent label that would become as important and influential as its peers Factory Records and Rough Trade; the latter of whom helped distribute Mute’s early releases.

As the decade turned, artists such as D.A.F. recorded projects for the label, while Miller himself released an electronic version cover of Chuck Berry’s “Memphis Tennessee” under the banner of Silicon Teens.

By 1981, Fad Gadget and Non had also joined Mute’s roster, before the label reached the stratosphere thanks to the success of new electropop signings, Depeche Mode, Erasure, Yazoo and later, Goldfrapp.  Come the beginning of the century, Mute was sold to EMI.

In truth, TVOD / Warm Leatherette single is not widely known within the mainstream consciousness; if anything, it is a musician’s single – a release that helped define its immediate aural surroundings, leading to other artists to extend the boundaries of leftfield electropop and synth-driven new wave.

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Simple Kid – Staring at the Sun

Simple Kid aka Ciaran McFeely, is one of those enigmatic artist who refuse to bask in the limelight of their success, preferring to remain in the shadows.

Simple Kid rose to public prominence with the release of SK1 in 2003. A stunning album which captured punters imagination on both sides of the Irish Sea, no mean feat. It demonstrated the Cork natives savvy for witty and at time silly lyrics with catchy-as-hell melodies. SK1 mixed the bouncier and chirpier moments of Britpop era Supergrass and Blur with T. Rex glam swoon and catchy trip hop and electronic beats and synths. It is a formula which probably shouldn’t have worked but it did!

Just as it looked as though he was destined for bigger and better things SK disappeared off the radar, apparently quitting music to escape its pressure and taking up a job in his local video shop. Thankfully this was not to be the end. In late 2006 he returned to the fore with SK2. His second LP saw him embrace his lo-fi id, producing an album of  self-produced scuzzy recordings with a real quirky indie-country vibe.

The record was received well by critics and fans alike but as he returned to hibernation once again in 2008 we hoped there was much more to come. Unfortunately it was not to be, a brief message adorned his website to confirm Simple Kid is no more.

A brief but fruitful and exciting musical career, perhaps we may see him return to music under another guise, hopefully he does. Music needs guys like this.

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Simple Kid – Lil’ King Kong 

The Pacifics: The Best ’60s Band of 2011

So far 2011 has been characterised by bands slinking and sliding towards an ’80s and ’90s vogue, not a bad thing is it? After all everything is borrowed.

A brief respite is offered by Dublin 4-piece The Pacifics who roll back the decades, embracing their predilection to ’50s and ’60s sounds. Their debut EP, Play Favourites is an homage to Little Richard, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry. As the title suggests, Play Favourites EP is a collection of their favourite songs.

While the idea of a covers EP doesn’t really promise much, this one manages to surpass whatever the initial scepticism. They succeed in delivering the record on a tide of roaring Sixties garage rock and R&B swagger. They haven’t just copied the songs they have added their own little touch of magic, giving these old songs a new lease of life. They have paid tribute to true classics with a mixture of admiration and personal interpretation.

It will be very interesting to see what comes next, original recordings would be a plus but for now this will do nicely.

Their debut EP Play Favourites is out now on Bandcamp and all the usual spots.

The Pacifics – You Can’t Judge A Book (By Looking At The Cover)

The Pacifics – Lucille