Introducing: Simon Bird

Originally from West Somerset but now Dublin-based, Simon Bird produced five EPs in the last 12 months touching on a host of genre’s including; hip-hop, noise, post-rock, ambient and electronica along the way.

His fantastic V EP is a relaxing, thought provoking and engaging release. Through a series of complex layers and rich ambient sounds it creates a really tranquil mood, like gazing into a free flowing flowing river as it passes you by. His live shows have come in for particular praise, while I have yet to witness one myself, I have heard only good reports. Bird is a prospect, no doubt about it. It will be exciting to see what he comes up with next.

His V EP is available from bandcamp below, just name your price, a limited run on vinyl will follow soon.

Simon Bird – Xerox Waveform Godless Ocean

Simon Bird – Stillborn In Autumn

Graham Coxon – ‘The Truth’ | New track & album news

If there’s been an artist over the years who never let me down, it would have to be Graham CoxonHis time with Blur is well noted but Coxon has been consistently knocking out quality solo records for the over a decade now.

Anyway, back to the here and now. Coxon has debuted a brand new track, ‘The Truth’, taken from his forthcoming new LP, A+E. It is certainly a lot different to his last effort, the acoustic driven The Spinning Top and most of his previous work in general. ‘The Truth’ is a sinister sounding one, revolving around an usual (for him) industrial synth beat with the chugging guitar giving off a dark shoe-gazey vibe. Different it may be but Coxon sounds in fine form and with A+E out on April 2nd, surely it’s time to get excited?

You can get ‘The Truth’ for the price of an email on his website or listen to it below. Also check out ‘Advice’, which debuted on Jools Holland’s BBC show in the latter part of last year.

Graham Coxon – The Truth 

Cheap Freaks – ‘Bury Them All’

Do you like your garage rock trashy, with a dash of chaotic fury? Well then, you’re going to want an introduction to Dublin’s Cheap Freaks.

Formed in 2009, Cheap Freaks recorded their debut album, Bury Them All, over a few days in late 2010 and early 2011 with Sean Coleman. On listening to Bury Them All you get the feeling you’re rifling through a record collection of the finer moments of rock n’ roll. It channels inspiration from a host of blues, country, classic rock, punk and indie stalwarts into their very own muddied sound through a haze of powerful vocals and guitar riffs.

From the foot stomping and fist shaking tenacity of ‘No Where To Go’, ‘1984’ and ‘Cryin’ Shame’ to the Them-esque ‘I’m Coming Home’ and the apocalyptic ‘Asahara’s Nightmare’, this album grunts along wildly with the ferocity of a live set. In keeping with this there are softer moments too, breathers fif you like, most notably the stirring renditions of the more downtempo ‘Cruel World’ and ‘Free Of You’. what makes this collection of garage rock jams stand out is the execution, the exceptional creative talents continually shine through the haze of raucous fury.

There is a deep sense of familiarity to this record, like meeting an old friend for the first time in ages and as with all good garage punk, it is best played loud.

Cheap Freaks – Cryin’ Shame

Cheap Freaks – I’m Coming Home

Gaz Coombes – ‘Subdivider’ | Former Supergrass man debuts new material

Gaz Coombes is set to release his debut solo album,  Here Come The Bombs, his first material since Supergrass announced their split in 2010.

The album was produced alongside Sam Williams, the man with whom he worked with while in Supergrass and is said to have been inspired by the soundtrack works of John Barry and John Carpenter. Heralding this announcement we have ‘Sub Divider’, a taste of things to come perhaps. Broken essentially two distinct parts, beginning slowly before kicking into a climactic guitar driven finale, it sounds different yet very familiar at the same time.

It’s great to see the return of Coombes distinctive drawl and that famous love of melody that marked some of Supergrass’s finer moments. 

Coombes’ debut solo record, Here Come The Bombs, will be released on May 21st. You can stream his new track ‘Sub Divider’ below.

Gaz Coombes – Subdivider

The Vagabonds / TV Split | Last Material

It was with great sadness that I discovered The Vagabonds (recently changed to TV) have decided to call it a day, citing “too many problems that were too large to ignore and we felt that we could no longer continue”.

Regular visitors to the blog may remember The Vagabonds came in for quite a bit of well deserved praise on the blog. They remain one of my favourite bands to emerge in recent times, one I’m glad to say I was lucky enough to catch live a number of times. Though there was little in the way of releases, their fantastic debut EP, Another Victory for Hysteria, deserved to be heard by more. Sounding  like the bastard child of The Pogues, Stiff Little Fingers, The Clash and Whipping Boy, the EP was a fantastic blend of bash-em-out punk and stirring renditions of personal heartache and strife.

The band recently re-located from Dublin to London, sporting a name change (TV), they had finished recording a double a-side single, ‘We Gave Up’ and ‘Oh My! Why?’, with Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur, Babyshambles). While obviously only two tracks, it seems they had honed a sound, moving further into more varied territory. Whether or not the single gets released remains to be seen but it seems kind of ironic that the single was titled ‘We Gave Up’.

It’s a real shame. These guys will definitely be missed, by more than myself, hopefully they’ll find success in whatever they turn their hand to in future. 

Give ‘We Gave Up’ and ‘Oh My! Why?’ spin below and grab the EP for FREE via bandcamp below.

TV – We Gave Up

TV – Oh My! Why?

Mondkopf | Ease Your Pain

French producer Mondkopf has a canny ability to eek out a sound dissonant between the classical and industrial grime of electronics.

Just months after the eerie Rising Doom comes his new EP, Ease Your Pain, via his own In Paradisum label. It is another rather intense listening experience which demonstrates his  propensity to create dark and sinister atmospheres. 

Title track ‘Ease Your Pain’ leads this charge, laden with reverb and filthy grinding synths, while ‘Fading Rainbow’ flits calmly by with a soft but equally dark ambiance. Meanwhile closer, ‘Ease Your Pain (Somfay ‘Erase Your Pain’ Refraction)’ is an almost eight and a half minutes barrage of clattering and grinding beats, strewn with pulsating ravey sounds.

Further excellence from Mondkopf. No word on any further new material but no need to worry, you can check out the full EP here, with the 12″ vinyl to follow next week.

Mondkopf – Ease Your Pain

Mondkopf – Fading Rainbow

Introducing: SlowPlaceLikeHome

Donegal-based SlowPlaceLikeHome (aka Keith Mannion) released his second EP, Coastal Hubs for Chivalry in January.

This is rich electronic music which slowly builds through vast wandering instrumentals, coupled by expansive, seductive and swirling arrangements to create relaxing, thought provoking music. Mannion isn’t afraid to mix things up a little, preferring to work through different electronic styles rather than committing to just one in particular. Take the perfectly chilled-out ‘Carte Blanche’ with it’s warm, relaxing ambient beats or ‘We Learned To Tilt At Windmills’, which sounds like the result of night of passion between Air and Unkle.

You can try a few choice cuts below or grab Coastal Hubs for Chivalry in it’s entirety, for free, from bandcamp.

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 SlowPlaceLikeHome – Carte Blanche

Download: SlowPlaceLikeHome – We Learned to Tilt at Windmills