Mazes – ‘Hayfever Wristband’

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Admittedly when Mazes released Ores & Minerals back in February, it felt a little underwhelming, certainly when compared to it’s all conquering predecessor and Mazes’ debut, A Thousand Heys. Maybe it was just a receptive issue this end and perhaps a reacquainting is called for. 

Whatever the case, Mazes are back with a new 10 track mini album, called Better Ghosts. They’re previewing the release with ‘Hayfever Wristband'; a tight, feverish lo-fi rocker, full of twitchy riffs, sharp, chopping chords, and along with Cooper’s yelps, eventually becomes entirely hypnotic. A truly mesmerizing  three-minutes, hopefully this only the tip of the iceberg of what we can expect from Better Ghosts.

You can give ‘Hayfever Wristband’ the once over below & Better Ghosts is released on November 11th through Fat Cat.

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Third Party – ‘On Both Sides’

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We dropped in on Third Party, the Cardiff based band revolving around the musical talents of Gruff Russell-Jones, about this time last year.

The intervening 12 months haven’t dampened their knack for turning out an invariably perky, infectious and likable tune, as Russell-Jones & Co. return with a brand new double A-side, ‘On Both Sides’. They remain a pretty inimitable proposition, their mix of garage, R&B and post punk sound with wry lyrics are probably one of the closest modern relations to the ingenious witticisms of HMHB. ‘On Both Sides’ is meant as a satirical lament for the ailing culture of the 7″ single; separately ‘Copy A’ is a jerky, spiky post-punk track while ‘Beside’ is a stirring, down-tempo piano led, r&b delight. Two rather superb cuts offering decidedly different sides to the talents of Third Party, who having been knocking around for a couple of years now, surely deserve to be heard far and wide.

You can give both tracks the once over below (you can buy ‘ On both Sides’ here). If you’re in Cardiff for SWN, try make some time for Third Party.

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(Video) Bill Ryder-Jones – ‘You’re Getting Like Your Sister’

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‘You’re Getting Like Your Sister’ is the latest track to be taken from Billy Ryder-Jonesexcellent album, A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart, one which is wholeheartedly recommended.

On the ex-coral man’s debut solo LP, he embraces his talent for arrangement, looking inwards, he penned a gripping album of pensive ballads and hushed pop songs. Ryder-Jones’ latest single ‘You’re Getting Like Your Sister’ is pretty typical of what to expect from his highly accomplished and deeply affecting debut. Built with subtlety and restraint, it is gentle, predictably melancholic and filled with hushed tones, as he tells a solemn tale of obsession, murder and double murder. Yes, it’s a rather dark subject matter but ‘You’re Getting Like Your Sister’ is a marvelous song. 

You can check out ‘You’re Getting Like Your Sister’ and it’s animated video above and the album, A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart, is out now on Domino Records. An album well worth your attention if you find the time.

Sea Pinks – ‘An Exploded View’

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Belfast’s finest purveyors of sun-kissed indie guitar-pop, Sea Pinks, are set to release a new double A-sided single ‘Exploded View’/’Magpies Eyes’. 

Earlier in the year, Neil Brogan, announced that he would be leaving his role as drummer in Girls Names to concentrate on his other musical project, which is of course Sea Pinks. ‘Exploded View’ is the first chance to sample some of that newly concentrated Sea Pinks sound and my, does it appeal to the ear. ‘Exploded View’ is a lovely jangly guitar pop song, with a bright and bouncy energy reminiscent of The Coral/The La’s at their finest (or a great many other superb bands from the banks of The Mersey). In short, it’s a great track, a proper three-minute hero that’s irrefutably lovable.

‘An Exploded View’ will be released on October 5th as a limited edition 7″ vinyl, along with and expanded four track digital EP.

Aphrodite Lion – ‘Only One’

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Aphrodite Lion are Annie Graham and Mike Tinsley, an indie/alternative duo from Dublin.

The duo’s latest single ‘Only One’, isn’t a first musical foray having already attempted world domination with two EPs and an album, Monochrome Bisexual Triathlete. What ‘Only One’ does is, suggest a change in tact from Aphrodite Lion, rolling up their sleeves and turbo-charged their sound. It is an effective shift in direction toward bigger grooves, post-punk guitar riffs and clomping drum machine beats, which combine with some devastatingly seductive vocals from Annie Graham. Aphrodite Lion have stumbled upon and incredibly lovable and catchy-as-hell sound with ‘Only One’. Think of a less malevolent, more jaunty version of The Kills, say Blood Pressures era for example. 

‘Only One’ is out now from all the usual digital haunts. Also worth noting, when Aphrodite Lion aren’t making tunes, they’re writing about them on their excellent blog, The Lions Share – these musings come highly recommended. 

Introducing: Sliab Cuinciu

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24 year old Wicklow native Sliab Cuinciu is the latest to emerge from what is a rather talented bunch of homegrown electronic producers.

Over the past couple of years the sheer number of producers emerging from Ireland has been staggering. Thankfully, by and large anyway, the quality has remained pretty damn high and Sliab Cuinciu falls squarely into this top quality category. He spent the summer working on his own brand of productions, the fruits of which, is called ####. This 8-track collection is heavily influenced by hip hop, synth pop, disco and a wealth of electronic music, as well as soul, funk and rock. This blending of styles and influences, particularly the ‘8os disco vibes with hip hop beats ala ‘Boy’ & ‘Drug Game’, leaves us with a collection of smooth, cool as fuck hip hop infused electronic jams. No doubt about it, the beats will have your head nodding. Meanwhile ‘Blue Saphires’ and ‘Cosmonaut’ are utterly captivating and have a real soundtrack quality to them (Kavinsky meets John Carpenter if you will). On the whole it’s an interesting, inventive and enjoyable body of work we got right here.

There’s a lot on offer here, suffice to say, you’ll loose nothing giving Sliab Cuinciu some of your attention over the weekend. In fact, ####, is available on a ‘name-your-price basis’ from bandcamp.  

 

Biggles Flys Again – ‘Chambers’

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Earlier this year Biggles Flys Again released their superb debut album, Remember Saturday. As an album of enchanting and whimsical good old fashioned pop songs, filled with sinuous melodies and organic arrangement; it is without doubt one of the finest domestic records of the year. 

Apart from the fact that it’s never a bad thing to revisit how exceptionally good the aforementioned LP is, Biggles are back, with a forthcoming EP, Chambers. Title track ‘Chambers’, taken from the debut record, captures some of the many reasons to adore Biggles Flys Again. It’s a  tender and instantly lovable tune, packed with a heart wrenching emotional punch, with Deasy’s vocal talent and those for crafting pop gems, on full view for all willing to pay attention. 

Chambers is released on October 19th in a package including a previously unreleased track from the album sessions, along with remixes by Strands, The Casanova Wave and Voluntary Butler Service.

You can catch Biggles Flys Again tonight (Oct 3rd) at HWCH in The Mercantile (22:40). Or for those further afield, in The Windmill, Brixton, London on Nov 13th & Le Pop In, Rue Amelot, Paris on Nov 27th . Onward.