BarryGruff’s Playlist February 2015

BarryGruff Feb Playlist 2015

A new monthly feature to the blog, a nice, neat and handy playlist of tracks featured during the month.

It was a pretty good month to be fair. There was the return of Joanna Gruesome, Novella, Coves and Akala, with new tracks ahead of their respective albums, and new singles from Du Blonde, Foreign/National, Freedom Fry & Rozi Plain. Not to forget the huge news of a new album from Blur and last but not least, the return of Super Furry Animals. Also featuring on the playlist are: Public Service Broadcasting, TRWBADOR, The Courtneys, SALES, The Earth & Benihana.

Listen to BarryGruff’s February 2015 playlist below. The full track listing is after the jump.

Continue reading

Competition: Win Tickets to SALES at The Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver :: March 5th

SALES - Artwork by Niklas Åkerblad

Florida duo SALES will be in Vancouver this week to play the Biltmore Cabaret, on Thursday (March 5th), with support from Mesa Luna & Noble Oak.

A collaboration between long-time friends, Lauren Morgan (guitar/vocals) and Jordan Shih (guitar/programming), their splendiferous self-titled debut EP is a marvellous musical feast of inviting, warm and rather charming, quirky indie-pop. Done with a mesmerizing ease and breeze, their songs are simultaneously languid, nonchalant and passionate, somehow uncovering a place where all three can co-exist in perfect harmony. Utterly beautiful, their debut was one of last year’s most loveable records.

SALES, being the kind-hearted souls that they are, have offered readers of the blog a chance to go to the show on Thursday night. There’s a pair of tickets up for grabs and to be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is simply email your ‘name’ with ‘SALES’ as the subject title to barrygruff[at]gmail[dot]com, before 14:00 (PST) Wednesday, March 4th.

If you need any further convincing? There are a few choice cuts from SALES’ sublime debut record below, or you can check out the EP here.

Roll on Thursday night!

Artwork by Niklas Åkerblad.

Super Furry Animals Return – Live Dates & ‘Mwng’ Reissue

mwng-sfa15

Super Furry Animals are back!

Having teased us this week with a series of mysterious online videos, Super Furry Animals have announced they will reunite for a series of live shows, their first since 2009, calling time on a six year hiatus. The short tour coincides with a deluxe 15th anniversary reissue of their Welsh language album Mwng, re-released on a Friday, May 1st, timed to coincide with International Worker’s Day. Originally released in 2000 on the band’s own Placid Casual label (between deals with Creation and Sony), the Super Furries’ fourth album was their only Welsh language LP. The biggest selling Welsh language album of all time and praised in the House of Commons for its significant part in promoting the language and culture of Wales, it is a beautiful, warm and inviting record littered with catchy and powerfully emotional tunes. All in all, this is bloody great news! What’s that smell? A Super Furries playlist? Perhaps. Anyone for a quick game of Actua Soccer 2?

The deluxe editions (vinyl, CD & download) contain five tracks previously released on the US version of Mwng under the name Mwng Bach, as well as a previously unreleased Peel session and a full live show recorded at ATP (tracklisting, pre-order etc. here)

Those UK tour dates are below and hopefully there will be some more dates further a field added sooner rather than later. Listen to ‘Ymaelodi Â’r Ymylon’ from Mwng below.

SFA Live Dates 2015:

:: Great Hall, Cardiff University – May 1st and May 2nd

:: O2 Academy, Glasgow – May 5th

:: Albert Hall, Manchester – May 6th

:: O2 Academy Brixton, London – May 8th

Tickets go on sale Thursday March 5th at 9am.

Introducing: The Earth

the-earth-off-on-1

It’s been stressed many times before but there is no harm in reiterating; Super Furry Animals are an exceptionally talented bunch. Surely then with no new SFA records since 2009’s Dark Days/Light Years, and the band’s ongoing indefinite hiatus status, fans have much reason to be glum? Every cloud.

That silver lining are the numerous impeccable side-projects this time has facilitated. Gruff Rhys’s solo exploits are well documented but the rest of the Furries have been no less busy or creative. Cian Ciarán has two sublime solo LPs to his name, Outside In and They Are Nothing Without Us, and is working on a new project Zefur Wolves. Guto Pryce meanwhile, teamed up with Lindsay Leven for side-project Gulp, delivering a bewitching debut LP, Season Sun. That, in a roundabout way, brings us to The Earth.

The Earth is Super Furries’ Dafydd Ieuan’s soul-rock side-project with Dionne Bennett, Tristan Marley and Mark Roberts (Catatonia). To date they have released an LP, Keltic Voodoo Boogaloo & two EPs, Baby Bones & Liberty Rd. (and possibly more) – all containing the key ingredients of real soul, power and passion, and a groove and coolness. ‘Baby Bones’ is pretty typical. It slowly chugs along, gradually swelling, and gets bigger and more impassioned to envelope everything in its path as Bennett’s powerful, impassioned and oh so soulful vocals rise through the clamour to soar emphatically. That’s the thing really, musically it is exceptional but nothing can steal the limelight from Bennett’s vocal, everything else seems secondary. New single ‘Married 2 Me’ where singer Dionne Bennett luscious vocals duets with Gruff Rhys’ delicious tones, it clicks perfectly to a waltzing-synth-pop backdrop. Magnificent, simple as that.

There are a couple of choice cuts to get you started below. You can stream them & more here.

Coves – ’Shot To The Wall’

coves_

Coves have unveiled ‘Shot To The Wall’, the lead track from their new EP Spectrum, out on April 13th.

This, their first new material since last year’s LP, Soft Friday, picks up where the duo left off on their beautiful and thrilling debut. Elegant, atmospheric and most definitely Coves, ‘Shot To The Wall’ casts yet another beguiling and chilling spell. Laced with scorching riffs, laden with reverb, propulsive beats and glacial atmospherics, spiked with Wood’s mellifluous, chilling cooing. There are plenty of bands of Coves‘ ilk currently doing the rounds – boy-girl duo, spectral vocals, ’60s psychedelic influences, dreamy synths – but few, if any, come close to Coves’ class.

New EP Spectrum, is out on April 13th, while ‘Shot To The Wall’ is below for your listening pleasure. Also, this March, Coves head out on a headline tour of the UK – all the dates are here.