Introducing: Benihana

Benihana are Kildare based electronic duo composed of Will Molloy and Billy Archbold, who’ve been steadily releasing some really impressive tracks over the past while.

Together Molloy & Archbold provide us with a triumph of meticulously crafted, emotive and otherworldly electronic music. The tracks aren’t overblown or overproduced, the Naas-based duo have put time and thought in, judging by the sheer depth and emotion that emanates from their music. ‘Claro’ is a laid-back, almost ambient, dreamy track, slowly developing through frosty production that feels like a thick mist,and a shivering sense of euphoria. ‘Nearer’ meanwhile, offers a darker side to their sound. Crunching beats and twinkling synths combine with a subterranean vibe to envelop everything with a sense of eeriness, but rather than fraught with terror or peril, it is imbued with an uplifting sense of optimism, mainly provided through the warmth of the vocal and some heavenly, floaty sounds. This heavy dose of optimism is something continued on ‘Machines’, which features a sample of Charlie Chaplin’s famous and powerful speech from The Great Dictator and backed by airy cinematic production. All in all, it’s supremely evocative and intoxicating.

You can sample some choice cuts below and if they are to your liking? You can download Patterns EP here and double A-side Claro/Nearer here, all you got to do is ‘name your price’. Photo by Olga Kuzmenko.

Foreign/National – ‘Always Blue’


Melbourne five piece Foreign/National added a certain sparkle to our lives with their marvellously lush and sun-soaked single ‘Life Tourist’, toward the back-end of summer last year.

The Melbourne five piece repeat the trick with another shimmering, fuzz filled psych rock gem that is ‘Always Blue’. It’s colourful, sun-soaked and irresistibility joyous, ‘Always Blue’ offers a glimpse into a tropical psych dream world where reverb soaked vocals, distorted guitar and all manner of fizzing psychedelic sounds combine to form a hazily dreamy and warm distorted pop song. There are certain similarities with Foreign/National and compatriots Tame Impala and Washed Out and Unknown Mortal Orchestra too – not bad company to be in mind. Expecting quite a lot from these lot in the future.

‘Always Blue’ is one half of a two-track EP that’s set for release in the not-too-distant future. Eyes peeled please. For now you check out ‘Always Blue’ below.

Novella – ‘Land Gone’


London outfit Novella will finally release their debut album Land on May 11th via Sinderlyn, and accompanying this rather exciting news is a brand new single, ‘Land Gone’.

‘Land Gone’ is an exciting intro to what we might expect which demonstrates both their appeal, and how their sound has grown. ‘Land Gone’ is a fast-paced and ever morphing, sprawling and expansive blend of shoegazey krautrock. It flourishing with dazzling array of shimmering guitars, motorik rhythms, cosmic harmonies and heavenly vocals , before eventually swelling and climaxing with a monstrous guitar outro and crashing percussion. It’s polished but not overly so, as to stay true to their trademark sound, while expanding into richer, fuller territory with the addition of Krautrock and electronic elements to their well honed off-kilter pysch-pop.

Check out ‘Land Gone’ below and perhaps stick May 11th in the diary. You could also check their 2013 EP, Murmurs, it was rather good.

Joanna Gruesome – ‘Last Year’ + New Album Announced


Cardiff garage-punk rockers Joanna Gruesome have unveiled ‘Last Year’ as the scorching lead single from their forthcoming new album Peanut Butter, the follow-up to their superb 2013 debut Weird Sister.

‘Last Year’ opens with a blistering burst of coiled up, highly charged punk-rock before the yelps and hard-charged riffs give way to the beautifully hazy noise pop halfway through. It’s aggressive, angry and sweetly melodic simultaneously; trademark Joanna Gruesome if you will but with a tad more control or focus. This is a dizzying display of what makes this Welsh five-piece so fantastic and why the new record is such an exciting proposition. The new album also includes the excellent Psykick Espionage, which featured on a split release with Perfect Pussy last year.

While we have a bit of time to wait until Peanut Butter is released, you can stream ‘Last Year’ below now. The album is out in the UK on May 11th through Fortuna Pop! Turnstile and on June 2nd in North America via Slumberland).

Introducing: The Courtneys


Vancouver all-girl trio The Courtneys deliver a special blend of lo-fi fuzzy slacker garage-pop that drifts back in time to the early ’90s.

Their sound has seen comparisons to Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr and Pavement and in truth, they do borrow elements from these but with the addition of their fun-in-the-sun West Coast attitude. Pumped with fuzzed-up jangle, dreamy riffs and sweet licks, adding a clever pop gloss while the heavy driving bass lines and sappy snare kick combos provide some punk grunt to proceedings. While primarily the music is fun and the songs slide by with an effortless ease and general breeze, that will stick with you for days. On repeated listens however, thematically greater depth is revealed. On the surface ‘90210’ offers a feel-good seasonal escape to the warm climes of summer beach days but real life isn’t far away. Lead singer Jen Twynn Payne takes a trip to the water and is reminded of someone she’s lost and will only see in dreams or when she herself dies. Fairly late to the game on The Courtneys as their self-titled debut was released back in 2013 but it, and they, have been on heavy rotation since the turn of the year.

You can stream some choice below or pop here to listen to their self-titled debut.

Public Service Broadcasting – ‘The Other Side’


Public Service Broadcasting released lead single ‘Gagarin’ off their forthcoming second album, The Race For Space, toward the latter part of 2014. They are back to whet the appetite once more with new single, ‘The Other Side’.

On that occasion their cut-and-paste techniques cooked up a brassy and funky-as-hell tribute to Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, the first man to orbit the earth. Their latest single from the much anticipated space-themed album is ‘The Other Side’ and it switches emphasis, from one Cold War Superpower to another and from funky to the most epic. It sees audio clips from Ground Control in Houston when Apollo 8 became the first manned voyage to orbit the moon, enveloped by a steady synth sequence and simple drum beat, that is, till the midway point. The tension when they reach ‘the other side’ and lose radio contact is palpable, recreating this historic moment in space travel with epic proportions before erupting back into life, as driven electronic beats, atmospheric synths and crashing cymbals, building to an epic climax, signify Apollo 8’s success. It plays like an epic sci-fi score which is brilliant affective. PSB’s new record has a lot to live up to, after all their debut, Inform – Educate – Entertain, was rather fantastic but so far it seems they are on the right track.

The Race For Space is released on February 20th via Test Card Recordings. Check out ‘The Other Side’ below.

Rozi Plain – ‘Actually’

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London-based, Winchester-born singer-songwriter, Rozi Plain, is an extremely unique and original voice; and her latest single ‘Actually’, is the most spellbinding and gorgeous introduction to that talent imaginable.

Due out March 2nd, ‘Actually’ precedes Plain’s new album, Friend, which is out May 4th via the ever interesting Lost Map Records, and in case you were wondering? It is simply gorgeous alt-folk. Announcing itself with a sleepy, whispering serenity, before every immaculate piece gently falls perfectly into place. The bubbling, rumbling and undulating bass line, twinkly synth and simple acoustic plucks drift along, adding further resonance to this moment of serene beauty. It is just gorgeous, and the beguiling bewitchery of her voice, that too, is simply spectacular. It brings to mind a bright and beautiful winter’s sun that momentarily blinds you with it’s powerful yet meekly warm glare, on a fresh and crisp December day. If you are new to Rozi Plain’s work (as am I), she already has two LPs, Inside Over Here and Joined Sometimes Unjoined, under her belt.

You can stream ‘Actually’ below now, and for those of you back home, Rozi Plain will be in The Workman’s, Dublin on March 6th w/ This Is Kit.

Freedom Fry – ‘Shaky Ground (Hey Na Na Na)’


Los Angeles based indie pop duo Freedom Fry have pricked our ears more than once over the past few years with charming single after single.

The Franco-American duo, Marie Seyrat and Bruce Driscoll, have returned with the release of their first new music of 2015; the sugary-sweet and super catchy ‘Shaky Ground (Hey Na Na Na)’. This wonderfully crafted single retains similarly brilliant characteristics to those which have marked their earlier work. A gentle and breezy number, harnessing all the potency from a catchy melody, sunny strings, toe tapping percussion and the gorgeous boy/girl vocal combo, making it is pretty darn hard to resist the allure of ‘Shaky Ground (Hey Na Na Na)’. A wonderful and utterly likeable piece of guitar-pop which sits pretty well alongside their previous singles like ‘Summer In The City’, ‘Hanging With The New Crowd’, ‘Home’ and ‘Blackmailed’.

They along with the new single, ‘Shaky Ground (Hey Na Na Na)’, are taken from their forthcoming limited edition vinyl, Fan Club (The Singles 2011-2014), which is available to pre-order here. You can stream the new single below.

Introducing: The Pink Teens


Manchester’s The Pink Teens – composed of former members of Temple Songs – treat our ears to some mighty fine, lo-fi, garagey, indie-pop goodness.

Late last year the four-piece released their debut EP, Good Luck, Pink Teens, which over nine tracks comprehensively nails the essence of their spirit. ‘Shanghaied’ is a frantic three-minutes of punk-tinged, noise-pop with powerful guitar riffs, hooks and quick-paced drumming. They combine catchy melodies with DIY production in a similar fashion to that of their previous incarnation and it could be seen as a crossing point from the old to the new. ‘Cola Girls’ meanwhile, is sprawling six plus minutes of free-flowing, propulsive psych whirlpool of jangly guitars, washed out sounds and undulating sonic grooves. While it’s certainly still scuzzy and phenomenally catchy, ‘Cola Girls’ takes their predilection for raw garage and pop, and pushes on through to distinctly different and new territory with magnificent results. A fantastic introduction to a band reborn.

You can sample some choice cuts below or pop over here to listen to their debut EP in its entirety.

Colleen Green – ‘TV’


Colleen Green has proven a rather reliable source of fuzzed-up, infectious slices of slacker rock over the past number of years and new single ‘TV’ shows this isn’t a trend about to change any time soon.

New track ‘TV’ follows lead single ‘Pay Attention’, as the second single from her forthcoming new full-length, I Want To Grow Up, which is out February 2nd via Hardly Art Records. On ‘TV’, Green’s chilled-out ode to television, she conveys her love and affection for television, tempered by her breathy vocals, while rocking a crunchy, fuzz-heavy riff that rips through the track. She ups the stakes with the chorus and sees out the song in anthemic fashion. An absolutely brilliant three minutes of fuzzed-up-feel-good.

You can stream and download ‘TV’ below. Even better news if you’re in Vancouver (like me), Green plays Fox Cabaret with Sonny and the Sunsets on February 18th.