Blur – ‘Go Out’ + New Album…. Finally

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Toward the back end of last week, Blur announced news of The Magic Whip, their first new album for 12 years.

News arrived literally out of nowhere, drawing to a close the ‘will they, won’t they’ saga which has festered since their reformation back in 2009. Since ’09 new material has been noticeably lean much to the ire of fans who no doubt wondered if anything more substantial would ever surface (me being one). Aside from gigs, we’ve been privy to three new tracks during that time: the one-off Record Store Day release ‘Fool’s Day‘ in 2010 and double single ‘Under the Westway/The Puritan‘, in 2012. So, yeah, a new album has been a long time coming but accompanying all this fanfare is new single, ‘Go Out’. Sitting somewhere between their self-titled album and 13, the choppy guitar, submerged keys and loping bass provide something of a nervy, stop-start kind of groove. It feels experimental yet immediate, rambling yet to the point and when you get down to it, this is a peculiar little jam – and therein lies its charm. Brilliant stuff.

The Magic Whip will be released on 27 April & Blur will also play a show at Hyde Park in London on June 20th, the first of a few more big dates surely?

Bright Young People – ‘Solitude’

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The last time Bright Young People featured here was way back in 2013 with their fuzz-bombed, riff and attitude filled single ‘Liberties’. How time flies?

While the Welsh trio won’t be winning any prizes for prolificacy of output, the standard remains gloriously good, and that’s the main thing yeah? Their latest single ‘Solitude’ bares all the hallmarks of its predecessor; ragged, raw, riff filled rock ‘n roll sound. It’s good to see that the intervening time has done little to dampen their spirits or their energy; this is heads down, no messing, unadulterated rock ‘n roll. ‘Solitude’ is but a first taster, and a fine one at that, from Bright Young People’s long-awaited debut EP, Sunshine Town, which is due out on March 23rd.

You can check out ‘Solitude’ below

Du Blonde – ‘Black Flag’

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Du Blonde, formerly Beth Jeans Houghton, has returned with a new moniker, new sound, a new single and news of a forthcoming new album.

Signalling this change of direction musically is latest single, ‘Black Flag’, offering a first glimpse to what we might expect from this fresh direction and the forthcoming album. ‘Black Flag’ demonstrates this super-charged powerful new sound with devastating effect. Thunderous drums, rumbling bass, heavy guitars and a vocal that burns with anger replace the refreshingly odd, off-beat and experimental pop music done so well by her and her band The Hooves of Destiny. It’s a rather dramatic makeover; raw, savage and done with plenty of poise.

Du Blonde’s record will be released sometime in the spring via Mute Records. Listen to ‘Black Flag’ below and get a free download here.

 

Introducing: Benihana

 

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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’

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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’

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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

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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).