Introducing: Silver Matter

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Silver Matter are a Vancouver foursome who play noisy, lo-fi dream pop.

Fronted by Rory McClure, also of Shimmering Stars, they have been tempting us by drip feeding songs that will appear on a six track cassette, which shall be out before the end of 2015. Amid the shroud of murky DIY distortion, ‘Punks Grown Up’ has a gorgeously warm melody and shimmering guitars peaking through as we’re presented with a bittersweet tale of rebellious punks growing up to become rather more conventional. ‘Off Paxil’ is meanwhile, just as warm. A full on supernova of sensory overloads, as they flood the senses with a heady rush of shoegazey noise, with shimmering guitars and semi-euphoric vocals managing to poke through the distortion and hiss of static. Etching out a sublime balance between atmospheric broodiness and undeniably irresistible and warm melodiousness; it is an emphatic and intoxicating introduction. Something tells me you’ll be hearing a lot more from Silver Matter.

Both tracks will be released as a part of a six-track, cassette release called ‘Punks Grown Up’. If you can’t wait that long, ‘Punks Grown Up’ & ‘Off Paxil’ are currently available on bandcamp for a cool $999. You can also listen to them below if you wallet doesn’t stretch that far. 

Fold – ‘A Victim’s Mentality’

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Leeds based Trip Hop / Breakbeat / Hip-Hop outfit Fold are gearing up to release their long-awaited and much anticipated debut album, released on November 3rd.

Long-standing BarryGruff favourites, the inventive and experimental quartet have the propensity for the magnificent, producing incredible music blending their enviable creativity with a social consciousness. Prior to their self-titled debut album, Fold have released lead single ‘A Victim’s Mentality’, which exhibits their pre-eminence in compelling fashion. A smooth, lavish and carefully weaved blend of mellow hip hop and trip hop grooves – peppered with brass above and a muffled, dreamy bassline running beneath it – accentuating the natural spoken rhythms of Mr Gee’s eloquent and thought provoking, poetic lyricisms. Absolutely stunning work from one of the most unique and exciting acts around. 

You can listen to ‘A Victim’s Mentality’ below and it is out now. Fold’s self-titled debut album meanwhile, is released on November 3rd – you can pre-order it here.

Oh, and, Fold featured on GruffWuff – a 19 Track Compilation to celebrate 5 years of BarryGruff  – you check out their inclusion ‘That’s It’ here, and download the entire album for FREE too.

 

Queen Of Jeans – Dance (Get Off Your Ass)

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Queen of Jeans are Philadelphia trio – Miriam Devora, Matheson Glass and Nina Scotto – who specialize in retro, garagey, indie indebted to girl groups of the ’50s and ’60s.

This aforementioned penchant is patently obvious from their debut single, ‘Dance (Get Off Your Ass)'; a cracker by any gauge. A woozy, alluring and mirage inducing haze of lush, heavenly harmonies, catchy hooks, and undulating rumbling drums over a laissez-faire, shimmering guitar. These lackadaisical, joyous and carefree meanderings splendidly pierced by Devora’s mellifluous-cooing-to-glass-shatteringly-powerful vocal performance, which is achieved at break-neck speed. Rich, textured melodic and harmonious pop at it’s very finest, and completely and utterly beautiful. ‘Dance (Get Off Your Ass)’ is a marvellous and as strong an introduction to a band that you’re likely to witness. More please.

You can stream ‘Dance (Get Off Your Ass)’ below and, it can be yours, all you got to do is head over to bandcamp and ‘name your price’.

 

Martha Ffion – ‘So Long’

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Irish-born, Glasgow-based singer-songwriter, Martha Ffion (full name Claire Martha Ffion McKay) has been making a bit of a name for herself over the past 12 months or so.

Having released her debut EP in 2014, Ffion followed that with double a-side ‘No Applause/Lead Ballons’, the fruits of a collaboration with the irrepressibly magnificent Lost Map Records. Now she has unveiled ‘So Long‘, the first track from her new partnership with very respected indie label Turnstile (Gruff Rhys, Cate Le Bon, Drinks etc.). Recorded with Suse Bear of Tuff Love, ‘So Long‘ demonstrates a more subtle side to Ffion’s talents with less fuzz and crunch than ‘No Applause’. A blissful breeziness is rendered through a healthy and mesmerising combination of jangly guitars, wistful melodies and forlorn, almost detached but alluring pop vocal. All coated in a sparing, but perfect, wash of reverb, ‘So Long‘ is a sheer treat of classic songwriting of the ilk of the Everly Brothers or The Shangri-Las, with a modern dream-pop sheen. An assured, assertive and spellbinding performance from a musician and songwriter who continues to go from strength to strength. No doubt about it, ‘So Long’ is worth savouring.

Check out ‘So Long’ below & it’s out now via iTunes.

Cuinciu – ‘Radium Girls’

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For the best part of 2015, Irish producer Ross McDonald has been devoting most of his attention to his Open Window project but McDonald has returned to his Cuinciu guise with a brand new single.

Entitled ‘Radium Girls’, the Wicklow native serves up a wonderfully bright, upbeat and funky slice of dance, disco and electronica infused electro-pop. Constructed around a forceful, bouncy beat and infectious rythmic groove, it bobs along rippling synths, popping percussion and chiming guitars, as it moves along on its merry way with quite a swagger. It is a jovial and playfully natured tune that offers an intricately produced insight in the talent McDonald has at his disposal. Continuing to draw inspiration from a deep well of hip hop, synth pop, disco and electronic influences, Cuinciu delivers a cracking upbeat piece of electronica with a healthy dose of disco-infused ’80s electo-pop vibes. Yet another rather convincing effort from one of my very favourite producers in Ireland right now.

You can check out ‘Radium Girls’ for yourself below, and you can download it gratis, from here.

Introducing: Primitive World

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Primitive World is the latest moniker of UK producer Sam Willis, one half of critically acclaimed London-based electronic outfit Walls, whom under his own name also released a solo album – 2012′s hypnotic Winterval – without a doubt, one of that year’s finest records.

Since then however, he’s been furtively working away as Primitive World. Under his new alias, Willis has already chalked up a couple of EP’s and his latest, Ascension is a four-tracks of subtle, nuanced and transfixing, dancefloor minded, techno influenced music. Heavy on mood, texture and atmosphere with relentless oscillations and skittering percussion bending you to its mighty will, leaving you utterly powerless to resist it’s tempting allure. Although everything is delivered with a pin point accuracy, it has a grainy and dusty feel. As with Willis’ previous work, Ascension is an entirely magnificent triumph. It is very, very nice to Willis back.

You listen to some choice cuts from the EP below and you can stream/purchase Ascension here.

Millions Like Us Podcast: Episode #3

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Delighted to share ‘Episode #3′ of ‘Millions Like Us’ – a music podcast hosted by myself & craft beer, pastie and fast-food safari enthusiast, Justin Beats – in conjunction with Vancouver news & culture site 604now.

A bi-weekly digest of music from metro Vancouver and BEYOND. The third installment is a mix of new tunes, musings and general chit-chat, with an eclectic mix of musical styles too. Obviously these are still early days but we’re hoping you’re enjoying them so far and we’re looking forward to developing it further and further, over the coming weeks and months. Not much else to say really, aside from thanks to 604now and we hope you enjoy the show. You can read more on it here and listen to episode #2 below, and the tracklist (with links) is after the jump.

You can follow us on SoundCloud | Mixcloud | Twitter

Episode #3:

Zoo Strategies – ‘An Anthem For Angry Country Kids’

Mesa Luna – ‘Don’t Let Go’

Gwenno – ‘Patriarchaeth’

Mourning Coup – ‘I Will Never Die’

Jade Statues – ‘She Don’t Evn Smoke’

Rozmosis – ‘Rain ft Azrael’

Fold – ‘She’

Turn To Crime – ‘Can’t Love’

The Stammer – ‘Kate & Chris’

Other Jesus – ‘Repetition’

Bloody Knees – Daydream

Girl Band – ‘Paul’

Hot Chip – ‘Huarache Lights’ (Soulwax Remix)

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Soulwax have been providing us with a bountiful yield of top quality remix action of late.

The Belgian pair’s hot-streak of superb remixes continues with a brand-new rework of Hot Chip’s ‘Huarache Lights’. To be fair, the original was already a cracker, and similarly to their Tame Impala remix (see below), Soulwax have built from that base to serve up a re-imagining that is all kinds of wonderful. They flesh out the tune with increased spaciousness and dynamism before knocking the original synth up another level, and then cutting it all back entirely to unleash their funk. Impossible not to be affected by the insidious infectious of this one; it’s guaranteed to get you moving. Soulwax do tend to have a habit of doing that, right?

You can take a listen below along with some colourful visuals. The deluxe edition of Hot Chip’s latest album Why Make Sense? is out on October 24th.

Introducing: New Pope

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New Pope is a new project fronted by Galway-based musician Dave Boland, formerly of longstanding BarryGruff favourites, The Depravations.

Boland’s latest venture, a gentle, rich and precise acoustic folk sound, is no less impressive. An understated acoustic strum and accordion drone joins Boland’s distinctive vocal in creating a warm and lush atmosphere; the perfect companion to showcase Boland’s profoundly brilliant songwriting and storytelling abilities. The songs and stories are emotive to say the least; it instills a woozy longing for times long since passed and stirs an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. It is this which fills New Pope’s wonderful debut EP, YOUTH. A truly beautiful collection of timeless and carefully crafted songs which pass with a whisper rather than a roar, delivered with warmth and tenderness. A perfect companion for cold and blustery nights ahead, safely nested away in a comfortable armchair beside a roaring fire, contemplating the world and beyond.

Rumours are that we’ll see a debut album this side of Christmas (uh-oh, the ‘C’ word in October), until then feast your ears on New Pope’s debut EP, YOUTH (stream / purchase here).

Introducing: Mesa Luna

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Vancouver based duo Mesa Luna, comprised of Justice McLellan and Alex Cooper, have a knack for rich, melodic and rather exquisite electronica.

Recorded in various places around the city such as cafe basements, bedrooms and an old empty bank vault, the pair will release their debut EP, Crux, toward the end of this month, October 24th in fact. Ahead of their forthcoming EP, there are already afforded us with plenty of reasons to get excited. Rich in textures and melodic subtleties, a hint of melancholia pulses through the veins of their absorbing sound, which has certain similarities to Boxed In, Hot Chip’s more down-tempo moments and some DFA stalwarts. From the sombre, downtempo psychedelia inflected electronica of ‘Ruins’ to the peaceful, introspective, spaced-out and thought provoking kind of mood inducing ‘Don’t Let Go'; it’s hypnotic, absorbing and all irresistible grooves. ‘Church Garden’ meanwhile, flits between subtly euphoric and vaguely ambient as chiming notes, fluttering keyboards and yowling synths combine with snappy beats, which are delivered with pin point accuracy. The result is a blend of warm sounds with a crisp frosty elegance, creating a absorbing hypnotic, comforting sound collage. Quite simply; Mesa Luna are one of the finest electronic pairings to emerge this year.

There are a few choice cuts below to further convince you and Mesa Luna’s Crux EP is out on October 24th via nbd Label.