CaStLeS – ‘PartDepart’

We’ve been keeping a watchful eye of North Walian trio CaStLeS, for quite sometime now.

The three piece – comprised of We//Are//Animal brothers Cynyr and Dion Hamer and Calvin Thomas – have captivated us with a series superb singles thus far but, their debut EP, PartDepart confirms what we really knew already; CaStLeS are an absolute treasure. Inspired by the surrounding wilderness of their studio, high up in the hills overlooking two castles, they embrace influences from Super Fury Animals, Django Django and the Beach Boys to name but a few. In doing so, CaStLeS create an engrossing swirling infusion of psychedelic rock, blues and mildly dancey grooves. Title track ‘PartDepart’, with its bubbling hypnotic layers, beautiful sounds, synth loops, enticing guitar riffs and seductive rhythmic groove, is essentially CaStLeS raison d’etre and indicative of the spirit running through the veins of their marvellous sound. Add a sprig of lilting Welsh vocals, tight harmonies, reverb soaked melodies, organic spontaneity and earthiness, combined with some off-kilter genius and you get the picture. ‘Nightingale’, ‘Foresteering’ and ‘Mountaineering’ too, are all consuming and overwhelm the senses in all its rhythmic glory. This debut EP has been a while coming but, yeah, you guessed it, it has certainly been worth the wait.

You can check out some choice cuts below, along with their £30 self-made video for ‘PartDepart’. You can also purchase/stream the EP in its entirety here.


Tuff Love – ‘Crocodile’ & Compilation LP ‘Resort’


Tuff Love have announced they are to release a compilation LP called ‘Resort’ in January.

It’s been a fine year for Tuff Love and their burgeoning band of fans, with the Glaswegian scuzz-pop aficionados concluding a triumphant trilogy of introductory EPs. The album will be composed of the band’s three EPs thus far – 2014’s ‘Junk’, ‘Dross’ from this February, and most recent release ‘Dregs’ – in one 15-track compilation . To coincide with the news of the LP, to be released via the mighty Lost Map Records on January 29th, the duo are releasing Dregs track,‘Crocodile’ as a single. ‘Crocodile’ strikes a perfect balance between contrasting ingredients of their sound. With a tattered grunge-echoing main riff, and Eisenstein and Bear’s charming two-part harmonies and dreamy vocals, it outlines exactly what Tuff Love are all about, all in two-and-a-half minutes. Tuff Love have impressed more and more on each and every occasion, and it’s been solid gold irresistible listening from first to last. Here’s to more of the same in the future.

You can listen to new single ‘Crocodile’ and check out the tracklisting for ‘Resort’ below.

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Introducing: Exmagician


Cast your mind back a few years, to 2011, you may remember a delightful debut album from Belfast’s Cashier No. 9.

It was called To the Death of Fun and was produced by David Holmes, it is an album which I have retained an enduring fondness for. Alas, Cashier No. 9 are no more, having called time on the band earlier this year – but fortunately, it has been revealed that two of the guys from the band, Danny Todd and James Smith, have been working on new project. The new band is called exmagician and their debut EP Kiss That Wealth Goodbye will be released via Bella Union on November 20th. Prior to their forthcoming EP, exmagician cast a first spell (*ba dum tss) with a brand new single of the same name, and it is glorious. It is a lot more urgent, hard-edged and rockier than their previous band. Still present, though, is their preference for shimmering psychedelics, echoed instrumentation and melodiousness. It is anthemic and quite cool, mixing up swirling melodies with a catchy groove to fall somewhere between BRMC, Supergrass and Cashier No. 9. It is an extremely promising start to Smith and Todd’s latest musical project.

‘Kiss That Wealth Goodbye’ is the lead track from exmagician’s debut E.P, which will be released on November 20th. Check it below.


Introducing: A. S. Fanning

A.S. Fanning Photo by Maren Michaelis

A.S. Fanning was the front-man of the criminally underrated Dublin band The Last Tycoons, now based in Berlin, he’s returned with his own solo project.

With this news comes new music, and he’s debuted a first single in the shape of ‘Carmelita’. Opening with a rich organ hum and scratchy acoustic strum, he regales dark tales from his native Dublin, perfectly complimented by Fanning’s world-weary and distinctive Dublin-accented, vocal. The organ seeps into every fibre of this four-and-a-half minutes of melodic, further accentuating Fanning’s finest attribute; namely his profoundly brilliant songwriting and storytelling abilities, which enables him to depict a vivid, yet dark vision. It is a strong and extremely promising start Fanning’s latest musical venture, of which, hopefully there is more sooner rather than later.

You can listen to ‘Carmelita’ below and it is out now via iTunes.


Daniel Avery – ‘Sensation’


It has been two years since Daniel Avery released his sensational debut Drone Logic; fusing house, techno and more left field electronics into one of the finest records in recent years.

The UK producer is back with his first new material (proper, there was a remix series) in the shape of ‘Sensation / Clear’, out through Phantasy later this month. Avery has brought our wait for new material to an end in some style. It’s dark themes show a hint of lineage from his Drone Logic days, but his sound has clearly developed in the two years since his debut album release. ‘Sensation’ is a slow-building, minimal number drifting toward the driving depths of techno with a deft percussive touch breaking through swathes of noise, synth and pulsating atmosphere. It is complex, dynamic, and dark, and more importantly, it has us wishing for more. On that front, there’s nothing concrete on a new album but watch this space.

‘Sensation / Clear’ is out on 12” on November 27th. You can listen to ‘Sensation’ in full below.