The Cats Never Sleep – ‘Wide Open’

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‘Wide Open’ is the second track lifted from The Cats Never Sleep‘s debut full length, Massage, released last month through Le Pop Club Records.

The Swiss five-piece’s sound pulls from are wide and varied source of influences, ranging from German Krautrock to progressive pop to Fela Kuti. It’s a brew that translates into groovy, funky, laid-back and loungey lo-fi indie/psych-tinged jams. This loungey vibe is joined by lazy, dreamy and jangly instrumentals, and chilled vocals imbued with a beautiful lethargy. A perfect companion to kicking back and enjoying some sunshine.

Check out ‘Wide Open’ below (the video is fun) and if it is to your liking, The Cats Never Sleep’s debut LP Massage is streaming here.

Bad Sea – ‘Tell Me (What I Mean)’

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Dublin-based duo Bad Sea return with their glorious new single ‘Tell Me (What I Mean)’.

The stellar nature of the new track will come as no surprise to anyone who had the good fortune to get acquainted with previous, equally stunning tracks, ‘Solid Air’ & ‘I’d Want You’. The swooning new one from Bad Sea – aka Ciara Thompson and Alan Farrell – is a mix of retro Americana-tinged jangle and exquisite pop finesse. Beautifully infectious, it shuffles along a groovy drum beat stabs of guitar and impressive  pop melodies, while the soaring, scale-shifting vocal from Thompson elevate the song to new euphoric heights. ‘Tell Me (What I Mean)’ is utterly compelling craft and resembles a cross between Tennis and one Anna Calvi at the peak of their prowess.

‘Tell Me (What I Mean)’ is out now & you can listen to it & emotive double a-side companion ‘Over My Head’ below.

Bad Sea play Mistake #3 at The Hut, Phibsboro alongside Beauty Sleep & Shrug Life on Friday, March 24. Kick off @ 8pm & €6 door tax.

Girlpool announce new album, Powerplant, share ‘123’

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On May 12th, Philly-based outfit Girlpool will make their return with a new LP, Powerplant. The album follows their brilliant 2015 debut, Before the World Was Big, and sees Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker joined by a full band.

Heralding this auspicious news is lead single ‘123’, which shows off this new dynamic, complimenting their stripped back guitar-and-bass approach. ‘123’ opens like a lot of other Girlpool song, with a slow, muted and watery-sounding guitar melody before the drums kick in. With that, it bursts into a life, in full colour. Yet, it is still the vocal harmonies which provide their edge. Imbued with a vulnerable, angst-ridden tone, it and the woozy, undulating quality compliments the dreamlike imagery perfectly.

As mentioned above, Girlpool’s much-anticipated Powerplant is out May 12th, via new label home ANTI- Records. For now, check out lead track ‘123’, along with the video.

Girlpool have also announced a pile of North American tour dates, hopefully some shows on this side of the Atlantic will follow soon.

 

The Fine Lines – ‘Gold’

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The Fine Lines are indie-rock foursome – John, Ben, Justin & Zach – from Madison, NJ.

The quartet’s debut offering is single, ‘Gold'; a glowing piece of classic indie-rock. Opening in a down-tempo, moody and somewhat melancholic fashion, it quickly shifts through the gears, burning guitars in tow, surging toward a crest of anthemic choruses. Mammoth as the anthemic surges are, ‘Gold’ manages to remain rather personal and intimate. There are shades of Idlewild, The Charlatans & late ’90s/early ’00s Bunnymen on show here; not a bad trio of acts to be name-checking whatsoever.

The Fines Lines have afforded us a magnificent first introduction and hopefully there will be more in the way of music, sooner rather than later.

‘Gold’ is out now. Listen to it below.

Zefur Wolves – ‘Stars of Omaha’ (A Tribute to John Trudell)

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Revolving around the twin talents of Cian Ciaran from Super Fury Animals and Estelle from Baby Queens, Zefur Wolves have returned following a two year absence.

The Welsh outfit’s return is marked by new single ‘Stars of Omaha'; their first new music since their wonderful self-titled debut in 2015. The single is a tribute to Native American author, poet, actor, musician, and political activist, John Trudell, with all proceeds going to The Standing Rock Foundation.

‘Stars of Omaha’ continues in a similar vein to that of their debut LP, with a clear preference for creating powerful, emotive and politically tinged shoegazey-grunge. Imbued with a sense of awe and mysticism, a swirl of mellow, atmospheric sound surrounds Estelle’s impassioned vocal, which in turn is greeted by stripped-back bass and guitar, that gradually evolve heavier and louder. The chunky guitar chords are tempered by languid drumbeat as feint layers of vocal sustain a sense of otherworldly atmosphere and spirit. A wonderful political themed, shoegaze and psychedelic waltz.

You can check out ‘Stars of Omaha’ below or purchase from here; with all proceeds from the song will go to The Standing Rock Foundation. Buy it here.

John Wesley Coleman III – ‘Shovel’

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Texas-bred John Wesley Coleman, a self-professed ‘trash poet’, has cultivated a rep as one of the most preeminent and distinct artists on the US indie scene, since the ’90s.

Arguably, he’s made his biggest splash with psych garage five-piece Golden Boys but that would be to do his solo work a great disservice. The latest instalment, new album Microwave Dreams, was released last month and it captures exactly what John Wesley Coleman III is all about.

Coleman’s songs boasts a canny knack for witty storytelling and turn of phrase, none-more-so than the album’s opener, ‘Shovel’. An impassioned stomper driven by scratchy guitars, fuzz, whirring alarm and steady backbeat, it finds a balance between frayed-cuff wit and earnest sentimentality. There’s a weariness to Coleman’s voice – disenchanted and tired – all he do is laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. It’s gritty, catchy and passionate, and imbued by a real devil-may-care attitude, it a wonderful intro to John Wesley Coleman III’s new record.

You can listen to ‘Shovel’ below & be sure to check out the album, Microwave Dreamshere.

Mountain Bike – ‘This Lonely Place’

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More closely associated with electronica, Belgium has produced more than its fair share of tidy bands too, and joining that list is garage outfit, Mountain Bike.

The four-piece, hailing from Brussels, have just released new single ‘This Lonely Place’. Taken from their forthcoming album About Too Sorry For Any Sorrow – due out on the 3rd of March – ‘This Lonely Place’ is a fuzzy, jangling four minutes of laid-back, hook-drenched, melodic-vibes. From a melancholic opening, it nonchalantly skips along head-nodding bundle of joy. Comparisons to the likes of Ty Segall, Mac DeMarco, Car Seat Headrest & King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard have been made, and while they are all valid, there is a certain late ’90s Blur and early noughties Graham Coxon (solo work) vibe too. Regardless, this is super catchy, infectious and addicting, Mountain Bike have found that sweet spot between pop and indie.

Listen to ‘This Lonely Place’ below, and keep an eye out for this four-piece in 2017.

Chick Quest – ‘Down in a Crypt’

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Self-described ‘Spaghetti Western Post-Punk Dance Party’, Chick Quest are an unconventional punky foursome – Ryan White (vocals, guitar), Iris Rauh (drums), Marcus Racz (trumpet, keyboard), and Magdalena Kraev (bass) – hailing from Vienna, Austria.

Chick Quest explore rather unusual realms of music, taking in parts punk, post-punk, ska, funk, b-movie and spaghetti western soundtracks. The Austrian foursome are readying their second album, Model View Controller. Ahead of its release later this month, Chick Quest provide a preview with ‘Down In A Crypt’. Its all dance-y and fuzzed-up post-punk with a spooky b-movie-esque organ riff, crunchy guitar riffs, brisk bass-line and dynamic beats. Catchy, infectious and simultaneously rather creepy; it’s a hard act to pull off but pull it off they do.

Model View Controller is out February 24th via Triangular Sounds. Until then, why not give ‘Down In A Crypt’ a spin below.

Rhodri Brooks – ‘Bws Dŵr’

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Rhodri Brooks is a Cardiff born singer and songwriter, whose rather wonderful sound is gathered from fragments of alt-country, psychedelia, Americana and lo-fi, and effortlessly sewn together.

Brooks’ chameleonic sound transcends eras and genres, evidenced by his wonderful back catalogue and latest single ‘Bws Dŵr’.The new track will be released through the Bubblewrap Collective – who he’s recently joined forces with – for Welsh Language Music Day on February 10th. Performed in his native Welsh, ‘Bws Dŵr’ is a gentle and wonderfully understated lo-fi blend of Americana/Country that lulls you into a hypnotic, woozy state of peace and calm as it meanders along with sliding guitars and washed-out vocal. So easy on the ear, this is just a wonderfully tranquil beauty.

‘Bws Dŵr’ is out for Welsh Language Music Day on February 10th. Listen to it below.

Orouni – ‘The Lives Of Elevators’

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Three albums deep already, French band Orouni are no novices, in fact they are virtuosos when it comes to classic, melodic guitar pop music.

Orouni’s carefully crafted arrangements are marked by an easy-going flow and a sense for melody and elegance – none more so than ‘The Lives Of Elevators’. The new track – which will be on their next album – is part of a live session with French streaming platform Findspire and followed by ‘The Devil And The Monk Seal’, from their most recent record Grand Tour (2014). Buoyed by an effortless ear for melody, ‘The Lives Of Elevators’ elegantly flits between melancholic and beautiful, fragile but authoritative, with lush arrangements and irresistible parps of brass. Charming and sometimes bittersweet, this is the class of perfect pop-craft associated with the likes of The Kinks, Sweet Baboo and Tap Tap et al. This is ever so endearing and delightful catchy but be warned, these pair of songs will get stuck in your head for days and days.

Orouni has recorded three albums to date, which can be acquired via Bandcamp, with another on the way in 2017. Check out ‘The Lives Of Elevators’ &  ‘The Devil And The Monk Seal’ below.