Flora Cash – ‘California’

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Swedish/American duo Flora Cash are a pair worth letting into your life.

Shpresa Lleshaj & Cole Randall are preparing to release their debut album, Nothing Lasts Forever (And It’s Fine) on April 21st, ahead of which, comes their new single ‘California‘. The acoustic strumming of the guitar sets the tone for this brooding folk-inspired atmospheric cut. Utterly captivating, it brilliantly illustrates the power Flora Cash’s sobering, distinctive harmonies and ambient edge. A stellar tune charged with raw emotion, that effortlessly blends euphoric highlights with distinctively dark undertones. It will demand your full and undivided intention.

‘California’ is but one part of a 10 track patchwork that is their forthcoming LP, Nothing Lasts Forever (And It’s Fine), out April 21st. Tune in now.

Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist #1

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A brand new feature on the Gruff channel, a weekly 15-track Spotify playlist series featuring some of the finest new music to prick my ears.

Clocking in at under and hour, it’s an easily digested slice of new music, just in time for the weekend. There’s a nice mix of genres and styles too, allowing me to share more great tunes for your ears, so hopefully it can be a regular feature. We’ll see how it goes, I guess.

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Sweet Baboo Announces New Album ‘Wild Imagination’, Shares ‘Badminton’

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Two years on from The Boombox Ballads, North Wales native Stephen Black, better known as Sweet Baboo, is gearing up to release his brand new LP.

Due out on 2nd June Wild Imagination was penned as something of an antidote to our turbulent, worrying developments of 2016. In addition, Black has shared the sweet new single ‘Badminton’. Black is songwriter who has a clear vision, coupled with an unquestionable understanding of the melodies and rhythms that hits the sweet spot time after time. The outcome of which, is a some of the most wonderful, curious and eminently listenable music in recent recent years. These aforementioned qualities are found in abundance on ‘Badminton’. It is a gentle, bright and airy ditty with lilting electronics as Black’s peaceful vocals floating gracefully between gentle tones and the breezy, warbling synth. Just beautiful.

Wild Imagination is out 2 June via Moshi Moshi. Check ‘Badminton’ out below.

Jon C Butler – ‘A Little Misunderstanding’

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‘There has been a misunderstanding hasn’t there?’ sings Jon C Butler.

The brand new single ‘A Little Misunderstanding’ so clearly and concisely parades the endearing nature of his Americana infused jangle, it leaves no scope for misinterpretation.

Leicester-based Jon C Butler is a singer, songwriter and musician with over 25 years in the game, and it shows. ‘A Little Misunderstanding’ is reflective, profoundly stirring and intoxicating alchemy of life, love and spirit. It is a sweet song of melodic-pop with an indie-folk twist; a Dylan-esque jangle mingles with hints of Memphis country soul troubadours as Butler channels his inner Springsteen. A rather charming single that is deserving of a resounding thumbs up.

Butler’s album Universal Stranger is scheduled for release on 23 June via Strataville. While ‘A Little Misunderstanding’ is out on 14 April 2017. Have a listen below.

There is also free exclusive 4-song EP called Revelation Calling in return for an email address, not a bad deal at all. Get it here.

Introducing: Allen and Douglas

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Allen and Douglas are a musical duo from Birmingham, who together, have been crafting songs since their teens.

Strumming, singing and crafting songs in old railway stations and under canal bridges since their teens, the pair have developed a sound through a process of trial and error. While heavy on harmonies,there is something off-kilter or left-field about their brand of indie, exemplified by the magnificent ‘Eve’. The combined draw of scratchy guitar stabs (reminiscent of ’80s Billy Bragg) and reaching harmonies coupled leave a lasting, curious impression. Similarly excellent and distinctive are ‘Some Weird Armageddon’ and ‘My Head’s Talking Too Much’. With several hiatuses under their belt they record regularly in a small bedroom studio in Birmingham UK – their output is is both regular and rather astounding.

You can check out some choice cuts from Allen and Douglas below and they regularly share new jams on their SoundCloud too.

 

Dama Scout – ‘Paper Boy’

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Glasgow/London trio Dama Scout introduced themselves to us last year with two unforgettable singles, ‘Forget It’s Good’ & ‘All in Too’.

The trio are back with an equally enthralling third single, ‘Paper Boy’. Opening with a combination of hazy reverb-drenched guitars, floating vocals and fuzzy interludes of snarling guitars and harmonic modulations, ‘Paper Boy’ lulls you into a heady stupor before reaching tipping point – as everything free falls into an epic, climactic swirl of beautifully delirious noise. Once again, their sound pushes and pulls the listener. Rarely do polarising components feel so cohesive, but Dama Scout continue to impress and thrill. The future is a bright one for Dama Scout.

‘Paper Boy’ will be released on April 14th via RIP Records. Get a sneak peak below.

Public Service Broadcasting announce new album; share ‘Progress’

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Two years on from the release their wonderful second album The Race For Space, Public Service Broadcasting are back!

Their return is marked by news of a new album Every Valley; which shines a light on the mining industry in Wales. The album, out in July, is previewed by new single ‘Progress’ featuring vocals from Tracyanne Campbell of Scottish heroes Camera Obscura. It is euphoric, bright and dreamy, building toward a triumphant climax filled with horns and layers of beautiful vocals. Campbell’s voice sits perfectly alongside the band’s signature studious, sampling retro-futuristic motifs and crisp synths. Few, if any act, garner as much excitement around news of a new album as much as Public Service Broadcasting – and taking a listen to the new single below, its easy to understand why.

Every Valley will be released in July and you can listen to ‘Progress’ below.

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.