The Deer Tracks – ‘Gossip’

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Revolving around the two main protagonists of David Lehnberg & Elin Lindfors, The Deer Tracks have been brewing up their self described ‘Northern Light Electronica’ since 2008.

With a number of records already under their belt, in recent weeks, the Swedish pair returned with a new album Undersvik. ‘Gossip’ is the latest single to be lifted from the new record and exemplifies The Deer Tracks’ flair for dark, edgy electronica. With ‘Gossip’ they eek out a perfect balance between the dark, almost gothic, droney techno edge and Lindfors’ ethereal vocal. In doing so, it steadily evolves with the aid of a dynamic arsenal of stuttering beats, beautiful strings, soaring synths and mild underbelly of euphoria which blossoms sensationally at the end. A thrilling, irresistible and entrancing four minutes plus, that quickly locks you under its spell.

Undersvik has already been released digitally with a vinyl version scheduled for March of this year – stream it here. Listen to ‘Gossip’ below:

Ten Fé To Release Debut Album Next Month; Share ‘Twist Your Arm’

6. Ten Fé - press shot (B&W) - credit Imogen Love

Following countless great singles like ‘Overflow’ and ‘Make Me Better’ London-based duo Ten Fé – aka Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan – will release their debut album Hit The Light on February 3.

Produced by Ewan Pearson (Jagwar Ma, M83, The Rapture), ‘Twist Your Arm’ is the latest single to be lifted from the forthcoming album – and it’s a doozy. A real stomper, permeated by a sort of epic vibe, thanks to the combination of early ’90s carefree acid house, Screamadelica style vibes alongside shuffling lazy beats, Come Together style choirs and rather sublime Simple Minds-esque vocals. This is indie-music-to-dance-to of the highest order, all swirling, shuffling, feel-good and versatile. Having already released so many sublime singles over the last two years, ‘Twist Your Arm’ is the icing on the cake. And to use that old chestnut, the appetite has certainly been whetted.

Hit The Light is out on February 3 but for now, do yourself a favour and give ‘Twist Your Arm’ and the rather tasty Roman Flügel remix below.

Yelle Return With New Single ‘Ici & Maintenant’ (Here & Now)

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French electro-pop duo Yelle – singer Julie Budet and producer GrandMarnier – have returned with a new single ‘Ici & Maintenant’ (Here & Now).

The song is the French pairing’s first new material since the wonderful 2014 album, Completement Fou. ‘Ici & Maintenant’ is just as catchy, fun and playful as anything from that record but it is a sweet, soothing take on their renowned eccentric, avant-garde electro-pop hi-jinks. Budet’s serenely beautiful vocals mingle with electro beats, synth and a pretty smooth vibe for bright and magnificent slice of electro-pop that is undeniably catchy and fun. The wacky (and lots of fun) video sees Budet joined by comedian Nathan Barnatt and is well worth watching.

There are no details of an album to follow as of yet but even if ‘Ici & Maintenant’ (Here & Now).is a stand alone single, it’s pretty damn fine. Check it and the video below.

Johnny Feeney’s Albums of 2016

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Better late than never, Johnny Feeney would like to share his favourite records from 2016 with you all.

A reliably insightful musical sage, Johnny’s guest appearances are always interesting and add an extra flavour to the blog and I look forward to reading them – surely I’m not alone?

A massive thanks to Johnny for taking time out to compile this list, and on that note, I’ll leave you with his Mr. Feeney’s favourite records of 2016.

10. Laura Mvula – ‘The Dreaming Room’

The Birmingham soul singer’s second studio album comes densely packed with layers of Mvula’s unique vocals and a broad range of sounds and influences, including lead single ‘Overcome’ featuring Nile Rodgers. Despite not always hitting the mark, there are some powerful, intriguing tracks on here. Really needs to be played at a high volume to give everything a chance to be heard.

09. Car Seat Headrest – ‘Teens Of Denial’

Virginia’s Will Toledo has been releasing albums prolifically as Car Seat Headrest for a few years now but this is only his second full release on a major label. Seriously overlong at almost 70 minutes, the album has the capacity to absolutely blow you away with cracking rock songs such as ‘Fill In The Blanks’ or ‘Drunk Drivers / Killer Whales’. The more you listen to it, the better it gets.

08. Hinds – ‘Leave Me Alone’

The debut album from this Madrid all-girl four-piece is a joyous, upbeat lo-fi indie rock affair. There’s a neat trick performed here with the loose, ramshackle guitars and lazy, loose drums in stark contrast with the tightness of the hook-laden, impossibly infectious songs – and the sound of a band having a lot of fun and not taking themselves too seriously.

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CUT_ – ‘Undertow’

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Amsterdam-based electronica duo CUT_ – Sebastiaan Dutilh & Belle Doron – have shared a brand new single, ‘Undertow’.

The pair’s latest release is a three-minute sojourn to synth-pop bliss. It’s infectious electronica built around glacial synths, silky melodies and a frosty elegance. ‘Undertow’ harnesses its powerful and persuasive ways by pitting catchy pop with sharp ideas, making it simultaneously spiky and delicate, lending itself to a mild form of euphoria. Frosty to the touch, ‘Undertow’ reveals itself to be a complex layering of warmth and ideas below the surface.

‘Undertow’ is out now and its release comes as ahead CUT_ appearing at Eurosonic 2017. Listen to it below.

Jón Þór – ‘Stelpur’

Jón Þór Photo by Móa Gustum

Icelandic artist Jón Þór released his debut EP Frúin í Hamborg toward the back end of last year, through Scottish/Polish indie label Too Many Fireworks.

Born and raised in Reykjavík, Jón has been involved with numerous bands that have left a mark on the Icelandic indie scene; including the brilliantly named, power pop outfit Lada Sport. With his new project, Jón Þór whips up incredibly catchy and addictive, jangly, guitar-heavy scando-pop with choruses that get stuck in your head for days – and none more so than latest single (and EP opener) ‘Stelpur’. Predominantly a hyperactive mesh of lively garagey riffs, tempered by irrefutably infectious harmonies and glam-infused and quirky indie-pop sound, ‘Stelpur’ is irresistibly catchy with Þór’s vocals injecting a touching sense of emotion to proceedings. The rest of the EP is tastefully indebted to indie and britpop merchants of the ’90s and transposes an effortless, carefree sense of fun and a remarkably easy listen; admirable qualities. Equally worthy of a meritorious mention is, while performing in his native tongue, Jón Þór provides proof, if proof be needed, music is an international language all of its own.

You can check out ‘Stelpur’ below now & if that is to your liking, the Frúin í Hamborg EP is streaming here.

Buck – ‘Hold On’

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Ed Jones – best known as the vocalist/frontman with Welsh indie-rockers Masters In France – has returned with a brand new single from his solo/side-project, BUCK.

Previous singles ‘Arecibo’ and ‘Underneath The Glow Of My Skin’ marked BUCK as a project to watch, and latest track, ‘Hold On’ is no less impressive. Continuing an exploitative foray through a world of silky, slick electro infused alt-pop, Jones’ soulful vocals ride a wave of electronic flourishes and swells, with subtle gushes and sublime synths. Tinged by a mild manifestation of darkness, the unravelling wave of lush atmospheric melodies and velvety production maintains its luminescence. An undeniably infectious and undeniably glorious. Hopefully 2017 will provide us with plenty more from BUCK, and perhaps something more substantial too.

‘Hold On’ is out now. Check it out below:

Alternative Christmas Playlist

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Every celebration is in need of a good soundtrack and of all the public holidays, Christmas has no shortage in this department.

However, if you a bit worn out from the incessant playing of ‘classics’, we’ve got you covered with this Alternative Christmas Playlist on Spotify. There’s a nice two hour mix of alternative Christmas cuts from Julian Casblancas, Slow Club, Sweet Baboo, We Cut Corners, Spectrals, Jinx Lennon, Half Man Half Biscuit & more. All in all it’s a pretty nice spread of tunes, and one that’ll hopefully serve you well.

Right, time for me to leave you to it – enjoy!

BarryGruff Albums of the Year (2016)

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Yes. It is that time of year again, lists, lists and more lists. Well, not be out done, here are my 13 (lucky for some) albums of 2016.

There was lots of great music in 2016 but I decided to keep it to a short list this year. Also, I’m hoping the festive period will provide some time to catch up on some records I’ve missed throughout the year, so feel free to recommend some listening material.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my favourite records from 2016:

There is also a Spotify playlist of all the albums, to save you time and hassle, and it is here.

13. Amber Arcades – ‘Fading Lines’

Amber Arcades‘ – Dutch-born musician Annelotte de Graaf – debut album is a dazzling blend of ‘60s tinged psych, lush jangly guitars, floating pop melodies and an abundance of propulsive, hypnotic krautrocky moments. [Listen here]

12. Tuff Love – ‘Resort’

Glaswegian scuzz-pop aficionados Tuff Love, combine a terrific trilogy of EPs into an LP of dazzling, fuzzy indie pop with sugar-sweet melodies and crunching choruses and shoegazey guitars galore. [Listen here]

11. Underworld – ‘Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future’

A first proper Underworld record in half a decade, Karl Hyde and Rick Smith deliver a stomping electronic record that is up there with the best of their work. [Listen here]

10. The Coral – ‘Distance Inbetween’

Distance Inbetween – their eighth LP and first in over five years – saw The Coral rediscover their roots, mojo and discover their dark side and add a harder edge to their brand of psychedelic indie. It’s an evolution of the Wirral five piece’s sound into a cohesive, weird and imaginative psych-rock record, and one that grows with time. [Listen here]

09. Mr Huw – ‘Gwna Dy Feddwl I Lawr’

Gwna Dy Feddwl I Lawr is album number five from one of Wales’ finest, Mr. Huw and with it, he has delivered an irresistible set of inventive, electrifying indie. Sang in his native tongue, these are melodic songs with a spiky edge. Post-punk riffs and snappy drum-machine punctuate infectious pop melodies, mild psychedelic leanings and Huw’s affable Welsh lilt. A magnificent collection of soul consuming tunes which provide proof if proof be needed, that we should never underestimate the power of great music to overcome a small matter, like a language barrier. [Listen here]

08. Jinx Lennon – ‘Magic Bullets of Madness To Uplift The Grief Magnets’

2016 saw Jinx Lennon return with two new albums – Past Pupil Stay Sane and Magic Bullets of Madness To Uplift The Grief Magnets – with each offering distinctly different brilliance. Magic Bullets… is the pick of the pair but in fairness, both find the folk punk poet at his uncompromising best. Recorded with Liverpool experimentalists Clinic, it is a collection of instantly catchy tunes that boasts a meatier, more beat-driven sound, combined with Jinx’s raw truths kicking back against the humdrum bullshit of modern life. Jinx Lennon is a unique talent, a national treasure to be exact and this is him at his inherently brilliant best. [Listen here]

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Millions Like Us Podcast #21

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Hello! We’re back (again) with another delightful mix of music and chat that is, Millions Like Us Podcast, Episode #21.

First off, apologies for the delay with this one but it was entirely out of our control. Some technical mumbo-jumbo put a spanner in the works but we (and by that I mean Stevie, poor sod) finally pulled it together after a lot of hard graft. Some sound issues remain but hopefully it doesn’t hamper the listening experience any more than usual. 😉

Anyway, back to the Pod. For Episode #21 we – Justin, Barry & Stephen – brave some dodgy internet connections, technological misadventures and timezone challenges, to bring you a bumper 90 minutes plus of music chat and an eclectic, hand-picked selection of superb new tunes.

Thanks for your patience with us with this one, we really appreciate it. We’ve all got the thinking caps on to figure out a more efficient way of doing this so once again, thanks for baring with us and we hope you enjoy Pod #21!

You can subscribe to MLU on iTunes and Podcast Republic, Mixcloud & SoundCloud, or find us on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can email us at millionslikeuspodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.

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