Mowukis – ‘Animals Used To Scare’

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Mowukis is a solo-project of Louis-Louise Kay, a french musician and songwriter based in Montpellier.

Mowukis has just recently released his debut album No Answers No; a collection of songs capturing a broad range of atmospheres, emotions and assumed collision between synthesizers, homemade drum beats and classical instruments.

Lifted from his debut LP is latest single ‘Animals Used To Scare'; as fine an introduction to Mowukis as you could ask for. It is a rich multi-faced sound with constantly shifting musical landscapes, brimming with colourful ideas and influences ranging from modern pop to electronica. The synthesizers, homemade drum beats, and classical instruments shifts the tonality constantly, it is a rare creature than can be all things at once and individual at the same time. It is in the juxtaposition of sound and feeling where Mowukis excels; ‘Animals Used To Scare’ is simultaneously moody, almost sullen, yet bright and hopefully at the same time.

Directed by Titouan Bordeau from studio Folimage, the animated video is a colourful, eccentric and dreamy piece tracing the journey of a mysterious man through ever-changing scenery.

Check ‘Animals Used To Scare’ and its fantastic animated video below:

Watch Bad Sea’s new video for ‘Solid Air’

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Having utterly bewitched us with ‘Solid Air’ a few months back, Dublin duo Bad Sea – aka Ciara Thompson and Alan Farrell – have unveiled a splendid video for the single.

‘Solid Air’ was one of the finest singles released last year, in Ireland or elsewhere. Revolving around a steady, groovy drum beat, wiry guitar stabs and impressive pop hooks; this smooth and smokey alt-country is the perfect backdrop for Thompson’s rich, crisp vocals to shine. The homespun video, detailing the ‘delights’ of relationship trouble, is directed by Ricardo Deakin and also stars Colm O’Neill. At just over three minutes, this is a similarly first-rate video companion for an exquisitely crafted and delivered number, sure to leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Really excited to more from Bad Sea throughout the year but for now, check out ‘Solid Air’ 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.

Our Krypton Son Shares New Single ‘Everything Reminds Me Of You’

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‘Everything Reminds Me Of You’ is the lead single from Our Krypton Son‘s forthcoming and long-awaited, second studio album.

Derry musician/songwriter Chris McConaghy aka Our Krypton Son is a master craftsman, and this is, you guessed it, masterfully crafted. ‘Everything Reminds Me Of You’ is a sweet, sentimental love song that gently waltzes along with swooning chord changes, sublime harmonies and sumptuous strings, to form four minutes of exquisite alt-pop. McConaghy’s vocals are impeccable as usual, soothing, warmth and inviting – along with the music – forge an endearing warm glow and punctured with some bouts of heart-strung melancholy. It conjures up similarities to slower, more emotionally weighted Blur numbers a la ‘Under The Westway’, ‘Best Days’ or the like. Always a magnificent songwriter, it is a timely reminder of what McConaghy and Co. are capable of, this is probably the most affecting work to date. It is good to have OKS back, no doubt about it.

There’s no firm date on the new album but ‘Everything Reminds Me Of You’ is out now and available from here.

You can check out the ace video – courtesy of LUMO – for ‘Everything Reminds Me Of You’ below.

Trails And Ways Announce New Album ‘Own It’, and Share Video For ‘My Things’

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Having released their wonderfully infectious debut LP, Pathology only last year, Trails And Ways are back on it, and have announced its follow up, Own It.

Ahead of the new record’s release on November 7, the California foursome have shared a snappy new video for latest single ‘My Things’. It is yet another strong offering of sun-drenched, tropical-tinged indie-pop but embracing a slightly more rock and roll sound, while retaining their signature infectious, dream-pop air. ‘My Things’ is a simply sublime, joyful distillation of sweet summery vibes. Trails And Ways have been pasting smiles on faces with their alluring, bright and joyous sounds for quite some time, and long may it continue.

You check out ‘My Things’ (and video) below and the track is available free of charge, here. And, if you’re in Vancouver, Trails And Ways play The Cobalt on Friday, August 5th (Yes, that’s TONIGHT!). Not to be missed for sure, and all the details you need are here.

Bad Sounds – ‘Avalanche’

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Bad Sounds are a 5-piece from Bath, UK who bring some serious party vibes with their deliciously catchy and funky, kaleidoscopic pop.

‘Avalanche’ is only their second single proper, but it marks them out as purveyors of psych-tinged, pop perfect. Fusing bright pop hooks with fuzzy guitar lines, combined with high-pitched harmonies, sing-a-long lyrics and an irresistible groove, Bad Sounds serve up an unbelievably catchy foray through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, in all of three-and-a-half-minutes. This is one of the most thrilling singes of 2016 thus far and one sure to leave an indelible mark on your soul.

While it is early days in the life of Bad Sounds, ‘Avalanche’ certainly suggests they are one’s to keep an eye on, for sure. Check it and previous single ‘I Feel’ below.

Watch Anderson’s Superb New Video for ‘The Existential Vacuum’

Anderson released his beautiful and beguiling debut last year, influenced by late 60s pop and early 70s singer-songwriting, it was one of 2015’s stand-out records, from Ireland or anywhere else for that matter.

You may also remember that Anderson teamed up with film-maker Colm Russell for a video in which he went door-to-door around his neighbourhood in Dublin, selling and spreading the good word about his wonderful debut album, Patterns. Well, he’s joined forces with the film-maker once again, to create a delightful visual companion to his latest single, ‘The Existential Vacuum’. The brilliantly imaginative music video, perfectly compliments playful, jaunty and colourful nature of this rich and beautiful song. In a mere two-and-a-half minutes, it demonstrates so clearly, why Anderson is an absolute treasure.

Now it’s time for me to step away and let you enjoy all that ‘The Existential Vacuum’ has to offer. You can stream / purchase Patterns here and here too.

Martha Ffion – ‘We Disappear’

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‘We Disappear’ is the brand new single from Irish-born, Glasgow-based singer-songwriter, Martha Ffion.

Ffion’s third release through respected indie label Turnstile (Gruff Rhys, Cate Le Bon, Drinks etc.), in three minutes it sums up what has made her work so endearing thus far. Inspired by her adopted hometown of Glasgow, it’s a gentle and relaxed jangle, coated in a light sparing, wash of reverb, with her powerful croon cutting through the tender surroundings. There is something utterly compelling in the way Ffion sings, heavily invested emotionally, what she is saying, needs to be heard. A touching ode to Glasgow, it is undeniably a spellbinding experience, ‘We Disappear’ further cements Martha Ffion’s ever-growing rep.

‘We Disappear’ is out now and you can listen/watch it below.

 

In Praise of Super Furry Animals: An Almost 20 Year Obsession

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The magnificent and legendary Super Furry Animals, make their return to Vancouver this week, playing The Imperial on Thursday, February 4th.

As one of my all-time favourite bands, I am more than guilty of some bias, but I can honestly say I believe they are one of the finest bands ever to grace this earth. Throughout their long and fascinating career, Super Furry Animals have proven themselves as one of the most enigmatic, creative and brilliant psychedelic pop bands of our time. Super Furry Animals are truly unique.

They have the stories; they procured an army tank equipped with a techno sound-system, caused national security alerts with 60-foot inflatable monsters, went into the Colombian jungle with armed Guerilla fighters, drew up plans to convert an aircraft carrier into a nightclub and turned down a seven-figure sum from a certain cola company who wanted to use ‘Hello Sunshine’ in an ad, instead allowing the track to be used in a short film about human rights abuses by anti-poverty charity War on Want. Yet these tales only tell half the story. Most importantly, there is the music.

Super Furry Animals have produced some of the most exciting and memorable records of the past two decades, in their own uniquely surreal, weird and wonderful pop genius. With an inherent gift for giddy pop melodies and excelling at rich, heart-felt and powerful slow songs too, it is an eclectic back-catalogue, imaginatively mixing up electronic beats, indie, surf rock, neo-psychedelia, Japanese culture and more.

My first encounter with Super Furries was seeing them play ‘Demons’ on TFI Friday, I then acquired ‘Something 4 The Weekend’ in some bargain bin or other, and that was enough to set in motion a process of acquiring whatever music of their’s that I could and albums, Radiator and Out Spaced, remain all-time favourites. It hard to put my adoration for these Welsh heroes into mere words for fear of underselling the virtues of their music but let’s just put it simply; in providing a constant soundtrack to my life ever since my school days, their music has afforded me so much joy.

So, needless to say, the fact Super Furry Animals play Vancouver next week is extremely exciting. Like a kid waiting for Christmas, since the announcement was first made, I’ve been counting down the days till February 4th. It has also got me thinking about the first time I saw them live, years back, 1999 in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre. It was a school night and we had a mini-bus drive us (cans and shitty fake IDs on hand) to Dublin. The gig was unbelievable. Only the second I had ever gone to at that point and it was an unforgettable experience, and one that has left an indelible mark on me. Many years on and almost ten thousand miles from where a 15-year-old me awaited that show excitedly, there’s pretty much the same level of anticipation for this week’s gig. Roll on Thursday night!

So with that, I’ll leave you with the excellent S4C documentary on 20 years of Super Furries, The Furry Years and a couple of choice Super Furry favourites.

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Coves Return With New Album ‘Peel’ and Share Video for ‘Stormy’

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The new album announcements are coming thick and fast, being that time of year and all. Adding their name to an ever growing list of albums set for release in 2016, is Coves.

The English duo of Rebekah Wood and John Ridgard will release new album Peel on April 1st. It is the band’s second LP and follows the pair’s much vaunted debut, Soft Friday; an atmospheric, distinctive and very enjoyable blend of spectral vocals, swirling psychedelia met with sweeping grandeur and dreamy synths. To warm us up for the main event, Coves have shared ‘Stormy’ and its visual delights, featuring visuals from lead singer Beck Wood. Apparently marked by Coves’ shift from Leamington Spa to London, the new LP is seemingly “split between fury and misery”. Saying that, latest single ‘Stormy’ picks up where the pair left off, retaining the essence that made their debut so, so good. It’s a well honed, thrilling and intoxicating three-minutes where soaring riffs and vocals mingle amid flickers of shimmering psychedelic, some rampaging guitar heroics, rhythmic grooves and plenty of swaggering confidence to boot. An emphatic indication that we may be in for quite the second album from Coves.

Peel will be out on April 1st, via the newly re-vamped 1965 Records imprint.

New cut ‘Stormy’ is online now, and it features visuals from singer Beck Wood. Check Stormy’ below now.

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