The Last Shadow Puppets Return With New Single ‘Bad Habits’

 

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Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner and Miles Kane have returned to their Last Shadow Puppets guise to release a second album, surely among the year’s most anticipated releases.

The pair’s last album together was 2008’s The Age Of The Understatement and like it, the new one is once again produced by Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford and Owen Pallett returns on arrangement duties. ‘Bad Habits’ is the first single from the album, and it’s loud, brash and urgent, with a spiky aggression to its slithering groovy core and insistent bassline, matched with Owen Pallett’s swirling Bond-esque string flourishes. It’s a pretty fiery return, alright.

An official release date for the so far unnamed second album has yet to be revealed, but so far all signs have pointed to a Spring 2016 release. The band are also playing Coachella so expect more live dates throughout the year. For now, check out ‘Bad Habits’ below.

 

Courtney Barnett shares new song ‘Three Packs a Day’ + Tour Dates

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Less than a 12 months since Courtney Barnett released her excellent Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, she’s kicking off 2016 with new material.

The new track ‘Three Packs A Day’ features on her Australian label Milk! Record’s compilation, Good For You, alongside tracks from Jen Cloher, Fraser A. Gorman, Ouch My Face, The Finks, and East Brunswick All Girls Choir. In typical Barnett fashion, ‘Three Packs A Day’ is clever, witty and slightly dark. An instantly infectious, light jangle with a jaunty guitar line, meandering bass and folksy harmonica blasts giving the song its upbeat coat, as she sings about her addiction to instant noodles. A magnificent tune indeed and exactly the high standard we’ve come to expect from her.

With a couple of shows coming this month in her native Australia, the North American leg of her tour kicks off in April, including a show on April 19th at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom. Find her full list of dates below. Good for You is out on February 14 via Milk! Records. Listen to ‘Three Packs A Day’ below.

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The Coral – ‘Chasing The Tail Of A Dream’

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While most of us we’re preoccupied with other matters, Wirral five-piece The Coral (now joined by guitarist Paul Molloy, formerly of The Zutons) signaled an end to their hiatus, delivering a tasty treat over Christmas.

This gift came in the shape of ‘Chasing The Tail Of A Dream’, a first taster from their forthcoming album, Distance Inbetween, their first collection of original material since 2010’s fantastic Butterfly House. It is a swaggering, muscular and rockin’ return, with snarling guitars, rumbling rhythms and their signature psychedelic flourishes cavorting and contouring around frontman James Skelly’s recognizable vocals. It is a compelling and captivating reminder of how fine a band The Coral and I for one, couldn’t be more pleased with their long-overdue return. Things are certainly poised nicely for the new LP, Distance Inbetween, which is released 4th March 2016 on Ignition Records.

Before then, you can sample ‘Chasing The Tail Of A Dream’. It is out now on limited edition and signed 7”, also featuring new track ‘Unforgiven’ on the flip side.

Distance Inbetween, tracklisting:

Connector
White Bird
Chasing The Tail Of A Dream
Distance Inbetween
Million Eyes
Miss Fortune
Beyond The Sun
It’s You
Holy Revelation
She Runs The River
Fear Machine
End Credits

 

Rozi Plain – ‘Best Team’

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Sort of folk but sort of indie too, Rozi Plain is tough one to box off.

Something that can be agreed upon is however; the London-based songstress is a supremely talented and engaging songwriter. Testament to this assertion is her third album, Friend, which was released earlier this year through Lost Map Records. It is a laid back, delicate and intricate blend of gentle and deftly-arranged folk, indie and ambient pop. An utterly beguiling album, it is a record to get lost in, such are the subtleties, textures and layers at play. If you’re still not sold on the merits of Friend, her latest single ‘Best Team’, will sway you away from the dark-side. As endearing an introduction as you could ask for, the deftly-arranged ‘Best Team’ drifts along a mellow vibe, imbued with a touch of melancholy, only to be lifted with bursts of brass, busy percussion and fluttering sounds. Singing with a sense of wonder, her vocals are mesmerizing, beautiful and shimmering. A delightful listen that demonstrates perfectly, what Rozi Plain is all about.

You can check out ‘Best Team’ and a few other choice cuts below. Both Friend and ‘Best Team’ are out now via Lost Map Records. Rozi Plain has a slew of live dates across the UK and beyond – check ’em here.

Boxed In – ‘False Alarm’ & Ghost Culture Remix

 

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What’s not to get excited about a coming together from the creators of two of this year’s finest albums? Well, it has happened.

London-based quartet Boxed In – headed up by Oli Bayston – released latest single ‘False Alarm’ last month, and much to our delight, Ghost Culture has chipped in on remix duties. ‘False Alarm’ typifies Boxed In’s DFA-tinged and propulsive piano-pressed electro-pop, with an undeniably infectious groove. Although wonderful in its own right, Ghost Culture’s rework enhances these tenancies, while introducing a touch meatier percussion. Opening with a drawn-out and epic build leading toward the two-minute mark, where lively hi-hats, a touch of piano-house and mesmerizing, heavy synths conspiring to enthrall with a unique spin on dance, electronica and electro-pop. Straddling such an assortment of influences, from techno to Krautrock, describing this one is as arduous a task as it is an enjoyable and dramatic listen.

You can check out both Boxed In’s original and Ghost Culture’s rework of ‘False Alarm’ below. Both their respective, self-titled debut album’s, should be checked out too.

Villagers – ‘Hot Scary Summer’

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Villagers have released a brand new, wonderful animated music video for new single ‘Hot Scary Summer’.

Taken from Conor O’Brien’s stunning third album Darling Arithmetic; a more stripped back affair to the two previous records, it is Villagers’ most personal album yet, and one of 2015’s finest. Recorded over eight months last year, with O’Brien putting in eight-hour days, at a barn by his home in Dublin, it is an intimate experience as O’Brien bares his soul on its nine songs. ‘Hot Scary Summer’ captures this aesthetic perfectly, beautifully tender with a gentle harmonic undercurrent that permeates the entire record itself. The accompanying animated video was directed by Hi-Sim and it’s colourful, rich and suitably, it too is wonderfully crafted. If you haven’t already acquainted yourself with Darling Arithmetic, this is a good an introduction as any.

Villagers kick off an extensive North American tour in Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom, on September 29th, with Paul Weller – I had a chat with Conor before his visit here in July, you can read it here (if you want to, that is).

You can watch the video for ‘Hot Scary Summer’ below & the album, Darling Arithmetic is out now.

Bright Young People – ‘Solitude’

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The last time Bright Young People featured here was way back in 2013 with their fuzz-bombed, riff and attitude filled single ‘Liberties’. How time flies?

While the Welsh trio won’t be winning any prizes for prolificacy of output, the standard remains gloriously good, and that’s the main thing yeah? Their latest single ‘Solitude’ bares all the hallmarks of its predecessor; ragged, raw, riff filled rock ‘n roll sound. It’s good to see that the intervening time has done little to dampen their spirits or their energy; this is heads down, no messing, unadulterated rock ‘n roll. ‘Solitude’ is but a first taster, and a fine one at that, from Bright Young People’s long-awaited debut EP, Sunshine Town, which is due out on March 23rd.

You can check out ‘Solitude’ below

Courtney Barnett – ‘Pedestrian at Best’

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Melbourne singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett has announced she will release her eagerly-awaited new album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, on March 24th through Mom + Pop Records.

The forthcoming new record follows up her marvelous debut, The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas, which cast a woozy spell with her hazy tales of vapid suburban life, aimless procrastination and her superlative way with words and glorious delivery; a charming record, filled with funny and sharp observations. To get us in the mood, as if we required any encouragement, Barnett has shared the first single from the record, ‘Pedestrian at Best’, with an equally brilliant accompanying video directed by Charlie Ford. ‘Pedestrian at Best’ is anything but pedestrian. Rumbling along a series of rocking riffs, brash percussion and general fuzz, serving as a sublime companion for Barnett’s signature lyrical stylings, astute and humorous observations and witticisms. It’s a magnificent, if slightly angrier return from one of the most exciting artists from the past few years.

New album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit  is out on March 24th. For now you can check out new single ‘Pedestrian at Best’ and for those of you back in the motherland, there’s an added treat. Courtney Barnett will play Whelan’s on April 4th. Tickets on sale next Thursday.

(Video) Only Real – ‘Yesterdays’

We’re in the silly season for album announcements, with hardly a day passing without news of a forthcoming release or other. That’s not a complaint by the way, it’s certainly offers a welcome respite and a distraction from the thrifty and austere month of January.

Looking forward in 2015 and it seems we’re set for a bonanza of ‘potentially’ sublime album releases, and few come with as much anticipation attached as Only Real‘s debut, Jerk At The End Of The Line. Having trailed a watchful eye over Only Real, aka Niall Galvin, since introducing himself with woozy slackerish, surf-rock inspired tunes, produced in his West London bedroom – it’s fair to say he’s endeared himself no end while not putting a foot wrong. Sticking to this script is latest single ‘Yesterdays’, a delightful prelude to his debut record. It is sugary, sun-drenched and somewhat unseasonal surf-rock goodness, better suited to sunny beaches than cold crisp days. Opening with a whirl of harmonies and charming samples before Galvin lays down typically telling half-rap/half-spoken word lyrics. Shimmering melodic guitars echo the laid back, nonchalant poise flourishing toward a woozy feel-good climax that ensures us that summer is not too far away. Accompanying the single is the Dexter Navy directed video which sees Galvin, eating some questionable eggs and donuts with altogether strange and unusual events unfolding. With relatively little time till the release of his debut LP, ‘Yesterdays’ keeps the woozy, chilled and feel-good vibes flowing.

Only Real’s debut album Jerk At The End Of The Line is out on March 30th.

(Video) Tuff Love – ‘That’s Right’

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Everyone’s favourite Glaswegian scuzz-pop duo Tuff Love have previewed their forthcoming Dross EP with a brand new video for ‘That’s Right’.

Following on from ‘Slammer’, which was released toward the back end of 2014, Julie Eisenstein and Suse Bear once again reminded us of their endearing quality, and offer us some well needed new year cheer while they’re at it. Writing together in Suse’s bedroom and recording everything themselves, this musical pairing have already cooked up a flurry of addictive, perfectly formed alternative rock, and ‘That’s Right’ follows suit. Clocking in at just over two minutes, it’s a little fuzzy, distorted and rough around the edges, yet amid the searing, blistering riffs, fuzz and crashing drums, it is sewn together emphatically by their signature swoon-inducing pop harmonies and the beautiful breathy vocals floating over the top. Another absolutely brilliant two and a bit minutes of top notch indie/alt-rock from this increasingly promising and extremely exciting Glasgow pair.

‘That’s Right’ will feature alongside previous single ‘Slammer’ on the Dross EP, which is due for release on 10″ pink vinyl, via Lost Map Records on February 9th. Check ’em both out below.