Fuzzystar – ‘Telegraphing’

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Fuzzystar is the moniker of Edinburgh-based songwriter Andy Thomson and band, who have a flair for off-kilter indie pop, strewn with scuzzy, lo-fi melodies.

Andy Thomson has been playing solo and in various line-ups as Fuzzystar for years; starting in Edinburgh, with a stint in London, before returning to Scotland. The band name comes from an appreciation of the bands Big Star and Mazzy Star. Fuzzystar’s forthcoming album Telegraphing is due for release on April 28th and ahead of that, we’ve been gifted record’s title-track, and it’s a doozy. ‘Telegraphing’ is three-and-a-half-minutes of melodic lo-fi indie laden with dream-like fuzz, infectious reverb and strewn with hooks you could hang your hat on. Bristling with an unobtrusive moodiness, it is permeated with a sense of melancholy and understated optimism, as Thomsen’s droning vocal echoes through the shimmering haze. A tantalising taste what Fuzzystar is all about.

The album is due out on 28th April 2017 via Satellite Sounds, you can treat your ears to the marvellous drifting haze of title-track ‘Telegraphing’ below.

Billy Changer – ‘Barbarella’

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Billy Changer is an L.A. based artist, producer, radio DJ and member of L.A. based band, Corners.

Changer’s solo work – and self-titled 2014 debut released via Lolipop Records / Burger Records – is marked by a fondness for a lovingly rough around the edges hybrid of ’60s garage and psych-pop. Taken from the aforementioned debut and exuding all those aesthetic qualities is single, ‘Barbarella’, for which he has just released a new video for – and it is a dynamite intro to the world of Billy Changer. Driven by a propulsive, whirring bass-line which cuts through the hazy jangle which at times, everything is coated in a light coat of fuzz and distortion. A deliciously ramshackle, lo-fi sound, ‘Barbella’ is an insidiously catchy, plucky and utterly irresistible slice of garage and psych-pop indebted indie.

You can check out ‘Barbella’ below. If that is to you liking (of which I’m sure it will) you can listen to Billy Charger’s self-titled debut here. You shall not regret it.

Ghost Effects – ‘Blue By You’

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Ghost Effects are Kentucky-based lo-fi indie merchants – Trey Bartley (Guitar), Jarred Halcomb (Vocals/Keys), Logan Newby (Bass) & Daniel Peach (Drums) – who released their debut LP, You Can Always Find Me Here towards the end of 2016.

While it’s a record littered with ideas, there is a certain affinity for good old fashion indie which permeates their entire LP. The undoubted high-point from their aforementioned debut LP is latest single, ‘Blue By You’. Shimmering guitars and dreamy vocals coalesce with meaty-toned bass for a laid-back yet simultaneously spirited cut of classic, indie gold. One track guaranteed to improve your day.

You can give ‘Blue By You’ a spin below and if that is to you liking, you can check out Ghost Effects’ new record here.

The Courtneys Announce new album, ‘The Courtneys II'; Share ‘Silver Velvet’

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Vancouver indie trio The Courtneys have announced details for the follow up to their marvellous self-titled debut. Simply titled The Courtneys II, it is set to arrive on February 17 through Flying Nun.

With their 2013 debut, The Courtneys peddled a lo-fi fuzzy slacker garage-pop that drifting back toward the ’90s and first taster from the new record, ‘Silver Velvet’ leads a very similar charge. Endearingly ramshackle, it is pumped with fuzzed-up distorted guitars, sweet licks and heavy, driving bass lines. Done and dusted in exactly three minutes, it is topped off with some intricate drums and dreamy vocals, rarely has ramshackle indie been so appealing and so pretty damn irresistible. A pure noise pop gem.

The Courtneys’ new album, The Courtneys II, is out on February 17, 2017. For now, enjoy the irresistible earworm that is ‘Silver Velvet’. Also, if you haven’t done so already, check out their snappy 2013 debut LP here. Well worth your attention.

Duncan Lloyd – ‘FReak FAcade’

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Duncan Lloyd is probably best known as the guitarist in Maximo Park, but away from the day job, he’s kept himself busy with various side-projects including Decade In Exile, Nano Kino and solo work under his own name.

It is the latter which requires our attention today with Lloyd planning to release a new EP, FReak FAcade very soon. Ahead of which, he’s afforded us a glimpse of the title track and ‘FReak FAcade’ is a doozy. It is four-and-a-half-minutes of beautiful, wistful meanderings treated with lo-fi fuzz. Bristling with an unobtrusive moodiness, it is permeated with a sense of melancholy and understated optimism. Lloyd’s hushed vocal echoes through the shimmering guitar, which twinkle like stars in the night sky. A tantalising reminder of what Lloyd is capable of on his own; marvellous.

There is no date as yet for the forthcoming EP (watch this space I guess) but you can listen to ‘FReak FAcade’ below. Is is also available to download as a ‘pay what you like’ from Bandcamp.

London-based Lazy Day Return With Beautifully Melodic New Single; ‘Disappear’

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If you cast your mind back to Record Store Day last year, you may remember Lazy Day teaming up with Tuff Love for excellent split single, ‘Portrait’ / ‘Groucho’.

Well, since then, things fell sadly quite – until now that is. The London-based quartet have teamed up with Lost Map records to release their brand new single ‘Disappear’. Now 18 months is a bloody long time, but this is a beautifully melodic return, and one that radiates warmth. Led by Scantlebury’s powerful and compelling croon, it quietly builds from ambient origins, as guitars chime and flicker around the vocals before being engulfed by a swell of instrumentation – exploding into life with tight percussion, cascading melody and thick and crunchy guitars billowing from all sides. ‘Disappear’ perfectly balances the light with the dark. Scantlebury’s vocals splattered with melancholy and yearning, are tempered by hazy guitar textures, dreamy melodies and lively drums to give life to a sort of lo-fi, dream-pop/grungey hybrid. Phenomenally brilliant, and unforgettable.

Released on a super limited run of 7″ vinyl, ‘Disappear’ is backed by b-side ‘All The Time’. Limited or not, we have here, listen to to ‘Disappear’ below.

Introducing: Milk

Milk by Lauren J Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                     Photo by Lauren Ray.

Comprised of former/current members of Watermelon, Village, and Soft Serve, Milk have just released their debut EP, Late Bloomer.

The Vancouver quartet’s debut release is one of sleepy, mellow beauty, specialising as they do, in sweetly crisp guitar licks, dreamy melodies and jangling tones, while singer-guitarist Thom James’ drawl looms large above these laid-back indie-alt-country. Across the 6-track release, it is one treat after another. ‘Don’t Laugh’ is bright, catchy ditty with the clean, jangling tones and crisp electric twang accompanying James’ deep drawl. ‘Standards’ is just as instantly lovable, like Village Green era The Kinks meets melodic alt-country tones. ‘Marmalade’ and ‘Funeral’ showcase Milk’s darker side, not too gloomy, just a shade darker and imbued with sentimentality which eventually merges into dreamy, laid-back indie pop. Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the nicest new sounds of 2016 thus far; sleepy, laid-back and promising stuff from the veritable Vancouver super-group.

Milk’s debut EP Late Bloomer is out now and available here. Meanwhile, there are a number of choice cuts below.

Hinds – ‘San Diego’

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Madrid quartet Hinds previously shared ‘Garden’, one of the best tunes this year, from their debut album, Leave Me Alone, which will be out on January 8 via Mom + Pop.

Now, Hinds have shared another track from their aforementioned LP, the bopping new single ‘San Diego’. It’s an upbeat, jolly slice of scratchy lo-fi surf-punk, with an unashamedly west coast vibe. ‘San Diego’ crashes and bangs with snappy drums, reverb-soaked guitar melodies, playful harmonies and back-and-forth vocal. It’s not all sunshine and cheer however, the lyrics tell a darker tale of struggles with insomnia and deals with the devil. Of course, this rollicking adventure is draped with frenzied chants and relentless infectious energy; fast becoming group’s signature scuzzy calling card.

You can stream ‘San Diego’ below while Leave Me Alone will be out on January 8 via Mom + Pop/Lucky Number.

Hinds just wrapped up their North American tour but they’ve got a pile of European dates coming up. All the dates are listed here.

Hinds – ‘Garden’

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Madrid quartet Hinds – Ana Perrote, Carlotta Cosials, Ade Martin and Amber Grimbergen – have been charming listeners with their strain of gloriously ramshackle and instantly addictive lo-fi garage pop, for quite a while now.

Now, Hinds have announced they will release of their debut LP, Leave Me Alone, on January 8th, 2016, via Lucky Number. While the release date seems like a long way away, accompanying this news, is a taste of things to come with the opening track from the album, ‘Garden’. An utterly infectious, sun-drenched lackadaisical garage rock meandering, ‘Garden’, carves out a joyous, carefree identity. A bright and breezy blend of swaying surf-rock and whimsical ’60s garage combine with rumbling drums, scratchy guitars, sunkissed reverb, allure and melody for a brattish indie psych sound. While, dual vocals from Ana Perrote and Carlotta Cosials add an extra touch of infectious exuberance and inherent sassiness. What’s not to like?

You can check out new track ‘Garden’ and some other choice cuts from the Madrid quartet below. Their debut LP, Leave Me Alone, on January 8th, next year and on this evidence at least, we should be in for a treat.

Hinds have a pile of live dates across Europe and N. America, including Vancouver – they play The Rickshaw Theatre, on October 10th w/ The Black Lips and Ariel Pink – check the full list of dates here.

Silverbacks – ‘Fad 1995′

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Dublin based indie/garage quartet Silverbacks, are but a few weeks away from releasing their second album, Hot Bath. which may prove an end of, or new year treat, depending when it arrives.

Their debut album Lotion – released last year as a name-your-price deal on Bandcamp – is rough, ragged and grainy lo-fi garage rock, with wall-to-wall blasts of noise and fuzz. Taken from their forthcoming new record, ‘Fad 1995′, offers an interesting insight to what we can expect. It’s a touch more restrained, introverted and thoughtful (the lyrics in particular). ‘Fad 1995′ retains their lo-fi garage roots, honing and refining their sound with a mix of lethargy and frustration, which is all the better for allowing Dan O’Kelly’s low-toned and world weary vocals come to the fore. A thoroughly enthralling introduction to their forthcoming LP, which is hopefully with us rather sharpish.

For now? You can stream ‘Fad 1995′ below.