Dorvin Borman – ‘In A Field So Far Away’

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Dorvin Borman is Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and producer whose glorious, colourful sound collage is heavily influenced by elements of psych-pop and dream-pop.

Borman has cut his teeth last year as one-third of the hazy dream-pop trio Mama Kokomo – who released the two sublime singles ‘Primavera Feel’ and ‘Valley of Heat’ last year – but standing alone, his new single is ‘In A Field So Far Away’, a dreamy piece of psych-pop soaked in woozy effects that provides a rich and colourful soundscape to indulge in. Opening with fluctuating synth lines and surging drum beat, ‘In a Field So Far Away’ makes its way through a hazy, gauzy world of warped psychedelic textures and frazzled electronics. It is an experimental jam that is ethereal yet propulsive, utilising the full power of its pulsating rhythms, funky, off-kilter bassline and dramatic synths it evolves beyond the beauty and shimmering atmospheric melodies, into something altogether more dancey and groovy. A warm, woozy, dreamy and downright magnificent delight.

Listen to ‘In A Field So Far Away’ below.

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – ‘Keen For Kick Ons?’

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Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have opened their 2019 account with exhilarating jam ‘Keen For Kick Ons?'; firing on all cylinders, it adds more weight to the claim of being Australia’s latest thrilling psych-pop exports.

Perth four-piece, Jack McEwan (lead vocals, guitar), Luke Parish (guitar), Danny Caddy (drums), Luke Reynolds (bass), have one of the finest and most memorable band names but with their latest, and previous singles ‘Social Candy’ and ‘My Friend’s A Liquid’, they prove they have the tunes to match. ‘Keen For Kick Ons?’ is yet another sizzling psych-rock odyssey, that twists and turns through a mix T-Rex glam-rock and proggy vibes, to a more familiar Psychedelic Porn Crumpets space of full-on fuzzed-up guitars, vibrant melodies, divine harmonies and exuberant energy. ‘Keen For Kick Ons?’ is a rambling and vividly imaginative aural adventure. In short; it is a cracker. A fine opening to what promises to be an exciting 2019

Feast your ears on ‘Keen For Kick Ons?’ below:

The Spiral Electric – ‘The Final Moment’

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San Francisco psychedelic rockers The Spiral Electric are set to release a double LP – produced by Steve Kille (Dead Meadow) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Ian Brown, The Mars Volta) – in March.

In anticipation of the new record, the San Francisco foursome have already released ‘No Bridge Left Unburned’ and ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’, and had added a third in the shape of ‘The Final Moment’. The Spiral Electric’s sound is built upon a number of key ingredients; one part soaring melody, one part face-melting guitar, one part orbiting synth, one part incessant danceable groove and a heavy dose of west coast psychedelia – and new single ‘The Final Moment’ is little different. It is fast, organ driven psych onslaught of wild synths, soaring guitar work, meaty riffs and pummeling drums that deliver a rampaging wall of psychedelic sound.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Black Angels and Dead Meadow influences loom large here, which isn’t a bad thing and it all certainly suggests positive things for the new album.

You can listen to ‘The Final Moment’ below.

Cam Maclean – ‘Sunshine’

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Cam Maclean, best known for his contributions with cult psych-pop outfit Vesuvio Solo, is a Canadian musician and songwriter based in Montreal.

In the latter half of 2018, Maclean ushered his first record as a solo artist with Wait for Love, leading us down a rabbit hole to an oddball world of psych sensibilities and serenity that echo a bygone era. As with his debut solo record, latest single ‘Sunshine’ is of a similar disposition with intricate guitar lines, high-pitched but soothing and emotive vocals, and songwriting full of both longing and hope. It is sun-kissed, twangy psychedelia delicately slinking along a retro groove, bringing a warm, melodic and heartfelt blend of frazzled doses of ‘sunshine’ and loungey, washed-out vibes.

Listen to the wonderful ‘Sunshine’ below and while you’re at it, why not check out Wait For Love
here.

Les Big Byrd – ‘A Little More Numb’ (Tapetown Session)

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Among other things, 2018 saw Scandinavian Psych/Spacerock outfit Les Big Byrd release their superbly named second album Iran Iraq IKEA – coincidentally it is one of the finest record titles of any year.

With their LP still fresh in the memory, the Swedish foursome have shared a brand new video of a vital session performance of album standout ‘A Little More Numb’. Recorded shortly before a Danish show, the band took time out to visit Aarhus based Tapetown Studio, and rattled through a furious live session. The outcome of which is a sweet and simply astounding blend of parts Kraut, Psych and Spacerock, with proto-punk, garage rock, and punctuated with moments of pure pop brilliance. It is like an unholy but beautiful coming together of Spiritualized meets Jonathan Richman; and that is mighty company to be in no matter who you are!

Listen to Les Big Byrd’s ‘A Little More Numb’ Tapetown Session below and you can check out the album Iran Iraq IKEA here.

Psychotropics – ‘Sunburn’

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Psychotropics is an alt-rock foursome – Daniela Defilippi, Joshua Brierley, Alexis Nuñez & Felipe “Pipeño” Vidal – from Santiago, Chile.

Psychotropics sound is born from a sulky rock darkness composed of parts psych, post-punk and alternative rock – and their latest single (a recently re-mastered take on a 2017 release) ‘Sunburn’ demonstrates in abundance. Opening in rather sombre and gloomy fashion, a twangy guitar and languid drums appear, glinting amid a hazy mist of atmospheric sounds. ‘Sunburn’ burns with smouldering emotion and wistful yearning and bursts into life with an explosion of crashing drums, guitars and soaring riffs gushing fuzz, grabbing your attention completely. This melee is tempered by the ethereal and yearning vocals of Daniela Defilippi before ‘Sunburn’ reseeds back to it origins of woozy guitars and undulating rhythms. Dreamy, melodic pop meshed with taut, aggressive rhythms; these two parts intertwine perfectly, shifting like sand beneath the tides of the sea. Powerful, beautiful and very special indeed as it draws you in under its intoxicating spell and envelopes your being.

Tune in below:

Phileas Fogg – ‘Will Never Be Played Again’

Phileas Fogg is the moniker of London-based artist Asi Binyamini, who like his namesake – the protagonist in Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days – Fogg spirits us away on an imaginative intrepid adventure.

Fogg introduced his decidedly catchy brand of reverb and fuzz-laden psych-rock with single ‘Ready or Not’ last year and he’s followed that with ‘Will Never Be Played Again’. It is an enthralling psych-rocker, tentatively building from a haunting and unsettling opening atmosphere it gradually grows in slowburning fashion, swelling as his vocals ascend rousingly above the dense competing layers of psych noise to add a topping of the anthemic. ‘Will Never Be Played Again’ serves as a timely reminder of Fogg’s knack for the hypnotic and captivating tunes – as evidenced by its predecessor ‘Ready or Not’.

Listen to ‘Will Never Be Played Again’ below now.

Ilu – ‘Jaanus’

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Dividing their time recording between Tallinn, Estonia and rural Wales, Ilu are a Welsh Psych/Krautrock outfit crafting epic, spacey, interstellar hymns.

They introduced themselves (and found a sizeable place in my heart) with the spectacular ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’ last year, and follow that with ‘Jaanus'; an equally intoxicating proposition. ‘Jaanus’ is elegant yet bold, delicately drifting off in the chillest of vibes as synths chime and shimmer, gently winding electronics orbit and sparkle like stars to a place of wonder and tranquillity in the cosmos. It’s jubilant yet melancholic; busy yet laid-back – a paradoxical sound but one of awe and beauty that climaxes in a haze of heavenly choral repetitions cascade upon stuttering drums. An immaculate palate of sonics, sounds and textures that intoxicates with airiness and beauty.

As with ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’, the recording was began in Tallinn, Estonia and was completed by Tim Lewis (Spiritualized, Julian Cope, Coil) in Aerial Studios in Carmarthenshire.

There is talk of album later in the year which is great news but for now listen to ‘Jaanus’ below:

Introducing: Moony Matelot

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Moony Matelot is the musical alter ego of NYC-based artist Todd Goings who writes and records his music from the solitude of bedroom; the outcome of which has given rise to three releases; 2015 self-titled EP, 2017 debut LP Voyage and 2018 album Tempest.

Moony Matelot sound is bound by an impressive, eclectic and exquisite aural enchantment, and lifted from his records, it is something both ‘Molly’ and ‘Munich’ are testament to. ‘Molly’ skips breezily along a playful giddy, bouncy beat, navigating its way through a smiley psych-toned pop adventure of chimes, bleeping electronics, sunny and carefree temperament with vocoder vocals. Taken from the aforementioned debut EP, ‘Munich’ is the breezier of the two, a hazy laid-back dose of wonderful escapism. A warm, charming and serenely beautiful slice of indie-pop, it sports a gentle but addicting guitar riff and subtle but seductive melody, ‘Munich’ is sweetly a melodious, delicate and dreamy delight. Fizzing with ideas and ingenuity ‘Molly’ and ‘Munich’ illustrate the splendiferous quality of what the project is all about.

Listen to ‘Molly’ and ‘Munich’ below and if they are to your liking, you can listen to Moony Matelot latest album here.

Albums of the Year 2018

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Yes, it’s that time of year again, lists, lists and well, more lists – and from every angle possible. That said, drawing up a list of my favourite records from throughout the year is one of the most enjoyable aspects to the blog.

There was lots of great music in 2018 (as is the case every year) but here are 18 of my favourite records from the year – 18 for 18 if you will.

Without further ado, here are my favourite records from 2018. Enjoy!

18: Conor Mason – ‘On The Surface’

Conceived, developed and rendered into life over eighteen months in his hometown of Derry, Conor Mason’s fourth album is a treasure trove of musicianship and songwriting craft and is very assured in his musical landscape, conjuring the wistful wonderment of Elliott Smith, Grandaddy, Villagers and Matthew Jay. In essence, it is an exploration living life with uncertainty; the highs and lows, curiosity and change, and significance, or insignificance, of humans in the universe. Flowing gently by, amid a sea of hushed lilting vocals, whispering lyrical poeticisms and subtle instrumentation, Mason reveals himself master of hook, harmony and heart. At times fragile, tender and touching, his songs are paradoxically permeated by an air of richness and comforting warmth, yet shrouded in melancholy, and draped in Mason’s intuitive song writing and storytelling abilities. A beautiful record.

Listen in full here.

17: The Coral – ‘Move Through The Dawn’

The Coral returned with their ninth studio album in 2018 and their prolific work rate and flair for psychedelic folk and classy pop songs shows no signs of abating. Move Through The Dawn glides along serenely, laden with seductive, sweet melodies and lush string arrangements, with the likes of ‘Reaching Out For a Friend’ and ‘Sweet Release’ bouncing around your head all day. While ‘Outside My Window’ and ‘Stormbreaker’ remind us on The Coral’s other side (and the closest relations to 2016’s Distance Inbetween); heavier riffs, jagged guitars and general air of menace. It is another wonderful and solid record from one of Britain’s most enduring and lovable bands.

Listen in full here.

16: Kneecap – ‘3CAG’

Comprised of Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Provaí, Kneecap are a satirical hip-hop trio from Belfast who perform in Irish. The trio combine a fluency in Irish with an amazing delivery and a wry sense of humour to produce one of the most unique homegrown records of 2018. Over eight tracks, their mixtape 3CAG offers a satirical take on life for young people, with a particular west Belfast slant. If like me, your command of Irish leaves a lot to be desired, it doesn’t matter a jot. The beats are superb and so infectious, and the flow and lyrical skill on show is second to none, with plenty of laughs thrown in for good measure – anyone who might be sceptical to begin with will be easily won over, just press play.

Listen in full here.

15: Gwenno – ‘Le Kov’

Gwenno’s debut, 2015’s Y Dydd Olaf, was almost all in Welsh; Le Kov, sung in Cornish is just as stunning and serene a sonic dream. The music continues in a retro-futuristic psych-pop vein, but Le Kov is even more expansive sounding than Y Dydd Olaf. Gwenno’s calm, precise and often reverbed vocals navigate a whirlwind of electronic noise, intricately weaved mixture of moods, textures and pulsations, and soaring strings.The record feels alive, vital and organic, like a luminous dream, it is a place playfulness, shimmering beauty, mythology and modernity that are all interwoven with freeflowing ideas, synth-lines and electronic blips, and an undercurrent of poetical dissent. A stunning record – inviting and bubbling with creative ideas, energy and possibilities – from a unique talent.

Listen in full here.

14: Half Man Half Biscuit – ‘No One Cares About Your Creative Hub So Get Your Fuckin’ Hedge Cut’

Album number 14 from Half Man Half Biscuit sees Nigel Blackwell and company in top form with a collection of great, cheerful, upbeat tunes combined with witty, sardonic lyrics. Musically it picks up where Urge for Offal left off, a rocky, brash and pretty loud post-punk indie backdrop for sardonic but never cynical takes on everyday life. In short, it’s got what a HMHB LP always has; the irresistible wordplay, varying cultural references, surreal and improbable surreal tales, and the most quotable lyrics in the world. A real treasure.

Listen in full here.

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