Phileas Fogg – ‘Ready or Not’

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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 whisks us away of an imaginative intrepid adventure.

‘Ready or Not’ is the teaser single for his forthcoming, so far unnamed album; and it is a doozy. This is a reverb and fuzz-laden psych-rock expedition to the stars through muscular riffs, hazy subtle psych undulations, meandering melodies and heavenly harmonies. It’s no gross exageration to say that ‘Ready or Not’ would be quite at home in the company of Supergrass, Super Furry Animals & Paul McCartney at their proggy-psych-pop best. Hopefully we are not waiting too long for another taste of the album, and of course the whole record itself.

Check out ”Ready of Not’ below now. Space time.

Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist #1

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A brand new feature on the Gruff channel, a weekly 15-track Spotify playlist series featuring some of the finest new music to prick my ears.

Clocking in at under and hour, it’s an easily digested slice of new music, just in time for the weekend. There’s a nice mix of genres and styles too, allowing me to share more great tunes for your ears, so hopefully it can be a regular feature. We’ll see how it goes, I guess.

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Rhodri Brooks – ‘Bws Dŵr’

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Rhodri Brooks is a Cardiff born singer and songwriter, whose rather wonderful sound is gathered from fragments of alt-country, psychedelia, Americana and lo-fi, and effortlessly sewn together.

Brooks’ chameleonic sound transcends eras and genres, evidenced by his wonderful back catalogue and latest single ‘Bws Dŵr’.The new track will be released through the Bubblewrap Collective – who he’s recently joined forces with – for Welsh Language Music Day on February 10th. Performed in his native Welsh, ‘Bws Dŵr’ is a gentle and wonderfully understated lo-fi blend of Americana/Country that lulls you into a hypnotic, woozy state of peace and calm as it meanders along with sliding guitars and washed-out vocal. So easy on the ear, this is just a wonderfully tranquil beauty.

‘Bws Dŵr’ is out for Welsh Language Music Day on February 10th. Listen to it below.

Gulp Share Video & Django Django Remix for ‘Search For Your Love’

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Back in December Cardiff-based band Gulp Gulp – revolving around Lindsey Leven & Guto Pryce of Super Furry Animals fame – shared single ‘Search For Your Love’ and their intention to release a second LP in 2017.

Following on from that, Gulp have shared the single’s video and a Django Django‘s ‘Nautical Twilight Edit’ of ‘Search For Your Love’. The Django’s edit adds another dimension to Gulp’s already refined warm, fuzzy, lush spacey psych-pop. Upping the tempo and the groove a tad, and enhancing the textures, luscious melody, proggy-guitars and synthy celestial vibes, to compliment the marvellous original perfectly. Rather than a full face-lift, this is re-imagining the song; creating something completely hypnotic, and topped off by Leven’s sultry vocals, this is the very essence of dreams. Just time to sit back now and let ‘Search For Your Love’ (x 2) flow over you and seep into your senses, and leave you better for it.

‘Search For Your Love’ is available now via via Tim Burgess’ independent label O Genesis and Gulp are currently working with Luke Abbott on their second album, which is set to be released in 2017.

IRMA VEP – ‘A Woman’s Work Is Never Done’

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Manchester via North Wales musician IRMA VEP – aka Edwin Stevens – released a his new album, No Handshake Blues last week.

Accompanying album number four under the IRMA VEP moniker, is the LP’s lead single, and album opener, ‘A Woman’s Work Is Never Done’. It is a world-weary and shadowy 11-minutes plus of epic, sprawling distortion, feedback and psychedelic drone. The vocals are almost entirely swathed in distortion and reverb rendering the lyrics indecipherable, amid the already swirling fuzz and feedback. A thrilling and epic introduction to Irma Vep’s new and experimental sound, and album too.

You can listen to the epic ‘A Woman’s Work Is Never Done’ below. If that is to your liking, you can hear the new album, No Handshake Blues, over here.

Psychic Love – ‘Red Sun’

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This is not the first time that we’ve been wooed by Psychic Love’s woozy, dreamy indie stylings.

The LA-based trio – spearheaded by Laura Peters along with Max Harrison (guitar) and Liam McCormack (bass) – released their wonderful debut album, The Hive Mind at the back end of last year; and they have shared the latest offering from it, ‘Red Sun’. All twangy, atmospheric guitars and steady clicking beat, while the smokey-sweet vocals from Peters add further to the woozy and dreamy, yet melancholic and brooding dimension of ‘Red Sun’. A highlight from their debut LP and an excellent choice of single, which is a reminder, or introduction, to Psychic Love’s laid-back indie stylings.

You can check out ‘Red Sun’ below and Psychic Love’s debut album The Hive Mind is out now, stream it here.

Datura Daydream – ‘Sea Six’

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Toronto based trio Datura Daydream – Kevin Robert Fong (vocal/guitar), David Larocque (bass) & Turner Roscoe Wigginton (drums) – have a flair when it comes to brewing cinematic psych/kraut inspired post-rock.

The trio have unleashed new single ‘Sea Six’ – and an accompanying video – the latest to be lifted from their recent album, The Lick Is In The Lisp and it is quite the epic. A sprawling, nine minute heady brew of swirling psych, hazy vocals and throbbing bass propelled forward by metronomic krautrock beats, ‘Sea Six’ flits between a beautiful, meandering dreamlike stasis and surging kaleidoscopic, cinematic crescendo. Which, by any standard, makes ‘Sea Six’ pretty damn spectacular.

The Lick Is In The Lisp is available to buy/stream right now from here. Before that however, you can check ‘Sea Six’ below.

Also, it is recommended you watch the video from beginning to end – it is well worth it – but be warned, there are lots of flashing lights etc.

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.

Introducing: Them Jones

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Them Jones are a Philadelphia five-piece with a flair for mesmerising, retro sounding, psych-tinged garage rock.

Them Jones’ most recent album, A Mountain of Nonsense was released last year and is a rough-around-the-edges and unpolished aural adventure, swathed in ’60s sounds and inspirations. Whether it is the likes of ‘Outburst’, which sees them tumble into a frenetic two-minute burst of punchy guitar driven garage-rock or ‘Honeytrap’, embracing the softer subtleties of the genre, giving a smoother, more soulful flavour – we find a band at the peak of their prowess. The same can be said for slowly waltzing and hushed poetic delights of ‘The Shrinking Violet’s Light’, and the record in general. At varying times, Them Jones bring to mind The Doors, The White Stripes, The Animals and any more of a similar ilk, yet they manage to maintain ownership of their musical vision and sound. This is their interpretation of a genre and era they know and love. They are masters of their craft and it executed with perfection, and sometimes you know, that is quite enough.

You can listen to some choice cuts from Them Jones’ latest album A Mountain of Nonsense. If those are to your liking, well, you can stream the LP here. Enjoy!

Playlist: Best Songs of 2016

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Lists, lists, lists and more lists. Yes, it is that time of year when lists become more common place than overly optimistic Liverpool fans in August.

Time, or lack of it, truly is the enemy once again but I’ve compiled a 100+ strong song Spotify playlist; selection of personal favourites from throughout the year. Pretty self-explanatory this, but there’s loads of great stuff in there from many styles and genres and, from across the globe.

I hope to have an ‘Albums of 2016′ post completed this week. Anyway, for now, I hope you enjoy the playlist.