Ulrika Spacek – ‘Beta Male’


Ulrika Spacek have made quite a habit in blowing our socks off with stunning tunes, doing so on two separate occasions last year, with the discordant indie-rock of ‘She’s A Cult’ and pulsating psych rocker ‘I Don’t Know’.

Ulrika Spacek have kicked off 2016 by going even one better with news they will release their debut LP, The Album Paranoia on February 5th through Tough Love. Coinciding with this most excellent news, the Berlin based outfit have afforded us another choice sample from their forthcoming debut in the shape of ‘Beta Male’. It is highly-charged yet starry-eyed trip, blazing through six-plus minutes of exploratory psychedelia on the strength of one momentous, scintillating guitar riff. Another magnificent, melodic, masterclass in tuneage from Ulrika Spacek, which needless to say, should have you salivating at the prospect of a full album’s worth of material.

The debut LP, The Album Paranoia is out on February 5th through Tough Love and for now, you can check out the scintillating ‘Beta Male’, below.


Introducing: Honey Moon

Honey Moon - Photo by Niralee Modha

Honey Moon are four piece from London, comprised of Sam, Peter, Jack and Zack, they’ve a real talent for crafting 3 minute pop gems.

This aforementioned flair is patently obvious from Honey Moon’s recently released self-titled EP. It is an enchanting and whimsical illustration of classic pop-craft, brimming with sinuous melodies, lilting hooks and jangly guitars. It’s a laid-back, woozy, gentle and heartwarming brand of wistful alt-pop, like a perfect blend of Real Estate with Spectrals. From ‘Ellie’ to ‘Waiting, there is more than a hint of melancholy amid the enchanting haze of the subtle, undulating and ever-so-mild psychedelic tendencies. These are good old fashioned pop songs, pop in the old fashioned sense, played by a band, and with an assured sense of style and class. Not only do Honey Moon have a flair for 3 minute pop gems, they’ve got a right knack for creating tunes the right side of familiar.

You can check out some choice cuts from Honey Moon below or pop over here, to immerse yourself entirely in their lazy day – you won’t regret it.


The Coral – ‘Chasing The Tail Of A Dream’

The Coral 2016

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:

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


BarryGruff Albums of the Year (2015)

BGs Albums of the year 2015So it is that time of year again, lists, lists and more lists. Well, not be out done, here are my 41 (yes 41, and yes it’s a weird number) albums of 2015.

It has been such a good year for new albums, probably the best since I started the blog back in 2010. So much so that there is very little difference between the top 5, top 10, top 15 and so on. So without further ado, here are my favourite records from 2015:

There is also a Spotify playlist of the Top 20 albums, to save you time and hassle (it’s here).

41. Only Real – Jerk At The End of the Line’

40. Rozi Plain – ‘Friend’

39. Wildling – ‘Molecules To Moon’

38. The School – ‘Wasting Away And Wondering’

37. Sweet Baboo – ‘Boombox Ballads’

36. The Stammer – ‘Days In Between’

35. SexWitch – Sex Witch’

34. Faith Healer – ‘Cosmic Troubles’

33. Girl Band – ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’

32. Joanna Gruesome – ‘Peanut Butter’

31. Fort Romeau – ‘Insides

30. Soft Serve – ‘S/t’

29. Applescal – ‘For’

28. Zefur Wolves – ‘Zefur Wolves’

27. Hot Chip – ‘Why Make Sense?’

26. Drenge – ‘Undertow’

25. The Charlatans – ‘Modern Nature’

24. Gaz Coombes – ‘Matador’

23. Bill Ryder-Jones – ‘West Kirby County Primary’

22. Drinks – ‘Hermits on Holiday’

21. The Expert – Dynamic Drift

20. Boxed In – ‘Boxed In’

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She-Devils – ‘COME’


Montreal duo She-Devils brings together the retro-inspired poppy pair of Audrey Ann and Kyle Jukka.

Just this week the pair announced their self-titled debut EP, will be released on January 15th, 2016. The first track taken from the forthcoming EP is ‘COME’; and if it is an indication of what we can expect, then we’re going to be in for quite a treat indeed. Deceptively simple, it is a brilliant coming together of warped ’50s/’60s rock n’ roll samples with Audrey Ann’s crisp, swaying melodies to create a timeless sound. Drawing from a well of ’60s French pop, surf rock and dream-pop, ‘COME’ elicits a hypnotic and haunting vibe. Through a majestic fusion of breathtaking avant pop, spectral swirls and kooky psych rhythms, She-Devils’ debut is a thrilling, chilling and alluring multitude of sounds that conjures up just as many evocative feelings.

She-Devils’ self-titled debut EP will be released on January 15. You can listen to ‘COME’ below and it is available from Bandcamp, you just gotta ‘name your price’.

The Montreal duo will be headed out on tour with Majical Cloudz in the new year, including Vancouver, @ The Cobalt on January 22nd, 2016 – full list of dates is after the jump.

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BarryGruff Playlist November 2015


Your regular monthly round up all the blog action, in a nice, neat and handy playlist of tracks featured throughout the month.

November was another busy one, with introductions to A.S. Fanning, exmagician & New Cardinals. There were excellent new singles/EPs from Avid Walker, Anderson, Public Service Broadcasting, Ulrika Spacek, Daniel Avery, CaStLeS, David Harks & Manor. And we had tunes from Globelamp, MMOTHS, Coves, Hinds & Tuff Love ahead of their respective, new and forthcoming albums.

Oh, and there were two new episodes of ‘Millions Like Us’, Justin Beats & I’s new music podcast extravaganza for 604now (if you missed them, check ’em here). You can also subscribe to ‘Millions Like Us’ on iTunes & Podcast Republic or find us on Facebook & Twitter.

Well then, that’s that for another month – listen to BarryGruff’s November 2015 playlist below. Enjoy!


CaStLeS – ‘PartDepart’

We’ve been keeping a watchful eye of North Walian trio CaStLeS, for quite sometime now.

The three piece – comprised of We//Are//Animal brothers Cynyr and Dion Hamer and Calvin Thomas – have captivated us with a series superb singles thus far but, their debut EP, PartDepart confirms what we really knew already; CaStLeS are an absolute treasure. Inspired by the surrounding wilderness of their studio, high up in the hills overlooking two castles, they embrace influences from Super Fury Animals, Django Django and the Beach Boys to name but a few. In doing so, CaStLeS create an engrossing swirling infusion of psychedelic rock, blues and mildly dancey grooves. Title track ‘PartDepart’, with its bubbling hypnotic layers, beautiful sounds, synth loops, enticing guitar riffs and seductive rhythmic groove, is essentially CaStLeS raison d’etre and indicative of the spirit running through the veins of their marvellous sound. Add a sprig of lilting Welsh vocals, tight harmonies, reverb soaked melodies, organic spontaneity and earthiness, combined with some off-kilter genius and you get the picture. ‘Nightingale’, ‘Foresteering’ and ‘Mountaineering’ too, are all consuming and overwhelm the senses in all its rhythmic glory. This debut EP has been a while coming but, yeah, you guessed it, it has certainly been worth the wait.

You can check out some choice cuts below, along with their £30 self-made video for ‘PartDepart’. You can also purchase/stream the EP in its entirety here.


Introducing: New Cardinals


New Cardinals are Seattle duo Peter Tilton (guitar/vocal) and Sam Rice (bass/keys), who are tapping into a rich vein of psychedelia, ’60s sunshine filled pop, ’70s proggy vibes, new wavey guitars and synth sounds.

All that said, on their recently released eponymous debut EP, New Cardinals supply an ample amount of their own distinctive twist, while channeling various influences from both past and present (some contemporary comparisons to Tame Impala, The Bees and a touch of Django Django). Opener ‘Window Days’, is a free-flowing, idea-filled psych-pop wonder. Lush sounds combine and cascade upon shimmering guitars, blissed-out swirling atmospherics and synth work. ‘Let’s Talk’ is just so silky smooth, as a slinking and utterly irresistible groove mixes it up between swirling keys, choppy guitar, synth wonder and some pointed post-punk riffs. Aside from overwhelmingly joy-filled blissfulness and spacey wonder, New Cardinals’ EP is anchored by alluring layered vocal harmonies and an undeniable groove, which combined, is the pièce de résistance of a magnificent sound.

There a few choice cuts below and if they are to your liking, the entire wonderful EP is available from Bandcamp, just ‘name your price’.


Coves return with new single ‘Stormy’, and news of a second album for 2016


Coves have returned with a brand new single ‘Stormy’. Released on 18th December, it is the first track taken from their forthcoming second album, penned for release in March 2016.

It follows the duo’s much vaunted debut album, Soft Friday; one of last year’s high points it was an atmospheric, distinctive and very enjoyable blend of spectral vocals, swirling psychedelia met with sweeping grandeur and dreamy synths. Coves’ new single ‘Stormy’ picks up where the pair left off, retaining the essence that made Soft Friday such a great record. 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 to what we should expect and judging by ‘Stormy’, we’re in for quite the second album from Rebekah Wood and John Ridgard.

You can check out ‘Stormy’ below now. Coves play Servants Jazz Quarters in London on January 28th & their as-yet-untitled second album is penned for release through 1965 Records in March 2016.

Introducing: Mollusk

Niall Murphy is best known for his vocalist and songwriter duties with garage rock trio Oh Boland, a name that may be familiar to some (if not, you need to check them out).

Murphy appears to be in the midst of a creative boom and has formed another band/side-project, Mollusk, to explore different avenues, sounds and styles, that perhaps don’t fit with the Oh Boland ethos. Our first introduction to Mollusk’s charms comes in the shape of self-titled, debut mini-album. From opener ‘Nothing Ain’t Nothing When It’s Something Or Other’, it is less muscular, rugged and abrasive than the rough and raw garage-punk of Oh Boland, preferring a mellower, rambling psych-tinged jangle. There is a pretty laid-back, almost slacker, west coast vibe that runs through the meandering melodiousness of ‘Ambulance Man’ to the free-spirited roving of ‘Cruisin’ Along’, complete with Status Quo-esque riffs and ‘Mollusk’, and its infectious indie-punk jangle that rivals anything from The Vaccines’ super catchy debut record. Similar but different, Mollusk is like a close relation to his previous output with Oh Boland, and of course, of an equally high standard.

You can sample some choice cuts from the 7-track, Mollusk mini-album below – and if those are to your liking – download the entire mini-album from here, just ‘name your price’.