It was a shame growing up without music on the Internet; I feel like I missed out on so many great things, only to discover them later on in life. This was much the case with Nectarine No. 9, who I only discovered a few years ago while following a UK forum on 90s tunes. Luckily for those like me, Heavenly Recordings is reissuing the band’s great LP, Saint Jack. Probably the strangest thing is seeing how much I would have loved this, knowing that I stuck pretty close to a lot of the Brit-pop acts of the mid-90s. I’m glad I came across a few of these songs a bit ago, and now you can discover them for yourself…unless of course you had already found them.
Kid Wave are on the cusp of releasing their first full-length record, and from the sound of the singles they’ve been putting out, including the one below, you don’t wanna miss out on this London act. “Best Friend” has Kid Wave at their best: slacker indie rock that’s just laid back enough to seem easy, but when you listen closely, you’ll hear the level of nuance that this band of youths bring to that genre. The deep set vocals of Lea Emmery are paired nicely with some cutting electric guitar, which follow each other through the song. Wonderlust is out June 1st via Heavenly Recordings.
Is that even a real question? No, but it’s also not too early for the new project of Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley of White Fence, called DRINKS. Not only have they announced this new project, but they’ve also shared that their debut album will be coming out August 21st. That album shares the title with the song below, “Hermits On Holiday,” which starts out mellow with just Cate’s distinctive vocals and guitar, but as the song winds up, it emerges as a hodgepodge pop number with a rustic flair.
I mean, the Hooton Tennis Club name alone grabs your attention, in some form or another, but what’s important is how quickly you get attached to this new single. From the moment that first snare hit kicks in with the guitar twisting around the lyrics, it’s pop success. It’s a perfect pop piece, rocking a little bit of twang in the guitars whilst pushing a casually cool vocal to bring the whole track together. If this ditty suits your tastes, then look for for the group to release their debut album later this year via Heavenly Recordings.
Feel like today should is taking a turn towards all things European, so why not keep that going with the latest buzz act out of Liverpool, Hooton Tennis Club. Overseas they’re getting this weird lo-fi buzz, but while the style might fit, they’re playing is actually pretty tight-knit, making this song successful on many levels; it’s got a new classic sound, but it’s executed enthusiastically, so I can get behind the buzz in this case. You’ll be able to pick this song up on the band’s new 7″; it’s being released by Heavenly Recordings on February 24th.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/01_Jaspar.mp3]
Sometimes you get in those ruts where you post the same thing over and over, and it just wears you out. You love it, but you need something that sounds refreshing, which is why I love this new tune from H Hawkline. Sure, there’s some similarities to bits of modern pop, with the jagged guitar chops and the song’s construction, but overall, I just felt like the vocals took this song someplace I hadn’t really been spending time with lately. His new album, In the Pink of Condition, will be released on February 2nd via Heavenly Recordings.
Shit. Music’s keeping real as of late. By that I mean I’m running into great tunes from all the genres; these bands are working hard. London’s Kid Wave have this great sound that’s doing just the trick right now, offering this perfect blend of guitar pop fused with soothing harmonies. There’s even a smoky quality to the vocals, which really just gets under my musical skin. While there’s no full-length planned, the group is releasing this new single on their Gloom EP, which is slated for a release at the end of November via Heavenly Recordings. Just wait til the whole band joins in for the vocals. Winning.
The opening moments of Sun Structures will set the definitive tone for Temples, immediately making a nod to the storied past of psychedelic music. But, while that genre has gradually grown stale, this record still illustrates that there are a few gems left to be eked out of the staple sound.
When I put on “Shelter Song,” my ears recoiled a bit; that guitar sound needs to be retired for a bit. But, as the song unfolds there’s some great harmonized pop moments unleashed on the listener. It’s done in a casual fashion too, illustrating the reserved cool that permeates through every inch of Sun Structures. And it doesn’t take too long for the record to move into one of its many hits, “Sun Structures.” This song, like the album, takes its time to build you up; my favorite thing about these collection of songs is that they come to you slow and relaxed, as if the band expected you to really indulge in the listening experience.
And while I’ve clearly lumped Temples into a corner, there are songs that demonstrate that the band have one foot in the past and one stepping into a new realm. The one-two punch of “Keep in the Dark” and “Mesmerise” provide some energetic spins on the genre. The former opens with a light-hearted stomp that includes a bit of fuzzed out riffs near the end; there’s also this explosive beauty that bursts forth through the lyrics. The latter track is all pop. It’s tucked nicely in a warm cocoon of psychedelic vibes, but it’s the perfect place for such a track, giving you a bit of palate cleanser to allow you to digest the rest of this listen.
What has amazed me most about listening to Sun Structures is that despite the length of the songs, they never wear you down. Even on a song like “Sand Dance,” there’s so much to offer aside from what you’re initially being offered. On this tune you’ll find a very classic psych sound, but then there’s this spaced out jam that unfolds to close out the track. The band is not just interested in finite sounds defining what they’re doing; it’s quite refreshing. And, the closing number, “Fragment’s Light,” is an airy closing touch, which again allows you to reflect on everything you’ve heard before.
My advice to you when listening to Sun Structures is to set aside some time to devote to listening to it as a whole. I understand that in today’s world we often don’t have the time, but if you rush your listen, as I might have done on the first few plays, you’ll miss out on a very cohesive release that seems to be arranged perfectly. It’s easy to lump Temples in with the masses of psych bands riding the waves of a tired trend, but if anything, this release shows there’s far more laying in wait, if you’ll only take a little time.
It’s time we give some love to our British compatriots, and in this case, we’ll go with tossing some love to Toy. The band is preparing to release Join the Dots on December 10th, and in preparation, they’re unleashing a limited single in the UK. I think the group’s definitely going to turn some ears, as they’ve created some tunes that remind me of a more exploratory version of Fujiya and Miyagi. This single has the same propulsive beat to it, though they’re less inclined to to just rely upon the rhythm, filling their negative space with nice walls of noise. It’s just a short bit of vocals, so hold on while you can.
Sometimes you have to be a bit skeptical when you get the hype from overseas, but I have a feeling that Stealing Sheep are going to live up to it all. The all girl trio from Britain just released this great single as a prelude to the release of their album, Into the Diamond Sun, which will come out this September on Heavenly Recordings. The playfulness in the vocal delivery was enough of a hook, then the rest of the girls join in creating a catchy pop stomp that won’t get out of my head. I have this slight feeling that a lot of people are going to adore these lovely ladies.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/01-Shut-Eye.mp3]