From the instant I pressed play on the new Kidsmoke track, the guitars had won; I had given myself completely to the latest single from the Welsh act. However, while still holding my attention, the cascading guitars were stripped back in lieu of a calming vocal verse. Admittedly, I didn’t expect the high notes to be hit so pristinely, which, when combined with the careful guitar chords that follow later mesmerize listeners; it sort of ends up feeling like a young Teenage Fanclub tune, and you know that will never fail with me.
Having already written about the forthcoming Seazoo album, I’d be remiss if I didn’t drop this new single. While it opens noisily, all things considered, the group settle into a subtle groove, riding guitar lines and shared vocal duties. There’s a noisy little ambling in the song’s mid-point, allowing the group to flex their songwriting chops. But, little keyboard notes trickle in, joined by the male/female vocal duet, crashing down in pure pop fashion, taking us to the song’s end. Another little ditty that pretty much guarantees the band will have a hit on their hands when Dig is released on January 26th.
When I first pressed play, the synth work led me to believe that I was about to embark on a psychedelic journey with Seazoo. But, they quickly take the jam element from the intro, turn into a crisp guitar jam that allows for the dreamy vocal delivery that elevates the band into perfect pop. I like the momentary respite pulling back just before the 2 minute mark, awaiting the band to catch up and stomp their way joyously to the end. The Welsh outfit will be releasing their debut album this November…should be a winner.
You want to meet the next great pop group? Then just listen to Seazoo, and do it today. This song opens up well enough, playfully getting into your ear with a shimmering guitar dancing in the distance. Still, you have to at least make it to the 51st second of the tune, as it’s immediately going to carry you away into a euphoric bliss; I haven’t heard a hook this good in 2017. It’s okay, you’re right to feel uplifted; you’re right to grab your neighbor and celebrate life. Play this song as much as you want, and just wait for more pop from this Welsh bunch…they’re polishing up their debut LP.
Looks like today’s special is guitar pop, and Kidsmoke are sure to be one of your quick favorites for the day. It doesn’t take long for the song’s vocals to enter the picture, and sweep you away as the guitars dreamily dangle in the distance; it’s almost dreamy, but there’s so much clarity in the recording that you’ll find it hard not to see it as straight-ahead pop music. It kinds of reminds me of our friends in Austin, Shivery Shakes, pulling in some of that sunny West Coast vibes from the guitar lines, while still focusing on the cooling of the vocal display. The band will drop their new EP next month, but for now, just another gem to get your day headed in the right direction.
Man, this is possibly my favorite discovery of the week, and it’s only Monday. Sweet Baboo is a Welsh songwriter who has warmed my heart today with his latest single, which will be featured on his upcoming album, Ships–slated to be released by Moshi Moshi in April. When the tune opens, it’s a smooth pop croon, though the accent gives it sort of that oddball Devandra Banhart quality. That’s all well-and-good, but the eruption of horns and vocals during the chorus is quite remarkable. I have a feeling that this tune will find its way to haunt my mind and ears for sometime to come; I hope it does the same for you.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Lets-Go-Swimming-Wild.mp3]
Download:Sweet Baboo – Let’s Go Swimming Wild [MP3]
|Date||Saturday, September 29th|
|Tickets||$10 from Transmission|
For those of you fortunate enough to have caught St. Vincent last year at ACL Live, I hope you caught the beautiful songstress that is Cate Le Bon. Personally, the Welsh musician enthralled me more than the headliner, but that’s just personal taste. I’ve since been able to enjoy her CYRK album, and the CYRK II piece that accompanied it. Although she I last caught her standing solo on stage, her presence was much larger, encouraging me to write the praise that I leave you with now. Get there early to catch Troller, the opening act, who will help set the tone for the evening.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/01-01-What-Is-Worse.mp3]
Download:Cate Le Bon – What Is Worse [MP3]
Nope, not a typo. I promised some people I’d try to get all twee on you this week while RayRay was taking his annual vacation, so I’ve been trying to bust out some goodies I hadn’t shared with you all yet. So yeah, this is Joanna Gruesome, a favorite of the excellent indie pop blog, A Layer of Chips. As of right now, the Welsh group only has a few songs to their name, but they’re all absolutely delicious. I love the recording on this one, with its barely audible lyrics lurking beneath the fuzz of the guitar. You have no idea how much I nerd out to tunes like this one.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Joanna-Gruesome-Other-Stuff-01-pntry-grrlll.mp3]
Download:Joanna Gruesome – Pntry Grrlll [MP3]
It’s possible that you haven’t yet heard of any work from Cate Le Bon, nor even heard of her, for that matter, as this is only her sophomore effort from her and her backing band. Some things you should know before we proceed: Yes that is a Welsh accent. Yes, Le Bon’s debut EP was a Welsh language release. Yes, her voice is exquisitely interesting. No, it is not the only thing worth talking about on CYRK.
Le Bon wastes no time what-so-ever in jumping straight into the jams. Forget intro tracks or minute long build-ups, “Falcon-Eyed” is everything, all at once without so much as a few seconds notice. It is roaring first track, quick and snappy in nature, filled with Le Bon’s swirling vocals, paired with racing drum beats and jangling, fast paced guitars. It comes across as one of the most ‘rock’ songs on this album, when viewed along with the others, and it leaves you thirsty for more when the two minutes and forty-nine seconds comes to a close.
Although the Speed Racer pace isn’t held for the next song, the slower, cooled “Puts Me To Work,” highlights the vocals as well as the instrumentation, while setting a more appropriate pace for the rest of the album. The smooth vocals combine with twang-y guitars to bring each element to a happy medium, while the drums and keys fill in the spaces. This continues to the title track, which spirals and twirls in an eerie fashion along to a methodic beat, which essentially carries through for the duration of the album; it’s easy to find yourself twirling along with Le Bon, lost in her ironically dreary lyrics in respect to her airy vocals.
Sure, the first thing that you will notice upon listening to CYRK is the vocals. When Le Bon strikes the opening notes, you are instantly drawn into whatever she is singing; her eerily bleak voice carrying the rhythm resides in the background. I mean, on first listen, you could really care less what is going on behind that enigma of sound. You are so focused on the oddly tender yet fierce voice that it’s easy to let the rest of the music just sort of fade away in your entranced state. While it is easy, and also sort of the point of this release, to be daunted by Cate Le Bon, give this album two listens; one to marvel at the vocals and another to appreciate the instruments backing them. What you’ll find is something darker than the whimsical vocals convey on the surface level, something distorted and fanciful, akin to the title’s translation of “circus posters.”