Happy Saturday everyone and welcome to something a little bit different.
Like every other blog, we are inundated with emails from bands and PR companies on a daily basis, asking us to feature their music in some form or another. While this is great and we love hearing as much as we can of what comes in, we just don’t have enough time to feature everything. No matter how late we stay up writing (and believe us, it can get quite late).
We’ve been thinking for some time about how we can cover more of the music we like on a weekly basis and have finally settled on this, a weekly feature showcasing no more than ten tracks and/or videos that we have enjoyed in the past seven days. Most of it, but not all, will have come directly from the inbox and while we won’t be as verbose in our descriptions of each one, we figured some words were better than none. At least this way you get to hear them too right? And that’s the main thing.
So sit back, relax, get your ears ready and enjoy ten of the best as we rummage around and find out ‘What’s In The Box?’ for this week.
The Deer Tracks – “Lazarus”
Seeing as this is a new feature, we wanted to start with something pretty darn good and, thanks to Swedish duo The Deer Tracks, we think we have. No doubt we could make a joke or two about posting a track named after a guy who was raised from the dead less than a week after Easter, but we don’t have the time, there’s music to discuss.
“Lazarus” is a full of life (sorry) electro-pop song that has that distinctly Scandinavian feeling about it we have come to know and love from the likes of Nikki and the Dove, Lykke Li and others. It is both danceable and a tad melancholic at the same time, an understated banger perhaps. We’d certainly be inclined to get up and get down should it come on in a club and we happened to be there, despite never going to clubs…
Regardless, it’s a cracking tune and a great way to kick off the weekend, oh and it’s even a free download. We can’t say fairer than that.
The Deer Tracks new album, The Archer Trilogy Pt. 3 will be released in the UK on 27 May, via The Control Group.
No Joy – “Hare Tarot Lies”
This has had a lot of blog love in the last few days and with good reason. “Here Tarot Lies” drifts along in a state of hazy bliss, all woozy guitars and beats with the quintessential ethereal vocal swirling softly through the heady mess. It’s a brain befuddling, dreamy piece of wavy wonderfulness that, you can buy it digitally, right now, from Mexican Summer. We recommend you do as it is cheaper than getting drunk and gives you the same feeling, result.
Their new album, Wait to Pleasure comes out on 22 April, also on Mexican Summer.
Vandana Jain – “Ecstatic”
Something wicked this way comes. Brooklyn-based graphic designer turned performance artist Vandana Jain to be exact. Here be darkness and we can’t help but be drawn in. Sounding a little like one of our teenage loves, Curve, “Ecstatic” begins in shadows. Foreboding, slithering and skittery electronics twitch and shudder under Jain’s soft but mildly intimidating vocals before climbing above ground to the dystopian city above. It is more neon and bright, but still somewhat twisted and sordid, like a hidden corner of the Blade Runner world, an alleyway we catch a glimpse of but really, really want to see more of.
“Ecstatic” is the first single from Vandana Jain’s forthcoming debut album, Anti Venus.
Minute Taker – “Heart” (Pet Shop Boys cover)
This is brilliant, Minute Taker, aka Manchester-based alternative songwriter/producer Ben McGarvey has gone loop pedal crazy for this cover of the Pet Shop Boys classic, “Heart”.
Evidently he told The 405 that he chose this track to cover as he’s always been a big 80′s fan. “When all my school classmates were listening to Blur and Oasis I was listening to Erasure, Pet Shop Boys and Alison Moyet”. We were almost the same, but we listened to Blur and Oasis as well. Still we loved the Pet Shop Boys (still do) and can recall singing along to “Heart” in our primary school days, mistakenly thinking it was called “Everytime” because that was the word they sung the most. Ahh, youthful innocence. Anyway, take a watch of this innovative piece of glory.
Spring Offensive – “No Assets” – Olympians Remix
Two of our favourites collide in this next track. Norwich’s own Olympians have provided a special and vibed up remix of Spring Offensive’s latest beauty, “No Assets” (the video for which has to be seen to be believed). What’s more, you can even download it for free as well. God bless Olympians!
Louis Brennan – “Clean Break”
We’d not heard of Louis Brennan before his latest track, “Clean Break” dropped into the inbox this week but evidently he has been referred to as being ‘Future Folk’ by others. We’re not entirely sure what that means but we do know that “Clean Break” is a fairly dark and glitchy piece of electronica that, along with his Gabriel Bruce-esque baritone, sent a shiver down our spine. It’s brooding and kinda creepy and really good. It’s also free to download below.
His debut album, The Reductive Power of a Coastal Town, is due out in May.
Cold Mailman – “My Recurring Dream”
Confession time, while we do like this track and its boy/girl harmonies, we are more in love with the video. Directed by André Chocron, it is conceptually quite simple, we follow a single camera as it moves forward through a sequence of strange worlds from within the unseen protagonist’s subconscious, but the execution is exquisite. Transitions are almost seamless with the move from one scenario to the next almost feeling logical, despite them often being completely unconnected. There is so much going on in each one as well, so much detail to take in and admire it is worth several repeated viewings. We won’t spoil how it ends but let’s just say, it’s not called “My Recurring Dream” for nothing.
My Recurring Dream from André Chocron // Frokost Film on Vimeo.
Julia Biel – “Watch The Stars”
Something a little bit more jazz-infused now as we let Julia Biel’s new track wash over us. “Watch The Stars” is a smooth piece of swirly, trip-hopish jazz folk. We’ll let that sink in for a minute. Her voice is silken and soft, the kind that would lure sailors to their doom in legends of old, and soars up to the stars she is watching, swooping across the night sky. “Watch the Stars” is the first single from her forthcoming new album and you can download it for free from Julia’s website.
Fear of Fiction – Record Store Day CD sampler
We finish up with a couple of nods to the forthcoming Record Store Day (20 April people, mark your calendar). First up is a little audio visual preview of their RSD release from Fear of Fiction records. Their limited to 100 copies CD release features six tracks from six different artists of varying styles, including the very excellent Salt Cathedral who we have featured on the site before.
The track listing is below and if you like what you hear (and why wouldn’t you?) you can pre-order the CD direct from Fear of Fiction.
1. Death Rattle – The Blows
2. Salt Cathedral – Take Me To The Sea
3. Kitchenettes – I Still Talk To Your Mother
4. Casimir – The Entire History Of You
5. Bare Pale – Shame
6. Idles – Introduction & Two Tone (Live)
Dutch Uncles – “Slave To The Atypical Rhythm”
Finally this week we have another brilliant cover version for your ears to fall in love with. This time from Dutch Uncles who have taken Grace Jones, dialled down the outlandish and scary, and come up with this brilliantly soft and soulful version of “Slave To The Rhythm”, which will be released on 12” vinyl exclusively for Record Store Day.
Prince & 3rd Eye Girl – “Let’s Go Crazy (2013 Rework)”
Ok, we know we said finally before but we just had to share this as when we heard it our immediate reaction was, ‘Ho-leeeeeeeee shit’.
Just listen to that fuzzier than Robin William’s back guitar as it drips all over this grinding, bluesy rework of the Prince syntho-classic, “Let’s Go Crazy”. We love Prince, you know we love Prince, we make no excuses for it and when he drops shit as awesome as this, we really don’t have to. Enjoy!
See you next week for more inbox related aural pleasure.