As part of the blog collective we are each highlighting acts we have found upon the pages of our fellow bloggers(Which also includes fine blogs Drunkenwerewolf, The Blue Walrus and The Metaphorical Boat. ). The first installment in our picks comes from The Von Pip Express, one of my favourite blogs, helmed by Scouse cult hero Andy Von Pip the Frank Sidebottom of music blogging he carries with him his cardboard Von Pip face to conceal his true identity. Andy is a man of great wit and impeccable musical taste, he imbues a personality and irreverence to his writing. Here are five of the many acts he has unearthed for our listening delectation in the last few years along with some of his words on said acts…
Danish singer Gun sounding imperious, impassioned, poetic and more like Patti Smith, then erm Patti Smith at times here. There’s always been a brooding cinematic vibe to Lola Colt’s oeuvre which we’d previously described as a ‘swirling musical maelstrom, a space age psychedelic spaghetti western‘ and whilst ‘Vacant Hearts’ retains echoes of this that description perhaps doesn’t do this track justice. Because this is also the sound of a band expanding their palette, a band at the top of their game and a band willing to push the musical envelope whilst refusing to be pigeonholed.?
With the festival season about to kick off with Liverpool Sound City in just a few weeks undoubtedly one of the must see bands is Wolf Alice. They quite literally unleash another musical storm in the shape of ‘Storms’ from their forthcoming ‘Creature Songs’ EP and yes it’s fabulous.
This time Wolf Alice produce a soaring grunged up shoegazey anthem, with a rumbling bass line that makes Killing Joke’s explosive percussive exertions sound somewhat insubstantial. Anyway we’ll leave the thesaurus aside and simply say this is what real talent sounds like, this is a band who genuinely are the real deal. The debut album is certainly shaping up to be a classic.
It also demonstrates that Beck Wood and John Ridgard are a formidable song-writing duo who have taken their own musical influences and created something of a Lynchian pop noir tour de force . Their music is crafted around the power of John’s shimmering psyche infused guitar licks and the languid sensuality of Beck’s vocals. The majestic Mary Chain meets Mazzy Star album opener, ‘Fall Out Of Love’ is an appropriate way to start proceedings given that ‘Soft Friday’ could be described as the anatomy of a doomed relationship, informed as it is by the breakdown of Beck’s previous big romance.
Song titles such as ‘Fool For You,’ ‘Bad Kick to the Heart’ and ‘Cast A Shadow‘ serve notice that you are about to be taken on a journey in which various stages of a crumbling relationship are documented – infatuation, love, desire, rejection, pain, enmity and resentment and perhaps ultimately closure. Beck has said, “I was trying to voice my anger. At the time I was freshly single so I thought, right, let’s get the knives out!” In addition, it proves that the most interesting and emotionally engaging music is so often produced under a veil of heartbreak. ‘Fool For your Face’ and ‘Wake Up” for example are raw, honest and heartbreakingly beautiful; ‘Let The Sun Go’ shows flashes of anger but despite Beck deliberating on revenge the overall tone of the album is one of a dignified, bruised nobility, honest but generally free from real rancour.Throughout the album Beck’s vocals veer between the cool aloofness of Nico to a more emotionally engaged Lana Del Rey, which weave in and out of John’s maelstrom of reverbing off-kilter guitars, subtle electronic flourishes and driving post-baggy beats. Every song is a psyche pop gem and Coves show that when you channel heartbreak and misery into something constructive you can create something that positively shimmers with life affirming beauty.
LOIS AND THE LOVE
When we first heard singer Lois’ remarkable voice it was one of those explosive musical atom splitting moments inside your head when you stand slack-jawed in awe trying to mouth “WTF.” You could compare Lois Winstone’s impassioned slightly unhinged vocals favourably to any number of iconic female artists and yet you still wouldn’t quite able to encapsulate the essence of this band. One minute they are sculpting psychedelic space rock, the next they’re channelling the spirit of grunge. The band are currently working on their début album collaborating with the legendary Youth and if it lives up to their early promise then we genuinely believe the sky could be the limit for Lois and The Love.
The hugely talented Natalie McCool’s has made quite a name for herself on the Liverpool scene with a critically acclaimed debut album already under her belt. Her first release for Young & Lost Club should see her develop a fan base further afield as ‘Wind Blows Harder’ displays her ability as both a singer and songwriter to produce memorable genre straddling tunes. The track was produced by David Berger of Liverpool band ‘Outfit’ and the video sees Natalie in full on Xena meets The Hunger Games mode.