Natalie Prass – Short Court Style
‘Short Court Style’ is the lead single taken from Natalie Prass‘s forthcoming second album, The Future and the Past (out on 1st June via ATO Records). In what is a marked directional change from her self-titled debut album and just like the roundabout on which the singer-songwriter from Richmond, Virginia spins in the song’s accompanying video (produced by Prass herself and Erica Prince with Jethro Waters as Director of Photography), ‘Short Court Style’ is a dizzying blast of colourful retro funk-pop. (SG)
The Creature Comfort – Alone By Your Side
Mark E Smith may be dead, but his spirit lives on here through the wonderfully gnarly and elongated vocals of Ben Le Jeune and his Manchester (where else?!) crew The Creature Comfort. The sound draws on the same garage rock templates of The Stooges and MC5 and 50s rockabilly that inspired The Fall, but the twist they add is a downward facing chorus faintly reminiscent of Motörhead, plus a few ‘wooos’ half-inched from The Beatles’ ‘I Am The Walrus’. It’s fast, gloriously chaotic and short and sweet enough to make you want to put it straight on for a second spin the moment it’s over. ‘Alone By Your Side’ will be self-released and distributed by AWAI on 16th March 2018 (BW)
DATAROCK – Laugh in the Face of Darkness
Electronic act DATAROCK hasn’t released an album for nine years and this track, ‘Laugh in the Face of Darkness’ is taken from ‘Face the Brutality’, which will be out on 9th March on their own YAP Records label. The album title is referenced directly in the lyrics here, which otherwise seem to consist of a lexicon of idioms. It certainly makes for an interesting variation on rap. Perhaps they should trademark it as ‘yap’.
Their style, which features widely as a soundtrack to online games, also in The Vampire Diaries and even on adverts for Google and Apple, suggests Spandau Ballet making a surreal attempt at art rock-indie-dance and is a refreshing find. (DB)
Snøffeltøffs – The Beat
Snøffeltøffs, from Frohnau, in a rough northern part of Berlin, belong to the Shit-Fi Pop genre, whatever that is. It has its own magazine, which concerns “The Political Economy of Bad Music”. Actually, the song isn’t that bad.
Headed up by vocalist J.Z. (no relation), who apparently is often compared to Pete Doherty on the German scene, the band writes about their adolescence and unfulfilled dreams in a city where supposedly anything is possible, but not for them. “The Beat” here is what drives the “haves”, not the “have-nots” and stands quite cleverly juxtaposed with Kerouac and Ginsberg’s Beat Generation of the 1950s and ’60s, which rejected conventional society if that was Snøffeltøffs’ intention.
Musically, there is something of early 1960s Byrds and Hollies about them and even a touch of 1950s skiffle, to add to the conundrum.
‘The Beat’ is the first single from Snøffeltøffs’ forthcoming album ‘Frohnau’, which will be released on 18th May 2018 on Snowhite Records/Rough Trade. (DB)
Beauty Sleep – The Feeling Back
The opening bars of ‘The Feeling Back’ have Fleetwood Mac written all over them but the song takes on a more psych, dream-pop oriented sound later, courtesy of the synth-line that permeates the track throughout.
Beauty Sleep is an indie-pop three-piece from Belfast and the song speaks of nostalgia for youthful feelings where “the world is your oyster,” which is a little difficult to get a handle on as they all look as if they are still in their teens. They worked an impressive array of festivals in 2017 and are already lined up for more this year.
‘The Feeling Back’ was released independently on 9th February and is available on all major streaming platforms. It will feature on their debut album, scheduled for release in September. (DB)
Chrome Sparks – Still Think
Chrome Sparks (aka Jeremy Malvin) is a new singing for Counter records (a Ninja Tune imprint) for his forthcoming eponymous debut album, layers of intricate synth work and samples are pieced together with meticulousness on his new single ‘Still Think’. The vocoder vocals and sweet melodies meanwhile show a craft for pop songwriting that’s matched to Moog synths and expanding lush textures. The album is the product of an obsessive approach to production as much it is about a restless hunt for new ideas over several years spent between Malvin’s Navy Yard, Brooklyn studio and a secluded cabin in upstate New York. (BC)
The Ninth Wave – New Kind of Ego
The Ninth Wave revealed the video for ‘New Kind Of Ego’, the first single lifted from their forthcoming second EP ‘Never Crave Attention’ out April 20th on Distiller Records earlier this week.
Produced by Dan Austin (Massive Attack, Sløtface) at The Distillery, ‘New Kind Of Ego’ possesses an impressive scope swooping in with elements of ominous post-punk redolent of Bauhaus. Led by frontman Haydn Park, whose booming impassioned voice clawing at flaws is perfectly complemented by a thumping widescreen sound of sinuous synth lines, clanging riffs and duelling female vox that give their sound a different edge, its both grand and billowing yet brooding and intensely personal all at once. Drawing on their own experiences on Glasgow’s scarce music scene and the decrepit state of society. Speaking about the new single, Haydn says: “‘New Kind Of Ego’ is a dialogue between two people and their insecurities in each other, focusing on the reasons for this lack of trust.” (BC)