Bromide – Two Song Slot
Clocking in at just a shade under two and half minutes and chock-full of efficient energy and a melody that splices euphoria with regret, like all great pop records before it, ‘Two Song Slot’ doesn’t overstay its welcome. The first single to be taken from Bromide’s forthcoming fifth album I Woke Up (out on 25th May via Scratchy Records) catches the London-based three-piece rising from their slumbers – their last album, I Remember was released back in 2015 – before punching a rather large and splendid hole in the modern alt-rock landscape. (SG)
Fishbach – Eternité
With the recent passing of Johnny Hallyday and Eurovision-winning yé–yé star France Gall we are reminded that a certain entente cordiale has existed between the musical orbs of France and the UK, and that indeed it has been revived recently by the excellent Héloïse Letissier, aka Christine and the Queens.
Flora Fishbach (her real name) caused quite a stir in France in 2017, becoming the new Bohemian pop darling, and 2018 looks like it’ll be her breakout year both here and elsewhere, even if she only sings in French. Born in Dieppe, a sort of Channel port equivalent of Hastings, she released her debut album À ta merci to considerable praise in January, and by November she was taking home the album révélation at Le Prix des Indés, the coveted prize for best independent debut of the year.
What she shares with Letissier is charisma and androgynous and musically idiosyncratic pop, to which she adds a smoky contralto voice – and there aren’t many of those – that sounds like it has suffered from a few too many Gitanes and Gauloises. Seemingly her live act challenges Letissier for its theatricality.
With the album now fully released internationally by Sony, ‘Eternité’ is the latest video from it. (DB)
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Sylvia Says
Last November Charlotte Gainsbourg released Rest, her first studio album proper in eight years. Some four months later and just ahead of a select string of European dates – including an already sold out show at London’s Underground on the 29th of March – the French actor and singer announces her new single ‘Sylvia Says’.
Taken from Felt, here we get the Tensnake Remix whereby the celebrated German DJ and producer adds his considerable modern dancefloor heft to the song, wrapping Gainsbourg’s breathy, gossamer-thin vocals in a relentless minimalist Eurodisco pop beat. (SG)
Kathryn Joseph – Tell My Lover
Kathryn Joseph is set to release a new 7” single ‘Tell My Lover / The Last Four’ – her first release since signing to Glasgow’s Rock Action. Out on 26th April 2018, the single follows her superb debut album bones you have thrown me and blood i’ve spilled, which won the SAY award – Scottish Album of the Year – in 2015. The single’s intimate A-side ‘Tell My Lover’ is another masterclass in vocal dynamics and songwriting deconstruction that’s heartbreakingly introspective and powerful. Piano notes like a whirlpool circle as Joseph converses with a lover with a trembling heart-stopping, impending air of finality as they descended to the depths. It’s the first taste of music from her forthcoming second album, which will be released by Rock Action this summer.
Kathryn Joseph is also confirmed to play the Robert Smith-curated Meltdown Festival this June. (BC)
Breakfast Muff – Crocodile
Scotland’s Breakfast Muff follow up their brilliant 2017 album Eurgh! with new single ‘Crocodile’. Nagging with the post-punk hooks and stomping percussion, this little beauty gathers into three pronged stuttering refrains about not ‘trusting the crocodile’ or it could all end in crocodile tears (groan). One imagines this is the sound that Orange Juice and the Slits’ would play if they’d been brought up on c86vrecords although that comparison might be one we should bury with the NME paper. Anyway, watch the homemade video below, it’s rather fun.
In true Breakfast Muff style, the Crocodile EP was recorded in one day with Eurgh! producer Rick Webster (Highpony Studio) and mixing duties handled once again by Hookworms’ MJ (Suburban Studio). The single ‘Crocodile’ is about, “someone guilting you and projecting their problems onto things you are doing!” says Simone. (BC)
Sock – Bored
Sock‘s ‘Bored’ is a lazy languid jazz-flecked shrug but underestimate this deceptive tune at your peril because it’s slouching groove weaves its way into your brain box like later Blur or Pavement in the slow lane. Sock show some serious potential. Sock emerged on the local scene in late 2017 with live sets on Sofar Sounds and at Sŵn Festival, as well as support slots with emerging Cardiff stalwarts Boy Azooga and Buzzard, pricked the ears of all encountering them; their lazy, trippy, funk-rock instantly both endearing and impressive.
Their first single ‘Bored’ is taken from their debut album, Fresh Bits, which was recorded in a day in the rural farmlands of mid-Wales, capturing the pure essence of their live shows. The album, mixed by Will Barnes and mastered by Charlie Francis at Synergy Mastering, will be released on 1st June, 2018 through Bubblewrap Collective. (BC)
Mk.gee – Over Here
Mk.gee is the sound of half-remembered funk-pop song blaring out from the other room, infectious keyboard motifs, and lashings of harmonies. The embers of disco, hip hop and house beats are all squashed, stretched and reassbled into a sun dappled cut, a spoonful of sunshine pop for a spring day. Somehiw from his LA bedroom Mk.gee has crafted a playfully affectionate sound that’s utterly addictive, familiar of the past yet basking in the afternoon summer sun with a large drink in hand. (BC)