Dirty Projectors – Break-Thru
Dave Longstreth has clearly had enough of all that breaking up malarkey as he has now decided to step away from all things dissolution and come back into the fold with something that is altogether more chipper. After last year’s self-titled goodbye to all that, here he encourages his merry band of sonic experimentalists the Dirty Projectors to go on and ‘Break-Thru’.
The lead single from Dirty Projectors’ follow-up Lamp Lit Prose – due out on 13th July on Domino – is a chirpy little number. Flecked with guitar and a general sense of well-being it also heralds what will be Dirty Projectors first tour in five long years. Longstreth will be going out on the road later this month with an outfit comprising his long-time rhythm section of Nat Baldwin (bass) and Mike Johnson (drums), alongside three brand new band members – Felicia Douglass (percussion/vocals), Maia Friedman (guitar/vocals) and Kristin Slipp (keyboards/vocals) – first in his native United States then crossing the North American border into Canada, jetting off to Japan, mainland Europe before landing in dear old Blighty in August for a handful of dates. (SG)
16th – 18th August – Green Man Festival
19th August – The Art School, Glasgow
20th August – Leeds University (Riley Smith Hall)
21st and 22nd August – Village Underground, London
The Garrys – Makeout at the Drive-In
If you just happen to have five minutes or so to spare you could do much, much worse than give the The Garrys’ new single ‘Makeout at the Drive-In’ a quick spin on the old record machine. Here Erica, Julie and Lenore Maier, those sibling sisters from Saskatoon, create a luscious swell of slow surf swing that quickly works its wistful way beneath your skin.
Released on the 13th of May through Grey Records, ‘Makeout at the Drive-In’ will have inveigled itself deep into your subconsciousness by the time that the trio make their appearance at Brighton’s The Great Escape Festival the following weekend. (SG)
Sauropod – I Know Where You’ve Been
There’s something slightly saucy about the title of Sauropod’s latest single. Shades of Frankie Howerd in Up Pompeii! Or Les Dawson and Roy Barraclough in a Cissie & Ada sketch. Sid James chasing Babs Windsor around the bedroom in ‘What a Carry On…’ A particularly suggestive Bamforth postcard perhaps.
It has been hard to “place” Sauropod, which is named after a lizard-hipped dinosaur. The Oslo trio’s last single that I reviewed, ‘Never on Time’ had a head-banging melodic pop-rock sound to it with a pumping bass line but I recall noting that not all their material followed the same pattern, even if it is all played at a fair pace. Nordic bands are rarely simple to categorise.
Six months later they’re back with another melodic head-banger, this time a little heavier and the first single from a forthcoming self-titled EP to be released on 24th August, so I guess this is the future for a dinosaur that escaped extinction. I’m not surprised to learn that they’ve supported Sløtface, Norway’s premier exponent of tune-soaked pop-punk, even if they are on the same label.
At times a little of the old grunge slips into this track as well. In fact the opening bars could be Nirvana, and especially that recurring Novoselic-like bass line.
The song is about “being in a shitty mood and still trying to have fun”. Favourite line – “A cloud is taking a leak; the town is filled with a reek”. Priceless.
Sauropod are Jonas Røyeng (guitar, vocals), Kamilla Waal Larsen (bass, vocals) and Jørgen Natland Apeness (drums).
Sauropod return to the UK later this year for their first headline shows. (DB)
Lykke Li – deep end
The woman who would be the new Madonna. I never forgot that claim from an interview in 2008 or 2009 after Lykke Li’s debut album ‘Youth Novels’ was released. Ms Ciccone’s star may be waning now but Ms Zachrisson’s hasn’t quite risen to its zenith yet.
There are, though, high hopes for her fourth album, ‘so sad so sexy,’ which will be released on 8th June and which will be reviewed in GIITTV. Like the title, all the tracks are in lower case – no doubt the reason will be revealed – and many are sexually suggestive, as indeed is this single, ‘deep end’, one of two to have been released so far. Coincidentally, it also contains the line “I know where you’ve been” (see the Sauropod review). Innuendo seems to be catching on in Scandinavia.
This track seems to be at odds with much of her previous work as she opts for danceable trap-influenced hip-hop, which is not surprising since it has three producers – Jeff Bhasker, Malay, and T-Minus – all of whom are associated with that genre. (And again I feel I sense the influence of Banks). That isn’t the case with the other single, ‘hard rain’ though. That’s a ballad, which suggests there will be plenty of variety on the album. (DB)
Artbreak – Soda Can
Artbreak have been dropping demos under the radar for a while and the South London five piece spring back into action with their new release, ‘Soda Can’, which is produced by the legendary Tony Visconti, already picking up plays with BBC Introducing, Janice Long and Radio X the track is out May 18 on Wall of Sound.
‘Soda Can’ explores the transient nature of modern life. As disjointed guitars offset a beautifully polished production, we are greeted with this complex world of psychological and conflicting perceptions represented perfectly in the sound, delivering this new wave romanticism which is off-set with a post-punk spikiness and sparkling riffs that shine through a scathed backdrop of crunching guitars. The opening stabs are contrasted with a whirling Wurlitzer, troubadour vocals and crunching guitars before continuing in romantic but multi-layered fashion, with a smooth, dreamlike optimism similar to that of Weird Milk, Trudy & The Romance or Adam & Elvis.
The video is infused with a scrunched-up data-moshing, emphasising this wonderful distortion, playing like an intermission from outer-space, could be a broken tv set taking you on a journey from bold graffiti laden signals to the soothing water wooooshing, with a romantic, disjointed pop like appeal, on an endless dream that could take you anywhere. (SC)
Photo: The Garrys by Matt Williams