Sobs – Telltale Signs
Singapore-based trio Sobs release the delectable ‘Telltale Signs’; its a brilliant chiming slice of jangle-pop that shimmers with bittersweet vocals and excellent composition, rushing to a swooning chorus that captures the indecision and unrequited feelings of nascent love. It’s redolent of Alvvays, and Camera Obscura.
The band will release their debut album, Telltale Signs, on 22nd June via Singapore indie label Middle Class Cigars, and today share the video for the title-track. Shot by Gus Bendinelli (Snoop Dogg, Clara Mae, October London) and directed by Will Merrick, ‘We follow frontman Celine Autumn in a melancholic fever dream where she searches for an impossible love, wandering through wistful apparitions and fantasies of a different place far from home.’ (BC)
Angelo De Augustine – Carcassonne
The fortified medieval town of Carcassonne lies in the luscious Languedoc area of southwestern France. It also happens to be the title of the A-side of Angelo De Augustine’s latest single (out on the 29th of June through Asthmatic Kitty Records). Written as a gift to his first love, De Augustine explains “I was coincidentally about to go on my first EU tour [when she told me about it] but I didn’t have enough funds to bring her along with me, so I wrote this song for her so that she could go to Carcassonne anytime she’d like”.
The romantic sentiments of ‘Carcassonne’ and the delicate intricacy of De Augustine’s accompanying guitar reflect perfectly the ancient beauty and intimacy of the town that gave the song its name. It has to be one of the Californian singer-songwriter’s most heartfelt songs to date. And it promises much for the his next album, the follow-up to last year’s excellent Swim Inside The Moon and to which he is currently applying the finishing touches. (SG)
Jess Williamson – White Bird
Cosmic Wink is the sound of Jess Williamson’s artistic liberation. The Texan native relocated to Los Angeles a couple of years back to sustain romance and in search of a new way of life. It was there on the Californian coast that she began to write the songs that would eventually appear on her third album, Cosmic Wink (released last month on Mexican Summer).
And the music here serves notice of Jess Williamson’s creative evolution, her emergence from the darker shadows of her past into something that is altogether brighter and bolder. The blissful, uplifting country-pop of new single ‘White Bird’ – which heralds the announcement of a string of UK live dates in October – reflects this inspired transformation. (SG)
01/10 – Latest Music Bar – Brighton
03/10 – Lexington – London
04/10 – The Fulford Arms – York
06/10 – The Brudenell Social Club – Leeds
07/10 – Hug and Pint – Glasgow
08/10 – The Cluny – Newcastle
09/10 – Now Wave – Manchester
10/10 – The Sunflower Lounge – Birmingham
11/10 – Louisiana – Bristol The Essex Green – Don’t Leave It In Our Hands
The Essex Green – Don’t Leave It In Our Hands
Despite a band name that suggests anything but, The Essex Green hail from Brooklyn, New York. Connected to the Elephant 6 Recording Company – a 90’s collective of American musicians from which they emerged alongside such kindred indie-spirits as Apples In Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel and of Montreal – the trio of Jeff Baron, Sasha Bell, and Chris Ziter released a trio of albums either side of the new millennium before disappearing from immediate view in 2006.
Well, The Essex Green are now back and in full and clear sight. After an absence of 12 years, they will release their fourth album, Hardly Electronic on the 29th of June via Merge. In anticipation of that event they have put out a brand new single and video. And ‘Don’t Leave It In Our Hands’ confirms that an extended sabbatical has clearly done nothing to diminish the three songwriters’ combined ability to find their way very adroitly around a powerful pop melody. (SG)
Irma Vep – Evil
Irma Vep is Edwin Stevens from Llanfairfechan, North Wales. Thrust into life after his mum bought a four track recorder for him, Edwin started recording for the cathartic process rather than the outcome.
Having since fully grown into Irma Vep and now residing in Glasgow, Stevens’ discography has expanded to document every aspect of his music. Stevens moonlights in several other groups (Sex Hands, Klaus Kinski, Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, Yerba Mansa…). Irma Vep feels like what “classic” music should feel like if it weren’t so Classic. Each record, each song and each performance exists as an evolving drama.
Edwin has toured the West Coast of America after being invited by Chris Johanson to play his Quiet Music Festival of Seattle and Portland. Irma Vep’s latest offering ‘Evil’ is a shapeshifting tour de force that merges surf guitars with more experimental influences talks of repression and the consequences of repression, channeling Edwin’s influences of The Rebel, Lou Reed, Katherine Dunn, Dennis Cooper, Michael Yonkers amongst others.
The single, b/w ‘Holiday’, is due on limited 7″ vinyl plus digital platforms on June 22nd, via Handsome Dad Records, the label renowned for issuing early releases from Jerkcurb, babeheaven, The Big Moon and Makeness. (BC)
Highasakite – Elastic State of Mind
True to their word Highasakite have released another single, following ‘Out of Order’, as they build towards a third international album release towards the end of the year. With a heavy heart though, I have to say that what is possibly my favourite band hasn’t quite reached the high standards I expect from them with ‘Elastic State of Mind’.
It lacks the immediacy of ‘Out of Order’, there isn’t the striking melody or clever bridge they usually shine at, there is a little too much repetition, and the track is built out of sudden explosive shifts into big synths and booming drums in much the same way as the previous single but less convincingly.
It has its saving graces of course. There is a powerful synth bass line early on and Ingrid Helene Håvik’s engagingly rambling lyrics are back in full bloom as she insists she wants “none of those games, love”, compares crossing the desert to making a copy of a copy and sings about tearing someone’s clothes off.
It could possibly become a disco banger but I’m not sure that’s what their fans were really hoping for. For those reasons the next single has taken on greater significance in indicating Highaskite’s future direction. (DB)
(Full review in ‘Nordic Music Scene’ on 2nd July, 2018)
Night Giants – Resistor
Leeds duo Night Giants forge midnight electronic music on their brooding new single ‘Resistor’ welds a ominous rumble of synths to insistent beats, like a meeting point at the intersection of Underworld and The Chemical Brothers. It is produced by Lee Malcolm who mixes in between his work with Vessels and Jinje.
‘Resistor’, is the band’s fourth single and brings a darker techno sound following recent Electro/Acid single ‘Hold On Tight’. This single will be followed by five more tracks in 2018, one released every month. (BC)