New Optimism – Jet Setters
Miho Hatori is the co-founder of the beloved NY Cibo Matto and was once a member of Gorillaz (she was the original voice of band member Noodle). Now she’s working under the new guise of New Optimism and her debut EP Amazon To LeFrak will be released on 27th July via Phantom Limb. First single ‘Jet Setters’ is a riot of dubby basslines, chunky industrial samples, rattling percussion and buzzing electronic flourishes while her vocals switch from chant to battle cry, it’s like M.I.A. smearing warpaint on her face in a tangle with the Go Team! it’s very magnetic and would make the perfect soundtrack to fire up the crowds for Trump’s visit next week #RESIST! (BC)
Sir-Vere – Night Time
The infamous Wall of Sound label has been noticeably branching out in recent times with the rowdy electropop of Kids On Bridges and Artbreak’s art pop stylings, but the breakbeat heavy sound of Sir-Vere is pretty close to their original dancefloor-slaying modus operandi. That said, the Milton Keynes-based trio are not content to stick to within strict genre classifications, drenching the sturdy beats of DJ and engineer Steve Vega in the swampy, hypnotic guitars riffs of Gary Morland and giving singer Craig Hammond free reign to add vocal hectoring not a million miles from Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman. The track tells a familiar story, a search for a party, girls and guitars and quite possibly the ingestion of substances best not discussed in a public forum like this. “In the night time,” insists the chorus, “the party never ends,” and with this cracker rotating on the decks, nor would you want it to. (BW)
Released on Wall of Sound on August 3.
Alpaca Sports – Summer Days
Alpaca Sports are back with a new album From Paris with Love this Autumn, It’s once again produced by Ian Catt (St Etienne, The Field Mice, etc). The track ‘Summer Days’ actually slipped our attention somehow back in February. But given the heat wave, we are experiencing its the perfect soundtrack, it finds Alpaca Sports on fine form with their trademark jangling pop and swooning bittersweet melodies that reflect on moving to a new city and summer days in love, are now tinged with a disco flavour, the expertly executed shimmering dancefloor beat influenced by the likes of the last Belle and Sebastian record, Aztec Camera, Saint Etienne and Abba! Director Carl Jirestedt describes the new video as a tribute to mysterious unlabeled VHS cassettes. The video takes the ALPACAS on a four-minute adventure from a Gothenburg apartment all the way to the bottom of the ocean. (BC)
Voyou – Papillon
The new single from French artist Voyou (which translates as “Rascal”) ‘Papillon’ is a delightfully sweet treat on a blazing hot day, twitching tropical beats and interspersed with insidious French language melodies and wonderful horns, it’s a bright infectious multicoloured sound of summer, that is influenced by the work of Flume, Etienne Daho and 50s lounge, there’s even a touch of Serge and Sacha Distell in here. Since the release of his debut EP On s’emmène avec toi, Voyou has been everywhere, opening for Polo & Pan, collaborating with the Yelle or playing the trumpet, which he learned when he was three, for François & the Atlas mountain. Voyou is currently working on his debut album with the help of Brazilian wunderkind Diogo Strausz – Balako on Joe Godard’s Greco-Roman. (BC)
Belau – Breath ft. Sophie Lindinger
Hungarian chillwave duo Belau have a habit of featuring different female singers on many of their songs and judging from their output I see no evidence of there being a shortage of them in Hungary. This time it’s the turn of Sophie Lindinger, but she’s actually Austrian and from the Vienna-based band Leyya. Perpetuating the Austro-Hungarian (music) empire, she’s the lyricist while Belau’s Péter Kedves writes the music.
Belau has an original aspiration – the creation of multiple concept LPs, each capturing the vibe of a different geographical region around the world. They get some practice in with this one, which has a Caribbean flavour to it, in tune with our Caribbean weather, which will soon be a distant memory.
‘Breath’ isn’t quite as catchy as ‘Redefine’, which was reviewed late last year, but it is certainly chilled. The retro video reminds me of Inter-Rail trips around Europe, way back when. (DB)
TEMPESST – A Little Bit of Trouble
Australian Gold Coast psych-rockers TEMPESST gear up for their second EP Doomsday (released July 27th) with this single, the video for which was intended to help them commit to memory an incident in an East London pub in which the band’s drummer was on the receiving end of some abuse. They don’t say what happened but the clue is in the title.
Presumably, the drummer is represented in the video by the dancer. “I swear to god they are looking at me again / A little bit of trouble at the end of the line,” sings Toma Banjanin, the drummer’s brother, as if it’s a recurring situation they’re used to, before declaring he’s “leaving all my bad behaviour behind”.
I’ve seen them live, they’re entertaining and really work up a head of steam, but are not in the least bit aggressive, though this song is possibly their strongest to date. (DB)
Lynda – Static
South-East London duo Lynda release their latest single ‘Static’ today, the second track from their forthcoming five-track debut EP.
Sliding somewhere between the dark minimalism of James Blake and the ghostly R&B of early Weeknd records with even a touch of Tears for Fears in the synth part, ‘Static’ is a mysterious genre blending midnight cut that unfurls into an insidious chorus. Laced with Khelil’s vocals which are muffled at first, adding to this intoxicating atmosphere, of this deeply impressive offering. They say: “Static is about the early stages of a relationship. It’s about the disappointing, gritty reality of getting intimate with someone new, and how it contrasts to all the fictional television romance stories that heighten your expectations.’ (BC)
Photo: Miho Hatori by Kimisa H