What? ‘In Time’
What they say? Chicago trio FACS was founded in 2017 by former Disappears members Brian Case & Noah Leger, along with their bandmate Jonathan van Herik. After van Herik amicably parted ways with the group just before their debut album “Negative Houses”‘s release, Case & Leger recruited longtime friend Alianna Kalaba (Cat Power, We Ragazzi) to play bass & FACS began methodically destroying live venues across the world. “Lifelike” is their sophomore release; six tracks clocking in at half an hour, carrying forward the musical trail blazed by the debut towards a new frontier. Album standout “In Time” careens with purpose with cascading sheets of guitar noise over the rhythm sections ever-advancing march.
Why we love it? An often tense, foreboding and claustrophobic experience, ‘In Time’ combines elements of industrial post punk, post rock and shoegaze and pours them into one dark, experimental cauldron that churns, gushes and spills into another dimension. (NK)
FFO: Beak>, Battles, Liars.
What? ‘I Feel Alright’
What they say? Leeds based singer/songwriter Imi is releasing her brand new EP on March 15th, consisting of three intense and retrocentic tracks that perfectly encapsulate the lush and gloriously produced future-pop she masterfully intertwines with dark atmospherics.
“Lines was inspired by Jim Jarmusch’s film ‘Paterson’” Imi tells us, “which observes the structured monotony of life, and how we squeeze joy from our passions at every liberating opportunity. The film offers a charmingly modest perception of this, but at the time it provoked some deepening frustrations at the limited prospects for myself and so many creatives.”
Why we love it? Imi crafts a web of seductive synth sounds informed by Travelogue-era Human League, and infuses it with layered, swooping vocals that illicit a mystery that breaks free from the every day monotony. (BC)
FFO: Human League, Kraftwerk, Goldfrapp, Ladytron
Who? Guide Dog
What? ‘Generation Y’
What they say? ‘Generation Y’, the second single from Guide Dog’s second album of the same name, comes at a time when children are bunking off school to protest outside Parliament about Westminster’s flimsy and inadequate response to climate change – prompting a swift and aggressive backlash by the politicians who dismissed the adolescents and ridiculed their irresponsibility; and the American president staging an imaginary state of emergency in a vein attempt to bludgeon Capitol Hill into funding a giant border wall whilst triumphantly filling his house with branded cheeseburgers to feed his unpaid staff and denying climate change is even happening…so it’s probably an appropriate juncture for a protest song!
Guide Dog is the brainchild of Peter Roberts (People In Planes/Cold Specks), he is also writing new music with London singer ARLO (see their acclaimed co-write ‘Safe’) and Ladan Hussein, Cold Specks (MUTE). In 2017 Peter released his debut Guide Dog album entitled ‘Lovely Domestic Bliss’.
Why we love it? Encapsulating the confusion, fluidity and anger felt by the left behind millenial generation. Laced with wit, addictive yelping vocals and underscored by a battered beat box and kick ass riffs. The kind of protest song we need. (BC)
FFO: Dinosaur Junior, The Pixies, Mclusky, Pil
Who? Sports Team
What? ‘Get Along’
What they say? Ahead of the band’s first trip to the United States and a debut UK headline run later in the month, Sports Team continue to preview their new Keep Walking! EP, with the release of new track ‘Get Along’. The accompanying video showcases life on the road, but one with more hillside rambles and less service stations, while using footage of their peerless live shows, an experience that’s helped build a community (a fan-led whatsapp group of hundreds exists if anyone was wanting incessant notifications) from relentless touring – something they look to continue to do throughout the rest of 2019.
Why we love it? Harking right back to the golden age of Britpop and Blur’s halcyon days, ‘Get Along’ is a three chord guitar-pop nugget of pure joy. This definitely ain’t reinventing the wheel, but Sports Team’s nostalgic slacker spirit worms its way into your heart and never really leaves. (NK)
FFO: The Vaccines, Blur, Palma Violets
What? ‘I’ll Have What She’s Having’
What they say? “This song is about the grass being greener on the other side from the perspective of someone standing on a circle. We’re both really fascinated by different societal expectations and cultural standards of success and how something that’s actually so intimate and subjective, ie. one’s own success and self worth, is dictated by the masses. There is no right or wrong way in our opinion. At the same time there’s this massive spectrum between something like the hikikomori phenomenon in Japan and someone like Kendall Jenner and Fyre festival – this song is us perching ourselves on the fence and observing the pendulum swinging to and fro.”
Why we love it? Unashamedly 80s in its plasticised, wonky synth pop sound, Wooze’ ‘Hello Can You Go’ is equal parts Japan, Gary Numan and SPARKS. Leading with a contagiously crunchy, new wave guitar riff nicked straight from the ‘Tubeway Army handbook of unshakeable earworms’, WOOZE concoct a swaggering homage to the post-glam era with wacky, retro-robotic vocals to boot. (NK)
FFO: Gary Numan, Japan, SPARKS
Who? Faith Eliott
What they say? ‘Loomis’ is taken from Faith Eliott’s debut LP Impossible Bodies, inspired by Faith’s fascination with medieval bestiaries – illustrated animal compendiums that assigned lessons or symbolism to each creature.
When we think of evolution, we often think of think of this process in terms of survival of the fittest. We might picture a chorus line of ferocious beasts with claws and teeth, all jostling for dominance across the eons. Rarely do we contemplate the humble sea sponge – a creature so ancient that it is speculated to be the planet’s first animal. With their new single ‘Loomis’, Faith seeks to remedy this shortfall in the mainstream narrative of Earth’s history. This is a love song for an ancient sea sponge living on a dying coral reef.
Why we love it? The latest from Scottish-based, Minneapolis-born folk artist Faith Eliott is a beautiful and wondrous tribute to nature, glistening and unfurling its rich tapestry of sounds. Who knew the humble sea sponge could be so wonderfully majestic? (NK)
FFO: Rosie Carney, Meursault, Kate Bush.
Where? North East England
What they say? North East post-indie rockers PLAZA release latest single ‘Hold’ via Leeds-based label Clue Records.
Why we love it? ‘Hold’ is another introspective, yet blisteringly urgent banger from the Hartlepool 4-piece, capitalising on the band’s knack for minimalist melodies, spacious dream pop atmospherics and thunderous choruses that are made for big crowds. (NK)
FFO: JAWS, DIIV, Blaenavon.