Tip Tape for 2013 7

Tip Tape for 2013

This year’s shortlists of tips from bloggers and mainstream alike proved to me once again that despite the fiercely guarded independence of music media the ‘industry’ and promotional muscle can still help an artist get through to a wider audience. Haim are the biggest case in point; MOR music remodelled for the mainstream and that’s where they are heading, which is fine if you like being trapped in ’80’s pop hell, but it’s a bit obvious isn’t it? I asked myself why do we tip artists we like? Because we want to smugly sit on high and tell you how right we were in twelve months time? No. Or to spend the next six months pushing something we believe is the sound of 2013 even if you don’t and it’s an outmoded and clichéd idea? No. We champion acts because we love what they do and hope that they will release more good material and more people will hear them in the next year. So rather than tail-chasing tips these are some of the newer sounds and artists that I’m enjoying, if any of them have broken through in twelve months I won’t be telling you I told you so but smiling to myself as I listen to their new album.

1. Joanna Gruesome – Madison

The fabulously named Joanna Gruesome are a collection of five whipper-snappers from Cardiff who produce the most fabulously grin inducing noise pop. Their scrappy sound of careering post punk rhythms and sweetly spatting boy/girl vocals scribbles rampantly all over the blueprints of the indie pop/c86/rrioott girl/ and US slacker college rock sounds that have been popularised again in recent years. That they do it all with such riotous abandon lends JoGru a fascinating, incendiary edge.

Stuck in Cardiff with the London blues, nothing to do but get loaded on bubblegum and record a 7” before you get bored all over again and start shooting water pistols into the sea. We’ve kept our beady eyes on JoGru for well over a year as they lead the vanguard of exciting noise pop bands from Wales.  They’ve released rather ace 7″s on Art is Hard Records and HHBTM Records and are just about to record an album for Fortuna Pop.



2. Alpaca Sports  – Just For Fun

Alpaca Sports are a delightful boy/girl duo from Gothenburg, Sweden. The mastermind behind the outfit is Andreas Jonsson and their bittersweet lilting boy/girl jangle pop is quite wonderful. They’ve released a series of singles this year including the swoonsome ‘She’ll Come Back for Indian Summer’ and ‘I Was Running.’

I rather love the wistful mood of ‘Just for Fun’. Whilst it’s elegant jangle pop sound captures the effortless lovelorn of Camera Obscura prime time, the splendid refrain of ‘I used to kiss her just for fun’ melts to heartbreak quicker than a 99 on a sweltering day, while the ba ba ba backings of Amanda Åkerman takes one back in time to R.E.M.‘s splendid ‘Near Wild Heaven‘ single. ‘Just for Fun’ is simply gorgeous. Alpaca Sports will release the new single ‘As long as I have you’ on February 8th on a 7″ vinyl by Cloudberry Records (US) and digital by Luxury (Sweden). They are also currently working on a debut album slated for 2013 also on Cloudberry Records…

Death At Sea Manchester IMG 3250

3. Death at Sea – Drag

Liverpool five piece Death At Sea are invading their noisy punk-pop territory with real vim and vigour.  Their debut limited edition 7″ AA-side single ‘Drag’ / ‘Selfless’ depicted a band at home in their skins, as they effortlessly produce keening melodies riding waves of gloriously hi-fi cartwheeling fuzz pop redolent of Husker Du and early Ash. Indeed ‘Drag’ is all swaggering guitars and lip curling melodies (‘When he’s with her she bleeds glitter’) fizzy rhythms it makes dead-weight heartbreak and low self esteem sound positively electric. With a burgeoning live reputation Death At Sea will be one to clap eyes and ears on this year.


4. Cinnamon Girl – Friends

London based Denmark born Cinnamon Girl AKA Camilla Roholm released her delightful debut offering ‘Friends’  in 2012; a gloriously euphoric disco pop joint that’s multi coloured synth stomps, slinky funk bass-line/guitar lick marriage and Camilla’s sassy soulful vocals take it into a different flamboyant stratosphere to her tiresome contemporaries (La Roux, Little Boots et al). Grace Jones, Cyndi Lauper and early Madonna are floating around in the background here, while her melodic imagination reminds one of the young Kelis, but really ‘Friends’ just sounds so vibrant and fresh that comparisons are utterly futile. Grab your hair brush and get down to your local disco to dance and sing along to this one. With an addictive widescreen electro-pop single ‘Devil In Me’ released in the Summer and a few remixes since we hope to hear more from the flamboyant Cinnamon Girl in 2013.


5. MYSTYRYS – Normals

London 3-piece MYSTYRYS craft a determinedly lo-fi no-wave sound that’s colliding post-punk rhythms and yelped out melodies winding tightly around these sharp little experimental pop nuggets. Whilst the influence of early post punk bands like Gang of Four and Wire (little wonder given Andy Ramsey was at the controls here) is here the outfit cite more recent influences such as Deerhoof, Women and Abe Vigoda too. They are self-releasing their first single ‘Normals/Shadows‘ on 3rd September via our label, Psychic Healing Network. It will be a cassette tape/digital download.

First side ‘Normals’ tangled guitar sparring twists and falls down abandoned stairwells and collapses on its knees crawling through the underground on the lookout for the outcasts, occasionally letting out screeches and scrapes of noise and stopping for a breath. I assume it’s about not being normal at all. Their recent double A-side single, ‘Cloud Appreciation’ / ‘Sea Ice’, shows a clear progression in their song writing as 60’s psych harmonies begin to seep through their raucous slabs of noise.


 6. Plaided – We Don’t Bite

Plaided are a duo of girls from Vienna, Austria. They have a unique sound, great songs and like the more cerebral bands of the world open up something larger than you can quite get a finger on encapsulating black art rock and crashing experimentalism. The bands debut album ‘Playdate’ made some important Best of 2012 lists and they play the UK for only the second ever time just before hitting SWSX Festival. ‘We Don’t Bite’ sees their caustic tumbling psych noise threaded with hand holding visceral harmonies both seductive and eye twinkly sinister. Plaided play for Damnably at Former Utopia‘s 10″ ‘Colapsar’ EP release party on Feb 8th 2013.

Web: http://www.plaided.org/


7. Slowdim – Don’t Cough Me Out

Boston’s Slowdim have been bubbling under for over a year, described as ‘dreampop’ by some their clattering lo-fi sound has been given a new buff on album track ‘Money’. However it was their debut EP ‘Spirals‘ that caught our ear; ‘Don’t Cough Me Out’ builds from modest rattlings and fuzz box strummings into a epic battered gem as vocalist Paul bashes out positive affirmations above a maelstrom of thudding drums and surging noise. They are currently working on a debut album and we surely await the results.



8. Annie Dressner – Fly

Annie Dressner was a new name on us until relatively recently; a singer/songwriter from New York City who recently decamped to the UK. Since moving here, she has played at Cambridge Folk Festival, Secret Garden Party, Cluny2, etc. Her debut album of last year  “Strangers Who Knew Each Other’s Names” is an utter delight; songs like ‘Fly’ and ‘September’ are deceptively sweet ditties: Annie’s wistful vocals and imagery lull you it their pretty melodic bubbles before delivering a bitter lovelorn after taste. The long player shows a songwriter comfortable in her own skin, her floating vocals ache with a bittersweet quality that puts her work somewhere between the yearning balladry of Sea of Bees and the country sway of Caitlin Rose, yet retaining her own distinctive voice. Annie’s new EP “East Twenties” will be released on April 8, 2013 and she’s currently working on an EP that will be released later in 2013.
Music: http://AnnieDressner.Bandcamp.com
Website: www.AnnieDressner.com


9. Shy and the Fight – How to Stop an Imploding Man

North Walian collective Shy and the Fight are – deep breath – Michael Deponeo (Guitar, Vocals), Christopher Done (Bass, Vocals), Thomas Hyndman (Guitar, Banjo, Vocals), Carrie Anderson (Violin, Glockenspiel, Vocals), Jackson Almond (Keys, Electronics, Banjo), Tom Wootton (Drums) and Samuel Williams (Drums, Percussion, Cornet).  Their multi-instrumented sound replete with two drummers weaves a deliciously life affirming sound, their intertwined harmonies headed by Deponeo’s brittle harmonies that pump with a heart stopping power held aloft by a chorus of voices that lift these songs higher and higher skyward. Flanked by Anderson on violin and glock and Almond on keys and banjo, comparisons are useless but perhaps one could liken it to the intricate crashing sound of early Broken Social Scene or the swelling gorgeousness of Iron & Wine. Their single release last year on orange vinyl ‘All that we see or seem’ is a thing of majestic beauty enveloping the listener from modest intros to wondrous widescreen instrumentals and breathtaking throbbing heart crescendo that really make you question what life is all about for a moment or two. While ‘How to Stop an Imploding Man’ is a riotous stomp that depicts an outfit as at home with throwing a party as they are with opening up their hearts. 2013 will hopefully see Shy and the Fight release their debut album proper and we hope to be around to savour it.


10. Tashaki Miyaki – Best Friend

Tashaki Miyaki released the double A-side  ‘Best Friend’ and ‘Tonight’ in 2012,  capturing the band’s escapist guitars and melodies perfectly like monochrome masterpieces. Following on from the surf bittersweet strut of their early EPs, the subtle alt-noir of ‘Best Friend’ is their standout work so far with its seductive Mazzy Star-esque harmonies and swaying alt-country backdrops. We sincerely hope for more dreamy torch songs from Tashaki Miyaki in 2013.


11. The Adelines – Little Games

Swansea’s The Adelines are a guitar-driven quartet led by Jennie Morris on vocals and guitar. Formed in 2011 and named after their next door neighbour’s cat, they cut their teeth playing house parties in Swansea and pricked up ears “with their tom-boyish vocals, jangly reverb-guitars and warped pop sensibilities.” Their only recorded release to date ‘ Little Games’ hints at their commercial potential a gorgeously bittersweet pop song with Jennie’s dulcet vocals offering a strident edge to their alt-pop sound that’s the interesting meeting place between the most commercial cuts of Throwing Muses and the cinematic pop of early Texas. Their live shows hint at an even more dynamic widescreen rock sound to come hinting at the likes of the Pixies and North Walians The Joy Formidable.  Already in talks with various labels, we await with interest The Adelines next move slated to be a new single this February.


12. Bloodflower – Indigo

Named after a latter period album by The Cure,  Bloodflower was born through the collaboration of long term friends Jonnie Owen (artist) and Tom Manning (producer) from South Wales. The duo entered Monnow Valley studios during September 2012. The experiment which started out as a couple of ideas has progressed into the form of the debut album, ‘Circadian Clock‘.  Indigo is an introduction to Circadian clock. Indigo‘s snapping rhythms, twitchy synth lines light the backdrop to Jonnie’s instrospective vocals that describe the vulnerable nature of relationships through constant let down and loss against a backdrop of unclear surroundings.  It’s claustrophobic production and modern electro-clash sound laced with melancholia and regret is reminiscent of early Depeche Mode and Gary Numan. Indigo has already been played by BBC introducing presenters and John Kennedy on XFM.  Jonnie and Tom are in the process of rehearsing with musicians who will join them live to enable the duo to translate what has been captured on record to perform it on stage.
Free download link available from 28th January 2013:


13. Louise Distras – Shades of Hate

Leeds’ DIY-punk-polemicist Louise Distras has had a really good few years supporting the likes of New Model Army and releasing a string of cracking singles and EPs including ‘The Hand You Hold’, which was a fierce anthem for female empowerment against domestic abuse with it’s withering refrain ‘never let the hand you hold, hold you down’, to her new release which reaffirmed that Louise is one modern artist who isn’t afraid to take a stand on causes that are close to her heart . Collaborating with Canadian solo artist Jenny Woo, they have joined forces to make a stand against violence by recording the split single ‘Stand Strong Together’ to be released on 4th February 2013, where Louise Distras will take the message on the road via a major European and UK tour to promote unity in the modern underground music scene and tackle prejudice, hatred and intolerance head-on.

It also features the B-Side ‘Shades Of Hate’, a more muscular punky track than the A-side exploring the growing problem of youth violence and street harassment taken from Louise Distras’ debut album due for release in Spring 2013. ‘Shades of Hate’ is an impassioned, socially aware rallying cry for the outcast and the underdog: Distras switches from distressed onlooker in the verses to almost tearing her vocal chords out in the thumping firebrand chorus.With her debut long player slated for 2013 we await with eagerness for the messages on her forthcoming undeniable set of protest songs.

Website: http://www.louisedistras.co.uk/

14. Great Pagans – Teenage Silhouettes

Great Pagans release their 6-track self-titled debut EP which came out in October digitally and on limited edition cassette tape, via Anti-Ghost Moon Ray Records. The lead opening track ‘Teenage Silhouettes’ is an exemplary example of their dexterous melodies and epic instrumentals, that build from haunted tangled refrains into vast widescreen anthem that gallops across midnight landscapes. The EP is out next week and they’ll be playing Roundhouse in Feb (21st) as part of a Anti-Ghost Moon Ray Records label night. We hope for more travelling soundtracks from Great Pagans in 2013.


15. Winter Villains – Moon

As the winter darkness draws in, it’s perhaps appropriate that I introduce to you atmosphere setting Cardiff based collective called Winter Villains, who are currently catching the enraptured attention of much of the Welsh Media. Rather like recent local composite groups before them such as Islet and Brandyman: Winter Villains are a coming together of five talents who have previously been seen at work on other local acts (Little Arrow, The Evening Chorus, The School, Ivan Moult etc.), born maybe out of the relative tightness of the local scene, or forged through friendship and necessity. But who cares how it happened? Because Winter Villains tracks rustle with hard won experience, throbbing heart and a promise of what’s to come. Their song writing is earnest and to the point, shorn of many of the modern studio gadgetry there’s an honesty and a purity at work here.

Winter Villain’s nascent compositions are formed of skeletal organic arrangements and given life by hushed multiple-part vocals provided by Josef Prygodzicz, Ivan Moult, Callum Duggan, Faye Gibson and William Hughes are at once compelling and warming each background takes on the form of the undulating landscapes. The gathering orchestral moodscape of ‘Moon’ that rides a bed of plucked strings and yearning vocal harmonies: is a delectable teaser for their full length debut due out on Barely Regal Records shortly, its preceded by new single ‘The Air’ in Feb.


flutes logo

16. FLUTES – Auld Archie

Multinational five piece collective FLUTES formed  over ten years ago, when they met at university on the windswept coast of Fife. For the past 8 years they’ve been concocting a musical story together which according to their Facebook page contains the following elements: “a church hall in Oxford, corporate espionage, recording in sheds, recording on industrial estates, the M6, an old white minibus, too many London gigs circa 2007/08, grizzly old men, a BBC sound technician with a fetish for vintage microphones, big belly laughs, and a Scottish football stadium.”

In 2012 they decamped to a static caravan in Craigendmuir on the outskirts of Glasgow. This put them within striking distance of the recording studio Chem19 to finally document the songs which provided the soundtrack to this part of their lives. Guided by Jamie ‘The Tornado’ Savage they put together their self released, self titled album. Their grand sound is rooted in the Celtic tradition yet ripples with multi-instrumentalism, the utter standout is the character study ‘Auld Archie’ that builds from crystal clear vocals into trembling crescendos laced with jazz flecked brass, glacial guitars and soaring vocals that scale mountainous heights it’s redolent of both the early emotionally charged works of The Twilight Sad and the sonic experiments of Talk Talk. FLUTES are an outfit of immense quality.


17. bentcousin – Sunglasses in Winter

London’s bentcousin are 22 year old twin siblings, Amelia and Pat Innit, who were born a decade apart – well Amelia just before midnight on December, 31st, 1989, Pat just after on January 1st, 1990. Their wonderful new EP ‘Everybody’s Got One’ is a quirky suite of delightful boy/girl ditties that a brimful of naive hooky tunes that float somewhere between the indie-pop bittersweet charm of C86 and the anti-folk wittiness of the Moldy Peaches.

Their track “I Think I Like Your Girlfriend More Than You” is probably the breeziest slice of ironic pop from this release, all slinky guitar riffs, shuffling rhythms while Amelia mediates on relationship jealousy in a breathy knowing tone, simplistic almost nursery rhymes take on a laugh out loud quality: “you went out drinking when she had the flu/I think I like your girlfriend more than you”, its outro refrain hinting at the Velvet Underground classic ‘Femme Fatale’. The black comedy of ‘Sunglasses In Winter’ sees boy/girl retorts bristle with images of domestic abuse and defiance wrapped up in a knowing buzzy pop song.  Their sound owes more than a nod to the Postcard records era, when the Innit’s take the stage, Pat plays the passive aggressive, Amelia plays the bossy older sister.

Set for debut on February 19, 2013 on Team Love Records, bentcousin’s Everybody’s Got One is set to be one of the most knowingly novice releases of 2013.

heart ships

18.  Heart-Ships – Pinhole of Light

We got the tip off about six piece Heart-Ships from their irrepressible performance at Leeds festival in the Summer of 2011. With only a handful of tracks on show the promise is certainly there for this quirk-folk-pop collective.

Since they formed last year, comparisons have been cast forth like fishing nets but instantly cut adrift by Heart-Ships’ refusal to conform. Wild Beasts, Modest Mouse and Neutral Milk Hotel – the influences may be there in the middle distance, but their twisted pop sound is fiercely eccentric. “Heart of a Wrestler (A Young Man’s Struggle for Strength)” in particular is one of the best new pieces of music I’ve heard in the last twenty four months. A vignette that vividly transports you to the mind’s eye of a young restless man, skewed visions ride their songs waves that from delicate, quirky almost meek toward ramshackle bare chested and masculine in the course of a few minutes. Ryan Cooke’ vocals growing from insecure and wispy, a rhythmic creak envelops, whilst it strums starboard toward a crescendo fixed with rum soaked pirate sing-alongs, foot stomping hollers and mad eyed calls to arms. Their new track ‘Pinhole of Light’ below is an exhibition their continued confidence. Replete with crashing crescendos, crafty rhythms that dance fiendishly in the moonlight and intense communal narratives led by singer Ryan that weave their way into your subconsciousness and out again before bursting like explosions in the sky. It’s quite brilliant twisted pop of the kind that we desperately cherish.

Mumford and Sons may have defined the sensitive communal sing-along for some in the last few years, but with their emotional juxtaposition of sensitivity and brutality: Heart-Ships are casting forth to somewhere special we hope in 2013 we’re around to bare witness to it.
19. NO CEREMONY/// – Deliverus

The haunting melancholic falsettos and spooky synth textures of Manchester’s NO CEREMONY/// made the mysteriously anonymous Manchester three piece (one girl and two boys) who were ‘the most blogged about’ acts on the internet at the tail end of last year without having even played a gig. ‘Deliverus’‘s glorious video accompaniment gave us a peek into NO CEREMONY///‘s grand potential, one which laid bare the shivering human condition decorated by minimal imagery and artwork of war; past struggles of a working class that no longer exist. Throughout 2012 they’ve released a series of free tracks that have unveiled their craft further, their happy knack of lacing electronic music with organic instrumentals and affecting melodies. From the driving pianos and electronic textures of ‘Hurtlove’ (laced with inventive vocal trickery), via the Everything But The Girl-like abrasive squelch of the female led ‘Heartbreaker’, right on through to the affecting ripples of the otherworldly ‘Feelslow‘, sounding like the comedown to a particularly brutal night of rejection. It’s NO CEREMONY///’s ability to craft utterly futuristic music that blurs the line between downtempo, dubstep and dance music whilst implanting it with a thudding heart that leads many to hope that this Manchester outfit won’t quite be the damp squib that many felt WU LYF were when they finally showed their full hand. Having finally played their first shows this year, they appeared in masks reiterating that NO CEREMONY/// will continue to let the music do the talking. It emphatically does.


20. Serafina Steer – The Night Before Mutiny

Stolen recordings harp playing siren Serafina Steer released her new Jarvis Cocker produced album ‘The Moths Are Real’ on CD/LP recently (January 14th, 2013).  To herald the album’s release a show ‘Serafina Steer and Special Guests’ will take place on Thursday 24th January at St. Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch, where some of the album was recorded. The album is preceded by a haunting seafaring single ‘Night Before Mutiny’, Serafina’s enchanting Nico-esque vocal tone and trembling instrumentals gradually envelop the listener.

It’s the culmination of half a dozen years of work for Serafina who has supported artists including Viv Albertine, Young Marble Giants, tunng, David Grubbs, Buck 65, Sebastian Rochford, JP Masseira, Beth Jeans Houghton and Mary Hampton. Her previous albums ’Cheap Demo Bad Science’ (2006) and ‘Change Is Good, Change Is Good’ established Serafina as an emerging talent to watch, but this record promises that Serafina’s ideas have been clarified delivering something truly special. Her flights of fancy are given human form via stream of consciousnesses: these dream like tales are interwoven with twitching son structures her captivating cello parts and a backdrop that beguiles and rattles with half remembered memories of everyone from Syd Barett to Joanna Newsome. Serafina is accompanied on the album by Steve Mackey, Jarvis Cocker, The Boxettes, Polar Bear’s Seb Rochford and The Flying Lizards’ keyboard wizard David Cunningham.


21. Indians – I Am Haunted

Indians (the band fronted by Copenhagen-based Søren Løkke Juul) recently made available a free download of their new single, ‘I Am Haunted’. It’s the perfect entry point into the star-gazing of their music, touched with the resignation of heartbreak and a dreamy lovelorn weariness, its head is in the clouds, heart in its hands. Its spacious production, piercing strums and caved in vocals inhabits a otherworldly place between the intimacy of Bon Iver and the expressive escape of early Sigur Ros.  Download ‘I Am Haunted’ here

Their debut album ‘Somewhere Else’ is out on 4AD next week.

Bill GIITTV’s Tip Tape 2013 by Godisinthepod on Mixcloud

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.