Green and blue background, text reads: Bandcamp Friday
Green and blue background, text reads: Bandcamp Friday

GiiTv recommends for Bandcamp Friday – March 2022

March madness is amongst us this year, with Women’s History Month beginning and International Women’s Day taking place on the 8th, as well as pancake day just having passed, there are lots of joyous things going on as spring begins to bloom. Naturally, you don’t need any particular month or day to celebrate women and women in music, or pancakes for that matter but they’re all underappreciated and worth celebrating so it’s there if you need an excuse.

Of course, the maddest thing of all is the war between Russia and the Ukraine but seeing as this isn’t the New Statesman, I’m pretty sure that isn’t what you’ve come here to read about.

So without further ado, this month we have a spectrum of musical delights ranging from nerd-rock, noir-rap to Korean minimalism. Our contributors are Jordan Dowling (J.D), Colin Bond (C.B), Bill Cummings (B.C)  and Mike Turner (M.T).

Lemon Demon – Spirit Phone

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The super nerdy, eccentric musical project of Neil Cieierega is being reissued by Needljuice records who have recently embarked on a mission to remaster all Lemon Demon’s records from the early noughties, with that in mind it seems as good a time as any to throw this into the BC Friday mix. Lyrically Lemon Demon isn’t a million miles away from artists like MC Chris and They Might be Giants but musically we’re talking Devo and Oingo Boingo. (K.H)

Caroline Lovegrove – Strawberry

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I was tipped off about Caroline Lovegrove on Hatchie’s Patreon page, she is supporting her in the States. Her debut mini-album ‘Strawberry‘ is a thing of glowing chilled beauty. Reflecting the gentle pulses of the city, the unseen pain of every day, the weightlessness of modernism, her intimate and beguiling brand of future pop music is vacuum packed with ghostly synths and glistening guitars. Wistful opener ‘Patience etc’ is imbued with glacial percussive steps caressed by waves of synths and shimmering guitars, throbbing with Lovegrove’s “whisper in your ear” vocals, that are possessed by a lovelorn obsession with someone who has left and never returned.

The chorus swells like daylight rising through your blinds and it’s exquisite. Meanwhile ‘Happy Happy‘ retools dream-pop for the Tik Tok generation, plunging you into a longing crescendo (“take your time/will you sleep inside my mind tonight/would you stay”) turning the bittersweet vocal up a notch or two, Lovegrove wraps her hands around a memory on the back of an oscillating drum machine beat and chiming guitars.

This entire EP is like opening the door and allowing celestial sounds to wash through you, like the wintry air. Quality songwriting paired with an endlessly impressive appreciation of space for fans of early Grimes, and Mitski. Prepare to fall under her spell, hard. (BC)

Mr Groove “Hit the Club” (self-released)

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Mr Groove is taking me back hard to summer 2013 and the non-stop banger “Jack” by Breach which pretty much owned the entirety of the UK that year. If the world is just and right, “Hit the Club” by Mr. Groove will be the club banger that keeps you going all night all summer long. A track about nothing else but hitting the dance floor and hooking up and a beat that just won’t stop.

If you are into house, Detroit techno, some drum n bass, and a touch of Miami bass in some of the nice lows, or if you’ve enjoyed the last handful of SOPHIE-produced projects, then I’d heavily suggest this track. Like most house and dance releases, it’s more about the individual tracks, but you can pick up the entire digital catalog which would make up multiple albums for just seven pounds which is a steal. (M.T)

DITZ – I Am Kate Moss

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In advance of its release on Alcopop Records on the 5th March, Ditz have whet the appetite for their hotly anticipated debut album further with a single that is more brooding than their previous tasters. There is still the post-punk fury that has seen comparisons to bands like Girl Band and Idles, but that fury brews rather than seeping out unrestrained. Vocalist Cal Francis talks of naked bodies and “heroin chic”, but in a way that is more ‘glum’ than ‘glam’.  (J.D)

Maria Chiara Argirò – Clouds

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Maria Chiara Argirò’s 2019 LP, Hidden Seas, was one of those quietly acclaimed records that somehow then dropped off the radar. An accomplished blend of natural history, oceanic mysticism, dream-pop and cool, ethereal jazz, Hidden Seas, was the work of an artist who was clearly going her own way.

There’s a new album, Forest City, out in May, which finds her experimenting with electronics and exploring an idealised digital ecology. Aiming for a balance between nature and technology, the teaser tracks, ‘Bonsai’ and ‘Clouds’ offer a suggestive vision of harmony pitched very much at the Haiku Salut demographic.

I caught the last several minutes of Argirò’s set on tour with Emma-Jean Thackray last week, and she left a strong the impression that there could be something quite exciting on the way. In the meantime, why not pick up a copy of Hidden Seas and get acquainted? (C.B)

Ill Bill – Septagram

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There’s something about Ill Bill’s 2016 album Septagram that somehow sounds so now. As the brother of the controversial rapper Necro, Ill Bill also doesn’t err on the side of caution, often evaluating the US political sphere through a dark lens. Septagram draws on schlocky grindhouse and 1950s sci-fi samples to juxtapose this with an overarching musical atmosphere of heading to the slaughter. (K.H)

2:00 A.M. Wake Up Call -Mall Fantasy (Solidarity Club) / Old Phone LA Hey 🙂 (Solidarity Club)

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This one is a two-for-one writeup but wow, is Solidarity Club taking some cool chances and risks these days. Total nerdcore weirdos making wild hybrids of pop-punk, emo, electronic, indiepop and new wave and following their focus and inspirations to see where it takes them. Old Phone LA is Gregory Johnson, the label owner and member of the slacker-emo-indie-pop combo Rat Fancy and their new single ‘Hey :)’ is like a hyper/sunshine/pop-punk soundtrack for a new 2022 season of Degrassi, always chill, always catchy, and heart-on-their-sleeve open book realness.

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2:00 A.M. Wake Up Call is from North Carolina and I know this is gonna sound totally insane but somehow this is vibing like Joe Jack Talcum from the Dead Milkmen’s solo work, early tape release Neutral Milk Hotel, Shrimper, and that point where Scritti Politi became a chart band. This label has a lot of older influences, but the music is all very fresh and of this moment in production and style. (M.T)

Dalek – Decimation (Dis Nation)

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Dalek’s music has never not been entirely relevant, and it is has never not been situated in the utmost echelons of hip-hop. On ‘Decimation (Dis Nation)’ MC Dalek raps “You preach division, amass munitions, demand submission, raise suspicion, cause derision, spark sedition, now you want to burn all the books that’s written” above an unmistakable wall of noise. It is a sound that has in all honesty probably prevented a crossover into the mainstream consciousness, rooted as it is in maximalist industrial rock, but it is one that is the perfect backdrop for MC Dalek’s vehement wordplay. (J.D)

Park Jiha – The Gleam

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Extremely haunting minimalist music here. Dramatic, partly improvised and inspired by the rhythmic exhalations of meditation, The Gleam is a restless evocation of light and shadow. A Korean hammered dulcimer called a yanggeum weaves intricate, repeating patterns around the plaintive strains of a piri, a type of oboe.

The whole effect has the tangibility and directness of a well-crafted film score–the cavernous menace of Get Carter, or the sustained tension of an Ennio Morricone piece come to mind–but with rather more warmth behind it. Indeed, one of the tracks is formed from Jiha’s work scoring F.W. Murnau’s luminously poetic silent masterpiece Sunrise. (C.B)

Larry Penn – Still Feels Like Rollin: Songs about Trucks and Trains

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It’s an album about hard work, socialism, justice and most of all transport. Penn has a homely, comforting tone that is sure to cheer up even the most wretched trucker now sitting under house arrest and whose bank account has recently been frozen due to unconstitutional emergency measures. Thematically, he runs in the same ballpark as Woody Guthrie but is perhaps a little bit cheesier like Randy Newman in vocal styling.

Orange Dots -Deflated

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The Orange Dots album is a bit of a challenge. Half the album is smooth adult jangle that would make Roddy Frame blush and wish it was a compilation of lost Aztec Camera tracks, but the other half is that of avant emotionally stark compositions that are so visual and haunting that it feels like the band is toying with you. From airy radio-friendly pop to these darkly reflective pieces then back again, taking you on an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows and everything in between.

These darker, more minimal tracks are like that first time you heard Cat Power, Antony & the Johnsons, Frank Ocean, or when you get to that Martin Gore sung track on the Depeche Mode album. You know you can now separate life as that time before you heard it and that time after as you are now changed a bit from what you just heard. ‘Deflated’ is one of the most exciting and challenging records I’ve heard so far this year and my life is better for it. (M.T)

SASAMI – The Greatest 

On the track ‘KristineSky Ferreira invented in passing a combination of fractured metalgaze and sugar-rush pop that was utterly irresistible. Whilst some artists, most notably Mitski, have approached similar ground SASAMI is the first one to nail it throughout her latest full-length Squeeze. The Greatest is one of the more conventional, catchier moments on the album but it is still driven by pounding drums and distorted riffs that give it an exhilarating feel. (J.D)

Julia Sophie – feels like thunder

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One of my ones to watch for this year, French native now UK resident Julia Sophie returns with ‘feels like thunder‘ the first in a trilogy of EPs she has promised for this year. Sophie weaves effortless, intricate electronic tapestries, blinking like a flickering LCD screen playing back moments from your life.

There’s a sense she hasn’t forced anything instead allowing inspiration to rise, evocative and illuminating production with wisps of pop melody gradually wrapping around your heart. The lead track ‘dial your number‘ skitters while Sophie’s ghostly delivery is wistful and heartfelt, the sound of waking up every day to an empty house, her tones spiralling into a kaleidoscope of beats and a carousel of synths. There’s a ghost in the machine and it sounds like yearning. (BC)

Poorly Drawn House – Home doesn’t have four walls

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South Carolina trio Poorly Drawn House recently released their EP Home doesn’t have four walls it’s an entrancing study in slowcore and scours the last couple of decades of post-rock, influenced by the minimalism Talk Talk‘s last two albums. The sound of a quiet storm from quiet, minimal and calm to chaotic noise, rising atmosphere and release chaos to calm.

A record made by a three-piece who don’t have a scene surrounding them, purely making music for the need. Immersive and widescreen yet sewn with tiny details of production field samples of crickets, muted instrumental runs, fragments of clarinet notes, hushed melodics redolent of Godspeed You Black Emperor (GSYB) it’s a sound that pulls you close and drags you into its world. Moving and impressive. (BC)

The Nameless Book – Blank Page

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London sofa-core electronic artist The Nameless Book is releasing their new album ‘Blank Page’ on March 18th, so this one is a pre-order where you can only sample a single track ‘Die Pathogen’ before the actual physical / digital release date. ‘Die Pathogen’ is a great mix of motorik krautrock rhythm with a dark wave or dungeon synth laying right on top. The Nameless Book would fit in well with fans of Beak >>, Holodrum, Kraftwerk, and Nope or people looking for that perfect late-night motorway driving soundtrack or to phase out and pass time on the couch, perfect for both moving forward and staying still. (M.T)

 

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.