Shortbites - The Last Few Months 10

Shortbites – The Last Few Months

It’s been a while since we ran a Shortbites. I’ve come to the conclusion that the ‘Fortnightly’ thing that was previously part of its title was perhaps a little too much of a commitment. Plus, this way, we can just offer you the cream of the bunch, so, from here on, welcome to what is now, merely, Shortbites.

3615 Nuites

First up we have 3615 Nuits Blanche with Été Meurtier. Now, some records are far more sultry than others, but this Paris duo’s second long player positively oozes sex appeal, sometimes mixing the sensual soul of Marvin Gaye circa Midnight Love with the low-husky tones of Serge Gainsbourg (‘Partout‘) and at others making you feel like you’re alone in the Alps, in the early hours of the morning (‘Ècume‘). Then there’s the easy disco of…er…’Discotheque‘. It truly is a beautiful album with a wide ranging appeal. 8/10 Loz Etheridge

Vacant Lots

The Vacant Lots also released a real firecracker of an album in Closure. Part Pet Shop Boys, part New Order and part Suicide, its eight tracks whizz by in a heartbeat. “Thank you for wasting my time / thank you for fucking up my life” sings Jared Artaud on the opening track to this, the band’s fourth long player and you instantly know this is going to be a gem. And it is. It’s not all bitterness personified though – ‘Eyes Closed‘ is all warm synths and pretty, infectious melody that even manages to incorporate a little of the sound of Shakatak in there before the ‘goth synthpop’ of ‘Disintegration‘ leaves you with a sense of wonder. Another ace album. 8/10 LE


Jaimin released a truly beautiful album in Cutting Loose, kind of a hybrid between Nick Drake, Cat Stevens and Primrose Green era Ryley Walker. Wistful and sun-soaked, the whole album makes me feel like I’m surrounded by all my closest friends and family, laughing, joking, outside on a hot summer’s day while our children play joyfully in front of us in the grass. Particularly joyful is ‘She’s Running Late‘. But there’s little point in singling out tracks, as the whole record is simply gorgeous. 8/10 LE

Laura Jean Amateurs

Laura Jean‘s sixth studio album Amateurs examines our relationship with art, money, parenthood and each other through lushly arranged, folk-leaning love songs. Laura Jean’s songwriting is a masterful combination of metaphor, a silken voice and cutting lyrics. While grounded in stories set around her Australian home, Amateurs explores every angle of the concept of being ‘amateur’ through sad and humorous songs that are simple, yet compelling. We all become amateurs and imposters when the value of what we do is not measured by the meaning it creates, but by wealth, status or other’s arbitrary beliefs. The singles ‘Teenager Again’ and ‘Too Much To Do’ (with its amazing bass line) are a great entry point, but the album’s closing track has a line that neatly sums up its mood: “I want something to look forward to forever/That’s what magic is/Something to look forward to forever/And never ever getting it.” 9/10 Trev Elkin


Breanna Barbara‘s Nothing But Time was only released this month, but at times sounds like a timeless 60s psychedelic classic with gentle nods to Motown and Delta blues along the way. Barbara’s vocals are dynamic, punchy and uplifting, with guitar hooks cutting through a mix that’s awash with tambourine, heavy layers of bass and drums and reverby artifacts. If, as she sings, we have nothing but time, Barbara wastes not one second of it. She blazes brightly through the pacier tracks like ‘Diamond Light’, ‘Weight of the World’ and ‘Rise’ , smoulders powerfully on the slower but more intense ‘Me Too’ , ‘Devil’ and wails passionately on unforgettable closer ‘Weaning’. 8/10 TE


Berlin-based composer Yosa Peit‘s enigmatic, multi-faceted multimedia concept Phyton was originally released in 2020 as part of a wider art project. Newly signed to Fire Records, Peit has added some tracks and remixes for this re-release. Bringing something quite niche to a wider audience is always risky, but Phyton‘s appeal is assured. Peit’s voice grafts the soul and yearning of Arthur Russell into a bio-mechanical array that pulses with glitchy samples and familiar natural sounds. It’s a restless, intriguing album with surprising poppy moments, sounding like Aphex Twin capturing the passion of Prince, or Laurie Anderson‘s vision. Try ‘Serpentine’ or ‘Curls’ as a conventional way into Peit’s world, before letting the branching vines of Phyton‘s otherworldly sounds wrap around your brain. 8/10 TE

Us FRail Gods

The works of David Lynch, the writings of Jansson, Melville and Hemingway and the music of Mew, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, iamamiwhoami, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and Sea Power were the main creative influences behind GIITTV favourite Richey Hackett‘s band Us Frail Gods on their Shorelines album. The latter Brighton based pioneers are perhaps the most evident reference point on an album that builds terrifically and is full of warmth. The kind of warmth, in fact, that transcends its expectations – for example, a stranger gifting a comfortable quilt to a homeless person – I guess what I’m trying to say is that the songs here sound like they come from a dark place, but with a keenness to make the best of a hopeless situation. ‘Rivers‘ in particular is defiantly uplifting and as good a track as you’re likely to hear from anyone this year. 8/10 LE


Well, one surefire way to win me over is by sending me clothes. And what’s more, clothes that fit me and look good on me. So I appreciate the T-shirt that accompanied the new vinyl album of Dragonette‘s Twennies. Shameless bribes aside though (and please, other artists, feel free to do the same!), Twennies is a fine album indeed, unapologetically pop, but at the same time woozily dreamy on opener ‘Seasick‘, those 3am vibes abound on the title track and ‘T-Shirt‘ is simply huge – a magnificent tune that must be up there with the Dragonette’s best work, which is impressive in a career that has so far lasted fifteen years. A very easy listen indeed, Twennies is simply a cracker of an album. 8/10 LE

Released at the end of October, girlpuppy‘s debut LP When I’m Alone debut saw the light of day on the Royal Mountain imprint. Produced with Slow Pup member Henry Stoehr and Alex G guitarist Sam Acchione, it’s a mighty fine suite of songwriting that showed Becca Harvey’s progression and depth as an artist evocatively exploring new territories of love and loss. ‘Teenage Dream‘ is a spindling and affecting track that tumbles forth with a pleading chorus of “leave me leave me” it turns out it doesn’t make much sense, but Harvey says its “about a guy I lead on who looks like Keanu Reeves, and it’s the first one we made for the album“; it’s truly elegant production. ‘Wish’ is a hook-laden strum that Becca Harvey burrows her way into, on a wistful melody that embodies that feeling of parting from a friendship and wondering why, and longing to find out, the pre-chorus kicks with a catchy, dreamy refrain living in your head for days ‘Wish’ possesses a bittersweet quality that’s both personal and universal. Elsewhere there’s an Americana tinge to ‘I Want to be There‘ with its earworm melody and galloping percussion is a wonderfully, wistful trot. If you’re a fan of Soccer Mommy, Phoebe Bridgers and Big Thief there’s much to admire on girlpuppy’s debut record, but she’s found her own niche and can capture your heart. 8/10 Bill Cummings

Sister Wives released their debut album Y Gawres – which translates as The Giantess – at the tail end of October on Libertino Records. This awesome female four piece launched a brilliant glitter bomb of psychy guitars, organs, and kraut rock percussion, woven with fierce and evocative bilingual Welsh/English vocals that surf the lines of Welsh and female identity. Standouts include ‘Greater Place’ – with its enveloping crescendos, buzzing riffs and hammered organs it’s a 60s influenced sojourn, while the single ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ packs a punch, a fantastic feminist protest song, ripe with swaggering filthy glam riffs underpinned by thrillingly propulsive percussion, and a fearsome communal vocal that takes turns in bashing apart the societal pressure to bear a child; the ticks mirroring the biological clock. 7/10 BC

MAUVEY‘s excellent new EP Before the album: a love letter to the moon of mars is a vibrant and playful suite of sounds that delves deep into his psyche with a palette of inventive binary blurring pop music riven with elements of electro pop, soul, hip hop beats and multicoloured pop. He says it’s a “head-first dive into the highs and lows that stem from an emotional rollercoaster going to and fro between relishing in perfect synergy and falling prey to unrequited love.” Transnational artist MAUVEY gave up a career in professional basketball when his close friend died, prompting him embark on a music career to ‘spread love’.

“boys don’t cry/so why do I?” He asks on the brilliant ‘Prove It’ an exciting pop song ripe with an exploration of relationships and masculinity, breaking apart expectations placed on men and bounding with exclamations of love, replete with unstoppable hooks. He also explores the mania of love with single ‘You Know You’re My Favourite’ an infectious and refreshing earworm that mixes powerfully spitting bars in the verses swelling to a euphoric chorus that’s invested with a big heart. Skittering somewhere between the energy of Genesis Owusu and the soulful cinematic pop of the Weeknd. You can’t take your eyes off MAUVEY. 8/10 BC

Shortbites - The Last Few Months 10

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.