She Keeps Bees – ‘Is What It Is’ (Feat. Sharon Van Etten)
‘Is What It Is’ is the lead single from She Keeps Bees fourth album Eight Houses, which is scheduled to land on September 16th via Future Gods Records in the U.S, and 26th September in Europe/UK via BB*Island Records. Featuring Sharon Van Etten on backing vocals it’s an understated exercise in subtle restraint which opens with the line “Bow to the power, make sure it knows how heavy it is”. But then Jessica Larrabee implores us ‘not to surrender,’ – “you are worthy/ I am worthy“. Moving, powerful and redemptive.
Black Honey - Sleep Forever
Personally, I'm not a fan of cut and paste music blogging/journalism without context. I like context, I like a bit of info about the artist. I like to know what the artist looks like and also how music makes people feel. Alas I'm about to fail to deliver because the artist in question, Black Honey, have no bio, no photo (aside from a picture of a retro TV), no press release and there’s bugger all on line about them. You’d almost think they were doing it on purpose
Doubtless, they will profess a wish to be judged solely on their music, but such wilful obfuscation will only work if your music is genuinely interesting. Happily, we consider Black Honey’s emergence from the shadows with‘Sleep Forever’ to be just that.
Without question there will be comparisons to Lana, especially after her comments about sleeping forever and accusations of glamorising death made to renowned Guardian journalist with the “sinister ambitions” Petridis Jonze or whatever his name is.
There will be references to David Lynch, as it’s the law that dark cinematic pop noir with chiming guitars and a narcotic vocal will always attract the term ‘Lynchian.’ Nevertheless, there is merit in such comparisons when describing ‘Sleep Forever’ as it certainly conjures up a honey dripping atmosphere of doomed grandeur and the nostalgic faded glamour of smoky bars, femme fatales, and illicit ill-fated love affairs. In short, Black Honey have produced a darkly compelling, seductive pop song that whets the appetite for the rumoured debut EP scheduled for next year.
Field Mouse - Two Ships
I've been a fan of NYC/ Philly collective Field Mouse since 2012 after initially falling under their spell via tunes such as ‘Happy,’ ‘You Guys are Gonna Wake Up My Mom’ and ‘Glass.‘ And so their debut album feels like it’s been a long time coming. But if ‘Two Ships’, the first song to emerge from their first long player Hold Still Life, is indicative of what the band have been up to then patience is indeed a virtue and the wait will have certainly been worthwhile.
‘Two Ships’ is a subtle, reflective, fuzzy slice of dream pop with Browne’s honeyed vocals reflecting on themes such as social isolation and striving to find purpose in the often impersonal world of the big city (in this case NYC.) However, if isolation can be the catalyst in producing such beautifully evocative, melodic graceful and thoughtful music then it can’t all be bad can it.
‘Hold Still Life’ is available on vinyl and digitally on July 22, 2014 through Topshelf Records.
Princess - Never Look
If Pale Saints had collided with Dinosaur Jr they may have sounded something like Dublin quartet Princess. By which I mean there’s a melodic delicacy juxtaposed with an electrifying sense of raw power with regard to the bands latest offering ‘Neverlook’. It’s a prime example of how to mix lambent beauty with controlled sonic muscle to produce a tune bristling with melody, swagger and vigour.
The band have just finished supporting the Cloud Nothings on their Irish tour and ‘Neverlook’ will be available from all good digital stores now!
Esben And the Witch – ‘Blood Teachings’
Esben And The Witch have had quite a ride since being shortlisted for the “BBC Sound Of” back in 2011. They’ve grown organically both as songwriters and live performers and their latest release ‘Blood Teachings’ is from their forthcoming third album A New Nature, recorded with producer and engineer Steve Albini via a hugely successful Pledge Music campaign. It’s a stunning snapshot of what Esben and The Witch are all about, what they have become and where they are headed. It’s music stripped down to its rawest and most potent elements as Rachel Davies vocals weave their subtle spell, fanning the slow burning intro until it finally glows and burns brightly before exploding into a glorious finale.
Tamoios – ‘Alto Lá’
Well the World Cup is in full swing and with this in mind we bring you music from Brazil in the form of Tamoios with ‘Alto Lá’. Tamoios is actually the new musical project of Ladytron founder Daniel Hunt who has moved from Liverpool to make São Paulo his home (so the title may mean ‘Alright La’ ?). Also alongside Daniel Tamoios, we have the talents of singer Luisa Maita,(what a voice!) Fernando Rischbieter with Alessandro Cortini & percussionist Guillerme Kastrup. ‘Alto Lá’ is a mixture of glistening electronica, celestial vocals, and tribal beats, which puts us a little in mind of The Future Sound of London. This of course is no bad thing.
Apache Darling – ‘More Than Me’
Electro-pop you say ? With a distinct 80′s flavour? From a trio who hail from Glasgow? “Ahh, that’ll be Chvrches then!” Erm no actually that’ll be Apache Darling, a brand new electro-pop collective who it appears deliver the same sort of sky scraper razing pop monsters as Lauren Mayberry and her chums. Is the town big enough for the both of them? Well technically Glasgow is a city but judging by their first release ‘More Than Me’, I'd say YES! Formed by singer Stefanie Lawrence and keyboardist (is that a word?) Andrew Black in the east end of Glasgow they release 'More Than Me' on the 3rd of August 2014.
A.V.P is one of the top music bloggers in the country, and loves a good swear. Follow him at VonPip