My, but there’s some classy music being made out there. The world may be falling down around our ears, but it’s got a hell of a soundtrack to accompany it. Who would have thought the end of days could sound this good?
The majority of those who feature in this roundup have appeared before, but we make no excuses for that as they all have excellent new music to share, and we have impeccable taste. Too much? Listen below and say we’re not right…
This Saturday (22nd April) is Record Store Day when you’ll be offered all sorts of collectibles and rarities to prise your hard-earned from your back pocket. It’s going to be an overwhelming choice, so let SWH! help by cutting the glorious wheat from the acres of chaff. This is the day Teen Canteen release their latest EP Sirens on Last Night From Glasgow, and having heard it I can guarantee you it will rank among your favourite records of the year, or your money back*.
It builds on the brilliance of their debut album, Say It All With A Kiss, to take the music to another level. From Sirens this is ‘Millions’, and it’s reminiscent of so many records while being unmistakably Teen Canteen. It’s classic pop made by people who understand intrinsically what that entails, and which manages to lift you up while at the same time breaking your heart. A shock of hair and a trip into space? This is what it sounds like:
It seems a long time coming, but the mighty WHITE‘s debut album One Night Stand Forever is out on 21st April, and it’s destined to become a great Scottish pop record to stand alongside classic albums such as Can’t Stand The Rezillos, New Gold Dream and Franz Ferdinand – one packed full of singles and songs which you just can’t get out of your head. Filthy, funny, furious, and quite possibly dangerous to know, if there’s a riot going on WHITE are just the band to get wired in. From the album this is the title track:
Another band making great singles are wojtek the bear. They last featured on these pages with ‘Dead From The Waist Up’ and their latest is further evidence that they are a band with whom you should be acquainted. Where others would turn everything up to 11 they understand that less is usually more, and allow the melodies, the harmonies and the heart in their music to shine. A fine live act to boot, wojtek the bear look to be in it for the long haul making music which sounds like them, and only them. This is ‘Trivial Pursuit’:
We have long been fans of The Strange Blue Dreams at SWH!, so new music from them is always greeted with an array of whoops, cheers and hollers. Previously on these pages we have said, “Taking ’50s influences and rockabilly stylings and adding a dash of country, (and even some southern gothic), to proceedings, they are one of the tightest and most captivating bands around. Exuding effortless cool, and knowingly noir – if you get the chance to see them live you really must.” Their new EP Towards The Warm Place shows that those claims were well warranted and deserved. If you need further convincing, here is one of the tracks from the EP, ‘In My Nature’:
Are you a Looper? If you are you’re amongst friends here, and the band of the very same name are back with ‘Farfisa Song’ which is taken from their new album Offgrid:Offline, released on 12th May. You know what Looper do – create lo-fi electronic magic which appears effortless, timeless and which is oddly reassuring. The world is a better place with Looper around, and it seems we need them now more than ever. No pressure…
You can still hear our podcast with Karn and Stuart from 2015, but before you go there listen to ‘Farfisa Song’, and pay special attention to the video. It sees the introduction of Mustard & Ketchup, a couple of badgers surely destined for great things, and who are the creation of master animator Iain Gardner – he’ll go far that boy:
The indie singer/songwriter market is a crowded one where it is tough to stand out and be heard. In recent times those who have done so include Mark W. Georgsson and Michael Cassidy, and to those you can add the name of Conor Heafey. He manages to pull off that difficult trick of making an instantly recognisable style sound brand-new and fresh. To these ears, it reminds me of some of my favourite North Americans such as Matthew Sweet, Ron Sexsmith and Richard Buckner. He even made me think of The Wondermints for the first time in years, for which I am very grateful. This is the title track to his forthcoming EP The Game, out on May 1st. It’s got the feel of an instant classic, a welcome and deserved addition to the soundtrack of the summer.
We’ll finish as we started with glorious electronic pop music from the label known as LNFG, whose run of releasing great records shows no sign of ending any time soon (tune in next time for further proof). The song is from BooHooHoo who now come with their own guarantee of quality. This includes live performances and if you get the chance to see them you simply must or you’re a fool to yourself.
The latest single is ‘Fire’ which sounds like a young Depeche Mode, Ari Up and Peter Hook were sent to the present day to play for our pleasure. That’s the Dr Who episode you want to see. BooHooHoo are making strong claims to be your favourite band, you may just not be aware of that yet. Listen to ‘Fire’ and accept the inevitable. Resistance is futile, if I may mix my sci-fi references:
That’s all for now, but the spots for the next review are filling up already so if you have some new music you think would interest us, send it our way to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give it a spin…
*Claim made late in the evening, possibly with drink taken, and not legally binding.