Friday, 23 August 2013

New podcast - Austerity Audio vol. 8

Just in time for the Bank Holiday weekend, it's time for another great selection of great new music, which has been legally culled from the internet over the past couple of weeks.

If you're new to these podcasts the idea is that I gather up these free tracks from all sorts of musical genres and make then available as a free download (right click on the picture above to grab this one). In return all I ask is that if you really like a particular track then you spend a few pence buying one of the artist's other songs. Here's this week's tracklisting:

  1. Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip - Stunner
  2. Vex Ruffin - No Escape
  3. Obits - Spun Out
  4. Letherette - After Dawn (Barker & Baumecker Remix)
  5. Jacques Greene - Body Party (Rmx)
  6. Deech - Yesterday Was Fun
  7. Lanterns On The Lake - The Buffalo Days
  8. Plankton Wat - Empire Mines
  9. Cillianjohn - The Crossing
  10. 14KT - No Sleep (The Sound Of Stress)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Track of the Day: 'Portland' by Brolin

It seems to be commonplace to describe artists as 'mysterious' these days, and Brolin is one of those to whom the epithet is frequently supplied. But on the basis of this track he might have to become a whole lot more outgoing - it's hard to make a record this summery and infectious and then hide away from the world. The addition of Peaking Lights on production duties has given this a light reggae touch, while the simple vocals encourage a beach-party sing-a-long.

The single is out now.

Surprising cover version of the day - Tears For Fears do Arcade Fire

So I'm guessing quite a lot of younger readers might not even know who Tears For Fears are, but they were pretty massive back in the late 80s and early 90s. Apparently they're working on a new album but have decided to put this out in response to a number of cover versions and samples of their songs that have appeared recently.

If the choice of cover is surprising, then the way they perform it is even more so - electronic dance, with more than a touch of Hot Chip, and it's only when Roland Orzabal sings "now I'm ready to start" that you can hear echoes of the past. All in all a pretty good version, and one that hints at a very interesting return for the band.

New music: 'Chain My Name' by POLIÇA

After 'Tiff' a few months ago, this is the second track to have appeared from Polica's second album 'Shulamith' which is out in October. It's more upbeat than a lot of the tracks on their début album, and thankfully Channy's vocals haven't been as heavily treated as before so you can hear her beautiful voice properly.

Based on this and 'Tiff' I reckon that the new album could well see them break out into the big time, which will be great for them. My only hope is that their continued success doesn't delay the next GAYNGS album too much more.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Recommended music: 'Drenge' by Drenge

The debut album from the Loveless brothers has finally arrived, and it's every bit as good as I was hoping for. Given that they're a two-piece drums and guitar outfit comparisons with The White Stripes are inevitable (although these two really are siblings), and the start of opener 'People In Love Make Me Feel Yuck' has more than a passing nod to Jack and Meg's sound. But overall there's more variation on here than you might be expecting - from blues to rock'n'roll, with occasional detours to metal and almost into shoegaze (Let's Pretend), not to mention the Status Quo intro of 'Gun Crazy' there's enough here to suggest Eoin and Rory could have a long career ahead of them as long as they don't go the way of rock's most famous brothers, the Gallaghers. And their cheeky appropriation of the blues classic 'I Just Want To Make Love To You' for break-up song 'I Don't Want To Make Love To You' shows them to be both witty and knowledgeable 

Producer Ross Orton has done a great job, particularly with the drum sound, and the whole thing feels vibrant, fresh and full of youth. The vocals are great too, melodic and rich with the right mixture of energy and insouciance.

I've written about Drenge a couple of times already this year, so check out 'Necromance Is Dead' here and 'Backwaters' here, and listen to 'Face Like A Skull' below. But most of all, buy the album. Buy it now. Yes, right now. Your music collection deserves it.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Recommended music: 'No Escape' EP by Vex Ruffin

According to his label (Stones Throw) Vex Ruffin makes 'minimal electro-punk'. I'm not really sure what I'd call it but the Filipino-American makes some pretty intriguing stuff - the vocals range from Ian Curtis to Robert Smith, while the musis mixes hip-hop betas, post-punk riffs and electro bleeps to good effect. Have a listen for yourself and see what you make of it, and you can even download it for free.

New music: 'Empire Mines' by Plankton Wat

A haunting instrumental from the forthcoming Plankton Wat album 'Drifter's Temple' (out September 17th on Thrill Jockey records). It's got a bit of a western-soundtrack feel, with added hints of Pink Floyd and even 'Hotel California'. Just over a minute before the end it goes all epic with some great electric guitars thrown in over the top of the acoustic picking.

Listen & download for free below.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Track of the Day: 'Come Save Me (Andrew Weatherall Remix)' by Jagwar Ma

OK, so the original version of the track has been around for some time, both as a single in its own right and as a track on 'Howlin', one of the best albums of the year, but this remix by the legendary Mr. Weatherall is fresh out of the box. It's more upbeat and electronic, and less dubby, than some of his remixes have been of late, switching some of the original's psychedelia with a harder edge. I don't know if or when it's going to be released, but you can listen to it below.

New music: 'Invisible In Your City' by Gang Colours

So it appears that while I was on holiday a couple of weeks ago, Gang Colours sneaked out the new title track from his next album 'Invisible In Your City'. In case you missed it as well you can listen to the track below- it's a delicate, gentle track that reminds me a bit of Hot Chip in one of their more mellow moments.

New music: 'Stunner' by Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip

Lead track from the forthcoming album 'Repent Replenish Repeat', which is out in October. This is a full-frontal, no holds barred assault from Dan and Pip. I particularly like the lifting of the Simon & Garfunkel line ("Hello darkness my old friend") and the bit about torturing a dove just to prove Prince wrong.

Watch the video below and then click here to pick up a free download of the track.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Video of the Day: 'Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?' by Arctic Monkeys

After going off the boil a bit on their last couple of albums (IMHO) the tracks that have come out so far from 'AM', their fifth release, seem to show that they've finally managed to find the right balance of swagger and wit. The video for the latest track starts with Alex Turner exercising his inner actor as he gets drunk while previous single 'Do I Wanna Know?' plays in the pub. The evening progresses and as the new song plays you get to see him stumble through a serious of drunken encounters and equally drunken texts.

Interesting fact: the last three Arctic Monkey singles to be released have been questions - 'R U Mine?', 'Do I Wanna Know?' and 'Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?'. This must be some sort of record, surely?

Track of the Day: 'Yesterday Was Fun' by Deech

A nicely chilled slice of electronica for you Sunday afternoon. There something about the music in this that reminds me of R'n'B records from the 80s - I can't quite put my finger on what it is, but whatever it is, it works. You can download this track for free below courtesy of of Mr Deech himself, who posted this up from his home in Minsk a few hours ago.

Friday, 9 August 2013

New Podcast - Austerity Audio vol. 7

The Austerity Audio podcast is back from its summer holiday feeling fully refreshed and ready to give you what you want, if what you want is the best in new, free music from a multitude of genres.

This week's podcast is a bumper edition featuring 14 tracks and a full 80 minutes of music. To listen just click on the picture above, or right click to download the full set. Some of these have been lying around on my hard drive for a few weeks so apologies if you can't track them all down, but at the time I got them they were all legally downloadable for free. If you're new to this series of podcasts then you should know that the only thing I ask in exchange for making these available for free is that if you particularly like something on here then you spend a few pence on buying a track or two from that artist. Here's this week's tracklisting:

  1. Jeremiah Jae - Oatmeal Face
  2. Corduroi - Like U Dooooo
  3. Tunng - So Far From Here (Enjoyed Remix)
  4. Austra - Home (Space Echo Trip Extended)
  5. Seams - Rilo (Howes Remix)
  6. Raffertie - Touching
  7. His Majesty Andre - Brixxxton
  8. Favored Nations - Blame Game (Sau Poler Remix)
  9. Letherette - After Dawn (Bibio Remix Part 1)
  10. Machinedrum - Eyesdontlie (DJ Shadow Remix)
  11. Grid 861 - The Destructor
  12. Dustin Wong - The Big She
  13. Pixies - Bagboy
  14. Moon Duo - High Over Blue

Thursday, 8 August 2013

New music: 'Fade' by 100wxxds

The lead track from the 'Heartache' EP, which is due out in a couple of weeks, this is a dark, moody and mysterious slice of electronica that leaves you feeling slightly unsettled. I can't tell you much about the guy except that he's from Gothenburg, Sweden, and apparently is unsigned at the moment.

Until the EP arrives you can grab this track for free below.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Recommended music: 'Any Port In A Storm' by Scott & Charlene's Wedding

Craig Dermody's second long-player under this magical moniker sees him relocated in New York City, although you sense that wherever he lives he'll always be something of an outsider. A magnificent muddle of jangly guitars, story-telling lyrics shot through with equal amounts of humour and pathos, and a retro-musicality firmly routed in the early 90s - on the tellingly-titled '1993' he even sings "And I ain't done much changing in what I love since 1993". The album is kinda summed up by the track 'Fakin' NYC' wherein he states "I'm fakin' in New York City, I'll let you in in a secret of mine, I don't know what I'm doing any of the time".

Despite the slacker vibes there's some definite effort been put into this album - there are hooks and melodies aplenty, and I reckon it takes a lot of practice to perfect that barely-singing approach to vocals. It's hard to make a record that instantly feels like it's your friend, that you'd want to sit in a bar with and talk shit with all evening, but this album has that familiarity and warmness. It's a record whose sound and stories work equally as well in East London as they do in East Village, and perhaps, amidst the great hooks and charming songs, that's its greatest success. If he really is looking for any port in a storm then you should let Dermody take shelter in your harbour - your life will be all the better for it.

By the way, my cd copy of the album also came with the added bonus of a copy of the 'Two Weeks' EP from earlier this year (I assume they all do, at least initially?) which makes it even better value.

I'll leave you with this thought from 'Jackie Boy', which I imagine in one of Dermody's mantras;- "I dragged myself into the void until I had nothing left, when you've got nothing left you've still got rock'n'roll".

You can listen to some of the album's tracks ad even grab a free download or two below.

Track of the Day: 'Blame Game (Sau Poler Remix)' by Favored Nations

Favored Nations are a trans-Pacific trio making sun-drenched dance music for discerning disco lovers. This remix of their current single 'Blame Game' from Barcelona resident Sao Poler steps up the samba rhythms and creates a confection of Balearic beats. It's hard to imagine any sort of summertime activity to which this wouldn't be a great soundtrack. Highly recommended for your pool party or beach BBQ, you can listen to the track or download it for free below.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Track of the Day: 'Rilo (Howes Remix)' by Seams

Weird things about the music industry #1,274 - the fact that remixes of tracks now appear before the original has even been released. It makes it difficult to tell how much of the track is original and how much is remix fuckery. But either way, this is a good track, with a bit of a Caribou / Daphni vibe and a lot of electronic goodness. Listen and download for free below.

Recommended music: 'Comfort Songs' by Cloud

There's a line in 'Cars & It's Autumn', the opening track on this album, that pretty much seems to sum up the whole feeling and purpose of the record. "Funny how I'm happy now, singing about my sadness" sings 21-year old Tyler Taormina, and you get the sense that in some ways the record is his own personal therapy - a way of emerging from the 'difficult' teenage years and accepting that sometimes life is going to be shit, but as an adult you have to have the strength to deal with that. In doing so he provides some measure of comfort for the rest of us, hence the album's title. Walking a tightrope between optimism and despair he dips into both and ultimately emerges as a stronger human being - "My ego still needs me to be number one, but I think that I figured it out / That I only wish to be a positive force, and I don't wanna be the main character of my own life anymore" is the phrase that closes 'Authorless Novel'.

Musically this a broad church, with piano led numbers, acoustic moments, some beautiful trumpet solos, and even one or two musical moments that Mogwai would be proud of. Some bits of it remind me of Mercury Rev as well, although I can't really put my finger on why. Halfway through there's a section of songs (the end of 'Stomach Pit' & the start of 'Frere Jacques and Me') that remind me so much of hymns I used to sing at school that I wonder if there is a religious element to Taormina's upbringing, and if this in some way contributed to his teenage torment. 'Desperation Club', the longest song on the album, even comes with its own manifesto, and states 'If this were a movement, its members would follow not by choice or will'; a Fight Club for the weak and disenfranchised then.

Other great things on this record? The line "Celebrate celibate strangers", which could have come from the pen of Morrissey. The choir of friends on 'A Light Wish Weighs A Lot'.  The way that at times it feels like the whole thing is about to get out of control before it's gently reeled in. The way that the 'Ave Maria' violin introduction of'Stomach Pit' gives way to the song's melody, which has more than a passing resemblance to 'Amazing Grace'.

If you're looking for comparisons then this is every bit as haunting and touching as last year's 'Put Your Back N 2 It' by Perfume Genius. But you shouldn't really be comparing this to anything as it's in a class of its own.

The album is out on Audio Antihero on August 5th and is available as a download or a limited-edition cd - click here to order. And whilst I don't wish any ill on Jamie or his record label, it's safe to say that if he shut it down tomorrow he could feel safe in the knowledge that he's helped to give birth to a truly great record.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Track of the Day: 'Prague' by Blaenavon

The first track to appear from this talented young trio's new release (and only the third track they've put out in total) does nothing to dispel my feelings that are definitely one of the best new acts to appear this year (in case you care my other two favourite new acts in 2013 are Drenge and Cloud). Alternating between moodily quite and powerfully loud, it's a showcase both for the lead singer's vocals and the band's musical prowess.

The Koso EP, from which this is taken, will be out as a 12" on Transgressive records (click here to buy it), but in the meantime you can stream the track below.

If you want to read what I said about Blaenavon when I first tipped them back in January click here.