NEW MUSIC: These New Puritans – Inside The Rose

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UK group These New Puritans return with ‘Inside The Rose’, the second single (and NSFW video) from their forthcoming new LP of the same name, due out March 22nd. It’s their first album in six years and saw the band record in Berlin, London and Southend-on-Sea, before mixing it in Los Angeles.

The group have reverted to the original duo of brothers Jack and George Barnett and from the sound of this track, the album could be quite a special set of songs, built on heady, emotive dynamics and a blend of organic and digital instrumentation that bring to mind Wild Beasts, Japan and Depeche Mode.

NEW MUSIC: Marble Arch – I’m On My Way

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More new shoegaze sounds today! This time it’s courtesy of Frenchman Yann Le Razavet who, as Marble Arch, records music that draws heavily on the likes of New Order and Ride. He makes it sound effortless with cascading melodies, obscured vocals and synths and guitars that blur into one billowing vapour of 80s indie pop.

Marble Arch have a full album on the way in 2019.

NEW MUSIC: Interbellum – Ready To Dissolve

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This is most likely the first music we’ve featured from Lebanon and it’s a wonderful slice of downbeat indie guitar pop courtesy of the group Interbellum. ‘Ready To Dissolve’ comes from the recently released album Dead Pets, Old Griefs and is primarily the work of songwriter Karl Mattar (aka Charlie Rayne) as well as multi-instrumentalist and producer Fadi Tabbal and other musicians from the Beirut music scene.

‘Ready To Dissolve’ bears some hallmarks of the NZ indie music scene in it’s relaxed feel, gentle jangle of guitars and understated vocals. It’s a familiar and comforting sound that wraps itself around with its pastoral shimmer of a sound.

sun goes black
the picture cracks
and folds with the falling ceiling
echoes crawl around what remains of the walls
and I can hardly describe the feeling

everything tastes like ashes
the very sky could crash
it’s strange to watch the day slip
we’re going where the wind blows
out of the hatchback window
cars in the tunnel look like spaceships

and we’re speeding away
I can’t hear a word that you say
catch anything your glances imply
the tail lights dance before my eyes

I watch the air glow and the particles decay
still and all I wish I’d stayed

kiss my eyes and sing me to sleep
we won’t be around within weeks
hold me through the fog and the fall
I’m almost ready to dissolve
we haven’t learned much of anything at all

NEW MUSIC: SHON – A Crack In It

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SHON is a Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist who released an EP called Made As It Drifted, earlier in 2018. ‘A Crack In It’ is one of those textured and layered tracks that recalls the inventiveness of Radiohead and the willingness to place real instruments in digital environments. SHON uses an art-rock and post-rock  palette of sound and it works wonderfully on both sonic and songwriting levels.

ALBUM REVIEW: Deep Sea Arcade – Blacklight

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It’s been six years since Nic McKenzie and Nick Weaver released their debut album Outlands. On the back of a run of singles they’d built a strong sense of anticipation about that first record and it certainly lived up to expectations. Fast forward to 2018 and how does a band evolve and change over that time? The DSA model is to essentially stick to the template with some refinement and an easing off of the accelerator.

As you’d expect with such a long gestation, they’ve no doubt rewritten and reworked tracks and that has given these ten songs a sense of calm control. The more frantic edges of earlier songs have been rounded off. This is the band sounding less indie psych rock and with more of an ultramodern sheen that embraces electronic and disco sounds as much as it distils the pop and psychedelic qualities of their past work. Mercury Rev, Spoon, Beck, The Horrors are names that come to mind, acts that all relish melodic hooks as equally as they paint in cosmic colours. 

McKenzie’s voice is shorn of some of its more nasally proclivities and is now in perfect marriage with the music. Musically, the Manchester 90s vibe is still there in tracks like Joanna with its dance-ready rhythm section. The closer Ready is a highlight of studio-polished melancholy while Learning To Fly is an absolute ear-worm of a track that uses hooks and repetition to bury itself deep. The other highlight is the single Close To Me with its loping trip hop groove and psych-soul feel that blossoms into one of the duo’s finest choruses.

Black lights are employed for artistic lighting effects as well as diagnostic and therapeutic uses and in that sense it’s a fitting title for a record that looks to combine art-pop and post-relationship dissection. There are moments when form supersedes the strength of the songwriting but overall Blacklight justifies the long wait for this second album.

Chris Familton

NEW MUSIC: Deep Sea Arcade – Close To Me

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Deep Sea Arcade have been hard at work on their new album Blacklight, their first since Outlands in 2012. We’ve heard the new album, we’ve got a review of it coming soon. The good news is that for the most part it’s been worth the wait.

This single, ‘Close To Me’, is one of the album highlights and an example of the seamless integration of indie, electronic and psych elements the duo of Nick Weaver and Nic McKenzie have put together on the new record.