NEW MUSIC: Japanese Television – Bloodworm

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Galloping ramalama psych rock hurtles straight out of the gates on this instrumental track from wild and eclectic London quartet Japanese Television. It’s like a manic sideshow ride with a streak of reverb-laden surf rock blasting out of battered amusement park speakers. The song careens along with patches of spiralling space rock sending bent organ notes exploding skyward. You think it’s over and it all kicks off again with a Krautrock urgency.

Head over to Spotify and you can also check out their 2016 self-titled EP.

‘Bloodworm’ was recorded in an old isolated village hall onto an 8 track tape by Kristian Bell of The Wytches who had set up the makeshift studio from scratch to manifest the live sound they were after. The band said; ‘’The track only had a working title when we started recording it, we’d played it out live for the first time the night before. The name comes from a book we found in a collection of second-hand novels in the corner of the village hall. The cover of the book has a giant worm wrapped around a ruined Big Ben, which seemed to fit pretty nicely with the mood we were trying to capture! Another weird fact is that a character in the book shares the name of our guitarist, Tim Jones. He is in the book for a single page, at which point he gets eaten by a Bloodworm.’’

 

NEW MUSIC: Tindersticks Soundtrack ‘High Life’

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Tindersticks and Stuart A. Staples are custom built for soundtrack work, such is their ability to conjure such exquisite and restrained mood and atmosphere, both musically and vocally. They’ve worked on a number of film projects in the past and this latest one by Staples is for the movie High Life, directed by Claire Denis – who Staples has worked with on seven of her other films. His soundtrack and sound design compositions on High Life earned him the George Delerue Award for Best Music at the Gent Film Festival.

Below you can watch the video for ‘Willow’, with lead vocal from actor Robert Pattinson, and listen to the instrumental piece ‘The Garden’ which rises and falls with dramatic tension and poise, a brooding cousin to late period Talk Talk experimentations with its droning bed and searching brass.

Most of the music for High Life was made before the filming. The conversation with Claire started maybe as far back as 2012. There were many ideas I wanted to explore and I appreciated the foresight of Claire and the producers in offering me support and encouragement to do this. As well as work with usual collaborators Dan McKinna, Neil Fraser and Earl Harvin, this afforded me purely experimental recording sessions with David Coulter, Thomas Bloch, David Okumu, Julian Siegel, Seb Rochford and the BBC singers. Several long sketches / pieces were created from these sessions that the eventual score was formed from or informed by. 

And then there was ‘Willow’. a seed of a song shared by myself and Dan Mckinna that eventually grew to be the conclusion of the High life with Robert Pattinson, the lead actor, singing the song in character to his daughter Willow, a theme that runs through the film.

~ Stuart A. Staples

 

NEW MUSIC: Karyme – خونمون

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This pulsing, kinetic instrumental track from Australian producer Karyme caught our ear this week. Elements of jazz, trip hop and downbeat electronica combine on a track that sounds like it’s in constant motion. A playful bass-line keeps things anchored as drums push and pull and synth pads provide melodic beds of texture and sonic bliss.

خونمون [kho͞onamo͞on] the first single from Karyme’s full length release, Full Cream.

 

NEW MUSIC: Theory Of Why – Wrapped Up In Snow

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Theory Of Why is a studio collaboration project between Anton Kropp and Julia Nova who met as college radio DJ’s at the University Of Maryland WMUC station where they continued to write and play music long after college, not stopping after they went separate ways.

‘Wrapped Up In Snow’  comes from their self-titled debut album and has a mix of Breeder’s 90s rock sounds and a darker, more exploratory psych and Krautrock drive. Their self-describe blend of influences such as Stereolab and Wooden Shjips is a pretty accurate one in terms of this track.

 

NEW MUSIC: Jackmann – The Wolf & The Hare

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Jackmann is the stage name of Kris Schroeder of The Basics and ‘The Wolf & The Hare’ is the first single from his forthcoming LP Low Key.

He mentions Warren Zevon as an influence and was one of the first reference points that came to mind on this track. That backbeat, the clipped chop of the rhythm and the vocal sound all combine to produce a great 70s sound, with some magical guitar playing. There’s a certain toughness to the sound that works well as the piano hammers out notes like a wired and poetically belligerent barfly. Great production courtesy of Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios too.

According to Jackmann, “The song is both a plea of innocence and an admission of guilt, an exploration of mental health, power, predator and prey in the new world of internet relationships, emotional manipulation and sugar daddies. “I am not a criminal, I’m just as much a victim as her…” “Who is the Wolf? Who is the Hare?”

NEW MUSIC: Wy – Softie

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Malmö, Sweden duo (Ebba and Michel) Wy are set to released their second LP Softie, at the end of April and this is the title track, a swelling swoon of a song that takes in pop angst, dream-pop swirl and an indie aesthetic. At various times it reminds us of Siouxsie Sioux and Anna Calvi singing the music of Cocteau Twins. It’s emotional and passionate music with cool angles and it threatens but never pushes the emotive quotient too far into bombast. This is their second album and third release following their debut EP Never Was (2016) and their 10-track LP Okay (2018).

‘Softie’ is an attempt at proving there is more than one way of being a functioning human being. The album is about coping, growing out of your fears, learning how to distance yourself from your anxieties and the ups and downs that comes with being bipolar. ‘Softie’ is ultimately about releasing the pressure from yourself and that’s what we have been doing in the process of writing these songs. We ended up with a record that was turbulent, back and forth and non-conforming. And we love that, because it feels very ‘us’ and we really wanted our second album to hit you in the face rather than rock you to sleep.”

 

NEW MUSIC: Acrylic – Money From Home

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‘Money From Home’ is the latest single from Gaswegian group Acrylic and what we like about his piece of indie rock is how it dials into a shadowy post-punk melancholy while still retaining a lightness and grace on the surface. You can hear shades of The National, and Midlake in the harmonies and sparkling, interwoven guitars. It’s a sophisticated sound and one that really gets under the skin on repeat listens.