NEW MUSIC: Tristan Welch – Tuesday

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‘Tuesday’ comes from Tristan Welch‘s 2019 album 40 Hours (via Verses Records (a label collective out of Washington D.C.) and it’s quite a mesmerising, slowly unfurling piece of droning ambient music. There’s a gentle swell, ebb and flow to the track, almost akin to an entity slowly breathing. Guitars, effects and a saxophone shape an immersive listening experience.

NEW MUSIC: Heron – Splashdown

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Guitar notes and chords splash and chime out of a billowing ether of reverb as Heron’s song ‘Splashdown’ slowly emerges, blinking into existence. There’s a patient quality to the track with the intro taking a calm two minutes to blossom into a fuller sound when measured drums entering the equation.

The post-rock band from the heart of the Pennsylvania Wilds have a second full-length album coming soon. For the moment there’s plenty to explore in this immersive and meditative track that spreads its wings over nearly eight minutes. They combine the dreaminess of Sigur Ros with the electric grace and grandeur of Explosions In The Sky.

 

NEW MUSIC: Josephine Wiggs – Time Does Not Bring Relief

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Best known for her role as bassist for The Breeders, Josephine Wiggs is also a fine composer of atmospheric ambient music. ‘Time Does Not Bring Relief’ is the first taste of her new solo album We Fall. It’s a haunting piano-based, instrumental composition that gently pushes and pulls rhythmically across nearly five minutes, evoking the work of Harold Budd and Nils Frahm. Evocative, textural soundscape music.

We Fall was composed, performed and recorded by Wiggs, with drums and electronics by her longtime friend and collaborator Jon Mattock (Spacemen 3, Spiritualized).

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We Fall is due out May 17th via The Sound Of Sinners.

NEW MUSIC: Unwed Sailor – Ovid

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Math-rock, post-rock, call it what you will… The 90s and 00s were a goldmine for this kind of music. Knotty guitars wrestling and dancing in weird shapes, time signatures playing hopscotch and for the most part no vocals. From Slint, Pan Am and Tortoise through to Isis and Pelican the range of sonic detail and emotional outpouring and impact ran the gamut of intensity.

Unwed Sailor, from Tulsa, OK have been at it for a long time, particularly main man Johnathon Ford, a one-time member of Pedro the Lion and Roadside Monument. It’s been 11 years since their last album but they’re back with Heavy Age and this first taste of it, ‘Ovid’, digs into some wonderful guitar lines. Part shoegaze, part post-rock, you can hear similarities with a bunch of English bands including Swervedriver and Ride yet the lack of vocals means the focus is even more tightly fixed on the landscape painted by the guitars and their effects pedals as well as the gloriously contorting rhythm section.

Heavy Age is set for release on May 3rd.

NEW MUSIC: Henrik Von Euler – F-dur

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As much as we love manic post-punk, sweet alt-country tunes and arch indie-rock, we also love to bliss out to relaxing ambient sounds. Not the cheesy lift music or Muzak or hippie-lite new age bullshit. We’re talking experimental, avant garde composition, whether it be electronic, acoustic or a combination of the two. Think Eno, Harold Budd, Fenenesz, Caretaker or Hiroshi Yoshimura.

This elegant track from Swedish producer Henrik Von Euler this the spot for us with its meditative qualities but in the background there lurks both beauty and distant ominous clouds on the horizon. It’s tranquil yet possessing some darker mystery beneath the surface.

We know little about Von Euler other than he runs the label Flora & Fauna and has been a part of the Swedish electronic scene for over fifteen years with numerous releases on labels all over the world. This track comes from his recently released EP Hemskogen.

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