NEW MUSIC: War Strings – Tragedy (Lovesong)

 

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Bittersweet swerving guitars and sonic verve are two of the defining aspects of War Strings‘ single ‘Tragedy (Lovesong)’. Think New Order, The Cure, Girls and the dense static and fuzz of Swervedriver all combine to form a transatlantic blend of angst and shoegaze. Tough and tender, the song is a gem of the kind that inhabits that sweet spot where melody meets melancholy.

War Strings is the work of LA musician Andrew Stogel who, after suffering a major head injury, began channelling his creativity, from his recovery bed, into a batch of songs that make up his debut LP, due out in 2020. You can also check out his other single, released earlier this year – ‘My Alien Heart’.

 

NEW MUSIC: The Wednesday Night – The Perfect Scene

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Sydney group The Wednesday Night follow up their 2018 LP Music Club Volume Two with their new single ‘The Perfect Scene’.

Over tumbling drums and bass that wanders with curiosity and a free spirit, Laura Murdoch relays the scenario of a perfect scene (of two tales) through a hazy lens of psych-pop melancholy. Like Mazzy Star filtered through a tougher 60s aesthetic, the guitar of Rob Young hangs in the air, all shimmering, ringing chords and atmospheric melodies, particularly the chiming, six-string sparkle of the chorus.

Murdoch and Young, the core of The Wednesday Night, say of the new single…

“The Perfect Scene paints two dark film noir tales. The stories hang in limbo with no resolve, encircled in reverse looped guitars so you’re not sure if it’s the beginning, the end or even if the tales intertwine. Either way, you get the eerie feeling we’re all in it together.”

‘The Perfect Scene’ is out now via Half A Cow Records

NEW MUSIC: bdrmm – Happy

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With a bass-line straight out of The Cure and Joy Division handbook, this track from bdrmm is undeniably the sum of its influences, but they’re great ones and they approach the music with reverence and respect, keeping all the elements of mood and texture in check. The result is a wistful, melancholically propulsive and free-flowing track that draws from shoegaze, post-punk and dark pop. icon1@2x‘Happy’ is the Hull/Leeds-based band’s first single from their debut album Bedroom, out July 3rd. The album was produced by Alex Greaves (Working Mens Club, Bo Ningen) and mastered by Heba Kadry (Slowdive, Beach House).

NEW MUSIC: Unwed Sailor – Camino Wheel

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Find a riff, nail it down and wear it out. That’s the approach from the best psych-rock and shoegaze bands and the central guitar chords and bass in Unwed Sailor’s track ‘Camino Wheel’ is a perfect example. They know how long to stretch it out for, peppering with adjacent sounds before opening up the music with a sweeping gesture of held electric notes akin to clouds parting on a summer’s day. Elsewhere the bass is given the spotlight to dig dark grooves over this varied and compelling track.

Unwed Sailor are led by Johnathon Ford (ex-Pedro The Lion) and they carve out a fine sound that recalls Swervedriver with elements of the darker, more cosmic end of Krautrock as well as English post-punk. The album Look Alive will be released June 12th by Old Bear Records via Light In the Attic Records.

NEW MUSIC: Tan Cologne – Alien

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Tan Cologne are the American duo of Lauren Green (formerly Mirror Travel) and interdisciplinary artist Marissa Macias who began collaborating in Taos, NM.

Their debut album Cave Vaults On The Moon In New Mexico came out last week and ‘Alien’ is a shimmering, atmospheric and gently propulsive example of the cosmic psychedelia that the pair have created.

You can hear the desert, the stars, the shimmering heat of the day and the cool twilight breeze as they blend their vocals and drape the sound in reverb and delay. Everything drifts lightly via the billowing and swirling guitars. Think Mazzy Star, Warpaint at the most ethereal and CAN suspended in a dream-state.

Cave Vaults On The Moon In New Mexico is out now via Labrador Records

LIVE REVIEW: Moon Duo @ OAF, Sydney

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OXFORD ART FACTORY
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The evolution of Moon Duo has been a slow and steady one over the last decade. Originally starting as a duo of Wooden Shjips guitarist Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada, the pair have retained their minimal aesthetic and core personnel but expanded their live performance to include a drummer and most recently, a stunning light show, by Manchester-based visual projection artist Emmanuel Biard, comprised of projections onto transparent material surrounding the band on three sides, creating a 3D prismatic effect.

After a DJ set from Angus Andrews of Liars that travelled through all kinds of psychedelic dimensions before curtains parted and the band emerged in their triangular realm, silhouettes magnified large above the audience’s heads. Any Moon Duo show is a journey that doesn’t necessarily have peaks, instead there are sonic waves, carrying the crowd on stratospheric journeys through thin atmosphere, twinkling synth lines and winding, searching guitar filigrees or dragging them down into subterranean head trips to the centre of the earth. The Krautrock drive and relentless rhythms were like a superhighway – sleek and endless, the motorik bass and melodies of Yamada the perfect balanced foil to Johnson’s more traditional psych rock soloing – heavy on effects and open-ended explorations of the outer limits.

Tracks from most of their albums peppered the set and they finished off with their recent cover of Alan Vega’s ‘Jukebox Babe’, a perfect homage to one of their strongest influences. The combination of the visuals and the consistent and cohesive adherence to their musical parameters made the set a wholly immersive and transportive experience for the audience and no doubt the band as well.

Chris Familton

NEW MUSIC: Mazeppa – The Way In

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Mazeppa are an Israeli psychedelic rock band who have recently released the video clip for their second single from their upcoming album.

Michal Perez Noy, a Haifa musician and composer, initiated in 2017 a project to compose songs by the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. She was soon joined by Asaf Koren (guitar), Elad Bardes (bass) and Amir Noy (drums) and what started as the Rilke project became Mazeppa.

‘The Way In’ finds the band conjuring up some mystical spirits of fire and forest and twisting them into hypnotic shapes and phrases. It’s a hallucinogenic experience of the sonic variety and they tread a perfect line between the euphoric baggy vibe of the 90s and a tougher rock sound, more in the realm of The Doors and Velvet Underground.

 

NEW MUSIC: Burning House – Her Vowel No

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A blistering sonic harmonic scree is the order of the day on this new track from the Southampton, UK band Burning House. You can hear the spirit and verve of bands like Swervedriver, Trail Of Dead, My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth as they careen across the speakers, leaving vapour trails of melody and distortion.

‘Her Vowel No’ comes from their debut LP Anthropocene which came out mid year.