NEW MUSIC: Million Square – First Block

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Million Square (UK) released their new EP Spirit Bloom last month and one of the highlights is this track, ‘First Block’. Glitchy, effervescent, sparkly notes dart between the speakers above frantic scattershot beats. It’s IDM music but when a haunting, romantic saxophone enters the fray it takes on a new, jazz-leaning vibe and it works wonderfully.

London-based electronic duo, Million Square features double-bassist Max Luthert and saxophonist Duncan Eagles, who citing influences as diverse as Autechre and John Coltrane,  expertly blend the sounds of acoustic and electronic instruments.

NEW MUSIC: Heavy Harvest – Candy

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Stand back, turn it up and hold onto something. Swiss trio Heavy Harvest hit the afterburners on this blistering one and a half minutes of hardcore noise rock. Think Jesus Lizard in a blizzard, or a practice session in a shipping container with METZ and Shihad. It’s brutally good and a sample of their new album Iron Lung which explores all corners of intense, heavy, unhinged noise rock. Sonic catharsis of the highest order in these fucked up times.

 

NEW MUSIC: Fontaines D.C. Release New Single and Announce New Album ‘A Hero’s Death’

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Fontaines D.C., who released one of our favourite albums of 2019, are back with a new single ahead of the release of their second album A Hero’s Death on July 31st. The album title-track is a great first single too – with that trademark energy and verve of the band and some added texture and melody thrown into the mix.

Singer Grian Chatten has this to say about the song and video:

“The song is a list of rules for the self, they’re principles for self-prescribed happiness that can often hang by a thread. It’s ostensibly a positive message, but with repetition comes different meanings, that’s what happens to mantras when you test them over and over. There’s this balance between sincerity and insincerity as the song goes on and you see that in the music video as well. That’s why there’s a lot of shifting from major key to minor key. The idea was influenced by a lot of the advertising I was seeing – the repetitive nature of these uplifting messages that take on a surreal and scary feel the more you see them.

The title came from a line in a play by Brendan Behan, and I wrote the lyrics during a time where I felt consumed by the need to write something else to alleviate the fear that I would never be able follow up Dogrel. But more broadly it’s about the battle between happiness and depression, and the trust issues that can form tied to both of those feelings.”

NEW MUSIC: Blue Canopy – Keys to The Garden

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Blue Canopy, the moniker of Portland Oregon musician Alex Schiff, has recently released his debut EP called Mild Anxiety, featuring this track – ‘Keys To The Garden’, a shimmering slice of psychedelia with a hazy tropical bent.

According to Schiff, ‘Keys to the Garden’ was written about the New York Knicks, cloaked with fantasy lore imagery.

“At that point in my life, I knew that my wife and I wanted to start a family, but we had no idea where we were going to live. That was causing a lot of anxiety and feelings of being unsettled. Everything was up in the air. I started writing lyrics about that, but was struggling. The Knicks were kind of similar in the sense that they too were directionless with an uncertain future. I think emotionally it was easier to write about the Knicks, and as soon as I made that the decision the lyrics came together quickly.”

Formerly the keyboardist and co-writer for indie band, Modern Rivals, Alex has shared the stage with bands such as Ra Ra Riot, Stars, and The Black Keys. The EP’s lead single, “656” enlists the four other members of Modern Rivals (performing drums, guitar, bass, synth and backup vocals) as an official send-off to a relationship that was a formative part of Alex’s youth and time living in New York City.

‘Mild Anxiety’ was produced by Alex Schiff & Patrick J Smith (A Beacon School/Modern Rivals).

 

NEW MUSIC: Alex Henry Foster – The Hunter (By The Seaside Window)

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Alex Henry Foster recently released the video for his single ‘The Hunter (By The Seaside Window)‘, the centrepiece of his new album Windows In The Sky. The song is an epic 14 minute piece of post-rock, with an ebb and flow of tension, poetry and ascent into grand, sprawling and expansive electric guitar playing that at times reminds us of Lift To Experience. Interwoven with Foster’s (mostly) spoken word are indecipherable recordings of a female voice – in another language, which adds to the mystery and intrigue.

“The Hunter (By the Seaside Window) emerged from a 30-minute jam of a noisy, out-of-breath and tortured kind of dark, spiritual, emotive, and redemptive sonic journey. It reflects on the symbiotic notion of inner struggles feeding the growing illness of the relationship between the different entities we kept on feeding within oneself, as a sort of an out-of-step addiction to pain and resignation, but also to hopelessness and mercy, as much as to salvation and grace. The cycle only ends once we decide to let go, whatever it may mean for anyone’s beliefs… as we are both the hunter and the prey” – Alex Henry Foster

Alex Henry Foster (AHF) is a Canadian musician, singer-songwriter, author, producer, and composer, best known as the frontman of Juno Awards nominee Post-Rock / Noise band Your Favorite Enemies. The impressive and gripping short film for The Hunter was produced and written by Alex Henry Foster’s longtime collaborator, French filmmaker Jessie Nottola.

NEW MUSIC: André Uhl – I Care About You, Just Not Right Now

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There are some serious sci-fi dark sonic forces at work on this new track from Berlin-based German musician André Uhl, who holds a master’s degree in futures studies and works as a futures researcher during the day. He dials into  an ominous and forbidding sound that pulses, throbs and pushes and pulls against the speaker cones. Everything is rhythmic, like the heartbeat of a city, the bass like a subterranean world of digital interconnectivity while the synth melodies teem above like a busy yet alienated metropolitan organism.

‘I Care About You, Just Not Right Now’ is the first single from Uhl’s upcoming album Relax and Implode, to be released on Berlin-based label Martin Hossbach on October 16th 2020.

According to Uhl: “The song deals with emotional confusion in a complicated relationship. It’s about proximity and distance, push and pull, and the struggle with toxic communication behavior. It tells about the kind of relationship you can’t escape from although you know you should.”

NEW MUSIC: Holy Wave – Escapism

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Hazy, rolling sonic waves are the order of the day on this blissed-out new psychedelic track from El Paso TX band Holy Wave. It slowly builds, layer upon layer of chiming, effects-laden guitars and astral voices, droning and intoning as it heads skyward.

‘Escapism’ is the 2nd single off Interloper, Holy Wave’s fifth album, out July 3, 2020. You can also listen to the title track and ‘I’m Not Living In The Past Anymore‘.

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’.