One day, I will get round to learning Welsh. In the meantime though, I just have to be grateful that Ysgol Sul have dumbed things down for the sake of monoglots like myself; the songs on their new EP are written in the English language. Due for release on September 30th, Eventide is characterised by a subtle capriciousness, that draws on and accentuates the most whimsical elements of classic indie.
Elsewhere acts as an anchor in the middle of this release, and is the obvious choice for a single, its gentle but propulsive rhythm driving the song decisively beneath hazy guitars and languid vocals. The rest of the EP floats around this point somewhat formlessly, fluctuating gradually so as to avoid jarring its listener from the lulling state that these songs evoke. Perfectly timed as autumn draws in, there’s an erratic element here that’s just a bit too unexpected for a summer daze, and a slight sullenness to the vocal that suits the fall of the year.
Sometimes, very rarely, I find I have no idea how I first came across a certain band. It’s like they just appeared as if they’d always been there, assuming a place in my life with no introduction. Glacier Veins are one such occurrence, becoming familiar to me at some unknown point during the cycle of last year’s EP Clear Your Head. Of course, the question here is how rather than why this situation occurred, as one listen to their self-described ‘dream punk’ reveals my obvious attraction to the band.
Latest video Headspace Campout does nothing but reinforce this, the visual’s lo-fi aesthetic reflecting the song’s gorgeously soothing melody while the vocals add a depth of emotion, lyrics of pining for a loved one who’s far away. The overriding sense here though is one of optimism – there’s a joy in having someone to miss, and in the meantime being connected through dreams of one another. Having recently signed to Common Ground Records, the band will be releasing new EP Dreamspace through that label on October 6th.
Opening with a few seconds of static and dissolving into tuneless la’s by its third line, Pawn sets the scene on an EP that’s not for the faint-hearted. Fizzy Blood have had an element of unhinged weirdness since first single January Sun, after that though everything seemed to become bit more restrained. For a while at least – over the past year or so the derangement has been getting gradually less subtle, as if they’d gently slid a knife between our ribs and are now twisting it.
That’s not to suggest that every moment on Summer Of Luv is is frenzied madness; this band know how to use space to enhance their impact, with sometimes the calmest sections coming across as the most eerie, particularly towards the end of Haunted. Then the title track jumps in, jarringly blithe, albeit through heavy distortion. It’s the ‘pop’ song of the release, if such a thing needs to be observed; before the final track sinks once more into darkness. Generally the idea of a band reverting back to a manner they’d moved away from is quite odd, but the way that everything they’ve learnt in the meantime is incorporated maintains a sense of progression with this release. It’ll be interesting to see where they go next, hopefully even weirder (if that’s possible).
Alright, so I’m a week behind, this was actually out last Friday. Blame festivals… Although that’s not a valid excuse really, as my pre-order turned up days earlier. Complete with stickers, badges, and a cherry Maoam – didn’t I feel loved to be sent the best flavour!
With a running time just over ten minutes (or fifteen if you get the special edition CD with its hidden bonus track), there’s no messing about here. Amalgamating high-tempo punk and grooving basslines into a ferocious but disarmingly seductive racket, this EP is everything you’d hope for from Ghost Of The Avalanche. The breakneck speed eases a little after two songs for ironically ‘pop’ midpoint White Noise, and the dark tale of a sleazebag getting his comeuppance in Snake Charmer.
The issues highlighed by the record’s title Obsessive Compulsive Gender Dysphoria have subtly rather than obviously influenced the songs here. As such the atmosphere is one of general alienation and maybe some confusion at the world, making it relatable regardless of whether you’ve been through specifically similar experiences. There’s harshness here, that echoes the world; but with this EP to listen, dance and scream along to, you get the feeling that things might just work out alright.
Having watched this a few times now, it’s still definitely one of the best music videos I’ve seen. Wanna learn the lyrics to the song? Answer the questions correctly and you can. Thinking of starting your own band, but not sure how to get famous? It’ll teach you that too. Apart from the very beginning where my heart jumped to my throat as I really thought my laptop had crashed, I stare, joyously agape as an entire digital world built around the band unfolds line by line.
The attention to detail here is impeccable, I’m sure there’s still more to see than I’ve yet noticed, and the complexity of multiple layers reflects the tune itself with its juxtaposition of sunny melody and anguished lyrics. A catchy, upbeat indie-pop song about… crippling headaches? Probably not what you expect. But then when the band’s own name describes them as TRASH, I suppose the bar isn’t set high. Based on Migraines though, by which I mean the track not just the video, they should have a little more faith in themselves. This, and other songs will be available on their self-titled EP, released August 11th via Clue Records.
Also, TRASH now owe me a fiver for paying attention to aforementioned details.
Where have Bloody Knees been? For a while even their twitter went quiet, granted previously most of it seemed to be them playing hide-and-seek in bins but still, it was news of a sort. When that stopped it begged the question whether something serious had happened, given the bands attraction to injury (note both their name, and the true story behind previous EP title track Stitches). However they seem to be ok as there’s a new song, and skinny-dipper on the single artwork appears healthy enough.
Oh yeah, music. Aside from I Want It All last spring, this new EP will be the first release from the band in more than three years. Maybe It’s Easy is out on October 13th, with Not Done being the first cut from it, and available now. There’s something a little bit sad about this song, but ultimately it refuses to give up and rages back into grungy indie life ending with the words ‘I don’t care anymore’; as if the band have decided that whatever was holding them back (presumably the same reason they temporarily vanished) doesn’t actually matter. And rightly so, don’t let anything keep you away from what you care about.
Now onto their sixth EP, it feels like Trampolene will never release a full album. And honestly, whilst it would be a lovely thing to have, the shorter format seems to work so well for this band and at a rate of a couple a year, they’re giving us more songs than most manage through the traditional cycle. ‘Beautiful Pain’, the latest addition to their collection, is out now.