Eight years on since releasing her self-titled debut album Fever Ray was never going to return with anything drab.
Karin Dreijer has reannounced herself with this new track ‘To The Moon And Back’ along with a disturbing video which starts with a figure walking into what looks like a shopping centre car park and unplugging Fever Ray from a cryogenically frozen state.
Next… well, next she gets discovered by some other ‘beings’ – gets force fed some cake at an alien tea party and then ends up being kidnapped.
They foretold ‘Home Demo/ns Vol 1’ then – a collection of all their music to date (13-songs in all) – we just didn’t expect it so soon, as their original plan was to put it out with their debut single. That’s still a little way off (but not far), although the band have announced a live event called Demon(stration), for 5 December at Corsica Studios, London, where they will curate a lineup of musicians, DJs and visual artists.
In the meantime, this visual mixtape gives you an idea of what this band is all about – a conventual outfit in setup (there are four of them, and they play as a band), but not in their interests, turned on by Dean Blunt’s stubborn way of working and Pro-Era’s ‘The aPROcalypse’ mixtape as much as they are grunge and DIY rock.
As the band’s Asha Lorenz told Ian Roebuck: “Myself, Louis and our friend Flo have made the videos to ‘Prikz’ and ‘Drag King’ and I think we are going to try and do videos to all of our songs. We were just out shooting random stuff. I like how in video a small two-second clip can be so emotional. As long as it’s emotional it doesn’t have to have a massive budget. I think that’s so important and I want to keep that with the videos to come. I don’t want a massive budget as I don’t think that makes it very relatable. Our work is kind of like collage art, a mixture of things and you can take from it what you want.”
The story of Drahla is one of a band not quite fitting in, and pretty much being fine with that.
Earlier this year, Loud And Quiet‘s Dominic Haley met up with the Leeds trio and visited the David Hockney exhibition (read it here). He found there were parallels to be drawn between the two.
Anyway, at that point the band had shared just a couple of tracks – ‘Faux Text’ being particularly great.
Now, the trio – who balance jobs in call centres, libraries and, in singer Luciel Brown’s case, visual merchandising around being in the band – have announced details of their debut EP. It’s called ‘Third Article’ and will be arriving on 27 November via their own label Blank Ad.
With it, they’ve put up this new track, ‘Silk Spirit’, it has a video of them playing in a warehouse – or a store room.
The EP is available to pre-order now, and Drahla are going on tour with Metz soon, including some shows in the UK at the end of November.
Imagine Wichita‘s inbox. It’s probably creaking under the amount of music they get sent on a daily basis from artists looking for support.
In fact, they’ve only ever signed one artist before after receiving an unsolicited email.
That’s until this message dropped into their Outlook recently from Scent:
That note (obviously along with the music), convinced Wichita to make them the label’s latest signing.
About Scent then… well, for the moment they’re keeping things vague, describing themselves as follows:
– Three mammals in a basement lounge taking turns to look hungrily at white-socked feet through a lopsided crack in the ceiling.
– A neutral/nocturnal pop group happiest when fed and cleaned by forces from above, half-lit by the sounds of a vacuum choir in the ether.
– Hot, sick and fragile, they do what they can with their nubile instruments, though sometimes it doesn’t produce the results they want.
There you have it. Listen to ‘Kim’ EP below (and read their comments about it). It’ll be released along with a sleeve designed by the band on 17 November.
Scent provided the following about their new release:
“He hung skinny in the basement for a week or two. Didn’t go outside. Blindsided by vacuous jump cuts, i guess. I dunno, i didn’t ask him. He had a nice face and slow hair. You know, the kind that gradually primps itself upon exiting the folds of a dirty pillow. Great body too. Huh. Played guitar a bit, probably better at bass. Not a bad drummer. Wore old t shirts and a selection of European tracksuit bottoms. Yeah, yeah. Don’t shoot. There were two other kids too, I mean, they could have been older. Some chick, no, uh, guy. Sung a lot. Probably sung more than spoke. Recorded thousands of hours of this stuff in a loft. Something about “the great leveller”. Pretty spurious. That other guy, though? Nice and tan. Power in his wrists. Good record collection, if that matters. Sugar-moulded face before he hit the showers with the rest of them.”
At that point, the 21-year-old songwriter from Southshields was wrapping up her studies at London’s Goldsmiths university, preparing to go on a UK tour and hatching plans for her debut EP (‘The Room Swayed’).
Now, these months down the line, there’s a second EP on the way, ‘This Rapture’. No release date for that yet, but she has just shared this new track ‘Losing, Baby’ along with a new video.
The clip, by filmmaking collective Siblings, is described as “the alternative ending to Dirty Dancing – Baby was put in a corner and now she’s back to drag everyone into her grotesque nightmare.”
She’s playing some shows soon, in these places.
Reading, Oakford Social Club (solo) – 14 October Brighton, Prince Albert – 16 London, The Finsbury – 17 Cardiff, Gwdihw – 12 November Bristol, Louisiana – 13 Newcastle, The Mining Institute – 18 Birmingham, Sunflower Lounge – 20 Leeds, Brudenell Social Club – 25 Glasgow, Poetry Club – 26 Leicester, The Musician – 27
Some music is just winter music. Music that’s more at home in a gloomy bar than a baking hot day in a festival field.
Hamilton Leithauser makes winter music. He released his collaborative album ‘I Had A Dream That You Were Mine’ with Rostam Batmanglij (here they are talking about it) going in the colder months last year, and he’s done it again.
‘Heartstruck (Wild Hunger)’ is the first track The Walkmen frontman has shared from a new solo album from coming out in 2018. For it, he’s teamed up with Angel Olsen.
Put them together and the result is a duet that sounds like the best house band at the school prom somewhere in Smalltown America you never went to in 1958.
Leithauser has provided this explanation.
“This song is about catching yourself off guard when an emotion hits a little harder than you were ready for. It’s a desperate and funny situation. The desperation can be a little bit ridiculous, which can be a little bit funny, but it’s also desperate, so it’s agonising.”
Let’s be honest, there’s few nicer feelings than being able to be enjoy a cigarette/beer/G&T in the garden or on the balcony when the first warm evening of spring arrives. It’s undeniably pleasant.
In the meantime, global warming is happening. There are some catastrophic, very graspable consequences. You know, like the the poler bears you like so much on TV trying to survive in a shrinking habitat or the flash floods destroying people’s homes on a regular basis.
Exploded View‘s new track is about nonchalance. Some of the existing repercussions of of heating planet are quite visibly bad and in front of our faces – but well, those early summer evenings are a consequence too, not as devastating of course, but still another symptom of the overall problem.
However, for a heavy topic, it’s an very breezy song. The band, based in Mexico and fronted by the UK-born Annika Henderson, went back in the studio after recording their self-titled debut LP (released last year, and reviewed here) and made some more music.
That’s been brought together on a new EP ‘Summer Came Early’ out via Sacred Bones on 10 November, and this is the lead track.
“Summer came early that year / the summer sun came early that year / but we sat on our porches and didn’t question a thing”
Högni’s debut solo album is inspired by two engineering giants from the past – two locomotives, Minør and Pionér, which assisted in the construction of Reykjavík harbour way back in the early 20th century. The two trains, the only ones ever to have been used in Iceland, have remained dormant ever since, relics to a bygone era.
For Icelandic songwriter Högni, member of Hjaltalín and GusGus, the trains came to symbolise his own journey to self-acceptance through a particularly difficult period in his own life. He’s challened that into his debut solo album, ‘Two Trains’, out on 20 October via Erased Tapes.
Before that arrives, though, he’s shared this new track from that LP: ‘Moon Pitcher’.
It’s one of the slinkier tracks from the album, showcasing an almost Prince-like falsetto from Högni.
In his own words:
“‘Moon Pitcher’ is about a character who has drenched himself in the hunger for impression. He enters a state where the conditions of love are dependant on sensitivity and courage to let all that’s inside, out. Ultimately a proposal for marriage and a proclamation of love, HE is rectified when the “moon pulls oceans from the sky, there’s something wrong with me and let me tell you why – I’m in love, I’m in love, can’t you tell?”
Variously going by the names OCS, Thee Oh Sees, The Oh Sees and Oh Sees, John Dwyer’s revolving and prolific DIY project will reach a couple of milestones next month – 20 albums in 20 years, with the release of ‘Memory Of A Cut Off Head’ on November 11th.
There’s something poetic, then, in how this new album returns to Dwyer’s original plans for his group, in name (it’ll be released as OCS) but also in tone.
20 years is a long time to be flying through garage rock in the manner that Oh Sees do, but while most of us have come to know them as a ferocious scuzz-rock group, that’s not how they started – OCS were a hushed, melodic affair, with vocals that sighed rather than shredded.
That was ultimately down to Brigid Dawson’s ’60s folk vocals, which are back again on this record. It’s billed as a true collaboration between her and Dwyer, with Dawson writing the lyric and Dwyer arranging the music.
Dawson says of the song: “On the one hand, it’s a just a simple song about love-lost. About watching your man drive away, and being left behind for his pursuit of the muse, whatever or whoever that may be. When that happens a few times, how foolish it makes you feel. And on the other hand, I was listening to a lot of Jeanne Lee when I was writing, and wanted this song to be an experiment with her sound-singing, no words just shapes and sounds.”