Things We love This Week: Ex:Re, Adrianne Lenker, Sharon Van Etten

Well well well. Here we are. Tomorrow is December 1, which means it’s officially Christmas. It’s not as though it’s been shoved down our throats for over three months already. You may now put up your decorations in peace, devoid from any kind of abuse for elongating and hence diluting the Christmas spirit. Happy weekend to you.

Adrianne Lenker – Symbol

The second track to be released from the Big Thief vocalist’s solo project, Symbol, has now got its own video – and it’s a contrast to what you’d expect.

While the song is softly sung alongside delicate guitars, the last place you’d expect the video to take place is Coney Island, New York. Loud, obnoxiously lit and full of gaudy carnival rides? No thanks. As a short documentary however, directors Adam Gundersheimer and V Haddad made excellent work of making the video feel warm, intimate and personal, driven by friendly and inviting profile shots of happy families and loved-up couples. It’s lovely to watch.

Ex:Re

Ex:Re is the new solo project to come from Daughter’s Elena Tonra. The first single dropped this week, and a fast turnaround saw the full LP out today.

While the vocals sound, naturally, distinctly like Daughter, the record features string segments, wonderfully simple guitar lines and some rumbling percussion building tension throughout.

Tonra said in a statement:

“Although the record is written for someone, a lot of the time it’s about the space without that person in it. In every scenario, there’s either the person in memory or the noticeable absence of that person in the present moment. I suppose it is a break-up record, however I do not talk about the relationship at all, and he hardly features in the scenes. He is only felt as a ghostly presence”.

Listen below.

Sharon Van Etten – Jupiter 4

If you haven’t heard Comeback Kid yet, where have you been? It’s a banger. The second track to be shared from her new album, ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’ (due on January 18 via Jagjaguwar) is a little more subdued and serene, with eerie undertones. A monochrome video (directed by Katherine Dieckmann) about the moon fits perfectly with the spooky, darker theme she’s going with.

Have a gander if you so desire.

🎄🎅✨

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Things We Love this Week: Friendly Fires, LUMP, Cosmo Sheldrake

BLACK FRIDAY! CAPITALISM! BUY BUY BUY! Or, just listen, listen, listen, watch, watch watch, and read, read, read some of the best things to happen in the music world this week. But if you are feeling in the mood to spend some of that sweet, sweet dolla, head here.

Friendly Fires – Heaven Let Me In Video

Ahead of their club tour dates that kick off next week (!), Friendly Fires have revealed a video to go alongside their latest single, the Disclosure-produced Heaven Let Me in.

Getting more trippy and psychedelic as the seconds tick by, the visuals feature actor Jeremy Irvine having a boogie around the streets of London. Imagine this as a kind of premonition to how you’ll feel after the club parties. YES. (Of which, tickets are still available)

Cosmo Sheldrake at Fiddlers

“That’s the bane of my profession, people thinking that they know me.”

Overheard from the bar in the converted prison that is Bristol’s Fiddlers Club, Cosmo Sheldrake is just trying to watch the support act before he goes on stage for the first night of his UK dates supporting debut album, ‘The Much Much How How And I’. Despite his complaints about having to talk to humans, he seems pretty chill, and that vibe doesn’t waver throughout his two hour set.

In suitably wacky fashion, Sheldrake’s set features hocketing, a medieval vocal technique, bird song, the rhythms of New Mexico, the inspiration of moss, and samples of the sound of cow carcasses being smashed and crushed up – possibly not in tune with the large number of vegan hippies in the Bristolian crowd. Nevertheless, you can’t say his sample work isn’t fascinating. Tix are still available for the remaining shows.

LUMP – May I Be The Light Video

You know who we’re talking about by now. LUMP is only one of the coolest things to sprout out of 2018: Mike Lindsay, Laura Marling, drone synths, harmonies. Album. Fluffy lump. Bam.

A video came this week for May I Be The Light, directed and animated by Beth Jeans Houghton, now known to the masses as Du Blonde. Check out the stop-motion surrealist cartoon below.

Happy Friday to you. Now let us sleep for a thousand years (or just until Monday morning rolls around once again).

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Things We Love This Week: Bon Iver, Stormzy, Roísín Murphy

Another week of Brexit chaos has come and gone and we’re still no further forward. Westminster is in turmoil and Theresa, undoubtedly, needs the weekend off. Step away from the political nightmares by checking out some things that we loved this week – with some interesting festival news first and foremost.

Bon Iver at All Points East

This is going to be MASSIVE. The folk hero turned electro-experimenter otherwise known as Justin Vernon has been incredibly busy this year – basking in the long glow of ’22, A Million’, taking part in Berlin’s collaborative PEOPLE festival and releasing a joint album with Aaron Dessner from the National – I wonder how he’ll find the time to rehearse for his headlining slot at Victoria Park’s coolest festival yet.

All Points East had an amazing debut this summer with the XX, Bjork, the National, Nick Cave and LCD Soundsystem all rocking up, and the line up for next year hasn’t seemed to waver. Bon Iver will be joined by Mac Demarco, First Aid Kit, John Grant, The Tallest Man On Earth, Julien Baker and Snail Mail on June 2, as well as Chemical Brothers headlining on May 24.

This week Bon Iver also revealed a song as part of the soundtrack for Creed II.

Stormzy at Glasto

You’re never too big for your boots! Stormzy has been confirmed as the first headliner for Glastonbury. The enormously popular grime MC will take over Worthy Farm’s Pyramid stage on Friday June 28, making a thankful change from the embarrassingly white line up of the festival’s previous undertaking in 2017. Here he is at the Brit Awards earlier this year.

Roísín Murphy – The Rumble

Due to the aforementioned chaos of the week, Roisin Murphy’s latest video for track the Rumble – which celebrates the halcyon days of ‘90s club culture – is a necessary antidote. You need a good beat, a good dance and a little bit of letting go. Have fun.

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Things We Love This Week: The Orielles, Ibibio Sound Machine, Nilüfer Yanya

Everybody (yea-ah)… rock your body (yea-ah)… blog is back…ALRIGHT!

*To the tune of the Backstreet Boys, which has been spinning in my head for six hours since they announced a UK tour this morning. You’re welcome.*

The Orielles – Bobbi’s Second World

After the release of highly regarded ‘Silver Dollar Moment’ earlier this year, dream poppers the Orielles’ new one is a funky song about a cat. Influenced by a northern soul vibe and that post-punk revival scene that’s knocking around, it’s fun, groovy and just a little bit psychedelic.

The band said of the track: It centres around the story of a cat named Bobbi who, in order to become a lady, has to experience the extremities of two complex and differing realities – situated in her front and back gardens respectively.”

Bobbie’s Second World comes backed by a cover of Peggy Gou’s It Makes You Forget (Itgehane), a bop that makes some interesting use of panning in the vocal break. Get your ears and dancing shoes ready, it’s Friday.

Ibibio Sound Machine – Basquiat

WHY WOULD YOU NOT WANT THIS IN YOUR LIFE?!

Basquiat is a disco party in its Sunday Best. Loose piano trills open the track, along with simple staccato vocals and some tickling percussion, before that funky bass guitar kicks in and the party starts. Awwww yeeah.

It was written earlier this year for the Barbican’s Video Jam event, inspired by the work of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Nilüfer Yanya – Heavyweight Champion of the Year

More than anything, Yanya’s new song and video combo is here purely as the latest instalment to one of my favourite in-head listicles, People Playing Electric Guitars That Aren’t Plugged In. She is second to the current chart topper: Snail Mail’s Heatwave, which finds Lindsey Jordan playing while ice skating. Come on now.

Panda Bear – Dolphin

Lastly: don’t do drugs, kids.

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Things We Love This Week: Thundercat, Neko Case, Puma Blue

Trick or treat?! There’s no tricks in this week’s blog post. Only treats for your lovely eyes and ears.

Thundercat – King Of The Hill

Thundercat has teamed up with the jazztronica/hip hop instrumental band BADBADNOTGOOD on his latest single. Produced impeccably by Flying Lotus, King Of The Hill comes off a new compilation album celebrating 10 years of the FlyLo label. Perfect for lazy Sunday morning grooves, get this on your weekend playlist.

Neko Case – Last Lion Of Albion video

The singer-songwriter has released a video for ‘Hell-On’ track Last Lion Of Albion.

The song itself is a country-flecked, easy going pop number, made infinitely better by this new adorable video. Created by artist Laura Plankser, it depicts a jungle full of handmade figures and props to create a beautiful, magical world that would be SUPER fun to be a part of.

Neko Case is playing Dublin, Leeds and London next week.

Puma Blue – Lust

Puma Blue, aka Jacob Allen, said of his new single “I really wanted to write something with that sexy half-time groove like in Didn’t Cha Know by Erykah Badu.”

Damn, does he get that vibe right. Lust is a jazz-infused, hazy song to soundtrack the low lighting of the small hours of the morning. The lyrics, Allen has mentioned, are about getting pulled by your imagination into somewhere that you don’t want to be. The surreal, psychedelic video is a collage of kaleidoscopic flowers and dancers, referencing the filmmaker Wong Kar-wai.

Happy Friday. Enjoy the weekend demolishing leftover Halloween sweets and making pumpkin-based everything.

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Things We Love This Week: Fleet Foxes, Fleetwood Mac, Bohemian Rhapsody, Beirut

This week, it seems that the cool things are Fleet based. If the things that we loved this week were a group of ships instead of a listicle-style blog post, they would definitely be a fleet. Excuse my ramblings. It’s been a long week.

Fleet Foxes – Icicle Tusk

Indie-folk band Fleet Foxes are releasing a special edition collection of rarities, b-side, and early records. For the die-hard mega fans who say they liked the band before they were cool (you know who you are), this will be a dream come true.

‘First Collection 2006-2009’ will consist of the band’s self-titled debut LP, ‘The Fleet Foxes’ EP on 10″, the ‘Sun Giant’ EP on 10″ vinyl, and a handful of b-sides and rarities on 10″. Check out the full track listing of what’s involved here. For now, you can listen to Icicle Tusk, one of the early songs from their debut. It’s b.e.a.u.t.

Fleetwood Mac

Lindsay Buckingham was dropped from the line up just a few months ago, but the remaining members of the band have announced they will touch down in London, Dublin and Berlin in June 2019. You can kick out one of the lead singers, but you can never break the chain.

Bohemian Rhapsody

A biopic based on the meteoric rise of Queen was released this week. Original plans were for Sacha Baron Cohen to take the lead role, but it is Rami Malek (of Mr Robot) who takes over the God-like role of Mr Mercury. It’s had mixed reviews. Is this the real life? Uh, no. Is this just fantasy? Nope, not quite that either. You’ll just have to find out yourself.

Beirut – ‘Gallipoli’

Beirut are back! A new album, their first since 2015’s ‘No No No’ is due for release on February 11.

‘Gallipoli’ has an extensive back story behind it, which details Zachary Condon’s falling out of love with New York, recording crunchy noise through only broken amplifiers, uprooting to Berlin and a priest-led, brass band procession in a small village in rural Italy. Do give it a read, it’s very interesting.

First up from the new album is its title track, featuring not only those scraps of fuzzy brass and a pulsing beat to mirror the procession but also Condon’s soothing vocals that fans have become so familiar with over the past decade or so. The track was recorded in one 10 hour studio frenzy.

Beirut also announced UK and European tour dates – check them out here.

 

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Things We Love This Week: Kiran Leonard, Chastity Belt, Friendly Fires, Beirut

Happy almost-weekend to you, dear reader. Congrats on making it this far in the week – one small push left until two days of freedom. Here’s a lil somethin’ somethin’ to help you on your way.

Kiran Leonard – Legacy Of Neglect

Fancy something to catch you off guard? If you’ve got eight minutes to spare, this track will be time well spent. Kiran Leonard isn’t going to let anyone get bored. Starting off as a sweet acoustic song, within two minutes he’s joined by the floating harmonies of Let’s Eat Grandma (recent winners of Best Album at the Q Magazine’s Awards), and angular, distorted guitars are added to the mix in a sort of art-punk style, before it all goes nuts at the end. Have fun.

Chastity Belt – It’s Obvious video

Featured on last year’s album ‘I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone’, Chastity Belt’s It’s Obvious is a reverb-heavy, ethereal track that deserves a suitably subdued video. Enter Claire Buss, director, who casts a group of elderly women in matching pastel clothing to make a fruit smoothie in the slowest way possible. What this got to do with the song? Beats me. Now where are my grapes…

Friendly Fires

After releasing their first song for over four years back in April, Friendly Fires have now shared the second cut from a new album expected next year. Co-produced by Disclosure, it’s difficult not to hear the influence of the deep-house duo on Heaven Let Me In, resulting in a club-soaked groove.

The band have always had a sense of fun about their tracks, and fitting in with their new beats-based sound, Ed Macfarlane and co have announced a club tour, playing through the night in Newcastle, London and Bristol next month. Tickets are on sale now.

Beirut

Public service announcement: Beirut are doing things! They’ve gone with an update of social media profile pictures to blank, grey boxes, and a short video clip as an indication of new things occurring.

Stay tuned.

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Things We Love This Week: Loyle Carner, Super Furry Animals, Paul McCartney, Record Store Day

What do we love? THINGS! When do we want them? THIS WEEK!

Right you are.

Loyle Carner – Ottolenghi

In the words of a random YouTube commenter: “Goosebumps alert”. This track is so laid-back you’ll be setting your recliner to maximum tilt to let the crazy smooth vibes wash over you. Muted synth piano chords lead the way, with Carner’s deep and soothing bars helming the verse and the calming influence of Jordan Rakei on the chorus. Just a simple tune about riding the train. Awesome. Oh, and the video has some really nice dogs in it if that’s your thing. It’s mine.

Super Furry Animals’ Fur

The Welsh alternative band have announced the release of ‘Super Furry Animals at the BBC’. But wait, there’s more. In 2003, the band put out Golden Retriever, the video for which saw Gryff Rhys and co don Yeti outfits. Clippings of this Yeti fur will be pressed into 100 copies of limited edition vinyl. What?! Here’s an artist’s impression. Gross.

Additionally, genuine stage-worn Yeti fur will be embedded into 500 numbered bonus hand stamped envelopes. Yup.

Paul McCartney – Come On To Me Video

Here’s one to get you through Friday and into the weekend. This is Fred. He’s a security guard. Watch him boogie his way through the shopping centre along to Macca’s latest single from ‘Egypt Station’. Everyone should be as happy as Fred. He is my idol now.

Record Store Black Friday Releases

Record Store Day is held in April, however as per the last decade or so, the organisers have put together another list of exclusive releases for Black Friday (and for the first time this year what they’re calling Small Business Saturday, to encourage spending at your local record store).

The list is a long one, and includes the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Blue Oyster Cult, Mamas and Papas, Manchester Orchestra, Rage Against the Machine, Outkast, Taylor Swift and even that cover of Toto’s Africa by Weezer, obviously. Head here for the full collection. Get ready to start your Christmas list.

That is all.

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Things We Love This Week: Kurt Vile, Ruby Throat, Phoebe Bridgers

Hi! Today is Friday (YES), and that means only one thing for the next 10 minutes or so – you’ll be here, reading me going on about some songs and things. Enjoy.

Kurt Vile – One Trick Ponies

Imagine going for a walk on a summer’s evening. It’s still warm out, the sun starts to set and you’re hanging out with your best friends with a can in hand. That is what this song sounds like. Sweet, carefree and easy-going, Vile has done it again with his unique, laidback style of alt-country. Harmonies are provided by Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa and Farmer Dave Scher, but the need for some Courtney Barnett lilts is inescapable after their collab last year.

Ruby Throat – Dog Song

Katie Jane Garside, who has previously fronted Daisy Chainsaw and QueenAdreena, has spent four years travelling the world on a boat named Iona.

During her time spent at sea, she wrote Dog Song with Chris Whittingham, which has a dark, folky feel with soft guitars throughout, before her searing vocals take over during the chorus. Bring on the noise.

She’ll put out ‘Stone Dress’ as Ruby Throat on November 9.

Phoebe Bridgers – It’ll All Work Out

This week, Bridgers released a deluxe edition of her debut album, ‘Stranger In The Alps’. This week also marks a year since the passing of Tom Petty. Get your ears ready for the most touching crossover episode ever. 

The deluxe version of her album also includes a reprise of Smoke Signals and the demo for Motion Sickness, which sees a far more pared-back, folk sound. It’s beautiful.

Oh god, Theresa May

She is the dancing queen. Feel the beat of that tambourine, T.

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Things We Love This Week: Methyl Ethel, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, LCD Soundsystem

First on the list of for Things We Love This Week is a new track from Muse! Just kidding. It’s terrible. If you want some delicious musical things that aren’t embarrassing, head below.

Methyl Ethel – Scream Whole

A juicy, sensual new pop track from the Australian band, whose most famous song so far asked us “Why’d you have to go and cut your hair?” The new release combines overlapping vocal harmonies and a catchy bassline to create a sound that wouldn’t be out of place on a Metronomy record, and the off-beat, reverberating synths, for whatever reason, make you feel like you’re in a haunted house. Its accompanying video focuses on the senses. Check it out.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Hanoi 6

Ruban Neilson is releasing an instrumental album. The recording of UMO’s latest release, ‘Sex and Food’, saw travels across the world including stops in Seoul, Hanoi, Reykjavik, Mexico City and Auckland, as well as his hometown of Portland. While visiting these far-flung destinations, Neilson recorded what he heard along the way, and ended up doing live sessions with local musicians, his brother and father in a studio in Hanoi.

These sessions became ‘IC-01 Hanoi’, a new supplementary release. On the first cut, it’s clear to hear the worldly influences, flecks of jazz and the avant-garde, wrapped up in a distinct feeling of the warm rain and thunder of a monsoon. Want.

LCD Soundsystem – Oh Baby Video

With a weekly column, there’s always a risk of repetition if bands you love keep releasing awesome stuff. Despite my pitiful attempts to keep it varied, I couldn’t resist dropping this sucker-punch of a video in this week. LCD Soundsystem are still at the forefront of whichever category you want to place them in, with last year’s ‘American Dream’ being an all-round banger.

This week came a video for the opener, Oh Baby, and oh baby, will it get you in the feels. Directed by Rian Johnson, fresh from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it finds a husband and wife (played by  David Strathairn and Sissy Spacek) working tirelessly on a vague scientific experiment or invention of some sort. No spoilers. Watch the rest.

Au revoir x

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