School’s out for summer! Maybe I should’ve gone into teaching for my share of those sweet, sweet six week holidays. Instead, I’ve gathered a list of things that I think you’ll love as much as I have, and will bask in the glory of the weekend.
‘American Dream’ came out last September after a five year hiatus from the New York group. It was awesome. The album reached #1 on many Albums of the Year lists, had loads of critical acclaim and even won a Grammy. It was also just really fucking good.
James Murphy and co. have now announced that they’ll be sharing some remixes as 12″ vinyl singles on August 10, with re-works from Dixon and Lovefingers.
While we wait, have a listen to this banger.
Bully – Guess There
Look at this video! It’s a little snail going about his day! Making coffee, going for a walk (?), playing video games, riding a skateboard, having dinner, then chilling with his whole snail family. All the usual things snails do. It’s so cute and I love it. Have a watch.
Liam Gallagher’s Use of Grammar and Punctuation in his Tweets
Earth to noel listen up rkid I hear your doing gigs where people can’t drink alcohol now that’s the BeZarist thing you’ve done yet I forgive you now let’s get the BIG O back together and stop fucking about the drinks are on me LG x
It feels like summer. I bought new sunglasses and wore shorts for the first time all year this week. My jeans aren’t making another appearance until September. Feel just as summery as me with some great, shiny new tracks.
Snail Mail – Let’s Find An Out
This is the second time Snail Mail has featured in an edition of this column, and are we surprised? Not at all. Lindsey Jordan, the 18-year-old (!) singer-songwriter-fabulous-guitarist has released the third cut from her upcoming album, ‘Lush’. And it’s the best so far.
This track reels you in straight off with a brilliant guitar pattern that you’ll immediately want to learn to play yourself (how do you think I’m spending the weekend?). Although it’s pretty short, this song has an unusual structure, with no chorus as such, and more of a rolling verse carried on top of that mesmerising picking. It ends with an imperfect cadence, which is a little technique that I’ve always loved. Makes you wanna hear more, right? Right.
‘Lush’ is due on June 8 via Matador, and Snail Mail tours the UK next week. See you at the Bristol show, fans.
Mourn – Fun at the Geysers
Aren’t you glad we caught this single in the press inbox! Despite June seeing the release of their third LP, the Catalan punk band Mourn aren’t a band I’ve come across before.
Their new single, Fun at the Geysers, is about having fun, surprisingly, at the geysers – hot springs that intermittently spout water, like a more benign, tiny volcano. It all started with their trip to Reykjavík to play at the Iceland Airwaves festival in 2015, and the that which stopped them from touring for over a year and a half.
Having spent about 11 hours without eating, the band stated:
“The people from the label that came with us [to Reykjavik] were telling us that through the years we’d learn how to endure being hungry. They didn’t really care about us at that point. We arrived to the city, ate something and went to sleep right away. The next day we woke up and found ourselves alone in Reykjavík without money or food. The people from the record label had taken a taxi to visit the geysers without telling us. We found out because one of them posted a photo on Instagram. They payed for their excursion with the money the festival was paying us, as usual, counting it as ‘expenses’.”
Brutal! So, taking suitably punk revenge, Mourn went off on a day trip to play in the hot springs. They documented an awesome record of their experiences in the form of the song’s accompanying video. Super fun and a great track.
Tunng – ABOP
Honesty alert: I actually only heard of this band because of the recent LUMP project, created by Tunng’s co-founder and producer Mike Lindsay and the ineffable Laura Marling. Colour me intrigued. A quick Internet scroll reveals they’ve had loads of albums, are relatively big, and began back in 2003. Now I feel a fool – but I was eight at the time of their formation. What’s your excuse?
Not my usual approach when discovering new music, but I decided to start with their brand new single. ABOP begins with an electro-pop feel, and a simple vocal sample “Oh, it felt so marvellous!”, which is pretty much on the money with this track.
It’s refreshing to hear an English accent, having spent much of today listening to American singers, furthered when Lindsay’s vocals creep in. It’s neat, precise, and addictive. The only thing that annoys me is that I can’t find out what ABOP stands for.
Their sixth album, ‘Songs You Make At Night’ is due for release on the August 24.
We saw Bully on their current UK tour on Sunday. They were ACE, despite us having to lug around bellies full to the brim of pre-gig cocktails and Caribbean food. Alicia Bognanno, frontwoman, took over with her searing, raspy vocals as they stormed through songs from ‘Losing’ and ‘Feels Like’, including highlights Kills To Be Resistant and I Remember.
I’ve survived another year! In the process I’ve gained a few pounds and new friends, lost my voice after screeching along at numerous gigs and a shedload of money by spending way more than I should on fantastic records and merch.
It may be a sombre subject, but I didn’t feel I could reflect on the year without commenting on how I’ve been inspired by the strength of the victims who have stood up against their abusers within the music industry, and elsewhere, throughout this year, and many more prior. It is heartbreaking that we cannot go a day on Twitter without another instance surfacing, but I am glad that the true extent of the problem is finally beginning to be seen and challenged.
That being said, I refuse to let those awful humans detract from what has been an otherwise great year for new music. Check out what caused my ears to prick and heart to swell, Grinch-like, below.
The momentum of new releases continues to be relentless. Bully have released their sophomore LP, which was engineered and mixed by vocalist and guitarist Alicia Bognanno, Jessie Ware has finally followed up 2014’s ‘Tough Love’ and John Carpenter has put out a collection of newly recorded versions of his classic movie themes. Tegan and Sara, meanwhile, are celebrating the 10th anniversary of ‘The Con’ by releasing a record featuring 14 artists covering songs from it.
Still not happy? Cast your eye over some other new releases below.
And So I Watch You from Afar – ‘The Endless Shimmering’ (Sargent House)
The Bloody Beetroots – ‘The Great Electronic Swindle’ (SPV/Caroline)
Bully – ‘Losing’ (Sub Pop)
Charlotte Carpenter – ‘Shelter’ (EP) (Let It Go Records)
This time last week I was in Mexico City, readying myself for a weekend of music, tacos and beer. So, you can imagine how stoked I am to be here, talking to you people again. I jest, of course. Very excited about DimSŵn, actually.
Anyway, it’s Things We Love This Week time again and it’s been another good one. Have a look below at a few things that have tickled our collective fancy at HQ this week.
Chance The Rapper – No Better Blues
“I hate the optimistic smirks on the face of children.”
Modern Life Is War UK Shows
This is going to be so, so good. London and Manchester, take note.