All the way back to the 1998 Mercury Music Prize winner for this Sunday’s listen. Gomez are a 5-piece band hailing from Southport (the North West’s eleventh most populous settlement in the North West for those of you who were wondering). Their music sits somewhere between blues, indie and rock. Anyway, it’s a classic, and if you don’t know, then at least check out tracks #1 and #2. Classics.
“Heyy I’m Jess, I make tunes about my life. i grew up in Spain but i’m Irish and living in London. dunno if you care about any of that but was told I should make a bio so hope that was alright lol x”
So says Jess Smyth, aka Biig Piig, and I think we’d better listen up.
Photo credit: Matilda Hill-Jenkins
Heavy Beach House vibes coming at you this Sunday from Swedish band I Break Horses. Some intense shoe gaze combined with synth pop and mysterious female vocals. Even a touch of atmospheric organ. It’s a strong formula. And in The Prophet, I Break Horses are bringing it to the max. Feel it.
The last real proper gig I went to was on the 14th March, to see these guys, and it was fucking awesome. (God I miss it so much). Since then Diva and Alex have been busy, and last week they came out with their second full album, Hyper Romance.
Since Melt Away a lot has changed. They have moved from London to Bristol. Gone are the masks and the alter egos – in comes stripped-back intimate honesty. Gone is the electro-pop sound they became known for – in comes a grungy style that occasionally borders on shoe-gaze. They built up their new sound in their basement studio, using cheap amps and distortion pedals. If nothing else, the album is a showcase of their enormous potential as a duo. Plenty of promise to keep developing and growing.
But are they living up to this potential in Hyper Romance? There are some notable highlights – Metal Violets and Burning Hour are up there with my favourite JD tracks – but in general I think the release falls short on spark. The creativity and originality of their former releases aren’t quite hit with the same regularity. Granted I’ve set them a high bar, but hey, I think they are good enough. Looking forward to the next one. Also I hope they don’t read this because I would like to be their friend.
Notable mention to the title track Hyper Romance which samples the 1984 documentary Streetwise (about homeless kids in Seattle) in a subtly beautiful and incredibly emotional way. Definitely worth a listen.
Ah oh oh. Ah oh oh. Ah ah oh. Ah ah oh. Ah ah oh. Ah ah oh. Ah ah oh.
It’s indie banger par excellence from 2004, Hounds of Love. Sure to get the party rocking. Is it already stuck in your head?
Remember New Navy? Well the producer from that (James Chave-Dubois) is back on the airwaves. He has combined with singer Jazz Barry to create Pèt Nat. Probably your new favourite Australian indie electronic duo. Their debut single is Thin Skin, it’s out now, and it’s lovely. Keep your eyes out for more soon.
Bonus track: fun fact, I once convinced a random American that I was on tour as a part of New Navy. Just about obscure enough to get away with…
Today I present to you my favourite track of the Summer so far.
It’s US three-piece Khruangbin doing what they do best. The track drips with a simple, understated beauty. Magic.
The Slow Rush is without a doubt my album of the quarantine session so far. It’s Tame Impala’s 4th and it’s a cracker.
Kevin Parker recorded this between native Australia and LA – and that provides a really nice window through which to understand the sound. It’s this awesome struggle between a lazy, beachy indie sound, and the more intense, highly produced electronic LA vibe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am.
Bonus track: Ben Gomori’s remix of Breathe Deeper gently lifts it up one notch. Lovely.
Photo credit: Neil Krug
*NEW SOUNDS FOR YOUR BORED QUARANTINED EARS*
Jadu Heart’s first full length album is excellent. The masked duo are growing with every release – tightening their grip on their screwed-up electro-pop style, and casting a spell over the listener. The interplay between their voices (his rough and raw, hers sweet and tender) is perfectly measured; and the switches between moody and playful are perfectly executed. Even the album’s more straightforward rougher edges serve to increase its charm.
You can probably tell I like it. And it I like it more each time I put it on. Oh and boy you should see them live.
Most of the tracks have already been released so it might feel quite familiar. My star picks are Wanderlife and Harry Brompton’s Ice Tea, but in truth I could list half of the tracks on there.
More of my thoughts on Jadu Heart here.
Lo-fi indie rock from Sweden. Not a genre I know a lot about, but when a song is good, it’s good, y’know?