Weekend Listening: Gwilym Gold, Jens Lekman, Erol Alkan, Patrick Wolf + lots more
"Did you miss me? I bet you did" was how The Cooper Temple Clause opened their debut album, and after a few weeks away on 'vacation' in fields of muddy dreams, DiS' Weekend Listening column is back (we're 99% sure you didn't miss it, but if you did, bless your cotton socks!). As per previous columns, this is a collection of the best bits that have tumbled into DiS' inbox this week, plus a few things that I spotted spurting out of the waterfall that is my social media streams. For the sake of laziness, some press releases will be copy-pasted, and for the sake of saving your time (YOLO, etc) the commentary will have a
brevity pithiness that I hope screams "we let the music do the talking" (rather than the fact I haven't had my second cup of coffee and I'm writing this instead of chasing advertisers for money or deleting spam from the DiS boards. God we get a lot of spam) (rather than the fact that I'm a massive hypocrite who criticizes 'rival' blogs for posting up single sentences and embeds or worse, link bait about album streams which simply contain links to another website, which coulda/shoulda been direct links Tweets and Facebook posts with YouTubes that you can just click play on).
Enough waffling, let the digest commence...
Here is a playlist of my picks of August (featuring a fair few tracks from albums out in September).
I think they're turning Japanese (I really think so!)
This hit Cate our features editor's inbox the other day, and there was a break in the usual air of miserary at DiS HQ when she started doing that tittering thing that leads to little rainbow dots being spluttered onto the monitor. This sweet and not unfunny video co-stars The Big C's Laura Linney and is taken from Aimee's 8th studio album Charmer, which is released on September 18th, and features a guest appearance by The Shins frontman James Mercer.
Have you fallen under the spell of his new record yet? What do you mean you didn't read Neil Ashman's 8/10 review which said things like: "As typified by the joyous absurdity of its title track, I Know What Love Isn't is a classy break-up record rather than just a classic one — reaffirming Jens Lekman as an inimitable talent, taking a great trope of pop music and making his most focussed album to date." And do you mean you also didn't read our interview with Jens? You people, you make me sick. Next you'll be telling me you had no idea he's touring the UK (amid a heap of dates in the US and Europe), playing the follow dates:
09/19/12 Manchester, UK Ruby Lounge w/ Sophia Brous
09/20/12 London, UK Hackney Empire w/ Sophia Brous
09/21/12 Brighton, UK The Haunt w/ Sophia Brous
11/22/12 Dublin, IE Whelans
11/23/12 Cork, IE Cork Opera House (Half Moon Theatre)
11/25/12 Glasgow, UK The Hug and Pint
11/26/12 Leeds, UK The Wardrobe
11/27/12 Bristol, UK Thekla
Right then, you'll be wanting to sample this music won't you? You people, you make me so [insert your favourite expletive]...
We're still trying to get our head around his 'constantly evolving' album which sneaked out this week (I'm penning a review of it to run next week). At times, Gwilym's music sounds a little like Beck playing inside of Daft Punk's boombox. At other points, such as this track, he sounds more like a post-Knife, Brian Eno. One thing is for sure, he's a refreshingly brave new artist, who
should will be heralded in years to come. This perhaps isn't the bestest introduction to his stuff, but I urge you to spend a few minutes this weekend exploring the fascinating Bronze Format and considering the possibilities it unlocks.
Hero to many, Erol Alkan has a new Bugged Out mix coming out, and he's included this glorious remix of Connan Mockasin (signed to his Phantasy label) on it, and plopped it up on SoundCloud to tease us into purchasing his mix. Yeah Erol, like we need teasing, you talented, suave and downright delightful gent.
Bringing you back to earth after that Erol track, but perhaps not as you remember is this from TOPS. They are from Montreal. They are signed to Artbutus, who put out stuff by folks like Grimes. They are a little bit like what you'd expect if you combine what you know about the sort of music that has come out of Montreal over the paste decade and what you know about Grimes.
A 7" of this track is coming out on via Atelier Ciseaux on Monday in UK/Europe. The label told us:
Our vinyl version of "tender opposites" is sold out but it will be re-edited in greater quantities by Arbutus this autumn for UK/ EU with a massive promotion/ tour and a new video. The 7 is white and limited to 300 copies You pre-order is online now from atelierciseaux.com
Chan (wait, let's be fair, her people) just announced a date in December at the Roundhouse, and a European tour. Sun is out this week, and we thought some of you mighta missed this incredible Nicolas Jaar remix of the albums opening track...
Speaking of Nicolas Jaar, his collaborator is doing something, and it sounds like Matthew Dear gone (more) nuts)...
Accidental Records is set to release a new EP from Dave Aju on 12" and digital download. The San Francisco-based producer, who has released multiple EPs and albums on cult dance label, Circus Company, and has remixed some of the most sought after tracks of the last few years including Nicolas Jaar's 'Space Is Only Noise', is about to release his first EP on Matthew Herbert's Accidental Records.
For over a decade the US west coast innovator has been producing and performing his unique brand of electronic dance music. He seasons the rhythms of house and techno with an array of outside musical influences - notably jazz and p-funk, a low-slung aesthetic clearly rooted in hip-hop, and a sonic approach akin to Music concrete. The result is a fresh and expressive sound that varies from raw and percussive to deep and melodic and is favored by an ever-increasing number of listeners, dancers and DJs around the world.
Keeping things purring, is this, new from our friends at No Pain in Pop. This is the first track from a record out in November. Who? Wut? NPIP inform us:
Lionel Williams (aka Vinyl Williams) is a Los Angeles based artist and musician. His collage art & psyche-pop music fuses vast landscapes, multi-religious symbolism, and the supernatural into a paradoxical whirlpool of "mysticism and sonic matrices".
Created and performed solely by songwriter, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Williams, debut album Lemniscate unites these themes into a space cruisin' journey through the tropics of the mind.
On the surface his music is a flood of ideas and imagery, dashing psyched-out space-rock with layers of kraut and shoegaze. Lead singles 'Higher Worlds' and 'Stellarscope' are muscular, transcendental-pop tracks led by frazzled melodies and driving rhythm sections. Digging deeper into Williams' world, album centerpiece 'Inner Space' and closer 'Follow In Your Dreams' reveal more intangible, ethereal qualities; the sound of a restless creative interweaving concepts to conjure a truly unique and intuitive experience.
This amorphous sensation is a constant across Williams' mediums. The 22 year old has also exhibited his similarly surreal art across New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Seoul.
'Lemniscate' is released on cult London indie No Pain In Pop (Forest Swords, Echo Lake, Grimes, Doldrums) in Europe, Williams' own Salonislam label for the US.
Tilly and the Wall
They're back...and they might have been Pussy Riot all along... Press release proclaims:
"Following an eventful four years which found Tilly and the Wall rising to the national stage with appearances on 'Sesame Street' and '90210,' the beloved quintet returns with a fierce new album, Heavy Mood, out 5th November in the UK on Team Love. Produced by Mike Mogis and featuring collaborations with Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Clark Baechle (The Faint) and Shane Aspegren (The Berg Sans Nipple), Heavy Mood is the band's most adventurous album to date... Heavy Mood, TATW's fourth full-length album opens just as boldly with the war whoops that announce "Love Riot," propelled by Jamie's percussion, slightly ominous fuzz-toned guitar from Derek, and lead vocalist Kianna's impassioned back-and-forth with a multi-tracked choir of punk-defiant voices.
The title track, featuring its pumping dance beat, is just as exhortative, a streetprotest recast as a block party, with Derek delivering the core message of the set: "I got the power because I live like I want!" The BPM's may turn gentler in several of the songs that follow, but the atmosphere is no less compelling. The lyrics become more narrative and, especially on the eighties-flavoured "Let Go" and the slow electronic rhythms of "I Believe In You", take on a wistful, openhearted tone. "Static Expression," with its bell-ringing chorus, feels like a contemporary indie-rock version of a Phil Spector extravaganza, courtesy of the band's long time producer and studio cohort Mike Mogis. By album's end, with "Youth" and "Defenders," this new version of Tilly and the Wall is once again defining its status as free-form musical activists while urging a younger generation to let its own freak flag fly."
Ladies are definitely getting fiercer at the moment... hype or hit?
Mike from Oceansize has a new band, and his stuff is "bloody lovely" (I put this in speech marks to make it easier when they copy and paste this insight onto flyers and posters).
The Joy Formidable
Weirdly sounds like they've been listening to Andrew WK (and Placebo). Press release simply says:
"The Joy Formidable are excited to announce the release of their brand new single ‘Cholla’, which received its first spin as Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest Record In The World’ on Wednesday (5th September). ‘Cholla’, the first single off The Joy Formidable’s new album ‘Wolf’s Law’, will be released on 14th October, followed by the album in January 2013.
The Joy Formidable will be touring the UK in October 2012, dates to follow shortly."
Smashing Pumpkins co-founder has a new album out in November...
Look To The Sky is James' first solo album in nearly 15 years, following 1998's Let It Come Down. The album is a psychedelic, melodic and ultimately more textured record than the stripped back sounds showcased on his debut. From the hushed melodies of “Make Believe” to the epic sounds of “To Who Knows Where” through to the straight up pop suss of “Till Next Tuesday”, there’s a playful variety and mature songcraft here that is Iha’s, and Iha’s alone.
“Look To The Sky” features guests such as Karen O and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara, Nathan Larson of Shudder To Think and Television’s Tom Verlaine.
While you're awaiting the new Grizzly Bear album, give this guy a spin...
"His songwriting recalls the delicate but decided instrumentation of bands like Broadcast or a lo-fi Grizzly Bear whilst Fernandez’s layered self-harmonizing vocals could be filed neatly alongside Cass McCombs or Real Estate’s Martin Courtney, whilst Fernandez himself credits his songwriting inspiration by friends' home recordings, black coffee, combo organs, tape delay, Richard Hell, Ray Manczarek, Terry Riley as well as the fore-mentioned Broadcast.
Having yet to play these songs in public Fernandez is in the process of putting together a band to take the project live as well as to help record his studio debut to be released next year via Morning Ritual."
Before we get to Patrick Wolf covering LDR, this is one fans of PW will love. A dark, but rich, wise-beyond-his-years voice. Everything about this is set to tears, and I wouldn't want it any other way.
"Comparisons have been made to such masters as Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Randy Newman but all agree that Tom’s particular take on the art of the singer-songwriter is unique. Tom’s late father Richard Hickox CBE was one of Britain’s most renowned conductors, a Grammy award winner with over 280 recordings to his credit. Tom’s mother was an orchestral timpanist. Tom, however never had formal lessons. “I knew as a kid I couldn’t possibly compete with my dad, and I didn’t want to. My parents let me doodle on instruments around the house. Really, I am untrained musician but I have a lot in my guts and in my ears that I picked up by osmosis.”
Tom has now completed his debut album ‘War, Peace And Diplomacy’, news on this release to come soon.
And finally, we leave you with Patrick Wolf covering Lana Del Rey...