Taste the music of…Softly Dear

softlydear

Show me your artwork, and I’ll tell you which is your music genre. This might be the most indie-snobbish statement I’ve ever written, although being true. Continue reading

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Review/Interview with Crystal Shipsss

crystal

Are you ready for some wild psych-pop? I know, now you want me to explain to you what psych-pop is. Well, let’s the one concerned, Crystal Shipsss (solo project of Jacob Faurholt) explain it a bit better for us: “the term goes way back, but I haven’t really listened to a lot of old psychedelic bands. Maybe I would mention a band like The Flaming Lips, they at least have psychedelic elements in their music. Psych-Pop was just mentioned in several reviews of CS’ debut album “Yay”, but personally I would probably describe the music as noise-pop. And live, where we are three piece, with Evelyn Marie Malinowski from Experimental Housewife on drums, and William Kudahl Sørensen from Infants on bass, we are pretty noisy and at times heavy.” Continue reading

Travel Check interview/review

travelcheck

If I had to choose an area to specialise in, I’d pick blues and rock & roll, which basically covers bluegrass, rockabilly, and acid rock a là Hendrix and Doors. I’d not mind jazz, but it may be a bit of a stretch. I just love the way it delivers its message, and talks to its audience. Its little grandson, the black sheep of the family, is probably the “garage” rock and blues, which blends in acid, psychedelic mantra and rough spoken word. Continue reading

Svarta Stugan – EP

svartastugan

I must admit, some bands really know how to grab my attention, especially if they start off the description with “a mix between Godspeed You! Black Emperor with the soundtracks to Twin Peaks and Blade Runner. Add some noise like the Japanese artist Merzbow (…)Svarta Stugan is a rich blend of all the aforementioned and even more, as it clearly proves in the self-titled EP. Moreover, it created a new sub-genre “twee-noise” – which literally made my day. Continue reading

Dean Allen Foyd

deanallenfoyd

With the 60s nostalgia you basically never go wrong. At least if you are talking to me. Despite my journalistic professional objective approach, my heart beats faster every time you mention words like psychedelia-Delta blues-acid rock (now, you people who submit music in my inbox, know how to grab my attention. No. I was joking. Seriously). There may be some truth in my 60s-obsession, and this again may be the reason why  quickly sympathised with the psychedelic band Dean Allen Foyd and its EP Road to Atlas.

The Stockholm based four piece blends in “everything from garage, delta blues, folk and space-rock”, which mean that it raises my interest… and my expectations. The oldies aura is well maintained on stage, where Dean Allen Foyd plays a different set at each concert during which the songs change their arrangements, and Canada-native singer and guitar player Francis Rencoret moves like a shaman in trance on stage (read: like a man called James Douglas Morrison).

Road To Atlas clearly reiterates the references, grabbing the poppy-psychedelia of Beatles and seasoning it with the upbeat protogarage of early Who. The energy must have been borrowed by the Woodstock-esque Sly Stone funk (Sadness of Mankind), which hints at a gloomier blues heritage, recognisable in songs such as Leave Me Be. The wicked psychedelia a là Syd Barret-ian Pink Floyd incorporates keyboard suites, arabesque Bobby Krieger-like guitar solos and baroque ballads, all in one song (Insects). Otherwise, the psychedelia becomes acid and fuzzy, recalling Grateful Dead’s fascinations and King Crimson’s suites, following the psychedelic trend which has infected the scene. Another case is the one of Road to Atlas, which plays more with the space-rock influences (struggling not to quote Dark Side of the Moon), and loses the spicy vibe of the previous tracks, going off on keyboard solos.

Road To Atlas is an EP designed for nostalgic 60s lovers, in a well-produced medley of the best of a decade. You won’t find anything  brand new here – just dusty, well-seasoned rock tunes. For some may not be enough, but I am more than happy as it is.

 Cover Album
Road to Atlas EP
Similar Artist: Expo 70, Strange Hands, The Temples
Rating:

Tracklist
01. Sadness Of Mankind
02. Insects
03. Leave Me Be
04. Hwy Lost (Revisited)
05. Road To Atlas

Going Solo: Small Giant, Globelamp

I do believe that the title is quite self-explanatory: going solo, for artists who decided to have their solo projects – even if Small Giant has a bunch of guest stars in the release I am introducing you to. It happened by chance, when I received a couple of submissions from people I already heard of as part of bands. I know, the double meaning is inevitable, but what can you do really!

Small Giant – Now We’re Gone

Anyone interested in having their own experience of Italian disco music? Small Giant defines its own debut as “an album of italo disco and beyond”, which kinda forewarns us somewhat. Small Giant is Simone Stefanini, former member of Verily So (featured in the blog here: CLICK). Now We’re Gone revolves around the celebration of the 80s, even though most of us probably weren’t even there: this is a musical portrait that sounds kitsch, incongruently logical and yet captivating. On one hand, there is the 80s of the heavily synth-driven dance-y tunes that was the best music to dance to – especially if you add glam-like electric solos and keyboard bases (“The Night Apollo Died”, “Neverending Story”). On the other hand, there is the sensual new-wave of The Cure, in which electro-beat and female guest vocals contribute to add a mysterious halo (“The Other Me”). Why italo disco then? Borrowing the artist’s words: “It’s italo disco, because this is the common language around which the traces are linked, to sing the sacrament of melancholy as a state of grace.” And yet, behind the kitsch dance-y aura, the gloom shines through.

Globelamp – S/T

I must admit, I have a special appreciation for workaholic musicians. Elizabeth Fey is a workaholic musician: being the lead singer of Meowtain and playing keyboards/tambourine in Foxygen wasn’t enough. Not content with her already impressive resumé, she also plays anti-folk under the pseudonym of Globelamp. Her music is composed of minimal acoustic guitar, that can be described as stripped down Bat for Lashes-like snapshots. The release swings between the aforementioned minimal folk tunes to deliberately lo-fi delayed riffs and reverbs (“Warrior Heart”). This collection alternates an overload of fuzz and bare bedroom-folk-like tunes (“Invisible Prisms”), in a skinny version of Naomi Punk and Metz rough-beats. Globelamp is a multi-faceted assortment of eclectic music that ends up being a rather unpredictable music journey – and you should be aware by now of how much the word eclectic intrigues me.

150words: Seaside Postcards, Petey

Hey, so I decided to try a compromise and instead of 3 in 100 words each, 2 in 150, just to make it a bit fuller – yes, I know, I am a real mess when it comes to be economical.

Seaside Postcards – Hope and Faith EP

Warning: there will be a modicum of wave punning in this post, folks.
Hope and Faith are two words quite obsolete in our society, as Seaside Postcards point out. Hope and Faith follows a concept that may be linked to Eliot’s wasteland, still winking at the post-apocalyptic music that is the main trend right now- oh, if Reznor had only known beforehand. The best sound to represent this landscape is fuzzy post-punk and dark-wave, as always enriched by reverb, feedback and heavy bass guitar lines (General). After their first eponymous EP, the band reach a fuller sound, even if some songs still sound slightly cacophonous. However, the closure of Transition (ft. Starcontrol’s Laura Casiraghi) proves us that Seaside Postcards have really matured, with an added industrial vibe. Let’s ride this dark wave, who know where it’ll lead us to.

Cover Album
Hope and Faith EP
Similar Artist: Shipping News, Lust for Youth
Rating:

Tracklist
01. JK
02. General
03. Washing My Tears Out
04. The Mall
05. Transition

Petey – C-Side

As every reviewer does at least once in their life, I have stuck with my own labeling, which I find quite effective: “bedroom-pop” is the perfect mix of carefree sunshine-pop, surf-pop and power-pop, plus of course the DIY part. Petey is a power-pop band from North Carolina, who recorded the bedroom EP C-Side. We have the catchiness, we have the rhythm, and really down to earth lyrics. The only flaw are the vocals, which in the first part of the EP screech with the tunes. However, by the track Kids who can dance, the vocals also find their own dimension, a mix of falsetto, a bit higher than usual, but just perfect. From pop ballads (Cradles) to light-hearted songs, Petey makes us feel all a bit younger, like at that time in which tape trading was the best day to hook up with a girl or boy.

Cover Album
C-Side
Similar Artist: The French Girls, Athletes in Paris, Chutes
Rating:

Tracklist
01. I Could Sleep Anywhere
02. Our Own Names
03. Kids Who Can Dance
04. Cradles
05. Louder Hawks