Reviews

Thing of the Day #6
Artist
Label
Date

The debut EP from Sunderland hotshots Roxy Girls is an absolute blast. Super fast and fully charged, the songs come and go in a flash. It's a debut with the attitude of Double Nickels on the Dime and one which sees the band paying due respect to the musical giants of Sunderland  whilst forging their own path. The band have been hotly tipped and regulars on the North East circuit for a few years now so it's good to finally have a substantial (in a 15 minute kind of way) release to savour.

Thing of the Day #4
Release Date
30 Sep 19

Wild Nature! is Ivan The Tolerable's 4th record of 2019, and seemingly his 32nd release since 2011 (kudos to whoever is managing to keep track). It's the follow up to Rations, a mammoth, over blown full band affair which took the Ivan the Tolerable name into uncharted territories. But where that album revelled in excess, this one is the antithesis, moving back to basics whilst Oli Heffernan himself has reverted back to doing it all himself - playing, writing, sleeve designing, mixing, mastering and releasing via his own Ack! Ack! Ack! label.

Thing of the Day #7
Artist
Release Date
27 Sep 19

Benjamin Shaw has been a relatively prolific recording artist over the past ten years, releasing a number of albums which flit between bedroom lo-fi and glitchy ambience (check out Goodbye, Cagoule World and Guppy for a good cross section). He's not one for the relentless touring life though, and earlier this year he performed his first concert in 5 years at donaufestival in Austria (all the more random as Shaw lives in Melbourne, Australia these days).

Thing of the Day #3
Artist
Release Date
16 Aug 19

A new album from Frog is always something to celebrate, but this latest effort sees the band in a time of flux. The flux being the loss of a member. And when your band only has two members to begin with that's a pretty big deal. So whilst Tom White departed the combo and moved to the UK, Danny Bateman was left in the US without a drummer or a job. A 1979 MX5050 tape machine seemed to be the answer to this predicament, which Bateman used to piece together this "solo" record (but one which is still under the Frog banner).

Thing of the Day #2
Artist
Label
Release Date
12 Jul 19

Seven years have now passed since the release of Imperial Teen's massively under-valued Feel the Sound album. That record was one of my favourites from that year, a textbook example of contemporary pop, and one which seemed to puncture the bubble of gloomy indie and rock which was the zeitgeist. They've finally returned with a new album, Now We Are Timeless, which firmly re-establishes them as trail blazers of this intelligent, but fun electro sound.

Label
Release Date
28 Jun 19

Ivan The Tolerable has traditionally been a thoroughly singular DIY project for Teesside musician Oli Heffernan. In recent years we've seen a gradual shift towards a fuller, more refined sound, getting friends on board to provide instrumentation and also relinquishing some production and mixing duties. Last year's Autodidact and Le Monde Inverse are a million miles away from the early tapes and EPs, for example.

Artist
Release Date
28 Jun 19

Molly are a duo based in Innsbruck, Austria comprising Lars Andersson on guitars and Phillip Dornauer on drums. But this isn't your standard raucous guitar-drums indie garage duo, Molly are more akin to the sweeping densely populated sounds of Explosions in the Sky or Sigur Rós. Occasionally toning things down a notch to Slowcore territoty. Put it this way, everything is slow and that ain't no bad thing.

Release Date
21 Jun 19

Stanley Brinks is the the sort of artist that just can't stop himself from releasing stuff. This could also be said of The Wave Pictures, to a slightly lesser extent. I think it's unwise to try and pin a number on this latest episode in the Brinks mega saga, but suffice to say he's released over 100 in various guises over the years (putting The Wave Pictures' impressive tally in the shade).

Artist
Label
Release Date
14 Jun 19

It's been six years since Bill Callahan released Dream River, an album which, like pretty much all Bill Callahan / Smog records, has aged nothing but gracefully. Now he's back with a new collection called Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest which contains a whopping 20 tracks. You can only really get away with a title and duration like that if you've earned a fair bit of good will, and Drag City know that they can trust this fella to deliver the goods.

Artist
Label
Release Date
07 Jun 19

Earthen Sea is the recording alias of Jacob Long, a producer from New York, and Grass and Trees is his second album for Kranky records. His first, the well received An Act of Love, mixed electro beats with more abstract soundscapes. The inspiration for this one was to create simple, restrained music to contrast with the hectic city where he lives, so the music is quieter and sparser in comparison, removing most of the dance elements in favour of more ambient, thoughtful compositions.