on Thursday, 28 August 2008
Parenthetical Girls – Entanglements
Somewhat more loveable than Patrick Wolf and coming on like Final Fantasy if he re met all his childhood friends only to find out they had formed a string section to accompany his somewhat awkward tones and quirky lines. Like Danielson, fun, euphoric and almost nursery like at times yet always with a healthy supply of pomposity on show. Like the Magnetic Fields writing the score for a beautiful ballet, pitchshifted vocals and a healthy regard for all things Magnetic Fields. This is the kind of album that deserves a touring theatre group to pen a play to.

Growing – All The Way
The sound of Growing is one that's hard to explain, i did try just a few posts back before the excitement of finding out they have a brand new album on the way. I'm sure it will not be to everyones taste but i can't help but instanstly adore them. Their sound is like half concious visions of the future, blurred and scant of detail but giving enough for you to put your own twists and interpretations to it. A hazy morning hungover F Buttons, their batteries running low, energy waning. A great introduction to the world of drone and noise, a beautiful cover too.

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A Lily – Wake:Sleep
"sweet, meandering melodies, caught somewhere between sleeping and waking. childrens' voices echo incoherent and lively; electronics, accordian, drums and glockenspiel drift in and out."The Wire

It’s taken me a long time to get into this and I wonder why, it’s so perfectly me, perhaps it’s those final two tracks, far too long for my short attention span, too droney and uneventful, maybe they just don’t fit the rest of the album, the latter being 30 plus minutes in length, perhaps on my way to sleep I would welcome them into my ears but following on from the glorious six tracks that precede them, i’m not interested. Maybe if this is available on vinyl the label will have been discreet enough to have tracks 1-6 on side A and 7 & 8 on the flipside, they seem that far removed.
The album comes with a story...( "In his solo project A Lily, James Vella creates willowy instrumental dreampop whose pitter-pattering beats, chiming melodies, softly murmuring voices, and fluttering guitars sound like they're emerging from behind a translucent scrim. Inspired by his girlfriend Leanna, Wake:Sleep is a valentine set to music created by the Canterbury resident and Yndi Halda guitarist using primarily computer and electric and acoustic guitars, but also accordion, piano, drums, glockenspiel, bass, and pretty much anything else within reach.)...and its every bit as beautiful as the sentiment, six pieces of glitchy goodness, skittering beats and gently whispered sampled laments, like múm if they only shopped organically and avoid e numbers, like a film dropped on the floor before developing, stained half recallen memories of good times, the light that awakens you day in day out, reliable, bright and persistent. Children’s voices reminiscent of Boards of Canada and Isan, twinkles and chimes so soothing on the brain that remind me of I am Robot & Proud, each song slowly turned inside out as if to reveal the inner person, the secret person of the heart. A special special album.

Hayman, Watkins, Trout & Lee - Hayman, Watkins, Trout & Lee (Fortuna Pop!)
I wonder where he finds the time, where he finds the inspiration, this being the umpteenth release this year from the wonderfully honest and analytical Darren Hayman formerly of Hefner, one of my all time favourite bands. Darren has the ability to put feelings into words, everything you want to express, all those frustrations you’ve felt, all the sideways glances, all the thoughts you never thought you’d tell into flipping good pop songs. With Hayman, Watkins, Trout & Lee there is a diversion from the normal sound this being a bluegrass project, which would normally be enough to turn anyone off, however alongside Dave Tattersall of the Wave Pictures the Hayman magic shines through as ever.
Hesitation Blues will have you strutting around your kitchen and dosey doe-ing your loved one whilst your kettle boils, Jameater Blues will have you flinging open your windows on even the coldest days and make you eat jam straight from the jar without a care in the world. High Blood Pressure cannot fail to make you smile, alternatively it may just inspire you to go watch O Brother Where Art Thou?
Go embrace Hayman, Watkins, Trout & Lee, let some light heartedness into your life.

Source: Nu Wave

The Mountain Movers - We've Walked In Hell And There Is Life After Death (Fortuna Pop!)
With a title like that of an over ambitious post rock band or a survivor from the lost island writing his autobiography you’d be forgiven for expecting something pretentious and overblown. It won’t help their cause when I tell you that all the songs are about death, the devil and the afterlife.
You’ll be pleased to know however that instead of being some death metal disaster, the kind people at Fortuna Pop! Are treating you to 12 songs as laid back and splendid as everyone’s favourites, The Butterflies of Love.

Bubblegum Lemonade – Ten Years Younger EP
Strawberry Whiplash – Who’s In Your Dreams EP
A lovely couple of releases straight out of Glasgow from the ever reliable Matinee Records. Bubblegum Lemonade are very JAMC and very Creation but loveable all the same. Ten Years Younger is a brilliant shoegazey pop song with an almost Aislers Set/Black Tambourine stomp to it especially as it resurrects itself so brilliantly just before the three minute mark. That Thing You Do! Sounds like something i’ve heard before, it’s nothing new but it’s exceptionally well done. Highly recommended.
Strawberry Whiplash have a similarly familiar sound, this time more drenched in fuzz and keys, like a modern Shop Assistants, and really need I say anything further than just go discover them.

Cocoanut Groove - The end of the summer on Bookbinder road
A brilliant harpsichord drenched track of Left Banke pop with a bass line taken straight from the fret board of the Association. One for those few sunny days when you miss the old Belle & Sebastian.