PINS debut album, Girls Like Us came out yesterday. It’s rather superb. However one song, Velvet Morning, stands out from the rest like an oasis in a desert of intensity and bombast. It’s spoken voice, with lovely dulcet northern tones recorded over an incredibly atmospheric piece that builds slowly with small waves of minimalist sound and drumming that makes the drums seem like an instrument and not something simply used to keep a beat. It does not really go anywhere, but it does not need to – which is why I’m listening to it on a loop.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs are one of those bands who have always skipped by me. I was round a friend’s house this week, listening to records in the attic, and they put Despair on. I still have not listened to any of the rest of the album because I cannot get past this song. It’s simple, driven and repetitive with that classic song trait of sounding like everything and nothing before, like a good idea that is so obvious everyone wonders why they hadn’t thought of it. Despair is very much a song by a big band on the top of their game; an anthem that had me from the very moment the guitar rolled in, my affection growing as the song did.
Oh, Big Deal, what have you done to me? This years sophomore effort, June Gloom has a much bigger sound than their debut, but the formula is still the same, as is the end result. Dream Machines is a stunning, heart-skipping piece of dream pop.
I previewed the GUTS all-dayer for Brighton Noise this week. That was fun. I do love writing, I love trying to find words that sum up an experience and not include my usual go-to words; ‘Ace’ and ‘Alright’. I particularly love writing about music, mainly because through it you get to listen to lots of music. And I mean listen; writing about a track or a band makes them feel as though they belong to me in a way I have not really felt since I was 15/16. Those olden times, when there was no spotify and no soundcloud – only cassettes and CD’s that I could only afford to buy once a month. That process of settling down with a record, devouring the sleeve and listening to it endlessly because there was nothing else new to listen to created a strange relationship with, and a deep affection for, an album. It made me connect with the music, and really feel it as it became not just a soundtrack to, but a part of my life. And this is what writing about music does to me.
I listened to Beta Blocker And The Body Clock‘s Summer Ain’t Summer and straight away it grabbed me – it’s as catchy as fuck. I did not think about how it made me feel, I did not think anything, and after one listen I wrote this: ‘BATBC are sugar coated noise pop freaks with a penchant for making distorted, scuzzy and off-kilter tunes that sound just like summer’. Normally it takes me a while to find the words to express how a song makes me feel, but this came straight out. I have no idea what it means of course, it’s piffle. But I know it means I love it.
Fever Dream did not have quite the same instant impact, their hazy brand of dreamy shoegaze a little impenetrable at first, but once you let it air it draws you in and a number of styles come to the surface. The most accessible song, Alchemy, is a wistful slab of angular post-punk.
I also reviewed Brighton band Soft Arrows LP Overlapping Lines. The album is a little hit and miss but when they get it right it’s loud, dissonant, and affecting. I have a tendency to be drawn towards songs about heartbreak like a moth to light – I don’t know why but they speak to a sadness within me. Dry Heaves is a rather touching homage to a lost love. Vocalist Tom Denney wails “And I know” as the music builds, shimmers and crashes around him, my heart breaking in the process.