On Sunday I went to the GUTS all-dayer, which was rather special. One of the highlights was Ides. Joanna McArdle is the lead singer from A House Down The Road favourites Joanna Gruesome, and Ides is her solo vehicle. Live she was incredibly powerful, posessing that gift that makes you involuntarily and magically transport to somewhere very personal within yourself from the first chord to the last. Whilst you lose some of that immediacy on record – it’s not quite as heart-stopping – you still feel as though she’s singing only to you. There is no song that highlights this as well as Better; it’s raw and stark with her emotions laid to bare. Stunning
Talking of Joanna Gruesome, I can’t stop listening to the album, like, seriously can’t stop. Someone take it off me please.
Hookworms did not play GUTS, but I was very excited because I got to pick up their self-titled EP on vinyl there. To be quite honest, it blows the album out of the water, and the album is pretty fucking special. If they had electronic instruments in the wild west, I imagine they might have made some music like this. Teen Dreams is the highlight, a 6 minute swirling, krautrock-infested hypnotic groove that goes for the jugular.
Honey is one of my favourite songs of the year so far, I’d go so far as to say it’s perfect. It opens softly and with real heartfelt emotion resonating throughout Mackenzie Scott’s – better known as Torres – vocals and lyrics with haunting drums building ever so gradually into a chorus that screams vital. Torres pleads and remonstrates and there is an urgency, inherent truth and human empathy within Honey that makes you want to sing along, and cry, with her.
Every few years or so a bedroom produced American singer/songwriter steals my heart. 2008 was Bon Iver, 2011 Youth Lagoon. 2013 might just be the turn of Jackson Scott. He sounds less like the aforementioned and more like a drugged up Bradford Cox with charming songs wrapped up in a fuzzy haze. The album does not change gear much, sticking with the woozy lo-fi, but goes from summery surf-pop sounds via a little bit of 90s grunge to something slightly more sinister and ethereal. That Awful Sound is one of the more up-tempo numbers; a slab of slacker rock at it’s finest.
Sealings My Boyfriend’s Dead has been around for a long time but was released on 7″ recently, and sounds a little bit like a bad dream. It’s dark and clings to you like treacle. But unlike a bad dream this is an enjoyable headfuck, through the dense, screeching noise is a hook that is hard to shake off. File under LOUD.
Oh, and I bought tickets to see NMH yesterday. Isn’t that exciting?