Whilst I was researching bands with impossibly bad pun names, I stumbled across Radstewart. They don’t have much online, but I found this video of their song Hotdog. It radiates a hazy, lazy slacker feel, with vocals that remind this listener of cult band Sultans of Ping FC. It bumbles along with a deceptively catchy chorus and warm fuzzy guitars ending in a fantastically thrashy heap on the floor. It’s a slice of idiosyncratic, eccentric Britain and I love it.
AroarA are a husband and wife double act with a former Broken Social Scene member as part of their roll call. Which of course makes them a Canadian band (they all have someone from Broken Social Scene in, yes?), who sadly, are as yet unavailable in England. So… I’m going to Quebec City to see them on Saturday. The sooner their music gets here the better, with the best example of their minimalist charm being #5, which exudes a simple yet wistful air, with the melody in the vocals summoning the ghost of old folk songs. The musical interlude is heartbreaking and then the song becomes a sad, lamenting but quite beautiful duet. I cannot get enough of it.
Stara Rzeka is the alter ego of Pole Jakub Ziolek and in a nod to Polish musical history he creates almost neo-classical pieces; spellbinding dystopian landscapes that ebb and flow through musical valleys, encompassing a range of styles from minimalist experimentalism to black metal through to existential noise. Przebudzenie boga wschodu is the opening song on 2013 masterpiece, Cien chmury nad ukrytym polem and contains songs within a song. It’s beguilling and at times mind blowing.
Gulp are another duo with a musical CV worth name dropping. Guto Pryce is the Guto of Super Furry Animals fame and if you are a fan of the weirdly brilliant SFA this may also be right up your street. Play overflows with skewed psychedelic pop and is a joyous and dreamy tune that evokes childhood and endless summers. Also, it is physically impossible to listen to without bobbing your head along. Try it.
It wouldn’t be a good week if I didn’t listen to some new music from my own fair city. Dog in The Snow are a Brightonian two piece making small waves and single Fire in the Sky is overblown, dramatic, and authoritative; it has an almost tribal feel – as though lead singer Helen Ganya Brown is orchestrating a cult to follow her into the fire. Bewitching.
Earlier this year Grumbling Fur released their sophomore effort, the experimental, sprawling and at times baffling Glynnaestra. Dancing Light is the most accessible number on the album, being as close to a classic pop song as you will get, with the synths and harmonious vocals creating something quite uplifting and anthemic.