John Myrtle is far from your average DIY indie dream. Floppy hair and gloriously twangy love songs are teamed with quintessentially English eccentricity and tongue in cheek. Charming in that awkwardly poetic manner we all can’t help fall in love with. Picture Harry Nilsson minus the dressing gown, British, and with a fondness towards bugs. Specifically Cyril the Slug, an innocently playful commentary on suburban appearances through the eyes of a fat slug (of course).
Hailed by Marc Riley of BBC 6 as having a likening to Syd Barrett, John picks up classically philosophic and lyrical driven songwriting where others before him have left off- and does it better. Forthcoming single ‘Foggy’, to be released jointly on cassette label Sad Club Records and Lancaster based Bingo Records, is a lushly contemplative, melancholic affair that sounds like black coffee fuelled musings in a leather armchair whilst watching the evening rain. Performing live as a four-piece, John’s set to play Brighton’s, Utopia All Dayer early June 2019 amongst a wholesome lineup including Hotel Lux of the Windmill Brixton and Bristol’s Heavy Lungs.
Still not convinced? Rough Trade Shops praised “Shit, this is really good. I was at his gig and I couldn’t stop dancing and smiling, and no, I wasn’t on drugs.”
What more could you really want.
Can you write about yet another South London Scene band without mentioning South London?
Yala! Records latest signing Talk Show are very much South London in scene but forget all cliche; this is no act of Shame. First introductions are a punch in the face to any presumptious expectations of new wave punk. Fast and Loud is a gutsy and impressively packed 7″ blending addictively disordered, gnarly guitar and strikingly clipped humour. Efforletlssy captivating that feeling you get when you’re so stressed you have to laugh- you’d be forgiven for not realising it’s the four piece’s debut.
Frontman Harrison Swann’s vocals relentlessly churn up decadent heightened intensity from the pit of urban ugliness. Demonstrating themselves as a vital attack on the senses it’s imperative to keep moving with Talk Show as they cut between mayhem music for moshing and sporadic breaks masterfully. A blazing drawl caught in a rush hour state of urgency and nightmarish, falling down – the – rabbit -hole adrenaline it’s breath taking in the literal sense as so much possesed angsty stomping will follow that come the inevitable tenth consecutive play, you will be short of breath.
Not to be ignored, B side FEAR (the demo track) has a liberated, rioters captivation. An early 2000’s Editors (but much less boring) feel with builded seething riffs and the pitchy quality of a consistent ear ache yet, it’s unabashed and undeniably catchy.
The best part? When drummer Chloe MacGregor shouts 1,2,3,4 and we all simutaneously start leaping around our bedrooms.
This is a band of Baked Beans.
photo credit: Baked Beans
Baked Beans are a band of human – bean – babes from Melbourne and OW EM GEE THEY’RE RAD.
Petition to bring back rad.
Signed to Flightless Records, the very cool, very hip Aussie based label run by Eric Moore of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard fame (yes of course), Baked Beans are that kind of chaotic, psychadelic garage / who even knows what this is but shit I like it sound that only ever works when birthed by Aussies, ideally those of the long haired and carboot sale bargain aesthetic.
Babble is a dirty, full body spasm inducing, moody boogie LP with a blasted spirit that creeps and lurches uncontrollably until it turns on you. Suddenly, you find yourself drifting through clouds in a synth-y warped wasteland heaven. Addictively catchy even if you’re not entirely sure what’s going on half the time you can easily nestle in to this oasis of noise and drift off blissfully. Tap your toes and let lose your inner fuzz.
Quite possibly the best example of deeply channeled pandemonium since the Lizard Wizard masters themselves; there’s echoes, conceptual but undeniably mastered manipulation and excitement. Opening number Slow could do with being infinitely long. An eternal, rip roaring soundtrack to the utter confusion of now it’s stacked high with gloriously infectious keys, shattered kits and general sporadic everything. These folks are definitely not as kitsch as their name might suggest, they own their craft and craft their own
It is odd. To state the obvious you either really like it or you dont- and if you dont you’re in denial.
Their merch is rad.
Featured in LDN MAGAZINE
Warped fuzz, reverb and reptiles, lots of reptiles. What’s not to like?
London-based duo Chiba have perfectly nailed that oh-so-trendy chaotic surf- psych sound that you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re members of King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard’s extended family. Think winding synths and staggered slow grooves with riff-fuelled mayhem for days. Reptile Room is music for when you want to let your hair loose and put on your favourite Can T-shirt (whilst in a distorted desert underworld). Garage rock, reptile rock, whatever you want to call it – it works. If you like sprawling vocals and thunderous beauty strange enough to make David Lynch proud, then this is for you. Wild, weird and woozy, ‘leave your skin at the door’.
Picture all your favourite art house films involving road trips, flecked sunlight through thick trees and lot’s of rose tinted nostalgia. Then, picture long haired, harmonica ladened and free sprited eccentrics dressed probably in courd pants who enjoy strumming their guitars with a trance inducing finenes that leaves a clear, lasting impression.
There’s really lot’s of strumming.
If any of those images sound like a dream and you’ve found yourself lost for words avert your attention towards All Those Freaks, the captivating and highly narrative latest release by North London’s The Roves. Put simply, All Those Freaks is a wish fulfilling love soaked anthology of heart felt good vibes and homage to a captured musical past. Finally we have a soundtrack to that inspired coming – of – age, Magical Mystery Ride of our imagination.
photo credit : Tom Wing
A band of brothers James and Tom Wing there’s an unvarnished quality to James’ lead vocals that result in a charmingly raw and unfiltered casual twang. Bassist Luke Evans and Brendan Monahan on drums complete the set and add structure to the sentimental oddities. They’re all really rather happy and boy will they help us all to bask in their high spirits.
Opener Speaking for Jerry is a wistfull, stripped back mountain cry to the people. We should all get started on that which we preferably would be doing whatever that may be. Encouraging and twee it’s enchantedly paced at a guitared gallop which, when followed by Everybody’s High, a heritage minded journey into psychedelia and youthful antics is exactly the sort of easy going optimism the world needs right now.
All Those Freaks is not however all good vibrations and carefree sweetness. King of Comedy is a minimalist, acoustic set lovers dream that sounds like early Jake Bugg in it’s Shangri-La but evidently less Midlands. Likewise, finale Boy from Underdog is a moody, slightly nasal yet meitculously arranged tale that conjours up imagery of dancing alone at school discos and pulls at the heartstrings in a manner certainly unlike its forebearers.
Penultimate track Who’s Sleeping On The Throne is a Where the Wild Things Are reminiscence tale of purity within lonesomness and captivated simplicity. It’s the right kind of fuzzy warmth with a delicate temprement.
All in all this is a record collection must.
Portobello roars as Dublin City’s finest take front.
Did someone mention Ireland? Step aside The Pogues these Boys from the Better Land are here to smash the system and then build it back up again. As Record Store Day 2019 rampaged through Portobello’s Rough Trade West a storm was brewing outside.
Newcomers Fontaines D.C are far from rookie in capability. Leaking out onto the street withwords soaked in an unvarnished Irish drawl and core tremoring riff’s for days, the heaven’s caved biblically as hail splintered out over the crowd sporadically and opportune. THANK GOD FOR PUNK.
A more inspired location for the groups consciously defined crowd conquer could not have been chosen. Heritage punk seeps through RTW greedily searching for the next generations takeover. The walls tremored and lurched as frontman Grian Chatten oozed anachronistic maturity and breathed life into the remnants of Sex Pistol glory days dust. Fontaines D.C are symbol of a time before their time. Contemporary relevancy is in abundance with an addictively candid attitude to match. Chatten daringly chants about ‘Brits out’ and ‘A pregnant city with a Catholic mind’. If the crowd didn’t know the words then, they certainly do now.
How many adjectives can be used to describe communal soul ache?
Rhapsodic and really, really, haunting. The kind that makes your body and soul crawl uncontrollably and repeatedly an inescapable and undulating celestial body. The Seed screams gauzy rawness paired divine energy that propels thick and stirring. You’re going to want to blackout draw the blinds, light a dozen white candles and outer-body abandon to experience this fully.
You cannot eat money
A phonic tackling of humanistic destructive ugliness Aurora channels cosmic pith like no other. She has a potency to her voice that could grow trees or power tides with addictive staggered lust and sensory warmth. An empire of sound, if this is the seed to a greater good then we can all look forward to it’s birth.
shout out to Dan the celestial connoisseur xo
photo credit to: A.Swayze & the Ghosts
A stella and uncontrollably tight debut laced up in rigorous, soul strung unity before being spat out in a 10 minute spiral of urguncy, sweat and razored narrative. Liberatingly unhinged vocals drool spiritedly and dauntless all over a scything powerhouse of instrumentalism you can stomp your DM’s to.
This is Garage Punk at its peak promising. Charasmatic, determined and gnarly.
Yes to all of it.
photo credit: Ibibio Sound Machine
This is damn epic. Glittering disco grooves, riffs for days and the return of Nigerian Ibibio language to the mainstream Doko Mien, the second album by London’s ‘Ibibio Sound Machine’ is a fusionist celebration of universalness and rich heritage, proving once again the group can deliver illustrious high life perfection (figuratively and literally). A bit chaotic and chicly CHIC but not, Doko Mien is fuel for you inner sequinned disco-come-polyrhythmic diva.
Frontwoman Eno Williams is gloriously commanding in both delivery and lyricism; “I need you to be sweet like sugar”. A figurhead for badassness in eclectic tongue, she infectiously soars over a blended futuristic weave of synths and cow bells. A match made in an invigoratingly fusioned yet traditionalist heaven it’s an unsubtley unique and all round encompassing extravaganza. Where ‘I Will Run’ falls flat in comparison to initial elations, penultimate track Guess We Found a Way is the ideal counterargument to the (unapologetic) repetitivness of previous funk.
photo credit: Merge Records
At times there’s an apparent Morcheeba inspired crossover in sound. Williams does fine tuned, sultrous moody as well as she does feel good domination; in Ibibio (naturally). All in all if honoured, progressively nostalgic funk with a twist sounds like a shout then this is for you. Perhaps you need to be in the right mood to listen or perhaps, by listening, you’ll be in the right mood.
photo credit Lean Benoit
Emilie Kahn is a French-Canadian Mermaid in disguise. Equipped with her harp (although she’s dropped it’s moniker Ogden) and enchanted tales of heartbreak and fearlesness, Emilie has created a wonderfully lush, deeply distinctive, emotional rock pool of a follow up record.
There’s a driving pulse to Emilie’s writing style. Uniquely adaptable and immersive, Outro is a fitting soundtrack for an empowered fairtyale. With a depth to storytelling like no other, she capably creates her own genre of transformative layered Pop and Indie Folk. Never an afterthought, the presence of harp makes immediate and total sense, a seemingly withstanding engraving not addition to Emilie’s person. Outro is built as a resonating tide of ethereal choruses and captivated instrumental breaks whilst Emilie’s vocals are angelic but not without vigor. With subtle progression and glittering lovesick landscapes all encompassed into blossoming siren song.
Sixth track Horse somehow sounds like blue lagoons and stardust. A call out to a lover long gone it’s smoothly residual and soothing whilst stand out track Three is a blazingly controlled release of frustration; unshackled and Devine Feminine.
This is a record that’s both rhapsodic and mellow. Classical weaves with contemporary seamlessly with delicacy and reminiscent magic. As youthfull as it’s ageless, “I’ll give you all the goddamn stars if you want some space.”