Bess Atwell makes music unlike anything other than the purist of cherry lip balm . Nourishing, mood enhancing and physically soothing, Bess blends subtly tinted landscapes of gleaning folk with crystal perfect recorded polaroids of unadorned femininty and frictioned relationships.
credit: Bess Atwell
Swimmingly refined as a blushing exploration of emotional consciousness, Big Blue has all the rich fascinations ingrained within humanity of captured riversides and edenistic orchards nestled into five haunting tracks; and whilst her flushing peach harmonies compel standalone it’s the accompaniemet of her band that are the kernel to Big Blue‘s harvested individualisms. Each track is a weaved lullaby for the soul. Grace is daisy dresses and apple trees tucked into a blanket of silver mythologies of siren standard whilst three minutes into the felicitously titled Cherry Baby and our ears are gifted to conscientous roaming guitars of drizzly mountainscapes in autumn proportions that would make the likes of Ben Howard and Fleet Foxes proud.
To be listened to body and soul in an ivy trailed dreamland.
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.