OK, not super fast on recommendations and top tips for 2011 but better late than never, six of the best for the new(ish) year. Looking back at the selections here, well the first three at least, I have obviously slipped back into that hazy-summer-dream thing… will try to bring up some more gutsy stuff another time…
Clearly if I had got to this when it was released last July I could bang on about Endless Summer being the quintessential summer track, but here in the depths of January it is still a great fuzzy, squashy, trippy track, reminiscent of Beach House.
More recent track, Eyes, is on free download from Soundcloud and finds Still Corners in a yet more dreamy place. But Don’t fall In Love is a drop dead gorgeous track redolent , as The Guardian points out, of a David Lynch soundtrack. Londoners, Still Corners shine out from the current retro psychedelic wave of new bands, the future of indie never sounded more blissed
Still Corners – Don’t Fall In Love
Continuing the dreamy stylee, the Brooklyn via Long Island Twin Sister have an assuredness that belies their brief two years together. With definite nods to 80’s synth pop and a good smattering of Cocteau Twins influence, tracks from the Colour Your Life and previous Vampires With Dreaming Kids, Twin Sister deliver an almost icily chilly sound that still manages to have an organic warmth to it.
A few listens and the infectiousness of the songs seeps in, lush and enchanting, mellow but oddly uplifting, maybe the Kings of Convenience claim that The Quiet Is The New Loud moment has finally arrived.
Twin Sister – “Lady Daydream”
Relentlessly pursuing the out of season infatuation with warm summery and fuzzy sounds Mauro Remiddi aka Porcelain Raft is another of those Beach House-esque artists putting out rather sumptuous, bleary ballads that make me yearn for a bit of sun and warmth.
Porcelain Raft and Yuck ( the next band on my list here), obviously have a thing going on as they had each produced covers of the others songs both of which can be heard on Soundcloud and can be boight ( if any copied remain ) via Transparent. The lovely Tip of Your Tongue is a fine place to start here
Tip of Your Tongue- Porcelain Raft
OK maybe not the most enticing name for a band but this little collective with members from Hiroshima, New Jersey and the UK are any thing but Yuck, actually really rather good.
Sure there is a debt in there to bands of yore like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr but that’s really no bad thing, these days everything gets re-purposed and regenerated and Yuck still sound ‘now’. With a couple of members who were in Cajun Dance Party they aren’t exactly straight off the proverbial banana boat and indeed they have an album to be released in February. Currently in the states they bring some shows back to the UK around the time of the album release – lets hope we hear more from Yuck in 2011
Yuck – Georgia
Right, here we go, something not as dreamy and woozy (as nice as that is) – Leicester’s Maybeshewill are mates with Her Name is Calla and to a degree inhabit a similar sort of space. Springing from that over-used and not terribly helpful category ‘post rock’ this has all the ingredients of the said genre but delivers it all rather more immediately. Now I am all for a bit of delayed gratification but frankly how much more satisfying is it to get what you’re looking for without waiting 23 minutes for the hook or the pay-off.
With already two well received albums and a few other bits and pieces to their name, a third album is in the final throes of production (with some strings courtesy of Sophie from HNIC who says the new material is sounding great) and a slew of dates this spring in Europe and the UK, lets hope 2011 is a big year for these fine fellows
Maybeshewill – This Time Last Year
Sharon van Etten
I have already burbled on about this fine singer songwriter and to be sure she isn’t exactly an underground artist but Epic is just that – a wonderful album and she deserves a greater audience and acclaim. I wrote a post barely ten days ago so no use repeating myself but should there be anyone who doesn’t know her… go find
Sharon Van Etten – Peace Signs
As always – apologies for repeating myself – this page gives me a lift. Thank you Robert, for writing with passion about beautiful music that exists far away from mainstream, trends or commercial success.
A guide with taste is a blessing; please keep on guiding.
Bas you are too kind – in these wretched times its what keeps me sane!