Every week, Barry aka Apta, over at Piccadilly Records chooses his favourite selections from the new releases that have landed on their shelves. Here’s what he’s selected this week, and why:
It’s another double-weeker this time, last weeks’ Duncan Marquiss LP is an essential inclusion, with it being a stunningly beautiful piece of work in its own right AND The Phantom Band (from whence Duncan came) being one of Picc’s top bands over the years. It’s joined by a few new ones including a new LP for the wonderful Clay pipe records from Cate Brooks in her Cafe Kaput moniker, swimming (sorry) with abandoned aquatic ambience and swooning, haunted seaside haze, or the folky psychedelic minimalism of The Weather Station’s ‘Ignorance’.
If you need something a *little* fierier, then the Bodega LP should fit the bill nicely, with snappy post-punk riffs and angular guitar lines coming together into a perfect and oft-melodic cacophony of noise… if a *little* isn’t quite enough oomph for you then can I offer you the absolutely earth-shaking industrial noise-grind of A Place To Bury Strangers’ ‘See Through You’?
Lovely, enjoy your meal.
BODEGA – Broken Equipment
FFO: Snapped Ankles, LIFE, Folly Group, Do Nothing
NY post-punkers Bodega hit us with their newest outing since 2018’s Endless Scroll and it effortlessly continues their dominance of the scene with a heady mix of percussive near-spoken vox and jagged shimmering guitar drive. Immediately reminiscent of both The Fall and strangely, the timbre and collaborative shouts of The Beastie Boys, there are pieces of pure pop-punk perfection (Statuette On The Console) that could easily be taken from a mid-90s skate video segment and a wonderful contrast in the more grooving bass-heavy walls of sound. While there are bands have that done *this sound* since (and obviously) before Bodega, I still think they’re one of the best around. A hugely immediate and wonderfully satisfying LP, and one that cements Bodega at the forefront of the movement.
Cafe Kaput – Maritime: Themes And Textures
Cate Brooks has long been one of my favourite artists, in every single iteration of her output. The Advisory Circle’s Ways Of Seeing was my Number one LP in the staff charts a few years ago and scored really highly on our overall chart too, and Maritime (on one of my favourite labels of all time, Clay Pipe) could possibly topple that in preference pretty quickly. It’s a beautiful record, with swooning synths and wistful keys working their way around each other, organic swells and brittle string fragments pan around the stereo spectrum giving the sense of waves lapping against the shore. It’s as impeccably produced as you’d expect, with every single piece of the puzzle slotting in perfectly, but with several surprises along the way. It’s both hugely engaging but not at all forceful, and is a perfect fit for one of the greatest labels in the game. You need to snap this up while you can.
Duncan Marquiss – Wires Turned Sideways In Time
FFO: Pneumatic Tubes, Modern Nature, Keeley Forsyth, Holodrum
This wonderful new LP from Phantom Band guitarist and all-around instrumentalist Duncan Marquiss sees him trading the riffs for meticulously constructed atmospheres, wrought from a variety of organic and electric processes and ending up with a superb record, richly evocative and beautifully diverse. The kosmische stomp of Drivenhalle for example is imbued with a loose rhythmic foundation accentuated and built upon through the whole of its 9+ minute duration, twisting out of droning Eat Lights Become Lights-y walls of sound and ending up in a flickering redux of folk and post-rock near the end. The whole LP is full of these moments of organic change and seamless transition, it’s a beautifully accomplished and perfectly conceived whole.
A Place To Bury Strangers – See Through You
FFO: Metz, The KVB, Clinic, Spacemen 3
It’s always an incendiary experience with a new APTBS album, and this is absolutely no different. We kick things off with the percussive blast of Nice Of You To Be There For Me before Ackermann’s trademark vocal kicks in, proving that none of the fuzzed-out feedback-laden grit has left the building. There’s seemingly a more renewed interest in electronics on this new one, where Pinned saw a bit more of a stripped-back bluesy sound, most of See Through You could easily be mistaken for 90’s industrial titans Nine Inch Nails (who they toured with in the past), rich as it is with machinated grit and screaming syncopated fuzz. Yet another book in the storied history of APTBS, and without a doubt a piece of their output that will go down in history for all the right reasons.
The Weather Station – Ignorance
FFO: Cate Le Bon, Hand Habits, L’Rain, caroline
Though Tamara Lindeman’s vocals are reasonably athletic, her use of a mostly unadorned piano as accompaniment (there are whispers of bass and echoic electric guitar plucks, but it’s by no means the majority of the music) really turns this from a ‘folk’ record into something altogether less hurried and indescribable. What’s my job here if not to give it a bash anyway though, right? Marsh kicks things off beautifully, with these whispers of further instrumentation unhurriedly sitting behind the main refrains on piano and vocals, it’s a lot less of a ‘pop’ structure than the follower Endless Time (for my money the best song on the record), but both feel as entirely genuine and essential as each-other, laying in the middle ground between modern-classical and psychedelic 70’s Americana, but really being nowhere near to either. A beauty.