RELEASE ROUNDUP: PICCADILLY RECORDS
As record store day (II) creeps up on us, the new releases often slow down a little bit but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a wealth of superb music out there to keep our ears active. This week sees things take a bit more of a relaxed turn with the hazy instrumental jazz of D Rothon offset with the more bluesy swing of Damon Locks. As ever, there’s a wealth of more melodic indie too, with the poppy grooves of New Dad or The Goon Sax, or the classic jangle of Turin Brakes finally reissued in full-spectrum vinyl goodness. Why not eh?
The Goon Sax – Mirror II
Both of the Goon Sax’s LP’s ‘We’re Not Talking’ and ‘Up To Anything’ went down a treat in the shop, expertly combining rich plucked bass and wistful indie melodies with a hint of the australian slacker pop that’s been such a hit in the past decade or so. This time sees the Aussie trio pull in elements of stadium rock (Psychic), distorted walls of noise and more angular, cutting indie business to great effect. There are surprising moments all over, showing the breadth of stylistic variety the band are capable of pulling out, but even at their most obtuse they manage to skilfully weave through a thread of consistency. A brilliantly written and thematically diverse set of songs, all brought together with the Goon Sax’s impeccable ear for a melody and wonderfully optimistic sound.
D. Rothon – Memories Of Earth
We all remember the days of being obsessed with a label right? I certainly do, buying everything they put out just because it was on *that* label. There are few labels that I do this with anymore (it could get pretty expensive in here too!) but Clay Pipe are one of the few left that I buy on sight. Think soft-focus acoustic instrumentation, enriched with tasteful wisps of synth and swooning, wistful melodies. Beautifully evocative of a hazy day spent laying in fields and chatting with friends. This particular outing brings in considerable jazz influence, but keeping things nice and spiritual. It’s a wonder that more people don’t know about Clay Pipe honestly, but I know those that do feel the exact same way that I do. Gorgeous, soaring beauty all round. Great artist, great label. Better get in quick, these ALWAYS go.
Turin Brakes – the Optimist (20th Anniversary Edition)
There’s a certain sound that Turin Brakes managed to eke out of their instruments, at once drawing a line between stripped-back Americana and more modern indie-folk, so it’s no surprise that there’s been considerable interest in the 20th anniversary represses of their huge debut, ‘The Optimist’. Sadly, the Dinked Archive reissue of this one has gone (no surprises there), but there are standard LP’s and a lovely clear amber special version to feast your eyes and ears on, and every single note holds just as much beauty as it did back in the day. Brittle acoustic instrumentation is replaced with huge, stadium melodies in the blink of an eye. A wonderful set of songs, and a well-needed reissue.
Damon Locks Black Mountain Ensemble – NOW
You’re always in good hands with International Anthem, and their latest outing sees Chicago based multi instrumentalist and bandleader Damon Locks bring the goods with his most fascinating outing yet. NOW sees the first time many of these songs have been recorded, or the first time they’ve been sung live, and really captures the energy of a talented group of performers and a wonderful collaborative success. It’s a deeply political piece, having been written during a time of huge social unrest in the USA, and a drive for more awareness of the plight of the black community. It’s an effective and well written statement, but most importantly, is a wonderfully hypnotic and beautifully rich combination of gospel, soul and jazz, brimming with spoken word elements and snippets of personal interludes. A beautiful and important document
New Dad – Waves EP
It technically came out a couple weeks ago this one, but as it sold out INSTANTLY and nobody could get one, I figured it was pertinent to give it a shout when you can actually buy it! Sitting somewhere between the shoegaze walls of Slowdive and hints of the gothic gloom of The Cure, New dad forge a beautifully evocative mix of blurry instrumentation and post-punk percussion lightened with Julie Dawson’s floating vocals and poppy punk progressions. Wonderfully produced and beautifully balanced, it’s the perfect summer soundtrack.