Birmingham based alternative 4-piece Chartreuse have announced their new EP Is It Autumn Already? set to be released in November. The band have also shared new single “Things Are Changing Too Quickly” from the upcoming EP.
With a driving groove that could be straight from Radiohead’s In Rainbows and an emotively dark atmosphere that pulls straight from The XX’s debut, Chartreuse create a sound that brings together the greatest elements of their contemporaries whilst being uniquely transportive. You can’t help but become locked inside their deeply nostalgic soundscapes that ooze with subtle moments of eeriness.
Listen to the new single below!
Feed Be Fed
Things Are Changing Too Quickly
The band have also announced a run of headline live shows kicking off at The Lexington in London 30th November 2021, and taking in the Cluny in Newcastle, Birmingham’s Hare & Hounds and finishing up in Dublin on 7th December. Tickets are on sale now via https://www.chartreuseband.com/. Full live dates list is below.
Live Dates: 25th September – Dot To Dot Festival Bristol
26th September – Dot To Dot Festival Nottingham 16th October – Live at Leeds 17th October – Wild Paths Festival – Norwich
13th November – Stag and Dagger Festival – Glasgow
14th November – Stag and Dagger Festival – Edinburgh 30 Nov – London, Lexington 1 Dec – Newcastle, Cluny 3 Dec – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds 7 Dec – Dublin, Upstairs at Whelan’s
PVA return with the release of two new remixes of their critically acclaimed single “Talks”. The remixes come from black midi’s DJ Dairy and Squid’s INK, and follow the band’s debut EP “Toner” which was released in late November via Ninja Tune imprint Big Dada. Revisit our review of the EP here.
Speaking about his remix DJ Dairy says,
“This remix was super fun to make and a great relief from the boredom and stress of the first lockdown last April, the original bangs absolutely and hopefully this does it justice!”
Squid’s Laurie Nankivell also commented on the INK remix saying,
“We started this just before the UK went into its first lockdown and as a result our creative process became scattered from one house to two computers. This remix is representative of that alongside a pining for the lack of a good boogy we were about to endure!”
Khruangbin have shared a second single ‘So You Won’t Forget’ from their upcoming album ‘Mordechai‘ and an accompanying video.
‘Mordechai’ is set to be released on June 26th via Dead Oceans and is the follow up to 2018’s ‘Con Todo El Mundo’. They also released a remixes album last year titled ‘Hasta El Cielo’ and earlier this year collaborated with fellow Texas native Leon Bridges for the 4 track EP ‘Texas Sun’.
Lucas Nathan aka Jerry Paper has been making music longer than most people might think. Originally releasing experimental electronic noise compositions under the Zonotope moniker back in 2011. Nathan then switched to the electro-pop sounds of Diane Kensington Devotional Band before finally landing on the groovy electro-funk world of Jerry Paper. Now Nathan returns with his 10th release under the Jerry Paper name; the second on the Stones Throw label. This time he brings back his weird and wonderful musings on life and refines his sound to be funkier and more psyched out than ever.
Over its 13 track span ‘Abracadabra’ offers an acid tab journey of small snippets into the mind of Nathan, with each track offering a different anecdote or passing emotion. From the quirky ‘Body Builder On The Shore’ to the sombre and remorseful ‘Apologist’, this album isn’t afraid to get a little weird or even a little sad.
The production on this album is some of the most refined on a Jerry Paper album to date, with its soft hazy warm summers day feel. Every instrument packs a punch and stands out clear within the mix. A standout moment is on the track ‘Slow Down, Buddy’ which features a psychedelic wall of harmonies and synthesisers on the chorus line which flows perfectly from the melancholy instrumentation throughout the track. Some of the best drumming and funkiest bass lines come on the tracks ‘Cholla’ and ‘Trash Can’, showcasing how far Nathan’s progressed his funk sound and feel. (He’s also recently started his own series on how to create a funk song over on the ‘Eternal Family‘ web-series, so that you too can be as funky as Jerry Paper). And theres also the rock-centric opener ‘Quicksand’ which might be Nathan’s hardest hitting song ever. It’s got a killer riff and even some hints of Tame Impala levels of psychedelic production.
Nathan’s signature humorous lyrics are ever present, like on the track ‘Drunk Man Talk’ where Nathan just wants to sleep after a party. “In my sleeping bag, drunk man talks to me, I’m trying to sleep I say, He’s begging me please, Just let me tell you me theory of art, please let me tell you why I am so smart”. Theres also songs about new characters Nathan has created, a prominent theme from his 2016 album ‘Toon Time Raw’. With closer ‘Puppeteer’ being about an alien captive who is being surveyed by a mysterious presence. “I trudge back to my cryo-tube post-meal, But no matter how much bread I just don’t feel, Alright, Maybe next few days they’ll release me, Cut me from my strings puppeteer”. It’s this kind of world building that allows Nathan’s music to become more than just funky tunes to chill to, but creates depth to his work if you look into it fully. But theres also a more honest and raw side to Nathan’s lyrics that have always been a part of his storytelling, but really shine through on ‘Abracadabra’. Like the track ‘Memorial Highway’ where sparser instrumentation back lyrics of longing to be remembered positively “And as you cruise, taking in the vista, Through that bird shit covered windshield, I hope you remember me, With a smile”.
My only wish with this album is that it was longer. With most of the tracks only reaching the 2 and a half minute mark they cut out just as they were establishing themselves. It would be nice maybe for the jams to extend or more depth into the stories. But I guess this what we’ve come to know from Nathan, who’s happy to let you know what’s happening inside his mind, without giving too much away.
Another hypnotic output from one of the grooviest musicians around. Creating some of his most danceable tunes to date, whilst still keeping the signature Jerry Paper abnormality.
Indie favourite American singer-songwriter Moses Sumney returns with one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2020. The follow up 2017’s critically acclaimed ‘Aromanticism’ lets Sumney showcase every aspect of his musical talent. Fusing elements of soul, jazz and pop, ‘Græ’ sees Sumney embrace the deepest parts of his being to create a genre-defying ‘græ area’ of music. Released over 2 parts, with the first coming in February to allow listeners to digest its compact track-list and and now the second. Coming together to create the full ‘Græ’ experience.
The soulful side of Sumney’s sound kick off the album with the graceful ‘Cut Me’. With its lazy Sunday morning horn and Herbie Hancock-esque bass line its a slow introduction into Sumney’s expansive sound. It progresses through different movements of harmonies and spaced out synthesisers to ease you into the album, a teaser of what is to come. And the laid back approach continues into the track ‘In Bloom’. The most ‘chill-indie’ track on the album, with the instrumentation basking in the style of a Rex Orange County song. It’s perhaps the least progressive and sonically cautious track on the album, compared with some of the later experimentation and sonic palettes.
This album is laced with power and grandiose, and this comes through in full strength on the 4 track run of ‘Virile’, ‘Conveyor’, ‘Gagarin’ and ‘Colouour’. The almost movie soundtrack-like feel of ‘Virile’ exploring themes of toxic masculinity through the hard hitting beats and chord punches and potent lyrics. “You wanna fit right in, Amp up the masculine, You’ve got the wrong idea, son”. It showcases the power that Sumney can bring to his songwriting, expanding away from his soulful beginnings, and allows his high octane vocal performance to shine through. It then transitions into the glitchy beats of ‘Conveyor’, which moves through phases of scatty horn hits and spacey guitar chords. It has a robust marching movement to it, as Sumney is about to embark on a journey of introspection. It’s also a platform for showcasing some of the vibrant production on this album. The harmonies of vocals and instruments flourish with each other without crowding one another out. The more jazzy side of Sumney’s sound comes out on ‘Gagarin’ and ‘Colouour’. With Gagarin’s lounge room on a spaceship vibe, gently playing over the robotic pitched down vocals, it moves the album into a new otherworldly direction, topped by layers of deep chanting harmonies. Then to the fanfare horns and saxophone flourishes on ‘Colouour’, which then transitions back to the earlier space-driven aesthetic. Although this track is exploratory in soundscape it doesn’t progress greatly over its 3 minute run, compared to earlier musical crusades.
I’ve talked about it already, and will again but Sumney’s soulful voice is the true driving force of this album. He displays resounding control over the way his voices moves from song to song and can shift from the passioned calling of the falsetto vocals to the modest front of his baritone. Like the romanced induced track ‘Neither/ Nor’ which shifts from a passioned singer-songwriter like vocal tone to Sumney’s signature falsetto. It’s got the power filled harmonies of a Weyes Blood track, with the almost Mariah Carey like high hitting chorus punches, all whilst allowing the latino guitars to groove the track along. And the track ‘Me In 20 Years’ encompasses some big gospel energy. Through the driving chorus lines of “And I wonder how I’ll sleep at night, With a cavity right by my side, And nothing left to hold but pride of mine” Sumney’s vocal power resonates with a haunting performance that seeps in raw passion and longing.
The 20 track run can at times seem dense and daunting with so much sonic exploration packed in. But there are moments that allow you to breath through, whilst still bringing more depth to the album. These come in the form of the interlude tracks like ‘boxes’, ‘jill/ jack’ and ‘also also also and and and and’. Bringing in sampled voices of stories, about the black experience, masculinity or lost love. Allowing the stories told within the songs surrounding them to become real, almost as if you’re hearing a different persons perspective on them.
An album full of beauty and honesty, which is shown in full colours on the final quarter of the album. The instruments may be at times sparser, but the passion within them is stronger than ever. Truthful with emotion and passion of life; from the raw and honest ‘Keeps Me Alive’ to the grateful on ‘Lucky Me’ Sumney showcases his storytelling prowess. Guided by his ever passionate voice, he allows the stories to be told without always needing the grand big instrument backing; only bringing it in to expand on an emotion. Like the slow string build in ‘Lucky Me’, allowing the line “So go on pretend, so go on again” to become prominent in it’s placing. And the penultimate bow out ‘Bless Me’ only builds on this. “So bless me before you go, you’re going nowhere with me”. This sound of letting it go, to allow yourself and the other person to be free become almost gospel-like as this line is repeated whilst bringing in greater levels of harmonies to reach an almost euphoric climax.
The journey and experimentation of sound within this album is to be marvelled at with no aspect of the sonic spectrum left untouched. There’s so much energy, passion and raw talent that it deserves to not just be categorised within a predetermined genre, but one of its own. A new Græ area of music that at the moment Sumney is the only inhabitant of.
Khruangin have announced their third album ‘Mordechai’ set to be released on June 26th via Dead Oceans.
They have also shared a new single from the album, ‘Time (You And I)’ which premiered on Annie Mac’s radio show.
In a statement the band said “Khruangbin has always been multilingual, weaving far-flung musical languages like East Asian surf-rock, Persian funk, and Jamaican dub into mellifluous harmony, but on album No 3, is finally speaking out loud. Mordechai features vocals prominently on nearly every track, a first for the mostly instrumental band. It’s a shift that rewards the risk, re-orienting Khruangbin’s transportive sound toward a new sense of emotional directness, without losing the spirit of nomadic wandering that’s always defined it.”
This comes after they released a four track EP earlier in the year with soul singer and fellow Texas native Leon Bridges.
Tracklist 1. First Class 2. Time (You and I) 3. Connaissais de Face 4. Father Bird, Mother Bird 5. If There is No Question 6. Pelota 7. One to Remember 8. Dearest Alfred 9. So We Won’t Forget 10. Shida
The follow up to 2018’s Safe In The Hands Of Love sees Yves Tumor refine their song narrative and flow with added elements of 80’s pop rock, soul and smooth psych jazz-pop whilst still embracing their signature experimental electronic and avant-garde soundscape.
Opening track “Gospel For A New Century” is perhaps the track that not encapsulates every element of this album as a whole but also brings together every aspect of Tumor’s creative ability as a producer. With it’s glitchy synthesisers, potent brass section, punchy bass line and powerful Prince-esque vocal performance. It’s got a certain bravado about it that lets you know Tumor is in control. It sets a very high standard for the rest of the album that in some aspects doesn’t quite get lived up to.
The more experimental and electronic side of Tumor’s sound palette come out on the tracks ‘Medicine Burn’ and ‘Identity Trade’. Chaotic and raw, the spiralling guitar riffs, turbulent delay effects and demonic laughs of ‘Medicine Burn’ all paint a surreal portrait of noise that reinforces the strange and disturbing lyrics . “Severed head on the mental guillotine, Life of blasphemy, a room full of kings’ severed heads, And six hundred teeth”.
The 80’s power rock hits through hard on the tracks ‘Kerosene!’ and ‘Superstars’ with big high profile guitar solos and visceral lead vocals. ‘Kerosene!’ drips in nostalgia with its smooth bass line, powerful chorus build up and euphoric harmonies with singer Diana Gordon. Whilst ‘Superstars’ showcases a more sexy groove and feel, with its lustful vocals and stimulated guitar riff that once again feels straight off a Purple Rain era Prince album.
There are however moments on this album that do feel a bit lacklustre and at times repetitive. ‘Hasdallen Lights’ and ‘Asteroid Blues’ have some interesting musical passages within them and would work well as interlude tracks if they were tightened. However with both nearing the 2 minute mark and only throwing up occasional glitchy background stabs and vocal leads they come across as perhaps unfinished and not as defined as the rest of the album. They come and go without offering anything significant.
Contrary to the previous paragraph though the track ‘Romanticists’ offers a lot within a short time. It’s got a great beat, tastefully placed guitars and vocals and some interesting sonic texturing, showcasing Tumor’s potent production. Although this track does offer as a gateway to ‘Dream Palette’ with its seamless transition it had great potential to become a full song that sadly goes missed.
The tracks ‘Strawberry Privilege’ and ‘A Greater Love’ offer up a more psych-pop direction for the album for the final quarter. Taking influence from the likes of Connan Mockasin and Ariel pink the track ‘Strawberry Privilege’ creates this hazy soundscape of loose falsetto vocals, ambient sonic samples and a groovy bass line that floats around like a loose mist in the air. ‘A Greater Love’ however has a more jam-like loose feel that fades out as slow as it takes to build up. And after the albums heavy hitting first half it gives a soft bow out to the album that leaves more to be desired especially from the high-octane shown early on.
Whilst this album may be lacking in some comprehensive aspects, its use of sonic experimentation and expansive production lets it become Yves Tumor’s most accessible album yet and allows a more refined sound to come to the forefront.
This album has been a long time coming. And the wait has been worth every minute. Exploding onto the North London Windmill pub scene a few years ago, alongside fellow contemporaries Shame, Black Midi and Goat Girl to name a few, Sorry have spent the last few years trickling out banger after banger. Originally playing under the moniker ‘Fish’ until they realised that ex-lead singer of Marillion Derek Dick also went under the same name. Sorry quickly gained a loyal and loving following after they took the ’21st Century band sound’ and made it their own. With fusions of rock, indie, grunge, hip-hop, jazz, electronic and almost every other corner of the musical spectrum, their sound has been in constant flux. But one constant remained; the quality.
This album could be considered a greatest hits, as it brings together not only the prior released singles but also cuts that go as far back as the ‘Home Demo/ns’ mixtapes released in 2017. Although some of these songs have been around for a while, and will be recognised by many fans, they feel as fresh as ever. Opener ‘Right Round The Clock’, the first official single released from the album, is a heavy hitting, crunchy indie pop-rock narrative of the everyday 9 – 5 grind (see thats where they got the album title from, clever), something that many of us now stuck at home, desperately crave. Every instrument feels big and emotive and the catchy chorus is a marvel of their songwriting calibre.
Fan favourite ‘Starstruck’ and gets a slight spruce up with added effects textures and richer production that brings out their full potential. The glitchy vocals and ominous guitar riff culminate in a chorus that depicts the unease of the crowded party where every face is unknown and unwelcoming.
The pop song turned indie turned grunge turned Sorry is one of the bands specialties. ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ and ‘Rosie’ have that big chorus and catchy melody of any top 10 hit, but infused with their signature alternative sound of distorted guitars and saxophone solos. “You’re pure silver, 925, honey I’d do anything just to feel alive”.
Where this album truly shines from a songwriting standpoint are the gentle croons of the songs ‘Snakes’ and ‘As The Sun Sets’. Featuring careful layers of samples, emotive lyrics and a reference to Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’. Dropping the heavier sound of their past, this side of Sorry is newly embraced by the band but offers a platform to showcase their creative depth and capacity to embrace an ever changing sound.
Encapsulating the mind of the 21st century student, the track ‘More’ screams out its message in a series of blunt chorus’. “I want drugs and drugs and drugs and drugs”, “I wan’t it all, don’t give me too much”. The heavy beats of a racing heart and frantic riffs of a mind on edge show why Sorry are the new voice of a generation, that needs these escapes to forget the stress of modern life.
Being one of the oldest songs on the album ‘Ode To Boy’ had the challenge of getting translated from its raw form on the demo tapes to a full blown banger. Thanks to the help of co-producer James Dring (Gorillaz, Jamie T, Nilüfer Yanya) this transition was seamless. With carefully layered walls of sound, glistening synths and a big choir finale this track is rich with emotion; the modern lovers love song.
Closer ‘Lies’ is a re-fixed version of the previously released grunge heavy single, now adapted to add more scaled up sonic exploration. It still keeps the heavy hitting sound and intense riffs but adds more flavour in terms of production and keeps in with the flow of eerie sound samples and effects found throughout the album. The maturity and understanding of the music they want to create has come a long way, yet still keeps that spark of brilliance that gained them notoriety in the ever washed out indie world.
They may have broken their streak of just being a singles band and entered the big world of the album, but Sorry have proven that no matter what the task, they will always slap. Hard. They really are the perfect modern day band, and have soundtracked a youth that can often be pushed aside when trying to change the status quo. Well that’s exactly what this album does.