Annie Clark aka St. Vincent has announced her 7th studio album titled Daddy’s Home, set to be released on May 14th via Loma Vista. This follows on from earlier in the week when Clark teased the announcement with posters on streets around the world along with a hotline that if rung confirmed the album. She has also shared a new single “Pay Your Way In Pain” along with an accompanying music video.
According to a press release, St. Vincent began writing some Daddy’s Home songs in winter 2019, which is around the time that her father was released from prison after being incarcerated for nine years. In a new interview with Laura Snapes for The Guardian, it’s revealed that the album’s title track was inspired by St. Vincent taking her father home from prison.
This follows on from MASSEDUCATION released in 2017 and the stripped back piano version that Clark released in 2018 MassEducation.
01 Pay Your Way in Pain 02 Down and Out Downtown 03 Daddy’s Home 04 Live in the Dream 05 The Melting of the Sun 06 The Laughing Man 07 Down 08 Somebody Like Me 09 My Baby Wants a Baby 10 …At the Holiday Party 11 Candy Darling
Provocative Australian singer-songwriter Kirin J. Callinan has shared a new single “You Are Going To Miss Me (When I’m Gone)” his first original material since 2017’s Bravado. Last year Callinan released a covers album titled Return To Center in which the entire album was recorded within a 21 day period, allowing Callinan and crew to return the equipment they had bought to Guitar Center under their grace period allowance.
Callinan gained viral internet fame from the video for “Big Enough“, directed by Danny Cohen, which was used in memes thanks largely to the screaming head of Jimmy Barnes over the landscapes used in the videos.
Sam Eastgate aka Sam Dust aka LA Priest returns after nearly 5 years with the follow up to the genre bending, critically acclaimed ‘Inji’, which saw Eastgate blend elements of Pop, Electronic and Jazz music to create a truly unique sound. Since then Eastgate has been stayed fairly underground but in 2016 did collaborate with the king of genre bending himself, Connan Mockasin for their ‘Soft Hair’ project. Now Eastgate returns with another batch of electronic infused pop, jazz and folk endeavours. The center-piece of the album is an electronic drum machine named ‘GENE’, from which the album name derives, that Eastgate designed and built fully on his own (You can try a virtual version of it here) due to frustration over the limitations of other drum machines.
Theres a certain mystique about this album, through its psychedelic landscapes it never settles on one movement or idea, instead it constantly shifts and glides between the weird and wonderful. Staying true to Eastgate’s style of genre-blending, there’s influences from all over the spectrum. There’s the pop melody’s of ‘What Moves’, the freeform jazz interlude of ‘Black Smoke’ and even elements of folk on ‘Open My Eyes’. What ties all these sounds together is Eastgate’s classic woozy psychedelic textures; be it through heavily phased guitars or glistening synthesisers. As the album progresses these sounds become familiar and connected yet constantly shifting, with tracks flowing seamlessly into one another. Like ‘Peace Lily’ which acts as the instrumental progression from ‘What Moves’, keeping the same beat and chorus heavy guitars but instead takes the sound into a more funky landscape, slowly adding some groovy synth bass lines. The connections don’t just end at the instrumentation, because Eastgate’s voice throughout is consistently vibrant and he shows off his incredible range; from the high falsetto of ‘What Do You See’ to the flowing polyrhythm of opener ‘Beginning’.
Eastgate excels at the psych pop ballad and there’s some stand out examples of those sown throughout. The track ‘What Moves’ has a flowing chorus melody that’ll be spinning around your head for days. It’s beat is simple but driving and the phaser heavy guitar allows the sound to float around the free-forming landscape. And the vocal melodies ‘Beginning’ are so hypnotic that they could easily carry you away to sleep. But Eastgate also knows how to create a harsher and more experimental soundscape, like on the track ‘Monochrome’. Featuring some heavy tribal drums and distant rain sounds that morph into the electronic beats and dirty synth lines that build to a truly eerie soundscape.
The production and instrumentation of this album follows on from ‘Inji’ in that it only uses what it needs to, keeping the minimalistic sound of closed in sounds throughout. As promised the clicks and pops of GENE are present throughout, providing as a constant within each song. Not that the palette strays too far from the phaser guitar or synth bass, but even as more experimental sounds are introduced like in the acid trip induced ‘Kissing Of The Weeds’ the glitchy beat patterns remain sustained. It’s been said of Eastgate the he “lives an analogue life, not even having a phone” and this certainly comes through as every sound is raw and untampered, almost like you’re sat in the studio watching Eastgate slowly add the layers to each song.
For all the layered harmonies and intricate textures the moment that lets this down is the ending track ‘Ain’t No Love Affair’ which starts with glitchy breathes of “Ain’t no love affair”, western guitars and wailing synths. It then slowly descends into some really loose melodies and vague synth lines until everything fades out, almost as if the albums giving up. After putting so much detail into the rest of the album it just feels like a bit of an underwhelming ending.
A long time coming, and worth the long wait. There’s so many layers of intricacy to this album it will demand repeat listens to try and unpack it all and hear every shifting sound. Eastgate has further solidified his place as a master of psych-pop and everything in between, and enhanced his technical ability within the studio.
Manchester based 3 piece PINS return with their latest offering of pop hooks, punk riffs and electro grooves. It’s been 5 years since their last full length album ‘Wild Nights’ and nearly 3 years since they released their single ‘Aggrophobe’ featuring punk and rock icon Iggy Pop. On ‘Hot Slick’ the riffs are tight, the rolling bass lines are compact and the chorus’ pop.
Throughout the production is dense and compact and every instrument pop’s out. There’s moments that make you feel as though you’re squeezed into a tiny club venue as the band plays meters away. Like opener ‘Hot Slick’ which features some very tight marching rhythm drumming, a grinding chorus guitar riff and compressed vocal harmonies. There’s a great blend of punk, pop and electronic instrumentation throughout, with some moments reminiscing in the electro-pop stylings of a St. Vincent album. This especially comes through on ‘Ponytail’ with its scratching sub bass, eerie guitar riffs and glitchy synth melodies.
One of PINS’ forte’s is creating a big catchy chorus. These come out in full swing on tracks like ‘Bad Girls Forever’ as they sing “Daddy’s eyes, you’ve got your Daddy’s eyes”. And the track ‘Read My Eyes’ as the anthemic “Don’t make me say it again” creates a big climax from the build up frustration the verse lyrics of just trying to live their life without the judgement and downplays of others.
Throughout the album there’s some strong feminist themes and anthemic messages that hit hard through the punchy instrumentation. Like on the track ‘After Hours’ which is almost like a call to arms through its lyrics .”Doesn’t matter where, doesn’t matter how, do something and do it now”. The chorus then plays like a parody of a stereotypical women. “I’m just a women in the world, inexplicable, despicable, your very very typical girl”. Which is backed up by these soft “ooh, ooh’s” as if to taunt the people who aren’t letting them express themselves.
For all the punchy moments on the album there are a few that feel a bit lacklustre in comparison. The track ‘Set Me Off’ has a bit more of a looser groove to it, with its disjointed bass line and occasional synth flairs it feels a bit underwhelmed and stripped back too far, leaving just the bare minimum of the track left. Although repetition on a chorus line features heavily throughout this album, on the track ‘Love You To Death’ this is pushed to it’s limits. Nearly the entire 3 and a half minutes is spent repeating the same verse and the line “Don’t forget, I love you to death”, either from the feature of Leather Party and there’s barely any progression beyond this.
A strong comeback for the 3-piece girl band. They still know how to right a killer riff and catchy melodies. There may be moments that aren’t as potent as the rest but there’s still some bangers laced throughout.
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.