Australian psych-rock four piece The Lazy Eyes have shared groovy and brain scattering new jam single “Hippo” from their upcoming debut album Songbook, set to be released in March. Pre-order here.
“Hippo is my favourite song on the record,” shares bassist Leon. “You can really feel the energy coming together as a group, given that it was one of the three songs on the album that we recorded as a band.”
Listen to the new single below!
The band have also announced their first ever UK stopping in London, Manchester, Bristol and more.
Coming as a debut in two senses, with this being Jeremy Haywood-Smith’s first major label release under Captured Tracks. And also being initially the first project that Haywood-Smith wrote and recorded, back in 2015. In our interview with him he said that due to the uncertainty of releasing new music at the moment he wanted to go back and revisit this project to bring it up to date with the current JayWood sound. And that is exactly what this EP stands as. It simultaneously brings JayWood’s early roots of bedroom pop and lo-fi recordings to a new refined and defined sound and showcases what’s next for this upcoming
The most major update is title track “Some Days” that now bolsters a super slick groove, undying beat and meticulously cool guitar lines. As each movement rolls past on this song you’re left in awe just how much magic is being layered on through the swirling soundscapes, it’s easy to get lost in the mystifying world that JayWood creates. Over a river of synthesisers and funk-infused bass lines Haywood-Smith looks on in hope for those better days, “I swear i’m not broken, I’m just a little bit lost, With a little guidance i’ll find the cause” he declares. It’s this juxtaposition of upbeat rhythm and tender lyrics that just adds another layer of brilliance to this sound. The original version of this track also gets added almost as a bonus at the end of the EP and its inspiring to see just how far Haywood-Smith has come from those raw early days. The tenderness of this is almost mirrored in “Dreams” as Haywood-Smith strips back the sound to incorporate only swaying guitars and slow plucked guitars. Paired with Haywood-Smith’s charming melodies, this track takes you into the clouds and guides you along the path of trying to finding hope.
Haywood-Smith’s psychedelia inspirations of UMO and Tame Impala come out in the track “Creep” through phaser smothered guitar lines and funk infused beats. There’s an underlying unease to this track that breaks out in short bursts of guitar riffs and synthesiser swirls but is carried by Haywood-Smith’s naturally cool vocal styles. The funk and jazz sound that Haywood-Smith is incorporating in this newfound sound makes a final appearance on “What You Do To Me”. It’s breezy, easy to listen to and will have you bopping your head along to its infatuating groove. Through subtle harmonies and a glorious ending breakdown Haywood-Smith finishes the EP as it started, impassioned and full of bravado. Keen ears will also hear a nod to a certain famous guitar solo by another fellow Canadian indie rocker.
The JayWood project is one that has continued to evolve from the very early lo-fi days, to his bedroom-pop and radio station inspired debut album Time. And now with this project Haywood-Smith has brought everything up to speed, building himself a diving board for both listeners to dive into his captivating world and himself to swim out into the ocean of sounds that are waiting for him to mould together.
Tel Aviv native Yogev Glusman aka iogi returns with the follow up to 2018’s the ceiling. The multi-instrumentalist premiered his incredible songwriting and production talents on his debut after years of playing as a session musician with bands and artists such as A-WA and Idan Raichel. He now returns with an album that not only expands on the sounds and sights he brought to his debut album, but refines them to their most resonant form.
One of the most immediately captivating elements of this album is the production and sound design that iogi uses to transform these songs from longing ballads into swirling soundscapes that draw you into every sound and movement. From the moment the album opens with “you/me/everyone” you are drawn in by the funk infused guitars and synth-wave synthesisers that could have been taken straight from Jerry Paper’s Chameleon World. Every sound is vibrant and rich with definition and the short cut panning synth samples that speed by are a super smooth speedway to the next portion of the song. Then moving into the emphatic “oh yes” the searing guitar lines propel you along with immediate motion. Basking in a summery groove in the chorus you can feel the distinct free-flowing emotion pouring out at every moment, especially at the tracks climax as a wall of harmonies and fast paced guitars build to create the feeling of true captivation.
And this deep driving emotion is one that can be heard throughout this album. On “disney world” he compares the feeling of being with someone to the most magical place on earth. “Every time I think of her, it just puts my mind in such a place I can’t ignore, sometimes it makes me feel like i’m really in Disney World” he sings before the swooning guitar lines lead into the instrumental break. If you’re looking for a moment on this album to really blow you away at how captivating the sound is then look no further than “bliss”. Opening with a twinkling piano that makes you feel as though you’re sitting on the edge of an ocean, staring out as the sun slowly sets in front of you. “You will never really understand the way you make me feel, I would not be lying when I tell the truth that you’re the only thing thats real” he sings over a palette of warm synthesisers and comforting guitars. The deep connection that iogi is describing can be felt in every aspect of this song, bringing you right into this state of euphoria as the sounds swirl around you.
In our interview with iogi he described the sound of this album as “indie-pop, with influences from 70’s folk and psychedelic music” and the way that these sounds are blended so seamlessly together help make this album feel timeless. On “symphony of blue” the track opens with a tender folk piano ballad that exuberates some of the same 70’s nostalgia that was found on Montero’s 2018 album Performer. But the track quickly switches up to induce a sexy and groove filled funk chorus that is oozing with unapologetic sexiness, saxophones and all. Then on title track “everything’s worth it” you can find all the elements of a psych pop classic. The woozy soundscape is warm and encompassing and the add flairs of jazzy guitar lines glide over you like a soft summers breeze as iogi sings of the acceptance of self, “I try to be like myself, I would never choose to be someone else, That way I could meet some beautiful people”.
Throughout this album the one key element that binds this joyful journey together is the consistency of punchy and colourfully vibrant songwriting. There isn’t a moment where you aren’t dancing along, reminiscing about loved ones or just lost in the blissful soundscapes that encapsulate this album.
Psychedelic rock band Crumb, made up of Lila Ramani, Bri Aronow, Jesse Brotter, and Jonathan Gilad have returned with a new track. “Trophy” arrives with a new music video directed by Haoyan of America and featuring animations by Truba Animation.
On “Trophy” Crumb leans into similar woozy textures that were found all over their debut Jinx. Through driving beats and jazzy bass lines the band seeks to delve into the heavier aspect of their sound, as the track progresses the distortion slowly seeps in until Ramani’s dead pan vocals are almost unintelligible yet still vibrantly rich.
It’s not often that an album comes into fruition with such a rich background to it, not only from the musical side of it but the landmark achievement of where it came from. Over the last 7 years London based label Speedy Wunderground have slowly built a cult following in the underground, and of late mainstream, independent music scene. Spearheaded by producer extraordinaire Dan Carey, who produced both of Fontaines D.C.’s albums, Black Midi’s multi-dimensional debut Schlagenheim and DEWEY‘s upcoming two part album Sóller, to name a few amongst a plethora of other sonically challenging and pioneering albums. Gaining attention for their consistently diverse and high quality run of 7″ singles from artists such as Kate Tempest, PVA and Black Country, New Road as well their yearly compilations, Speedy Wunderground have quickly become one of the founding pillars in contemporary independent music. They’ve now taken the next natural step and released their first full length album as a label, and Positive Mental Health Music is quite the opening chapter to their ongoing story.
The main messaging behind this album is simply, really nice, uplifting music that puts a positive influence into mental health and tries to relate the often mundane feelings of depression and anxiety into the stories they tell. “And everyone I know is doing better than me, They say “Josh you’re doing the best that you can”, Well I spent most of the time, Feeling like the laziest man” declares lead singer Josh Loftin on opener “Buddha” as he diarises his daily struggle with motivation and self-doubt. It’s this level of intimacy that can be found sewn throughout this album that hones in the home-grown feel of it. The stories are raw and unaltered, allowing them to be as genuine as possible. “I Feel Fine” was the first official single released by the London based 5-piece last year and is “a song about discovering sexual freedom through finding yourself in deep meditation” as Loftin puts it. And this freedom comes in the form of a timeless psych-pop banger. Hazy soundscapes, vintage instrumentation and catchy tongue-in-cheek chorus lines of “Dicks in the sky, Vaginas in my mind” perfectly accentuate this liberation in a more than joyous fashion. It’ll be quite the feat to hear this chorus live with the chants coming back with it.
This simplistic and almost downplayed sound carries through for most of the album. There’s never really too much variation when it comes to the bands sonic palette. Favouring their tried and true mix of punchy bass, fluttering drums, overstated lead guitar and wobbly synthesisers. Coming straight out of the 60’s psychedelic era, this sound will be familiar to many but thanks to Tiña’s forward thinking messages laid over the top of it, it has been brought graciously into a new generation. There are however moments when it feels as if this sound could do with a bit more depth and flavour, especially coming from a producer who is renowned for his sonic experimentation. The messaging of “New Boi” is as potent as the rest of the album, dealing with the struggles of body images. But the sparse and loose sound has been heard so often at this point in the album that it could just do with that little extra sparkle or magic to make it really stand out. The vibrancy does appear however, and takes you by surprise when it does. “Growing In Age” descends from a gloomy almost western slow burner into a full emancipation of chaos and punk stylings as the feeling of growing older becomes too much to handle for Loftin, delivering one of his most powerful vocal performances of the album. And the monochrome feeling of depression is fully realised on “It’s No Use” as the dragging, drawn out chords and swirling melancholic landscapes perfectly capture the emotion of lying in bed, watching the world go by outside your window. The monotony of this feeling lies deep in the lyrics as well, the only description they give of their surroundings are “The handle has broken off the door”, “There was a dog by the door” and “Blue velvet blanket on the door”. Capturing the confining feeling of only staring at your door, with that literally being the only thing you see throughout the day.
I may be as bold as to say that this album stands as a cultural landmark, made in part by both the band and the label. Tiña have crafted a gloriously uplifting collection of songs to inspire and connect with the often disconnected. It may not be the most expansive sound out there at the moment but leans more on its lyrical content and messaging. But the bigger picture comes from the achievement of Dan Carey and Speedy Wunderground as they’ve further cemented themselves as the label to be. Now with that crucial first album under their belt, who knows where they will go next. Big things lay ahead for both parties involved here and this is just the beginning.