The US indie-folk duo Falling Awake released the single Chemicals on the 2nd.
My apologies to all concerned, as although this article is being written on the 2nd you won’t see this until the 9th, such is the wondrous melange of material that is filtering through the email inbox at present – however – I am a firm believer of better late than never.
Chemicals has a sonorous acoustic guitar and vocal combination which revolves slowly around the room whilst an underpinning hum of bowed strings gives the piece an ethereal texture as subtly placed muffled percussion adds to the layering of the dreamy flow of the just over three and a half minute track.
Having taken a listen to the Falling Awake back-catalogue of material which is typically of boisterous spikiness making Chemicals something of an aberration, however, a welcome one at that as it does demonstrate their prowess at handling a tender peach and being able not to bruise it.
Word arrives of an LP in the wings and it will be interesting to discover which set of brushes they bring to the album.
The English new-wave quartet White Ape released the three track single Drones Clones Ramones a few hours ago.
Opening with the title track the distinctive vocals of Tommy Mack strides purposefully in to the room surrounded by a strident phalanx of instrumentation that pulverises all before it and my pick of the release, signifying the malcontent which has emerged ever more forcefully each time White Ape have been returned to…
… since their introduction back in 2014with a song by similar title to their first feature though this time round – very different intent – as the good humour and rock-a-billy of A Run For Gringo has been replaced with forceful fusillade of bullets which ricochet around the room finding the listener ducking from the shrapnel in Another Run For Gringo.
The closer is I Get Excited When You Call My Name – a track in which White Ape encapsulate a world where to have a ‘social media’ recognition seems to be the pinnacle of success sought by so many in a snarky frustrated and very angry piece of music, which reminds me of the ability to articulate ideas in abstruse song titles, powerful musicianship and deftly delivered vocals à la The Stranglers – which White Ape is able to do without the use of keyboard.
Each of their releases has offered something slightly different, from driving rock to intricately textured weaves of sound, yet each has a had a commonality of an underlay of sadness.
Their latest track, which was released on the 20th, Bleaching again discovers them in slightly different perspective though perhaps the natural pivot around which their compositions over the years have revolved.
Displacing their more usual electric guitar with an acoustic – Red Nova are able to immediately invest Bleaching with a fragility of delivery which captures the heart and soul of the track and the accompanying bowed strings deliver a considered depth to the just over three and third minutes track that captures and retains the listeners attention. The breaking voice and finger slides over the guitar strings serve to enhance the emotional context the composition.
The English dark-rock quartet Pamphlet released the AA side single persistence / my mother didn’t raise a mess today.
persistence flies through the speakers with a rumbling bass / drum combination that tests the anchorage of the building while the guitars play to distinct and counter-point ideas- one a heavy thrubbing of fuzz the other a wailing alarum that minds of a disturbed murmuration of birds while the vocal gives the piece a feeling of forlorn isolation.
my mother didn’t raise a mess has a very different texture to the sound with a breezier pace accompanied by greater distortion with the effect of welding the elements as though a conjoined unit while the half-spoken vocals is given prominence with its ever more distraught temper – creating a sense of every greater panic.
Although Pamphlet have begun to established a live presence, there is little recorded material, word does however arrive of an EP planned for release later in the year and certainly something I am looking forward to hearing.
persistence / my mother didn’t raise a mess is available on bandcamp.
Regular readers will know whenever that descriptor of a genre arrives that I am suggesting this is music best heard with a strong cigarette being inhaled – preferably a gauloises in a smoke filled den in the La Rive Gauche with plenty of bottles of red wine to hand to share with friends in a convivial moment.
As so often is equally the case, in Evil Baby, the music is of more philosophical and counter-state proposition delivered in an eloquent yet dismissive style, which for that – gives it immense weight and relevance.