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By Mary Chang
on Monday, 25th July 2016 at 6:00 pm
Their friends Hinds have already become huge indie stars. It’s The Parrots‘ turn now. Following on from being discovered by Heavenly Recordings at SXSW 2015 and invited to support Hooton Tennis Club, the Madrid trio are gearing up to release their own debut album next month. ‘No Me Gustas, Te Quiero’ is a first peek into the upcoming record, and the video for the single shows the threesome hanging out, inexplicably, in Morocco. Maybe they’ve been banned from making music videos in their hometown? If you’re a fan of Hinds, you’ll recognise and like the lazy, lo-fi sound that sounds oh so familiar: ‘Leave Me Alone’ was produced by the Parrots’ own frontman / guitarist Diego Garcia.
‘Los Niños Sin Miedo’, the Parrots’ debut long player, will be out on Heavenly Recordings on the 26th of August 2016, just in time for the start of the August bank holiday.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 25th July 2016 at 12:00 pm
If your musical tastes run to electropop, chances are you’re a fan of Metronomy, Tom Vek, or both. Tom Vek appeals to the nerdy, cerebral, introverted electronic fan because he’s the genuine article. He doesn’t put up a front, doesn’t pretend to be someone or something else. His music can be dissonant, with vocals jarring, often robotic. Joseph Mount, the mastermind behind Metronomy, makes his band a different kind of animal. At least in more recent years, the Metronomy sound has become more radio-friendly, leading to popular and critical acclaim (2011’s ‘The English Riviera’ was nominated for a Mercury Prize). While you can hear the self-deprecation in Vek’s songs on ‘Luck’, there often is a feeling on Metronomy tracks that Mount is being silly, smirking like a schoolboy at you.
On the beat happy ‘Old Skool’, the earliest taster of new album ‘Summer 08’, Mount’s voice mimicking the mesmerising bass line is the sonic equivalent of him with his hands on his hips, mocking you. Is the song meant to be cutting social commentary on rich kids and their shenanigans in the city? Never mind what it’s about. It’s an incredibly infectious banger, with its glitches and record scratches courtesy of Beastie Boys collaborator and turntablist Mix Master Mike. While Mount has always been at the helm, in the director’s chair if you will for Metronomy, this is oddly the first Metronomy album since 2006 debut ‘Pip Paine (Pay the £5000 You Owe)’ solely recorded in the studio and produced by Mount himself.
On ‘Summer 08’, Mount indulges his more weird and wonderful fantasies in this suggested sequel to 2008’s ‘Nights Out’. The oddest thing about this album is that while it’s unashamedly full of retro touches and appears to be looking backwards in time, it’s also strangely addictive left in his hands. Mount shines brightest when he approaches the genre of pop, even for a brief moment. The exemplary ‘Night Owl’ is a tour de force, where a less is more approach with an underlying hypnotic beat reminiscent of Fun Boy Three’s version of ‘Our Lips Are Sealed’. One set of sinister synths buzz, while another goes off and wiggles around in a chamber pop tangent.
As you listen on, there are plenty of moments on ‘Summer 08’ that could be easily classed as weird. Wonky opening track ‘Back Together’ might have qualified as art rock if it wasn’t for the sci-fi sound effects and joyful vocal bops. Whiny synths rule the day on ‘Miami Logic’; luckily, they aren’t so whiny that you’re tempted to turn the song off. ’16 Beat’, which Mount himself describes as “sweet” in the lyrics, appears to be a love letter to the most simple and basic drum pattern there is. Deceptively simple, yet easily manipulated into other forms for variety’s sake, it’s a good analogy to what Mount does with Metronomy releases and also specifically on this number.
It’s important to note that while like ‘Pip Paine…’, this is solely Mount’s artistic expression, getting by with a little help from his friends isn’t anything to be ashamed of. Swedish electropop queen Robyn guest duets on ‘Hang Me Out to Dry’, suggesting that if Mount ever gave up Metronomy to write for other artists, he’s got another (and dare I say it, more lucrative) career waiting in the wings. In the meantime though, let’s soak up the weird and wonderful as long as he wants to experiment and Mount wants to wink at us, thinking to himself, “everything goes my way”.
‘Summer 08’, the fifth studio album from Joe Mount and Metronomy, is out now on Because Music. For more coverage of Metronomy on TGTF, go here.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 22nd July 2016 at 6:00 pm
This week, Vancouver punks White Lung released their latest video. It’s for ‘Dead Weight’, the opening track to their album ‘Paradise’, which saw the light of day the same week Canadian Music Week 2016 was taking place in Toronto. Funny how that worked out, eh? While I didn’t get a chance to catch the Canadians at the festival, you can read all my coverage of who I did see through this link.
White Lung’s frontwoman Mish Barber-Way lives in Los Angeles now, and her abode in the City of Angels served as the backdrop for this promo, which was directed by John Stavas and co-produced by Deap Vally‘s Lindsey Troy. As one might expect from a punk band, this video is a lot of look. ‘Paradise’ is out now on Domino Records. For more on TGTF’s past coverage of White Lung, go here.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 22nd July 2016 at 9:00 am
Perennial American jokesters – and awesome music duo to boot – We Are Scientists have announced details of a massive UK and Irish tour for this autumn. They’ll be touring in support of their sixth album ‘Helter Skelter’, which was released back in the spring. You can read Steven’s review of the long player through this link. You can also have a read of bassist Chris Cain’s chat with him this month here, ahead of their appearances this weekend at Kendal Calling 2016 and next weekend’s Leefest Presents: The Neverland 2016.
Tickets to this autumn’s tour are on sale now. To watch their latest video for ‘In My Head’, featured on ‘Helter Skelter’, check it out below the long tour date list. We love those guys, so to read any or all of our extensive back catalogue of articles on We Are Scientists, head this way.
Friday 7th October 2016 – Bognor Regis Butlins (Rockaway Beach)
Saturday 8th October 2016 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
Sunday 9th October 2016 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Monday 10th October 2016 – Oxford Academy 2
Tuesday 11th October 2016 – Gloucester Guildhall
Thursday 13th October 2016 – Falmouth Pavillion
Friday 14th October 2016 – Plymouth Hub
Saturday 15th October 2016 – London Oval Space (Hackney Wonderland)
Sunday 16th October 2016 – Guildford Boileroom
Tuesday 18th October 2016 – Wolverhampton Slade Rooms
Wednesday 19th October 2016 – Liverpool Arts Club
Thursday 20th October 2016 – Dublin Opium
Friday 21st October 2016 – Galway Roisin Dubh
Sunday 23rd October 2016 – Belfast Limelight
Monday 24th October 2016 – Edinburgh Liquid Rooms
Tuesday 25th October 2016 – Aberdeen Garage
Wednesday 26th October 2016 – Dundee Buskers
Thursday 27th October 2016 – York Fibbers
Saturday 29th October 2016 – Holmfirth Picturedrome
Monday 31st October 2016 – Norwich Waterfront
Tuesday 1st November 2016 – Cambridge Junction
Wednesday 2nd November 2016 – Southend Chinnerys
Thursday 3rd November 2016 – Bedford Esquires
Friday 4th November 2016 – Barrow In Furness Barrow Library (Get Loud in Libraries)
If you’ve been following along here at TGTF throughout July, you’ll have already read our 3-part interview with Irish troubadour Foy Vance about his latest album ‘The Wild Swan’. In part 2 of that interview, we discussed the one of the album’s lighter moments, the newly released single ‘Coco’. Vance also recently unveiled a new video for the track, which you can view at the bottom of this page.
The song ‘Coco’ was written for Coco Arquette, daughter of American actors Courteney Cox and David Arquette. Cox herself directed its accompanying video. Premiered online last week by People magazine, the video features 12-year-old Coco in a series of lovingly filmed scenes in and around her home, which are interspersed with shots of Vance himself on the road mid-tour. The People magazine article hails Coco as “all grown up!”, but Cox’s video appears to focus on the zest and vitality of her rapidly waning childhood, which Vance has said was also the a part of the inspiration for his tune.
On the surface, Vance and his muse would seem to have only their circle of celebrity fame in common, but the juxtaposition of imagery in Cox’s video conveys a sort of kindred spirit between the two. Despite the rather overly-saccharine context of pretty lighting and picturesque scenery, Cox has managed to capture an infectious sense of youthful exuberance and guileless candor not only in her daughter, but in her friend Foy Vance as well.
Foy Vance’s single ‘Coco’ and his full LP ‘The Wild Swan’ are out now on Gingerbread Man Records. Our full previous coverage of Foy Vance is collected right back here.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 20th July 2016 at 6:00 pm
I am a bit perturbed by the new Syd Arthur track. While I would never begrudge any band a summer hit, ‘Sun Rays’ seems less of the psychedelic ilk I recall from the Canterbury band. It feels more pop to me, so I guess more power to them?
Syd Arthur have got a new album, ‘Apricity’, up ahead this autumn, to drop on the 21st of October on Communion Records in the UK and Harvest Records in North America. Have a watch and listen (and a bit of a boogie too, I suppose) to their new ‘Sun Rays’ below. For more of our coverage of the group on TGTF, go here.
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