We're really pleased to have been asked to help out with a new, game-changing platform for unsigned acts. Chartburst is totally FREE to sign up to, is for musicians of any genre, and puts you in contact with major labels, big independent labels, A&R people, producers and more. The list of advisers and contributors is mightily impressive. The best part of all? It's totally powered by the fans! So who does well and tops the charts and gets the showcases isn't decided by middle-aged men in suits - it's decided by you! No tricks; you can't buy votes, it's a totally level playing field for everyone who signs up! So head to the site, read through some of the 'Essentials' section which will help you with advice on doing well, upload your best songs, videos, pictures and link in all your sites. The charts begin on April 1st, and if you do well then you're guaranteed to get heard by influential people! So get creating those profiles! It only takes a few minutes and is totally free! Good luck!
Given that Lenzie Moss is the alias of Finlay Macdonald who's previously been a member of Teenage Fanclub, BMX Bandits and more, we're on pretty safe ground. We can expect well-crafted indiepop and it's duly delivered on new single 'Let's take The Day Off', a summery, jangly hymn to forgetting all your cares and just doing what the heck you feel like.
For more uplifting guitar-pop goodness, this time with just a little extra edge, we have The Singles with 'Inamorata', a single from their new album 'Look How Fast A Heart Can Break' which is out this week. It's no surprise that they're a duo from California, because everyone seems to be in a musical duo from California these days, but this particular duo are better than most.
Apr 08 Drunken Monkey, Fort Wayne, IN
Apr 10 Martyrs', Chicago, IL
Apr 11 Club 411, Kalamazoo, MI
Apr 12 The Singles Record Release Party - PJ's Lager House, Detroit, MI
Apr 13 Wilbert's, Cleveland, OH
Apr 17 The Singles Record Release Party - Harvard & Stone, Los Angeles, CA
Apr 19 The Singles - BROKECHELLA, Los Angeles, CA
Apr 23 Billy O's, Ventura, CA
Apr 25 Tiny Tavern, Eugene, OR
Apr 29 High Dive, Seattle, WA
Apr 30 The Crux, Boise, ID
May 01 Metro Bar, Salt Lake City, UT
May 02 Lion's Lair, Denver, CO
May 06 The Hut, Tucson, AZ
May 07 Rogue Bar, Scottsdale, AZ
Davidge feat. Cate Le Bon - Gallant Foxes
It's about time Neil Davidge released a solo record. After writing and producing for Massive Attack, David Bowie, Snoop Dogg, Primal Scream and more, he knows a thing or two. That's shown on the trip-hop/alt-pop/indie track 'Gallant Foxes' which features Welsh songbird Cate Le Bon on vocals. His recently released album 'Slo Light' also features Sandie Shaw, Karima Francis and more.
"Happy together now we're heading into the sun...". Now if that's not a great way to usher in the brighter half of the year then I don't know what is, because it's set to a gorgeously uplifting indie-rock song from London newcomers The Love Barons. They've only been together for a year, so this track could mark the arrival of another great British guitar group.
'Happy Together' will be a free download from today. Check The Love Barons' website for details
OBLIGATORY RECORD OF THE WEEK Girl One And The Grease Guns - Veronica
With every pressing plant in the country going into overdrive ready for Record Store Day, the vinyl edition of Girl One And The Grease Guns' new EP 'No Longer Spellbound' has been put back to next week, but the download is available now. It's always good to see one of our tips for the year coming up with the goods, and everything we've heard from the EP would make a worthy OROTW. 'Veronica' is actually a reworking of a song by their former incarnation, The Manhattan Love Suicides, and it's typically great. With retro electronics and a classic indiepop sound combining to make a bite-sized piece of the sweetest ear candy that money can buy, we just can't wait to hear more from these guys. They've already established themselves as stars of the underground, and rightly so.
With Glasgow's Mummy Short Arms it was love at first sight. Those early singles led us to tip them for a sterling album to arrive at some point, and in 2012 it did. 'Old Jack's Windowless Playhouse' was fantastic, unique, twisted and accomplished; it even made our top 20 albums of the year list. The worry of course, is that a band can use up all their tricks in one go and then scrape around for ideas to cobble together a follow-up. Worse still, they can stick to the same formula, but with the ideas gone the songs suffer and a watered-down version of what went before is presented. 'Face Full Of Sand' is the first new material since then, so I guess you could say it's judgement day. We're pleased to report that not only have they come up trumps on the songwriting front, but none of the psychotic madness and individuality has been stripped away or lost its impact. This isn't just a rerun.
With a deceivingly tender, countryish intro, 'Face Full Of Sand' keeps you in suspense for a few seconds, but then it bursts into life with a maelstrom of guitars, drums and strange vocal mutterings in the background. They still sound like they belong in straight jackets, you still wouldn't trust them to feed your cat while you're on holiday, and you still wouldn't trust them to not put the fear of God into more innocent ears. The song is a triumph; it doesn't show a marked deviation in style, but it does show that they can take their trademark sound to a different level; there's plenty more in the tank yet. The B-side is a remix by JMK which doesn't strip away the band's sound and simply stick a vocal sample onto some dancefloor beats like your regular remixers, it adds a trippy, spaced-out vibe which when combined with those harrowing vocal cries adds a different atmosphere, but one that does justice to the original. It's different enough to sound like a totally separate song but similar enough to sound like Mummy Short Arms, and that's no mean feat. Lock up you daughters, pets, car and even yourself: Mummy Short Arms are back and they mean business.
With a combined running time of just under four minutes, you can tell it's unlikely that New York artist Michael Lynch will be wasting no time on these two songs. This is affirmed by the fact that the intro to 'She's On Her Way' lasts a whopping two seconds before he launches into the first verse. To summarise the sound of this track you simply have to imagine an early Byrds off-cut, and that's not to say this is below par. It's often the songs that don't get released at the time that turn out to be a band's best work. The wealth of Phil Spector material that's appeared on compilations and boxsets is proof of this. How these were left on the cutting room floor is baffling. So the Byrds comparison is an accurate one and the song is worthy of gracing one of their first albums.
Of course this means a '60s sound with jangly guitars and plenty of melody. There's a touch of soul as well, and that is pulled from the same era. This is traditional garage-pop that fans of indie-type guitar music have been using as reference points since the 1980s. B-side 'This Girl' deserves equal billing; it may be slower in pace and not quite as happy, but the sunny jangle still holds up well. In fact, if you knew no better you'd happily believe that this was a cover of an early Lennon/McCartney song, it's very much in that style. With this single, Michael Lynch gives us something old (in style), something new (in recording), something borrowed (the sound as a whole) and something blue (the sadness of 'This Girl'), and we'd have to say the marriage of these aspects makes for a fine listen.
In homage to the track-title, I'm going to conduct this whole review using only the communicative medium that is text speak, K? Get dialled in readers, here we go!
......So it turns out that, now I think about it, I actually don’t know any text speak... no wonder all my messages are biblical in length! They're very well punctuated though (Really? - Overworked Ed) - indeed since switching to a Smartphone barely a single message of mine sets off into the ether without a healthy littering of accidental full stops and out of place commas! It's not all bad though, on the plus side there's always the surging sense of exhilaration when, after ten minutes of puzzled prodding at the on screen keypad, I actually manage to locate the ampersand – YES, THAT'S WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR!
Just how efficient David Alexander's SMS composition skills are, we do not know, but he certainly knows how to put together a tune, and that’s something that he's been doing with great frequency throughout the past three years, crafting sparkling selections of gold leaf chillwave, under his assumed calling card Summer Heart.
‘U Got All I’m looking 4’ (presumably a reference to matters of the heart, rather than the eureka moment when you're reacquainted with the hiding semi colon) is David’s latest offering, the first since last June’s ‘Milano’ and ‘Beat Of Your Heart’ pairing, and a taster for what’s to come from a second album proper, the as yet unnamed follow up to 2012's excellent 'About A Feeling'. It’s a return to the fold that finds the Swede ploughing a familiar furrow, bestowing on us more of his blissful sun-splashed vibes, in hazy and lovingly lazy style. A ding-a-ling guitar line chugs in on board a conga drum-style back-beat, before the "chill" connotations of Summer Heart's chosen genre are well and truly banished by the blast of warm melodic air that ushers in the body of track. From there what unfolds is perhaps David's most conventional pop effort to date, helped in no small part by also being home to arguably his strongest vocal performance. Shimmering and chiming, bouncing and gliding, this is exactly the kind of bright, evocative creation we've come to know and love from Summer Heart, and an essential audio accompaniment for those afternoons spent slurping an ice cream float while splayed out in the sunshine.
There's ("there are", not "there is" or "there's". *sigh* - Ed) not no (Uh... oh forget it - Ed) typing issues in this instance readers, the message is incredibly simple – Summer Heart's got all you’re looking for.
*Looks out of window* Woohoo Sunshine!! I’ve been waiting for you, Summer, let's get this thing going! *pulls on shorts and t-shirt, digs out sunglasses and runs outside.....*
.....*runs back inside* It's expletive expletive expletive freezing out there!!! Honestly readers, it's not even funny how cold it is outside, it's almost April for god's sake, it's meant to be flowers and birds and warm breezes, not squirrels building igloos and snowmen tipping their hat as they stroll by! *sulks*
Ok I may have exaggerated a tad there, but nonetheless the air outside is still shiver-inducing enough to make venturing over
the doorstep an unattractive proposition. Inside however, it's a whole different
story, because the temperature round these parts has just rocketed up to stiflingly steamy after a
three minute rendezvous with London electro pop practitioner Kubalove and her
latest video 'All I Want'.
Guaranteed to rapidly bring a crimson hue to the cheeks of those raised with more innocent eyes, this suggestive slice of short cinema has already been dubbed one of the sexiest videos of the year, but before you all go rushing down the page to click the little triangle inside a square, at least give us a moment to mention what tends to be our primary concern here at The Sound Of Confusion - that being not the visuals, but the all important music that it accompanies, and we're pleased to report that, much like its video; 'All I Want' the tune knows a thing or two about how to be seductive.
Constructed on the back of a steadily throbbing and buzzing base line, this is synthpop that adheres diligently to the genres original early eighties ethos; drumbeats echo with a regimented snap, flourishes are sparse and galactic in nature, and even when Kubalove "la la la la loves" her way through the chorus, it's done less with the pretence of a pop princess and more with the type of detached demeanour that typified Depeche Mode et al. in their formative years. Twists and turns are few, but it's that simplicity that works to the track's advantage, intensifying the sense of single-mindedness that infuses the prevailing mood and narrative.
Sex sells so the say, but so does a good product. That's what Kubalove's got, all she wants now readers is your love.
All of those fuzzy, DIY indie bands that seemed to take over the world for a while a few years ago have either faded away as they became irrelevant, or they've upped their game in the way that Dum Dum Girls did. By the sounds of thrashing, propulsive new single 'Losing To The Dark', La Sera have chosen the latter. This single will be on new album 'Hour Of The Dawn', out on May 13th.
08-May CA Los Angeles, The Echo
10-May NY New York, Baby's All Right
14-May DE Hamburg, Astra Stube
15-May DK Copenhagen, Huset-KBH
16-May NO Oslo, Vanguard
17-May DE Gothenberg, Pustervik
19-May DE Berlin, Monarch
20-May DE Schorndorf, Manufaktur
21-May BE Belgium, Kultuurkafee
23-May UK London, Hoxton Bar and Grill
24-May UK Leeds, Wardrobe
25-May UK Brighton, Sticky Mike's Frog Bar
26-May FR Paris, Point Ephemere
27-May FR Bordeaux, I.Boat
30-May ES Barcelona, Primavera Sound
31-May ES Barcelona, Primavera Sound
Paradise - Born and Bound
The second album from Portland psych group Paradise is set to be released on April 22nd and is called 'Soldiers Of The Modern Age'. The cover comes adorned with masonic and illuminati symbols, so we're assuming they want to take over the world. They might not be mainstream enough for that, but the classic blues/psych/garage of 'Born and Bound' has won us over.
Download 'Born and Bound' for free by heading here
Brooklyn group Unicycle Loves You have announced details of their fourth album. 'The Dead Age' will be out on June 10th, but prior to that you can download single 'Face Tattoo' which is an energetic bundle of guitar-pop fun that touches on indie and grunge and will generally have fans of noisy guitars and sweet melodies falling for it.
Apr 03 Shea Stadium, Brooklyn, NY
Apr 17 Cake Shop, New York, NY
Jun 07 Radio Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY
The Phantoms - Revolution
Scottish band The Phantoms could well lead the charge of a new generation of shoegaze/alt-rock bands. With a debut EP available, they've now put out free download 'Revolution', and it comes with a gigantic sound and a steely determination. There's confidence here and a sound to back it up, if there are a few more of these up their sleeves these guys could make a big impact.
'True Love Never Dies' is all classic chord structures, melodies and lyrics, but it sounds absolutely amazing; a warped doo-wop single for modern times. Gold Light are from North Carolina and are unlikely to take the charts by storm, but with songs as beautifully melodic and (despite the slight pastiche element) timeless as this they'll be sure to bring a tear to the eyes of those who've just split from the love of their life.