Monday 1 February 2016

This Month's Playlist - February 2016

Article by KevW

January's been a good month here at The Sound Of Confusion, with some ace new writers joining our team as well as the relaunch of our radio show which goes out on Sundays at 8PM UK time and again at 8PM EST on the excellent Primal Radio. The first few weeks of the year are also generally a very busy time for new releases in the alternative music world, so here's a selection of excellent new tunes to be absorbed by your ears. As usual you can check them out individually below, or stream the lot in one go using the player on the right. Happy listening!

Universal Thee - Speaker

Following on the heels of ace free download 'Hounds', Edinburgh's Universal Thee have unveiled another track from their second album 'All Watched Over By Machines' which is due on February 19th. 'Speaker' takes scuzzy, melodic indie-punk, buffs it up and sticks go-faster stripes down the side to make an alternative guitar tune with definite crossover potential.

Universal Thee's website

Buy: 'Speaker'

The Callas - It's Sunday I'm Bleeding

A curious title that's slightly surreal, especially when it's sung in such a woozy way as it is here. Athens-based group The Callas have just released their new album 'Half Kiss Half Pain' from which this is taken, and although they've dabbled in various genres in the past, they tackle dreamy shoegaze rather brilliantly on this excellently produced track.

The Callas' website

Buy: 'It's Sunday I'm Bleeding'

MONEY - I'll Be The Night

MONEY have been pulling in the plaudits for their newly-released album 'Suicide Songs', and with tracks of the calibre of the swoonsome and majestic 'I'll Be The Night' it's no wonder. Songwriter Jamie Lee excels himself while the band carefully piece together a stunningly arranged and lush backdrop that adds beauty and emotion without ever overdoing it.

MONEY's website

Buy: 'I'll Be the Night'

OhBoy! - Carrot and the Stick

Seemingly taking their cue from the American alt-rock scene of the late '90s, Midlands band OhBoy! have delivered a slice of contagious powerpop for their new single. 'Carrot and the Stick' seems built to be a staple of alternative radio stations and may even tickle the underbelly of the mainstream while it's at it. These guys could do very well for themselves.

OhBoy!'s website

Buy: 'Carrot and the Stick'

SULK - Black Infinity (Upside Down)

We've been following SULK since they were called The Ruling Class and posted demos onto Myspace, so it's great to see them continuing in such fine form. New album 'No Illusions' will be out in April, and first single 'Black Infinity (Upside Down)' is a wonderfully psychedelic update of the baggy sounds of the early 1990s, which is exactly what we've come to expect.

SULK's website

Buy: 'Black Infinity (Upside Down)'.

Avante Black - Imaginary Love

Shoegaze/pop band Avante Black are showcasing a sophisticated sound on new single 'Imaginary Love'. The London-based group use the brooding sonics, dreamlike nature and distorted effects of the genre, but flood it with melody to take the song from within the limits of its niche and on to a wider audience. This is ambitious and instantly likeable.

Avante Black's website

Buy: 'Imaginary Love'

Daphne Guinness - The Long Now

There are many strings to Daphne Guinness' bow. She's done acting work, co-produced an Oscar-nominated film, modelled for some big names and even inspired Lady Gaga. On top of that, her Toni Visconti produced debut album 'Optimist in Black' is due in May, and first single 'The Long Now' comes over like a more prim and proper version of Blondie. Nice.

Daphne Guinness' website

Pre-order: 'Optimist in Black'.

Beliefs - Leave With You

This latest track to be taken from Toronto shoegazers Beliefs' recent album 'Leaper' is another fine example of the genre's revival in full swing, with rampant drumming, reverby guitar and an overall sound that places it at the midpoint between noisy titans like MBV and the more ethereal sounds of dreampop. If you haven't bought the album yet, it'a about time you did.

Beliefs' website

Buy: 'Leaper'

Sundown - After Some Time 

French powerpop trio Sundown formed last year with the intention of digging into some groovy blues-rock vibes. Currently gearing up for the release of their debut album, single 'After Some Time' does have a blues side to it, but also swings by psychedelia and shoegaze on its journey. An energetic and tasty first offering.

Sundown's website

Buy: 'After Some Time'

City Reign - Into The Night

City Reign have announced that their new album 'Dasein' will be released on March 25th and will include excellent recent single 'Sympathy', along with new track 'Into The Night' which is another indication that the band have built on the indie-rock sound of early releases and are more than capable of mixing it with some of the biggest alternative rock bands out there.

City Reign's website

Pre-order: 'Dasein'

Lost Dawn - Naked Lunch

February 5th will see the release of 'Fever', a new mini-album from Lost Dawn, one of the leading lights of the now vibrant Cornish music scene (it was all dodgy metal and punk bands in my day... or Rootjoose...). 'Naked Lunch' is probably closer to the modern US garage scene and is a stomping track that contains echoes of The Strokes as well as a feral energy.

Lost Dawn's website

Buy: 'Fever'

Trick Mist - Another's Tale (Gap Series Video 4)

This installment of Trick Mist's 'Gap Series' sees animator Freddie Leyden provide trippy and complex visuals to accompany one of the most experimental and impressive tracks from the 'Jars In Rows' EP. Both song and video are perhaps best absorbed in the wee small hours when your brain is most susceptible to their dark and mysterious charms.

Trick Mist's website

Buy: 'Jars In Rows'.

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