Nothing Here by Tombstones In Their Eyes
L.A-based psychonauts 'Tombstones In Their Eyes' have unleashed a stunning new single entitled 'Silhouette' lifted off their forthcoming brand new three track EP 'Nothing Here' penned in for release on August 24th 2018. This latest single is the first release since 2017's 'Shutting Down' and see's the band's continuous rise to prominence bearing fruit. Stoner rock, neo-psych, subtle flavours of shoegaze and rolling slowcore melded with fluttering dark frequencies, intense melody and those totally addictive vocalisations of John Treanor are still evident but there's a maturity developing in their collective sound that is really pleasing to hear.
'Tombstones In Their Eyes' current line-up is John Treanor - guitar/vocals/keyboards/songwriter, Josh Drew - guitar,/backing vocals, Mike Mason - bass/guitar and Stephen Striegel - drums. 'Nothing Here' get's it's official release on August 24th 2018 and is available to pre-order right now via tombstonesintheireyes.bandcamp.com
Red Dust by The Suncharms
Sheffield's finest indie-gazers 'The Suncharms' unleash their long awaited new single 'Red Dust' to the masses on September 21st 2018 via Californian-based independent record label 'Slumberland Records'. Originally founded back in 1989, 'The Suncharms' skirted some of the most influential music genres of that time such as indie-pop, shoegaze and C86, dipping their experimental toes into each one to mould and sculpt a sound all of their own. Having shared the stage with some notable bands like The Brilliant Corners, St Christopher, The Orchids and The Television Personalities, the band unleashed a demo tape in 1991 that secured themselves a place within the early nineties shoegaze firmament. 'The Suncharms' went on to release their first EP in 1991 that reached No.23 in the UK indie charts.
In November 1991 the bands stunning second EP entitled 'Tranquil Day' was released, followed in 1992 by a stint in the Peel Sessions studios which highlighted their ability to manufacture melodically catchy soundscapes that transferred brilliantly to a live stage scenario. Unfortunately, as is the way, the trials of modern life took control of the band pulling them in different directions hampering songwriting/recording until eventually they played their last gig in 1993. Fast forward to 2016 and the release of a retrospective compilation of the two EP's plus assorted demos through 'Cloudberry Records' /' Wilde Club Records' and with the buzz surrounding them increasing rapidly the band played their first gig since 1993, opening for The Orchids and The Chesterfields. This in turn led to a stint in the studio working on tracks leading to this highly anticipated brand new release.
'Red Dust' hovers in a kind of cinematic haze before opening up into mesmerisingly melodic swirl of sound. Rattling percussion keeps a steady beat as those jangling guitars twinkle and shine in amongst cascading lines of bass and that instantly recognisable vocal. 'Red Dust' is impressive and a solid return to form by a band who are relevant now more than ever.
'Red Dust' b/w 'Film Soundtrack' gets it's official release on September 21st 2018 and is available to pre-order right now on various formats including lovely 7' vinyl through slumberlandrecs.bandcamp.com
2016's retrospective compilation of the two EP's plus assorted demos is available to buy/download right now via thesuncharms.bandcamp.com
ARTIST: Prana Crafter
RELEASE: Enter The Stream
RELEASE DATE: 31st July 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Sunrise Ocean Bender
William Sol aka 'Prana Crafter' has released some mesmerising experimental psych & acid folk through a plethora of underground labels throughout the years from his home base on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Through labels like Beyond Beyond is Beyond, Eiderdown, Deep Water Acres, and Reverb Worship his soundscapes have permeated the sonic ether, flowing down through various levels of consciousness to paint a sonic tapestry so rich in colour that listening to his work is genuinely more akin to a intensely spiritual journey of sonic discovery. Now Sol has returned with what could be the best album of 2018 so far? A blistering new long player entitled 'Enter The Stream', a collection of eight tracks that skip effortlessly through ambient tinged psych folk, acid folk and kosmische styled psych rock all steeped in a kind of esoteric brilliance. 'Enter The Stream' is officially released on July 31st 2018 jointly via the good folks over at Sunrise Ocean Bender Records and Cardinal Fuzz Records and is also available to pre-order right now through pranacrafterabode.bandcamp.com
Enter the Stream by Prana Crafter
'Enter The Stream' begins meditatively, oozing an eerie kind of calmness that completely envelopes this listener in blissful sonic tones as those swirling acoustics tumble through layers of reverberation, carefully cushioning refrained vocalisations and the lulling tap of guitar strings. It's a beautiful opening salvo steeped in highly personal themes but wonderfully refreshing in the way it settles the listener from the off with its hypnotic almost metronomic swing that gently leads us into the ambient strewn wilderness that is 'Moon Through Fern Lattice'. This track opens up shimmering on layers of cyclonic drones and effervescent instrumentation accompanied by the addictive pull of lead guitar as we buffer on ambient themed waves of psychedelically attuned instrumentation. Up next, 'Mycorhizzal Brainstrom' floats into the sonic ether on waves of beautiful frequencies accompanied by progressions of guitar and the fizz of electronics. Melodic lines of lead guitar dance and swing with ease, dipping in and out of translucent waves of reverb and the constant pitter patter of ambient synth. 'Mycorhizzal Brainstrom' is a triumph, a lysergic sonic adventure and an album highlight for me. 'The Spell' jangles into existence strapped to an acoustic progression whipped by the occasional line of distorted lead guitar overlaid with a kind of spaghetti western brilliance. Sol's vocalisations control the tempo here and they sit brilliantly inside the groove, eventually leading us into a lead break that momentarily shatters the air of serenity surrounding this track before we're back inside that swinging groove and pulled into it's final death throws.
'Old North Wind' bellows into life, moving on melodic tentacles of acoustic guitar draped in reverb and an instant hit of melancholy. Beautiful lines of vocal swirl around entrancing instrumental progressions joined sporadically by subtle highlights of lead guitar and slow moving percussion. A magical lead break unfurls it's sonic tendrils and intertwines with the melee of sounds adding blissful atmosphere as we flutter along in it's wake, pondering life and love and everything else in between whist up next, 'Kosmic Eko' does exactly as it says on the tin. Ambient stylings coalesce alongside angry pulses of distortion as tumbling lines of lead guitar plunge into pools of reverb allowing those swirling atmospherics to hold court as the track tries to build momentum from far below the mix. There's a hesitancy here, this listener wants the track to take flight and soar skywards but Sol has other ideas and allows it to tantalisingly hang in a cloud of frequencies until eventually it teeters out into marvellous oblivion. This is absolutely sublime songwriting craftsmanship and only goes to showcase just how good this album really is. The albums penultimate piece entitled 'Pillow Moss Absorption' begins with an acoustic progression that eventually leads into something altogether eclectic. Beautifully entrancing lines of guitar drenched in wah wah theatrics and underpinned with swells of organ and fizzing synths take centre stage as we're whisked off into an esoteric world filled with sonic wonderment. The instrumentation erupts again as progressions of acoustic guitar return and meld with waves of reverb, changing tempo with each sweep, tumbling and splashing through waves of brilliant production until we're swept headlong into the albums closing piece. 'At The Dawn' caps off a truly stunning collection of songs. This track feels like a bookend of sorts and whereas 'Pillow Moss Absorption' was loose and more free form in its approach, 'At The Dawn' is more structured and settled in its own skin. It's a beautiful ending to a truly marvellous album.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, postpunk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He also was a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
RELEASE DATE: 28th March 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Spirit Goth Records
'Castlebeat' is that weird moment between nostalgia, unnerving contemplation and the dizziness that comes with hazy afternoons, setting suns and retrospection. This reviewer was impressed with their 2016 self-titled album, which arrived at a time before Mac Demarco had entered what could be scholastically deemed ‘post-celebrity’. A time when chorus pedals and slower tempos were beginning to be umbrellaed and confused with terms like ‘copycat’ and ‘influential’. I speak of this time only in reference to the fact that when the debut album 'Castlebeat' was released, a certain demographic, a certain underground and a certain discussion base were carrying them around on pedestals in the same way Demarco and other dream pop/jangle pop/synth bands were being. A similar thing happened around that time with the NY-based Porches and their debut album 'Pool'. Everything was about the aesthetic, the nostalgia… The internet was recovering and re-convening from vapourwave and all the associated facets of it. The moral of the story is, if Castlebeat arrived at a time it made sense in, (while simultaneously being a great album, musically) what happens when times move on? And what does the next album (the aptly named VHS) sound like? Brilliant apparently… And its all a great trick of the light, because not so much has altered for Castlebeat and their music, even if the times have.
VHS by CASTLEBEAT
'VHS' opens with the instrumental ‘Research’, which showcases plucked, bright guitars and a programmed post-punk drum beat. Behind the music, sequencers swirl and pulse with samples and the occasional soundscape that floats back: a welcome introduction to the album. The much more retrospective ‘Tennis’ follows with a darker sound. The vocals, which ooze in after a short guitar introduction, appear in a considered reverb way. On ‘Tennis’ the band do what they do best: combine that kind of goth nostalgia feeling with danceable rhythm sections and extremely catchy guitar riffs, and you have a terrific album highlight. Returning to the sound of album opener, ‘Here’ continues the similar, colour-distorted beach feeling of ‘Tennis’. Of note is the extremely catchy chorus, that finds the vocals dancing in the background of a great texturing of guitar, bass and drums. Easily the greatest intro to any song on the album, ‘Wasting Time’ features a memorable post-punk riff put through several reverb, echo and chorus pedals into the context of the band. The track seems somewhat more darker and distorted than other songs on 'VHS', which gives it a brilliant edge that makes it a true stand out on the release.
‘Town’ turns the tempo up but retains a similar feel to previous song. The lyrics seem somewhat lazy compared to others but these are made up for with a brilliantly sounding chorus and refrain and the instruments meld together in a beautifully harmonious way. ‘I Follow’ has one of the catchiest sounds on the album and lives up to Castlebeats self-classification of ‘goth pop’. Another album highlight is the minimal ‘Zephyr’ which relies on the fantastic bass player. The chorus passages reveal a kind of meditative smoothness that makes images conjure to mind even more swiftly. On the Bandcamp page, many listeners who have brought the album speak highly of the second half of 'VHS' and in particular ‘These Days’. I can understand why this would be considered by some to be the best track on the album; it captures (especially through the lyrics) a particular thoughtfulness of regret, retrospect and dreaminess that I think most can in some sort of equivocally way emotionally relate to. Its anthemic, slow and just the right length to support its memorable qualities. ‘Heart Still Beats’ takes 'VHS' full circle, bringing the music back to a danceable and brighter quality of beauty and approachability. Of particular note is the songs fantastic second half, which captures something playful yet emotionally challenging and bring it forth through the music. An additional song, ‘Video Tape’ wraps things up accordingly, in Castlebeat and aesthetically drenched stylings.
'VHS' takes the impetus of 'Castlebeat' and pushes it towards something more post-punk and guitar driven. This push certainly gives the album a faster paced, more danceable feel, and I can understand if fans of Castlebeat find something more approachable and fuller with the sounds found on VHS. The album can be comfortably played as a listening experience, background music, or something you can throw on at a party to get people on the dancefloor. The real intelligence though (and the reason for the rating below) is that underneath each of the ‘goth pop’ sounds and effects of the songs, underneath the beach sounding, aesthetic driven riffs, is a real sense of nostalgia and retrospect. When vapourwave was done well it achieved a similar result, but even that tended toward sounding artificial and distant… VHS maintains the authenticity and reminds the listener that this was handcrafted with love. Many will comfortably ride VHS off as a lesson in how simplicity can critically triumph over intentionally and presentably complex and intellectual music… Little do they know that the band has coated the latter in the former… Do you follow? Before I continuously acclaim VHS, I think it is worth noting that the album wont be without its critics. Many of the songs maintain a similar feeling (which is why it makes for great background music) and you have to pay attention to notice the differences and techniques used from song to song. This goes hand in hand for any similar sounding ‘aesthetic’ laced music. The moral of the story is, however, that Castlebeat have backed a great album up with an even better one… a release that captures so much while presenting something so simple, achieved through textured and mellow sound.
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on Baeble Music and Culture (USA), Sounds and Colours Magazine (Latin America, London), Easterndaze (Latvia) and the Australian-based heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
by Primal Music
Dublin-based noise merchants 'Sun Mahshene' conjure up a blisteringly good lysergic brew filled to the brim with alternative led sounds, psych, shoegaze and swirling electronics on their highly anticipated new single 'Tales Of Fiction', penned in for release via Deathcapades Music Ltd on the 28th July 2018. High up on our list of bands to watch, 'Sun Mahshene' are on the forefront of Irelands own shoegaze revival, leading the sonic charge and transforming this once revered genre of music into something altogether new sounding. The musical collective is made up of Nathan Henderson - guitar/vocals, Ian McGinn - guitar, Ryan Daffy - guitar, Darren Hughes - bass, David Murray - drums, Ray Burke - percussion/backing vocals & Robert Crosbie - keys/synth. The single was recorded and co-produced in Darklands Audio (Dublin, Ireland) by Dan Doherty and written by Nathan Henderson.
'Tales Of Fiction' follows on from their sublime 2016 released EP 'Drones That Don't Kill' and is lifted from their forthcoming debut album entitled 'Contradictions & Tales of Fiction' due for full release this October. The single will be available to buy/download on release day via sunmahshene.bandcamp.com and all major streaming and digital platforms.
Dublin/Paris-based dream-gazers 'A Ritual Sea' have unleashed a beautiful slice of summer in the guise of their new single 'Seasons (Like You)', the latest track to be lifted from their forthcoming and highly anticipated debut album penned in for release in early 2019. 'A Ritual Sea' released their marvellous debut single 'Serpentine' in late 2016, going on to share the stage with the likes of Jane Weaver and The Underground Youth, amongst others throughout 2017. The quartet have already been highlighted as ones to watch this year by some of our more enlightened peers here in Ireland and we reckon their collective sound is deeply infectious. It'll be very interesting to hear what comes next from them.
The accompanying video is delicious with a distinctly cinematic edge and was filmed in Lioux, France. It's the perfect accompaniment to those shimmering dream-pop sounds. The band will launch their new single on Thursday the 9th of August in Drop Dead Twice on Frances Street, Dublin 8 alongside Hostess (ex CAP PAS PCAP) and Father.