ARTIST: Magic Love
RELEASE: Night Falls
RELEASE DATE: October 7th 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Shimmers and swells set the lush tone for the latest release, Night Falls, from Tokyo's Magic Love. Their first release since single 2015's Night Before brings together four tracks of stomach-flipping sonics.
Night Falls by magic love
Wait For Rain feels like dropping through dense clouds, Midnight Baby's tumbling energy rolls like sweet-sounding thunder. Popularity's full of summer pop sensibilities. There's a darker edge to Ghost Novice with its heavy fuzz and vertiginous swoops.
Night Falls is out now at magiclove.bandcamp.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
In her time, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr has attended raves and rock clubs. She enjoys pedals, pizza and spy dramas. Sarah also plays guitar in Edinburgh-based noisemakers Wozniak and is co-founder of Morningside Young Team who put on gigs and put out records for discerning audiences who enjoy fuzz and confusion.
by Primal Music
ARTIST: The Valkarys
RELEASE: Since I Was Fifteen
RELEASE DATE: 28th October 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Wrong Way Records
Edinburgh based garage/psych five piece 'The Valkarys' have announced the release date for their forthcoming five track EP entitled 'Since I Was Fifteen'. It's penned in for release on October 28th 2016 via Wrong Way Records with both a digital pre-order and a very limited 10' orange vinyl pressing available via wrongwayrecords.bandcamp.com . Collectively, 'The Valkarys' have a very unique sound that skips nonchalantly through a beautifully melodic & endearing sixties psych vibe thats deliciously underscored by a distinctly modern approach.
Since I Was Fifteen by The Valkarys
The EP opens up with 'Grandma', a brilliantly executed slice of tremolo induced melancholy. 'Grandma' swirls blissfuly through cascading guitar lines that seem to perfectly filter out to envelope those incredible duel vocal lines courtesy of Scott William Dunlop and Sarah Ross. Up next, 'This Time's Today' floats into earshot on subtle acoustic vibrations coupled with the hum of bass frequencies, steadying drums and a jangling lead lick that snakes in and out of Scott William Dunlop's distinct vocal takes with aplomb. 'This Time'sToday' is wonderfully melodic and takes the listener with it on a beautiful journey of sonic discovery. The EP's title track ambles into earshot next. 'Since I Was Fifteen' begins with an acoustic guitar progression and a whirling drone before exploding into a cacophony of reverberating colour as the drums, bass and slide guitar soar into the ether. Vocally sublime, 'Since I Was Fifteen' is possibly my favourite track on the entire release. Simply beautiful.
The EP's penultimate piece, 'I Cheated Time', is a foot tapping 60's garage juggernaut. It rattles into the ether on a hi-hat heavy percussive pattern coupled with driving guitars and shaking tambourines, ploughing a heavy furrow as it deftly meanders on its predesignated course. A monumental track that will have you humming along to its hypnotic instrumentation. The EP closes out on a jangling acoustic strum and subtle synth swells. 'Crazy Shoes' introduces slide guitar to proceedings as Scott William Dunlop preaches the good word to the baying masses. Reminiscent at times to mid 90's Verve, The La's & Echo And The Bunnymen, 'Crazy Shoes' shakes and rattles into a glorious finale. A fitting end to a very satisfying EP.
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre 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: EP 1
RELEASE DATE: November 4th 2016
Menacing Essex based psych/garage trio 'Muertos' release their debut EP entitled 'EP 1' to the masses via the brilliant purveyors of modern psychedelia 'Wrong Way Records' on November 4th 2016, unleashing their impressive fuzzy freakbeat imprint on the unsuspecting music buying public in the process. The band are made up of DeAnna Avis, Marc Crane & Tom Lewis and their debut EP is available to pre-order on various formats right now from wrongwayrecords.bandcamp.com
EP1 by Muertos
'EP 1' unfurls its burgeoning sonic tendrils from deep within a reverberating vortex, filled with growling guitar drone, throbbing bass frequencies and the incessant thump of the bass drum. 'Ballroom Spritzer' skulks impatiently like a misguided school boy, dripping with hypnotic swagger as it deftly meanders down dark sonic corridors, wrapping itself around that brilliantly executed boy/girl vocal and constantly building momentum until we're thrust headlong into a maelstrom of impressive noise and dragged effortlessly along with it through stunning sonic peaks and troughs. 'Ballroom Spritzer' will blow your mind from its opening notes. Up next, held fast within the twang of tremulous guitars and howling feedback, lives the masterful 'Black Box'. It explodes through its chorus progressions in a hail of fuzzy instrumentation & pounding drums before the listener is dragged back into the calmer waters of its verse progressions, safe in the arms of those soothing boy/girl vocal tracks that seem to instil a short-lived sense of calm to the piece before exploding once more into a cacophony of noise. 'Back Box' is what I imagine walking in and out through the eye of a raging tornado feels like. It's that bloody good.
The EP's penultimate track slows proceeding down to a dark crawl. 'Snakes' undulates as it hovers into ear shot on a woozily repetitive lead guitar line, underscored with reverberating whammy bar theatrics and a metronomic percussive pattern. Vocally reminiscent at times to the brilliant UK based 'Dead Rabbits', 'Snakes' builds beautifully and floats through a wonderfully translucent vocal break before leading the listener to its eventual explosive finale. The EP's closes out with another impressive piece. 'Write To The Devil' swirls into the ether on an repetitive drone and deliciously dark bass frequencies, before the introduction of a shaking tambourine and another impressive vocal performance cracks up the atmosphere. Pounding drums ride the ensuing sonic wave as the track explodes into a maelstrom of fuzzy noise, howling vocals and throbbing bass. A fitting end to a marvellous debut EP.
Recommended! So good that I just bought it on vinyl!
ARTIST: Vivienne Eastwood
RELEASE: Shook EP
RELEASE DATE: 6th October 2016
Brooklyn based fuzzy shoegazers 'Vivienne Eastwood' finally unleashed their highly anticipated sophomore EP entitled 'Shook' to the masses back on October 6th 2016 via bandcamp. The band are made up of vocals/guitar - Jordan John Parker, drums - Jenny Wong & bass - Bailey Meadows with additional musicians on this release listed as lead guitar/slide guitar on 'Nons' by Phil Radiotes & additional vocals on 'Snooze' by Lindsay Lueders. Vivienne Eastwood create impressive sonic imprints that are filled with dreamy layers of fuzzy reverberating shoegaze.
SHOOK EP by VIVIENNE EASTWOOD
A cacophony of swirling cymbal noise enters earshot before the opening bars of 'Snooze' erupt into the ether on a massive sonic tidal wave. This track is explosive and it meanders deftly on a bedrock of pounding drums, throbbing bass lines and woozy guitars coupled with that immense duel vocal attack. Up next, 'Shook' twinkles, drones and floats blissfully into audible range before the distortion arrives and the repetitive drum beat leads us into the verse progressions with aplomb. It's a different approach on this track, vocals are aligned brilliantly to the fore as the impressive instrumentation takes a back seat. But don't be fooled, Vivienne Eastwood's trademark wall of reverberating sound returns soon enough as the chorus parts explode into a maelstrom of beautiful noise. Thoroughly enjoyable and probably my favourite track on the entire release.
The very dream-pop sounding 'Maybelline' arrives on a shimmering guitar line and another impressive percussive pattern. Soon its wowing this listener completely as its stunning vocal track arrives in a haze of glorious reverb coupled with those impressive lead guitar licks that seem to unfurl their tendrils gracefully as they meander in and out of the entire piece. 'Maybelline' is brilliantly addictive, its sickly sweet tones hang in the air as if held by some unseen gravitational pull. Up next, 'Sea Salt' shudders as it works through its opening sonic gears, reminiscent at times to Adam Granduciel's 'The War On Drugs' or early 'Tame Impala'. 'Sea Salt' quietly builds as each facet of instrumentation is added, perfectly poised to accommodate that impressive vocal line as it weaves and bobs in and out of earshot and leads us into its brilliantly explosive finale.
The EP's penultimate track, 'Nons', is a blissful affair. Sparse percussion and throbbing bass frequencies underpinned by massive swathes of reverb laden guitar and that utterly addictive slide guitar collectively create a hazy wave of beautiful noise that carefully envelopes that fragile vocal track. 'Nons' is a triumphant soundscape that instils an air of intriguing melancholy into proceedings, bringing up past dreams of longing & lost love. The EP's closing piece, 'Messy', is a floating sonic monolith, full of beautifully translucent effervescent tones and golden hued frequencies that envelope the senses and aid floatation through the mechanisms of sound. Vocally sublime, it soars through its hazy progressions with ease, drenched in reverb and pulsing fuzzy melodies. A fitting ending to an absolutely immense EP...... Bravo Vivienne Eastwood!
With buying formats and links to be announced, this is a must have EP for 2016. Keep your eyes & ears peeled and head over to vivienneeastwood.bandcamp.com for details.
RELEASE: Danxia EP
RELEASE DATE: 11th September 2016
The lush sounds of Warm Rain are a dreamy introduction to Danxia. The Warrington based band have been whipping up whimsical sounds for their debut EP.
Danxia EP by Danxia
Closer is a triumph of textures, the guitars gritty and soaring by turns, topped with a honeyed vocal. The mood is more contemplative with Dislocated Minute's hushed intro, full of intricate layers that briefly bloom into a crashing reverb-laden crescendo. Sullen's melodic bassline bobs and weaves alongside the pretty vocal lulls and soothes.
A delicious debut!
ARTIST: Archipelago Swell
RELEASE: Archipelago Swell EP
RELEASE DATE: 14th September 2016
There are support groups for drug users, there are support groups for alcoholics; where is the support group for fans of post-rock? Much like the aforementioned substances post-rock is addictive, translucent and a trip of sorts for the listener; for those addicted, we must always go searching for the next ambient, picturesque sound of swirling guitars and pounding drums. On this search it is clear to see just how popular the genre has become and fully displays the kind of culture (or aesthetic) its fans sport and love. But, as is with every genre, there are both masterpieces and… I don’t know, less than masterpieces? Where does Scottish post-rock/post-metal/instrumental band Archipelago Swell’s self-titled EP land on that spectrum? Well, somewhere in the middle, I suppose…
Archipelago Swell by Archipelago Swell
Archipelago Swell begins with ‘Terraforms’ a dark, heavy piece of post-metal underpinned with a touch of psychedelia for good measure. Impressively, the guitars switch between the tones of a heavy metal band to that of beautiful touching post-rock soundscapes; the drums do a similar dance but not as obvious or perhaps entrancing. In fact, the drums and percussion stay heavy and airy for most of the EP, something that always brings the band back to its post-rock roots; in a good way. As with most songs on the EP, the guitars eventually launch into a much, much heavier sound that rickets through your speakers with all the makings of Viking metal, backed nicely to sound heavier by the drums and the neat but at times inaudible bass. For the most part ‘Terraforms’ takes the shape of almost an intro track; the beginning shuffles around minimally (for the most part) before evolving into a heavier/metal-infused track of an epic scale. And that’s where things get a little bit awkward. After some beautifully intricate guitar playing and soft-dream like backing and textures, Archipelago Swell begin to turn up the metal-scale, and do so to their advantage; things still seem neat and instrumentally interesting. And then after the three minute mark there is a cringe-worthy tempo and riff alteration that weaves itself into some slightly embarrassing drum pieces and boring-as-paint-drying guitar *sexually explicit word*. For the small portion of what could be considered an outro the band regain some of the magic that was withheld at ‘Terraforms’ playful beginning, but all in all the bizarre attempt at ‘experimental’ rock is enough to make the listener take a step back and assesse what the band was trying to do.
‘Terraforms’ is followed by ‘The Overview Effect’ a much wider, epic track in which the band majestically bounce back and showcase their true talent. A sweet, colourfully intellectual piece of music, filled with everything the band are good at; blending instruments, writing cohesive and enjoyable riffs and walking the preverbal line between post-rock and post-metal in a greatly pleasing way. The song builds around a sweet, sketched out guitar line that sweeps and plays around the pounding but delicate drums and churning bass guitar. Epic in scale but never pretentious, the band dabble with a touch of math rock in the outro; which is where some of the greatest slices of music on the track are stationed. This track functions as a full leap into the core of the sort of sound that features on the EP and a step beyond the basic functions of ‘Terraforms’.
What follows is ‘Olympus Mons’ which is... Not that flash actually. What starts as a semi-interesting guitar riff just goes on and on, full of meaty-ness or whatever you want to call it… Occasionally there is a noise in the background that’s supposed to make us all go ‘what a post-rock song this is’ but isn’t really fooling anybody. Wait, I’ll do a cover for you: *Chug-Chug-Chug-Chug* *drum roll* and so on and so forth. Congratulations to the bass player who wrote and played interestingly enough to keep the band slightly above water. This isn’t offensive or meant to be abusive because I still think the previous track is absolutely brilliant, and that elements of ‘Terraforms’ are also beautiful and genius pieces of song writing; but I really don’t know about ‘Olympus Mons’. So here goes; the song has way too much reverb, the opening sounds like an interlude; the riff is uninspiring, generic and bland… And then there is the mixing and the production… Which leaves a lot to be desired. The levels of the guitar on the second half of the song are just so all over the place it literally transcends making an effort. It’s like somebody spilt alcohol on the mixing desk and the levels just started doing the can-can all over the place. And what in all musical sanity made the band put galloping guitars in… Like what are they doing in the song? Is this to try and see-saw the song between credible but bland music and humour? I don’t know. I really don’t know. I didn’t want to make it sound like this, but this is the PG version of what could be written about this; I apologise, but I just can’t put it any smoother. That’s just ‘Olympus Mons’ and how it sounds, how it’s mixed and how it’s heard.
‘Olympus Mons’ leads into ‘Accretion’ which seems somewhat refreshing, albeit nowhere near the pleasing heights of the EPs opposing half. There is more chugging at the songs opening, reminiscent and following on from ‘Olympus Mons’, but this gesture soon seeps into a soft and pleasing outro. Said outro presents a beautiful and majestic piece of post-rock guitar playing. The drums and bass ease back and the whole song sounds like a gentle and atmospheric sigh of relief; like a return to form for the band who use the outro to showcase their talent at simple and dreamy song writing. Eventually the softness of the outro blends into a more heavy and guitar orientated piece of music. I feel like this part of the song is what ‘Olympus Mons’ was trying to or could have been; a nice and enjoyable but epic piece of music.
Okay, okay, okay; a few things you should know. It may sound like in this review that I’m spitting on post-metal… I’m not. I actually love post-metal and the sort of sound and instrumentation a band or artist can play around with while under the moniker of its name. This band has some fantastic pieces of music that are definitely worth listening to. And ultimately, I think both post-rock and post-metal are difficult genres to sound refreshing or original within. But Archipelago Swell at times just try to transcend this difficulty… You’re probably saying ‘well they aren’t pro so…’ but one would only have to look as far as how absolutely mesmerizing unsigned post-rock can be by listening to 'Vinter' by the majestic and very talented 'Star of Heaven' from Stockholm. And while there are certainly many beautiful and fantastic pieces of music and songs on Archipelago Swell, I just can’t help but wonder what they were doing on some songs. At times it’s awkward, at times it’s cringey and at times I wondered whether the band had re-listened to the songs before releasing them. Anyway… I did enjoy some of it, and those pieces of enjoyment were enough to perhaps recommend the EP around, but ultimately I just guess that the listener can decide for themselves. If you enjoy post-metal, if you enjoy post-rock then you might appreciate this. If you are looking for some instrumental songs to chuck on in the background without looking too closely at them, this is for you. If you’re a stickler for production, assessing song writing structures and neatly looking ‘into’ the mixing and the songs meaning, then this is not for you. Credit, however, to the band for their performances, which throughout shine and make things interestingly swift and engaging. Shout out to the bassist for keeping things always interesting throughout the EP (that’s not a joke). You should know that within this EP there is some fantastic and engaging music from a band whose talent sometimes drift, but when it’s practiced; it’s a rewarding listen. Within this talent the band impress through blending, performance and sound.
Archipelago Swell is available to buy/download right now from archipelagoswell.bandcamp.com
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 the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
ARTIST: Movie Brain
RELEASE DATE: 25th September 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Alien Age Records
Tennessee based dream gaze trio 'Movie Brain' have unleashed a stunning collection of four tracks on an EP aptly named 'Soma' via Alien Age Records. The EP is full of effervescent sounds and hazy sonic compositions coupled with soaring instrumentation and blissful vocalisations. This latest release follows on from the bands full length, self-titled debut album, released back in July, that contained four new tracks and a handful of previously released handpicked 'Favourite Tracks' lifted from the bands first three releases. Movie Brain are made up of Jonathan - guitar/vocals, Adam - bass guitar & Kevin - drums and the 'Soma' EP is available to buy/download right now from moviebrain.bandcamp.com
Soma by Movie Brain
'Soma' opens with the blissful 'Honey', a glistening tremulous instrumental piece that gracefully hovers within a cloud of layered reverberation, all neatly saddled on a bedrock of busy percussive hits, glorious guitar progressions and throbbing bass frequencies. Up next, the beautifully arranged 'Azure' ambles into earshot on a thread of melodious lead guitar before we're hit by a wall of golden hued noise in the form of tempered percussion, snaking guitars and the deep hum of the addictive bass lines. The vocals soar blissfully, held fast within a dreamy reverb induced bubble as the instrumentation weaves a magical trail of of sonic discovery. Utterly delectable and possibly my favourite track on the entire release.
'Wasting Away', the EP's penultimate track, is a beautiful slice of glorious dream pop, infused with jangling guitars and lazy percussion, the medley driven vocal lines, drenched in stunning reverb, swirl as they work through their pre-designated repetitions with aplomb deftly leading the track to its finale. The EP's self-titled closing track enters into earshot on a wave of plodding sonic swells, pounding drums and a woozy vocal. 'Soma' purrs as it undulates and moves hypnotically through its verse parts until the chord change interrupts the almost metronomic like drum pattern, instantaneously bringing the listener back to reality and introducing them to the tracks final throw of the dice, an exploding cacophony of magically golden reverb induced frequencies. An absolutely stunning finale to a blissful EP!
RELEASE: Motorcycle Song EP
RELEASE DATE: 29th July 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Elephant Stone Records
Florida’s Seafang released a trio of trilling, thrilling fuzzpop this summer. Out on Elephant Stone records, this debut release blends the best of late 80s British indie, a dollop of doowop and turns the speed up. Already having secured the support of BBC 6 Music in the UK and college stations the US over, it’s a milkshake that’s going down smoothly with gaze fans.
Motorcycle Song by Seafang
Motorcycle Song goes along at a lick, fuzz and hair flying out behind. There are some gothier tones in Summertime, but the pop sensibility is still strong and the influences of Ride and Lush come through clearly here. I Don’t Want To Be The One’s update on the 50s girl group aesthetic has a pleasing ‘end of summer vibe’, melancholy and pretty, like a sunset.
Motorcycle Song EP is available to buy/download right now on various formats from seafang.bandcamp.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ARTIST: Travelling Wave
RELEASE DATE: 28th August 2016
Following on from their blistering 2013 full length release 'T-Wave' and their impressive collection of singles since that debut release including Adidas Shoestrings (April. 2014), Tradition and Evolution (May.2014) and A Cloud of Madness (Nov.2014), comes the latest immense assault on the senses from stunning Brazil based psych/gaze outfit Travelling Wave. The Simoom EP is a sonically sublime collection of four tracks that swirl gracefully within a hazy reverberating cloud of layered frequencies, soaring instrumentation and gloriously addictive vocal progressions. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Travelling Wave, the band are made up of Carol Alleoni - vocal/synth, Thiago Altafini - guitar/backvocal, Nathalia Oliveira - drums & Vitor Galvão -bass/synth and this latest EP is available to buy/download right now from travellingwave.bandcamp.com
Simoom by Travelling WaveSimoom opens up, squeezed within a swirling drone before Travelling Wave unleash their full instrumental might in the form of a massive wall of reverberating noise, coupled with pounding drums & soaring synth swells that impressively envelopes that addictive vocal will ease. 'In A Dream' undulates as it loops and arc's high into the ether, eventually soaring into its chorus progressions, blissfully spraying beautifully iridescent layered frequencies like sonic raindrops onto their listeners ears. A stunning opening salvo! Up next, 'Lotus' shimmies into earshot on glorious synth swells and throbbing bass frequencies before its metronomic percussive attack takes hold and the track sways into action with the addition of a melodious dark bass line. The guitars wail and intertwine with the instrumentation as the creeping vocal arrives, held fast within a pulsating sonic pulse. 'Lotus' meanders maliciously as it works through its gears, building tempestuously into a whirlwind of intense noise that crashes to finality like storm driven waves breaking on a perilous beach.
Dark swirling organ swells coupled with throbbing bass frequencies announce the arrival of 'Wind May', the EP's penultimate track, before we're swept up and dragged into the abyss by pounding drums and the arrival of droning guitars and reverb induced vocal progressions. Travelling Wave can instil stunningly dark atmosphere at will, dragging their listeners with them on a reverb filled thrill ride that breaks through layers of tremulous frequencies and soars into the ether. Vocaly sublime, 'Wind May' is a delicious slice of modern psych/gaze and my favourite track on this entire release. The EP's closing piece is a thing of beauty. 'The Unseen' launches into a maelstrom of instrumentation, with its pounding drums, cascading sweeps of monumental organ and synth swells, driving bass lines & droning guitars. Its explodes into its chorus progressions, ramping up the overdrive and pulsing immense reverberating instrumentation into the sonic ether. A blissful ending to a magnificent EP.
Simoom is available to buy/download right now from travellingwave.bandcamp.com
ARTIST: The Intelligence Service
RELEASE: Maladies EP
RELEASE DATE: 02/01/16
RECORD COMPANY: Wiener Records
Hailing from Vancouver, Canada ‘The Intelligence Service’ collectively creates stunning psych induced garage rock, peppered with droning guitars & melodic organ swells that are tinged with subtle shoegazing flourishes. The band are made up of Alex. P - Vocals & Guitars, Heather Campbell - Vocals, Organ & Analog Synth, Sam Daoust - Bass & Backing Vocals & Dror Zur - Drums and their latest four track EP entitled ‘Maladies’ is getting the cassette treatment via independent label ‘Weiner Records (A Burger Records Subsidiary)’.
Maladies EP by The Intelligence Service
The EP opens up with the monolithic ‘Distraction (Here Comes Dror)’ & with a running time of fourteen minutes plus its recommended that you strap yourselves in and make yourselves comfortable. This track is insatiable! Opening with a swirling droning synth that reverberates on its own sonic axis before being joined by shuffling percussion, melodic organ swells, throbbing bass lines & a warm fuzzy guitar progression. It builds & builds into a cacophony of stunning noise that swirls around some impressive spoken word as it meanders through musical peaks and troughs increasing in intensity around it’s raging sonic maelstrom. An absolutely stunning fourteen minutes of sublime sonic sounds. Up next, ‘Driving To My Sun’ does exactly as it says on the tin! Hypnotic organ swells compliment the driving guitars and that steadying drum pattern as duel vocal lines help lift the chorus changes out of a monotonous vocal trench that had been ploughed during the verses. Another solid track from as band who are starting to grow on me.
Track three is explosive! ‘School Me’ pulses on it’s foundation of throbbing melodic bass frequencies, addictive drum hits and driving fuzzed up repetitive guitars. The duel boy/girl vocal attack adds impressive atmosphere. The closing track ‘Can’t Believe’ leans more into garage rock territory than the previous three tracks whilst keeping a tentative finger firmly within a psych rock mould by subtly layering melodic organ swells underneath that pounding instrumentation.